As the holiday season twinkles into the nation’s capital, it’s time to immerse yourself in the festive spirit! Washington, DC, a city known for its historical significance, transforms into a winter wonderland, offering many activities to celebrate the most beautiful time of the year. From dazzling light displays to cozy market strolls, here are ten must-do activities to fill your holidays with cheer and charm.

Downtown Holiday Market at Penn Quarter (Nov 17 – Dec 23): Step into a world of holiday magic at this vibrant outdoor market. Enjoy live music, discover unique crafts from local artisans, and indulge in delicious seasonal treats.

Georgetown GLOW (Dec 1 – Jan 7): Experience the enchanting outdoor public light art installations in Georgetown. This event combines artistic brilliance with a festive shopping and walking tour experience.

National Christmas Tree Lighting (Lit on Dec 15): CBS will broadcast the 2023 National Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec 15, offering a unique opportunity to friends and families nationwide to tune in and celebrate this holiday tradition from the comfort of home.

Willard InterContinental holiday festivities: Revel in the holiday spirit with nightly caroling, delightful holiday teas, and a glamorous New Year’s Eve Gala at this historic hotel.

Conrad Washington, DC: Participate in 12 days of festive events, including viewing a magnificent Christmas tree and enjoying holiday performances.

Winter Igloos at The Watergate Hotel: For a unique dining experience, try the Alpine-themed igloos with options like Raclette or Fondue, perfect for cozying up in winter.

Ice Rink at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Nov 20 – Mar 3): Glide on the ice surrounded by inspiring art and iconic national landmarks.

The Wharf Boat Parade (Nov 22 – Feb): From all-day festivals on the piers to live music performances along Wharf Street, The Wharf always offers a fantastic lineup of things to do in Washington, DC. Visit for live music, waterfront workouts, art shows, boat parades, fireworks, and more!

Enchant at Nationals Park (Nov 25 – Jan 1): Lose yourself in a mesmerizing light maze, enjoy ice skating, and explore a festive market at this enchanting event.

For a touch of local flair, visit Made in DC stores for unique holiday gifts, or dine at renowned spots like the Bombay Club. Don’t forget to support diverse and meaningful gifts from Black-owned businesses in the area.

Wrap Up Your Holiday Adventure

In addition to these top 10 activities, Washington DC, is adorned with festive decorations and trees at City Center, the White House, the Capitol, and in neighborhoods like the See Santa at the Mosaic DistrictDisney Encanto x Camp at Tysons Corner Mall, Santa’s Workshop Holiday Extravaganza The Boro, and Camp Wharf at The Wharf.

Join the holiday cheer at Hotel Washington‘s Grinch-themed Whoville Hideout suite. Fairmont Washington, D.C., Georgetown is offering its annual Christmas Day Buffet Brunch with Santa in the renowned Colonnade on Monday, December 25. Tiger Fork will be open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, offering its regular menu and a special additional menu of holiday creations.

Don’t miss the Zoolights at the National Zoo and Ice Skating at Reston Town Center for a dazzling night.

Discover the magic of the holiday season in Washington, DC, by visiting a hotel lobby adorned with enchanting displays. This cherished tradition inspired the creation of The Washington Lobbyist website.

Let Washington, DC, fill your heart with joy, wonder, and unforgettable memories this holiday season!