Family-Friendly Holiday 2023 Events 

If you’re wondering where to take the family for the best holiday events of the season, look no further than these options. Have a jolly holiday! 

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf 

December 2, 6-9 p.m. 

The event that’s become a holiday tradition in the area returns with over 60 boats decorated in their holiday best. The vessels parade through the Washington Channel. There will also be decorating of ornaments, face painting, s’mores and a 45-foot Christmas tree!  

Georgetown GLOW 

Dec, 1, 2023 through Jan. 7, 2024, 5-10 p.m. 

Don’t miss the sparkle of Georgetown GLOW, a free holiday celebration that features public light art installations in outdoor locations. There are typically walking tours, a shopping night, and many more themed evenings throughout the holiday season. 

National Menorah Lighting 

Dec. 7 

The annual event will take place Dec. 7 this year, with tickets available to the public on Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. 

The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Nov. 30 

Celebrating 100 years, The National Christmas Tree Lighting will be Nov. 30 this year. In 1923, then-President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 red, white, and green holiday lights. A choir and U.S. Marine Band quartet performed. Today, the lighting typically draws big name performers and the president still heads down from The White House to light the tree. 

Enchant Christmas 

Nov. 24 through Dec. 31 

Kids and kids at heart love this family holiday event that’s become a tradition in recent years. Held at Nationals Park, there will be ice skating, an all-new light maze, theme nights, and more. 

Zoo Lights at National Zoo 

Nov. 24 through Dec. 30, 5-9 p.m., Sundays 5-8 p.m. 

The National Zoo’s holiday tradition returns with over 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights. This year marks 15 years of ZooLights. 

Mount Vernon by Candlelight 

Nov. 24-25, Dec. 1-2, Dec. 8-9, and Dec. 17 

Enjoy a 45-minute candlelit tour of Mount Vernon. There will be themed Christmas trees, concessions, and The Shops at Mount Vernon will be open for holiday shopping.  

Heurich Christmas Markt 

Dec. 1 through Dec. 3  

Enjoy a three-day local artisan market featuring over 50 vendors.

The Washington Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” 

Dec. 2 through 30 

The Washington version of the famed ballet includes a George Washington nutcracker who leads the battle versus the Rat King. Enjoy nods to the city like the streets of Georgetown and the cherry blossoms.  

Tudor Place Candlelight Tour 

Dec. 8, 6-7 p.m.

View artifacts documented as Christmas gifts in the collection while enjoying seasonal refreshments. 

Washington Harbour Ice Skating 

Nov. 17 through Feb. 25, 2024 

The Washington Harbour Ice Skating rink returns for holiday fun and lasts into 2024. Here’s a fun fact for you: the rink is bigger than the iconic one at Rockefeller Center! 

Downtown DC Holiday Market 

Nov. 17 through Dec. 23, 12-8:00 p.m., closed Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 4 

The annual holiday market includes food, live entertainment and plenty of options for everyone on your list. The event is operated by the DowntownDC BID and Diverse Markets Management.  







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