December 6, 2023

If you ask us, the best events are held during the holiday season. Whether you’re looking for something to increase your cheer (or even if you’re seeking a little break from holiday festivities), you’ll be able to find plenty of options in and around Northern Virginia.

December 1, 5, & 11

Festive Bread Workshop

When this year’s holiday party comes around, skip the cookies and impress guests with a different kind of tasty treat. Book a spot in this cooking class to learn all of the ins and outs of creating a raspberry snowflake pull-apart wreath and chocolate hazelnut babka just in time for baking season. Sur La Table: 1101 S. Joyce St., Ste. B-20, Arlington, $89

December 2–18

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn

If you love Hallmark’s holiday flicks, you’ll want to make sure you’re in the audience for this film-turned-musical. After leaving show business and moving to Connecticut, Jim has song and dance brought back into his life when he meets Linda. The two go on a journey to turn the farmhouse into an inn with dazzling holiday performances, but Jim’s chance at love wavers when his best friend tries to send Linda to Hollywood. Fauquier Community Theatre: 4225 Aiken Dr., Warrenton, $18–$22

dc boat parade
Photo courtesy The Wharf DC

December 3

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade

The 30th annual Holiday Boat Parade will be something to remember. Catch over 60 boats decorated to the nines with lights, trees, and other festive trinkets that will get you in the holiday spirit. While you wait for the holiday display, stay warm by the fire pit, get pictures with Santa, and twirl around the ice skating rink. The Wharf: 101 District Sq. SW, Washington, DC, free

December 3

Winter Wine Festival

Enjoy amazing drinks from the region’s best wineries, distilleries, and cideries. This indoor festival will not only have plenty of tasty samples, but will also include educational demonstrations and other talented craft and food vendors. Fredericksburg Fairgrounds: 2400 Airport Ave., Fredericksburg, $25–$35

December 3–January 8

The Golden Age of Toys

There’s no better time to learn about the history of toys than during the holiday season. Travel back to 1870 to see how toys were produced and how this “golden age” turned Christmas into the gift-giving holiday we love today. Lee-Fendall House Museum and Garden: 614 Oronoco St., Alexandria, free with general admission

kelsey waldon
Photo courtesy Jammin Java/By Alysse Gafkjen

December 5

Kelsey Waldon’s No Regular Dog Tour

The Kentucky singer, songwriter, and guitarist is hitting the road following the release of her latest album, No Regular Dog. The multitalented musician’s fourth studio album features inspiration from Waldon’s favorite genres, including mid-century bluegrass, ’60s soul, and ’70s country-rock. Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna, $15–$25

December 6–January 22

Which Way to the Stage

This Ana Nogueira original is making its DC premiere at Signature Theatre. Follow Broadway superfans Jeff and Judy as they wait for Idina Menzel at the If/Then stage door. When a stranger enters their lives, it puts their decadeslong friendship at risk. Signature Theatre: 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, $40–$90

December 7

DC101-derland 2022

One of the region’s favorite radio stations, DC101, is bringing back its annual holiday concert. This year’s lineup is headed by Jimmy Eat World, Spoon, The Struts, Silversun Pickups, and Talk. The Anthem: 901 Wharf St. SW, Washington, DC, $75–$125

rachael feinstein
Photo courtesy Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse

December 8–10

Rachel Feinstein

This Bethesda native is bringing her comedy act to NoVA. Be sure to catch up on the comedian’s latest work, which includes roles on Inside Amy Schumer, Crashing, and Hulu’s Life & Beth, before heading to the show. Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse: 2903 Columbia Pk., Arlington, $25–$30

wicked play
Photo courtesy The Kennedy Center

December 8–January 22


The story didn’t start when that tornado dropped Dorothy in the Land of Oz. There are so many other stories that laid the groundwork for the Wizard of Oz. Watch the relationship between Elphaba and Glinda turn from a rivalry into the unlikeliest of friendships until the world divides them and labels one witch good and the other wicked. The Kennedy Center: 2700 F St. NW, Washington, DC, $59–$349

Opens December 9

Entertainment Nation

Over 150 years of entertainment history awaits at the National Museum of American History. From movies and theater to sports and music, the new permanent exhibition will take museumgoers through props, and stories that defined the entertainment industry over several decades. National Museum of American History: 1300 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC,, free

December 9–18

The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge

Sure, everyone loves A Christmas Carol, but the Prince William Little Theatre is ready to turn the Christmas classic on its head. A year after Scrooge’s holiday transformation, the grump is back to his old ways — suing Jacob Marley and the rest of the Christmas ghosts for their crimes. Will the businessman be able to find the spirit of Christmas once more? Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Cir., Manassas, $13–$20

December 13

Hot 99.5’s Jingle Ball

You know the holiday season is in full swing when the Jingle Ball comes to town. And this year’s lineup is full of stars. Grab a ticket to catch hits from Sam Smith, Pitbull, Charlie Puth, Khalid, and many more. Capital One Arena: 601 F St. NW, Washington, DC, $40–$200

Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon Illuminations (Courtesy Mount Vernon)

December 16 & 17

Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon

Fireworks during the summer are great, but the glowing displays are even more magical during the holiday season. Catch the annual display illuminating the historic Mount Vernon estate. Continue the festivities by exploring the estate, browsing the 18th-century market, and enjoying carols. George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon, $26–$60

December 17 & 18

Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker

The holiday season isn’t the same without a performance of The Nutcracker. This year, head to GMU to catch a joint production of the festive classic by the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and the Fairfax Ballet. George Mason University’s Center for the Arts: 4373 Mason Pond Dr., Fairfax, $54–$94

December 17–January 22

2022 Post-Grad Residents

Catch what the post-grad residents of Torpedo Factory Art Center have been working on at the gallery’s end-of-the-year exhibit. The show will feature work from Mrinal Joshi, Julia O’Bryan, Kamille Jackson, and Kiel Posner. Art lovers will experience a variety of mediums created during a three-month residency. Torpedo Factory Art Center: 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, free

December 18

National Menorah Lighting

Celebrate the annual lighting of the National Menorah on The Ellipse, across from the White House. The ceremony is attended by the president, vice president, and members of the Cabinet and Congress and features performances by military bands. The Ellipse, Washington, DC, free

people singing in front of christmas tree
Photo by Chris Haston / NBCU Photobank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

December 19

Pentatonix: A Christmas Spectacular

Sing along to your favorite Christmas carols with Pentatonix. The a cappella group is back in NoVA to bring holiday cheer throughout the region with their renditions of “Wonderful Christmastime,” “Little Saint Nick,” “Hallelujah,” and more. EagleBank Arena: 4500 Patriot Cir., Fairfax, starting at $140

Through December 31

I Am… Contemporary Women Artists of Africa

Catch the contemporary pieces from these female artists before the exhibit closes at the end of the year. With 27 different artists selected from the museum’s permanent collection, this exhibit offers insight into contemporary feminism through matters of community, faith, politics, racism, and more. National Museum of African Art: 950 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC, free

Through May 20, 2024

Across the Pond: American & British Art from the Julian Wood Glass Jr. Collection

Businessman and avid art collector Julian Wood Glass Jr. had one of the greatest collections in the country, especially when it came to artists of the 1700s and early 1800s. Come catch Glass’ one-of-a-kind collection, on display until 2024, including various portraits, landscapes, and furniture — some of which is being shown to the public for the very first time. Museum of the Shenandoah Valley: 901 Amherst St., Winchester,, $5–$15

This story originally ran in our December issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.


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