Holiday Fun: Georgetown and Beyond

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Yuletide magic is luminous in D.C.’s oldest neighborhood. It’s time to fill your Advent calendar with only the best and brightest. From the sparkly to the spiritual, it’s all here — the main events in Georgetown, of course, with nearby fun thrown in.

‘ROCK THE RINK’ AT THE WATERFRONT

The ice skating rink has opened at Washington Harbour, the perfect holiday destination for date night or family fun. Keep the rink’s special deals in mind — like two-for-one admission on Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m. and college skate nights on Thursdays, when students with ID cards get a $2 discount. Our favorite is “Rock the Rink,” on Saturdays from 8 to 10 p.m.,
when you can skate and get down (hopefully without falling down) to classic rock.

SWING INTO THE HOLIDAYS AT ‘GLOW’

Feel like a kid again when you bring your children to “Cloud Swing,” one of 11 lightart installations in this year’s “Georgetown Glow.” It and its counterparts will be lit nightly from 5 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 5. The piece, near the intersection of Wisconsin Avenue and Reservoir Road, will include two swings suspended from a glowing cloud. Light and color are created as you swing. Good luck getting the kids to go back to their normal playground after visiting this!

WINTRY BUBBLY AT THE FOUR SEASONS

Recharge your batteries for all that speed shopping with a Rock Creek Forest Massage at the Winter Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel. You’ll be ensconced in balsam fir, white pine and minty body oils. A mug of hot cider awaits you afterward, while you chill in the steam room. At Bourbon Steak, you can dine inside a Champagne bubble to enhance your holiday levity. The eatery’s patio will feature three igloos designed to resemble a giant bubble, each representing a legendary name in Champagne: Krug, Dom Pérignon and Ruinart. Soft blankets and twinkling lights complete the cozy, luxe vibes. (There’s a fourth igloo in the front courtyard for smokers.)

BAZAAR AND PROCESSION AT HOUSE OF SWEDEN

At the Georgetown waterfront, a Swedish bazaar will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at House of Sweden, followed by a St. Lucia procession on the steps at dusk.

CHRISTMAS TREES FOR CHILDREN’S NATIONAL

The Four Seasons will host this year’s community fundraising event benefitting Children’s National Hospital on Sunday, Dec. 15, from 1 to 4 p.m. Notable area artists collaborated with patients to create custom Christmas trees, menorahs and more, now on display in the lobby and all available for purchase. Proceeds directly support programs that help the health and well-being of D.C.-area kids. Bring the whole family down — there will be holiday-themed arts and crafts, ornament making, musical performances and photos with Santa.

HERE WE GO A-CAROLING AT CHRIST CHURCH

At historic Christ Church Georgetown on the corner of O and 31st Streets, there’s music of a slightly more subdued variety as the church’s renowned choir performs the traditional Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent on Dec. 15 at 5 p.m., followed by a reception. The parish’s Christmas Pageant will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 20.

SINGING BY CANDLELIGHT AT ST. JOHN’S

At St. John’s Church in Georgetown, the British choral ensemble Voces8 will return for a Holiday Candlelight Concert. Experience the aural magic at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5. The church’s Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols will take place on Dec. 8.

SANTA CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO THE PARKS …

On Dec. 14, we hear that Santa will be pulling up to Rose Park in a red sports car to benefit Friends of Rose Park. On Dec. 15, he will arrive at Volta Park at 10 a.m. for photos, along with sweets and games.

… THEN HE’S KICKING BACK AT THE FAIRMONT

Santa, we also hear, is editing his naughty or-nice list and relaxing at a special suite at the Fairmont. Kids and their parents are invited to tour the suite and say hello to Georgie, the Fairmont’s resident canine ambassador. Santa will be available for cookies and selfies on Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. through Dec. 22.

‘THE NUTCRACKER’ WITH A GEORGETOWN TWIST

The Washington Ballet’s annual performance of “The Nutcracker” at the Warner Theatre runs through Dec. 29. Did you know that this Septime Webre production, which features a George Washington nutcracker, is set in Georgetown? This is a special time to see “The Nutcracker,” as the Washington School of Ballet is marking its 75th anniversary.

NSO POPS WITH LESLIE ODOM AND CHORAL ARTS

On Dec. 13 and 14 at the Kennedy Center, the National Symphony Orchestra will present a Holiday Pops concert with Leslie Odom Jr. of “Hamilton” fame, complete with the joyous sounds of the Choral Arts Society.

TACKY CHRISTMAS OUTFITS AT THE ANTHEM

The arts scene doesn’t always have to be so tasteful. The NSO will offer another night of musical cheer on Dec. 11 at the Anthem, but this time with a dash of humor. The “Ugly Sweater Holiday Concert” will require even the orchestra musicians to follow the dress code.

YULETIDE AT TUDOR PLACE AND DUMBARTON HOUSE

This time of year, one appreciates the beauty of our historic architecture. Nothing is grander than seeing a Christmas tree lit inside a Georgetown mansion. One of our most famous homes — Tudor Place — is open for candlelit tours beginning on Dec. 13. On Dec. 14, Dumbarton House will host Tea with Santa and offer a walking tour of Georgetown with hot chocolate and carols, allowing you to see our neighborhood in all its Christmas finery.

‘A BOOK HILL HOLIDAY’ ON WISCONSIN AVENUE

More than 40 small businesses and boutiques — from O Street to Reservoir Road along Wisconsin Avenue — will take part in “A Book Hill Holiday” from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. Santa will be at the TD Bank.

THE MAGIC STAYS ALIVE AT NATS PARK

If you miss all the World Series magic in the off-season, don’t fret. “Enchant Christmas” at Nationals Park is here. Through Dec. 29, enjoy the world’s largest Christmas light maze and market.

FA-LA-LA-LA WITH DUMBARTON CONCERTS

Continuing a 42-year tradition, Dumbarton Concerts is honoring the holidays with special performances at Dumbarton United Methodist Church. Irish music group Danú will appear on Dec. 7 at 4 and 8 p.m. “A Celtic Christmas,” featuring Robert Aubrey Davis, will be presented on Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. and Helicon will perform a winter solstice program on Dec. 14 at 8 p.m. In case you miss “A Celtic Christmas” the first time, it will return to close the series on Dec. 15 at 4 p.m.

THE CHRISTMAS REVELS ARE COMIN’ TO TOWN

The Washington Revels, dedicated to celebrating cultural traditions in music, dance and storytelling, is celebrating the holiday season with its “Celestial Fools” show, staged in George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium from Dec. 7 through 15.

OY VEY! THERE’S A MATZO BALL?

Now in its 33rd year, MatzoBall, the nation’s leading Jewish singles event, will ladle up some Hanukkah reveling at Ultrabar at 911 F St. NW, from 9 p.m. on Dec. 24 to 3 a.m. on
Dec. 25.

Among the many other holiday-themed happenings worth checking out: “Season’s Greetings” at the U.S. Botanic Garden, “ZooLights” at the National Zoo, Kwanzaa celebrations at Dance Place, the downtown market on F Street, Alexandria’s Scottish Christmas Walk, Christmas at Mount Vernon — and, of course, the National Christmas Tree, the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree and the National Menorah.

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