Pass the Eggnog: Holiday fun in the DC area

I love the Christmas and Chanukah holiday season. (Or “Chrismukkah” as it was first dubbed by the life-changing FOX television show, The O.C.). The tree in my apartment has already been up since mid-November.  I’m also probably the only person under the age of 45 to ever order embroidered holiday stockings from Pottery Barn. And in the interest of Christmukkah, I already have two wooden dreidels (thanks, Target!) ready and waiting on my bookshelf. It’s my favorite time of year, and I’m happy to report that DC is not skimping on the holiday festivities.

Below are some activities in and around DC to help harness your inner holiday cheer:

  • Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
  • If any of you are like me and still kicking yourself for missing the lighting of the National Tree last week, take hope. Tomorrow, December 6th, at 5pm, House Speaker John Boehner will be lighting the 24-foot tall tree on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capital. The Congressional Chorus will sing carols. Security entrances will be at First Street/Pennsylvania NW and First Street/Maryland SW.

  • National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Outdoor Ice Skating
  • What could be better than some holiday ice-skating? Easy. Holiday ice-skating around priceless works of art. Admission for students is $7. Adults (and those that no longer can pass with their old college IDs) $8. Skate rentals are $3. Locker rentals are $0.50.

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol at AFI Silver Theater and Cultural Center in Silver Springs
  • No doubt due to the recent success of Jason Segal’s The Muppets, AFI Silver is offering throughout this December showings of the classic Christmas film, The Muppet Christmas Carol.  No holiday season is complete without a viewing of this 1992 Muppet triumph.

    (Author’s Note: Rizzo-the-Rat’s performance in this film inspired an adorable, 7-year-old, future DC blogger to briefly dream of being a puppeteer. Career day at school that year brought tears and tragedy when said future blogger discovered most people, i.e. teachers and other young children, do not consider puppeteering to be a real profession.).

    Check out a review of this cinematic anti-Bah Hum Bug here.

  • The National Menorah Lighting at the National Ellipse
  • On December 20th at 4pm there will be a ceremony lighting the National Menorah in honor of the First Day of Chanukah. Admission is free, but tickets must be requested in advance. There will be hot latkes and donuts. The United States Marine Band will perform. Click here to request tickets.

    5.  A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theater

    Watch Charles Dickens’ timeless masterpiece come to life at Ford’s Theater this December-January. A play about ghost appearances promises to be extra spooky at the site of Lincoln’s assassination. Click here for more date and ticket information.

  • Chanukah on Ice
  • On Thursday, December 15th at Pentagon Row’s Outdoor Skating Rink (1201 South Joyce Street, Arlington VA) will be a “menorah on ice” lighting ceremony at 7pm. (Curiosity as to how fire, movement, ice, and religion will all work safely together should be reason enough to check out this family-friendly event.). Admission is $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Admission includes skate rental. Hot latkes, Kosher hot dogs and soda will be sold.

  • Zoolights at the Park
  • The Smithsonian National Park welcomes back its annual “Holiday Zoolights” throughout the month of December from 5-9 pm daily. Admission is free. Come out and see all your favorite animals under the magic of thousands of holiday twinkle lights.

  • Seasons Greetings at the U.S. Botanical Gardens
  • From now through January 2, 2012 you can check out a living history of poinsettias and the largest indoor, decorated Christmas tree in DC at the U.S. Botanical Gardens. Admission is free.

    If you have any ‘can’t miss’ DC holiday tips, please leave them in the comments below!

    -A ready for that eggnog now, Lindsay

    About Lindsay Golder

    Freelance writer, book-fiend, lover of shamefully bad films regularly featured on TBS or TNT.

    4 Responses to “Pass the Eggnog: Holiday fun in the DC area”

    1. I for one consider puppeteering to be a lovely and dependable job. Don’t forget the Messiah Sing-a-long at the Kennedy Center held on Dec 23rd. It’s completely free and who doesn’t like belting out Halleluiah at this time during the year….

    2. Free caroling concerts in the lobby of the Willard Intercontinental Hotel! It’s a different group performing every night of the week, through Dec. 24 I think. I went on Monday and sipped fancy cocktails with a friend while listening. Very fun, and the hotel is beautifully decorated as well.

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