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  • Writer's pictureLisa

COVID-safe Holiday Activities in the DC Area

COVID can't ruin the holidays. In fact, Christmas activities are so resilient that many of them already happened outside, anyway. Take THAT, COVID.

If that doesn't put you in a joyful mood, I hope this list does. I collected DC-area holiday events that are happening outdoors and/or in a safe manner (think a drive-through light show from the safety of your car). The first group includes one-off events and the second group includes ones that will be ongoing between now and the new year. They are generally in chronological order so that you can plan to pack your weeks with holiday cheer. Enjoy!

Upcoming Holiday Events

Nov. 20-22 and 27-29, 10am-5/6pm: Maryland Christmas Show (Frederick, MD) - Craft show with 7 buildings and big-top tents and a food pavilion - More info here

Dec. 5, 11am-4pm: Occoquan Holiday Market (Occoquan, VA) - Outdoor craft and gift market with small-town charm - More info here

Dec. 5, 9am-4pm: Leesburg Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show (Leesburg, VA) - Outdoor craft market with 40 vendors - More info here

Dec. 5, 5:30-8pm: Leesburg Christmas Parade (Leesburg, VA) - Parade with floats decorated for the holidays - More info here

Dec. 6, 12-4pm: Silver Spring Christmas Market & Holiday Craft Show (Silver Spring, MD) - Outdoor craft market in downtown Silver Spring - More info here

Dec. 12, 10am-3pm: Manassas Holiday Market (Manassas, VA) - Outdoor market with optional hot cider to sip while you shop - More info here

Dec. 12, 3-7pm: Occoquan Fireside Family Night (Occoquan, VA) - Santa arrives via fire engine at 3, s'mores kits and fire pits from 4-7, and a staged reading of A Christmas Carol at 5 (all free) - More info here

Dec. 12, 6-8pm: Annapolis Boat Parade (Annapolis, MD) - Boats decked out with Christmas lights glide through the Annapolis harbor - More info here

Ongoing Holiday Events

Nov 6-Jan 10, 5:30-9:30/10pm: Bull Run Festival of Lights (Centreville, VA) - $20-$25 per car - 2.5 mile drive through of lights with some limited carnival-type activities - More info here

Nov. 11- Jan. 3, 5/5:30-10pm: Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (Vienna, VA) - $11-$20 - Walk through lights set up around the paths of the botanical gardens, munch on snacks or food from food trucks (Dec. weekends only), and visit the gift shop - $11-$20 - More info here

Nov. 16- Jan. 5, 5:30-9pm: National Harbor Tree Light Show (National Harbor, MD) - Light show every half hour, with snowfall over the tree on weekends - More info here

Nov. 20- Dec. 23, 12-8pm: Downtown Holiday Market (Washington, DC) - 70+ exhibitors and 6 food vendors in downtown DC - More info here

Nov. 20- Jan. 3, hours vary: Ice and Lights (Alexandria, VA) - $9-$24 - "Winter Village", ice skating, light displays, and photo opps galore - More info here

Nov. 27 - Dec. 19, 6-8pm: ZooLights Express (Washington, DC) - Zoo Lights leaves the National Zoo this year and instead, the ZooLights Express truck will visit each DC ward, decked out in light displays and complete with "Panda Claws" - More info here

Nov. 27 - Dec. 20, hours vary: Holiday Market at the Kennedy Center's Victura Park (Washington, DC) - Holiday market with beer, wine, hot food, spiced cider, hot chocolate, and outdoor heaters - More info here

Nov. 27- Dec. 31, 6-9/9:30pm: Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival (Gaithersburg, MD) - $12-$17 - 3.5-mile drive through Christmas lights in Seneca Creek Park - More info here

Dec. 3 - Jan. 1, sunset-10/11pm: National Christmas Tree (Washington, DC) - Iconic DC tree surrounded by 56 smaller trees, each with ornaments representing each US state and territory - More info here Ho ho ho!

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