Christmas Events in DC for Kids for a Dazzling Holiday

Christmas Events in DC for Kids

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Christmas in Washington DC comes with many surprises. With countless holiday markets, one-of-a-kind seasonal light displays, Christmas-themed bars, streets and squares decorated with Christmas trees, DC gets marvelous during the Christmas season. While talking about DC, people often call it "kid-friendly-DC" and it has all the reasons to be called so! Let’s talk specifically about Christmas. Come the festival, and you will find the local stages performing the best children's plays, markets laden with cute gifts, exciting events and activities at every corner that enchant the minds of kids. So, if you are the one living in DC with kids or planning to come here on Christmas, check out these surprising Christmas events in DC for kids that offer special activities. 

1. Christmas at the Gaylord National Resort (ICE): The Charm of Ice City

Christmas at the Gaylord National Resort

Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

When? November 18, 2017 - January 1, 2018

Where? Gaylord National Resort, National Harbor, Washington DC

What’s cool? Take your kids on a walk through the Ice City made from blocks of ice taken from the nearby Songhua River, spread across 100 acres.

ICE- the most special Christmas holiday event in Gaylord National Resort is something that your children would never like to miss. Every year this event comes with a brand-new theme that attract plenty of children from DC and nearby cities. And you know what your kids would find here? A hot chocolate stand, Santa’s sleigh, and a carousel ride! What else they need to make their Christmas a fun-filled celebration! Gaylord National Resort is the place to celebrate the best Christmas holiday season with kids. The main attraction of Christmas 2017 at Gaylord National Resort is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer narrating the story of how Rudolph’s red-nose helped Santa (something that your kids would fall in love with). In addition to this, you can also attend the National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting while here. 

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2. Christmas in Six Flags America: Holiday in the Park

Christmas in Six Flags America

When? November 18, 2017 through January 1, 2018

Where? Central Ave. Upper Marlboro, Maryland

What’s cool? Want to fancy Christmas photo? Get clicked with your favorite Santa, his elves, ice princess, snowman, gingerbread man, reindeer, toy soldiers. 

Do your kids want to see Santa’s village? Then take them to Six Flags America on this Christmas. With more than a million glittering lights, best Christmas entertainment, delicious seasonal treats, and plenty of rides, Six Flags America is going to hold “Holiday in the Park”, the Christmas events that your children would love. If you are looking for a family-friendly Christmas, this park is just awesome! The park presents a Christmas wonderland full of colorful lights and Looney Tunes characters dressed up specially for the festive season. Yes, don’t forget to give your kids a gastronomical treat with some hot chocolate, peppermint and mocha fudge, and yummy cakes. 

3. The Nutcracker: the Washington Ballet

The Nutcracker

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When? December 1-24

Where? Warner Theatre

What’s cool? Watch a wooden toy soldier come alive and takes Clara on a magical journey for the best Christmas fantasy. 

If there is something most special that Washington DC has in its hidden treasure, it’s the Nutcracker, the classical ballet organized on Christmas. While there are many places where you can attend the Nutcracker such as the Kennedy Center and Hylton Performing Arts Center, I find it best to attend this ballet at the Warner Theatre. With wonderful international dancers and the world-famous Tchaikovsky’s music in the background, the Nutcracker at Warner Theatre provides an incredible entertainment on Christmas specially for kids. The Nutcracker has become a tradition in Washington DC to celebrate Christmas, and if you are here during the festive season, this Christmas ballet is a must-watch. Check more here.

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4. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: The Best Holiday Fantasy

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Image Source: Steven Depolo/

When? December 2-31

Where? Adventure Theatre

What’s cool? Watch Lucy discovering the secret door to the magic land of Narnia and saving it with the help of Mr. Tumnus and her family band against the evil of White Witch. 

Who doesn’t like the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis? I loved the Narnia series when I was a kid and I love it even now after being an adult. So, this time when you are in Washington DC, experience the Narnia fantasy at Adventure Theatre. With a two-actor version of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, directed by Tom Story, the Adventure Theatre is back with an amazing entertainment. Here you will meet all your favorite Narnia characters, Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy and others exploring the magical land of Narnia and going on an adventurous journey. If you are looking for the best Christmas events in Washington DC, this theatre performance should not be missed. 

5. ZooLights at the National Zoo: Illuminated Trees and Magical Environment

ZooLights at the National Zoo - kids fav christmas event

When? November 24-January 1

Where? National Zoological Park, Washington, DC

What’s cool? Come here at night during the festive season and you can visit the Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, and Kids’ Farm. 

The National Zoo of Washington bathes in light during the festive season and you must watch it with your kids. With a lot of holiday treats and plenty of wonderful rides, this place brings up the festive spirit in all the visitors. A you enter the zoo, you will find illuminated trees and wonderful music welcoming you. How interesting it would be to ride a tortoise or a bear! Isn’t it? Then go on Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel which is powered by Solar energy and you will immerse in the joy of this winter wonderland. The ride is available just at $3.

6. Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk and Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk

Image Source: Mr.TinDC/

When? December 2, 2017

Where? Old Town Alexandria

What’s cool? Enjoy some Christmas cookies and hot chocolate while watching the march. 

Wow! This is something I keep admiring Washington people for. When the stunning tartans of Scottish Clan march through the streets of Old Town Alexandria with their bagpipes and drums accompanied by beautiful dancers, classic cars, and loving Santa Claus, you can’t stop marveling at the grandeur Christmas brings to Washington. Scottish Christmas Walk and Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is one of the best holiday events in DC. Another event that takes place during the same time is the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. A series of boats on the Potomac river is lit with bright lights and decorated well and go for a “boat parade”.  

7. Holiday Sing-A-Long: A Musical Christmas Event

Holiday Sing-A-Long

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When? December 3, 4pm

Where? Wolf Trap National Park

What’s cool? Heard of donating toys? You can bring some unwrapped toys to donate to Toys for Tots. 

There are plenty of things to do during Christmas in Washington DC, but whatever you do is incomplete without melodious Christmas Carol. Holiday Sing-A-Long allows you to sing the Christmas Carol as well as Hanukkah songs Bands from Washington’s metropolitan area are invited to present this musical presentation. 'Jing-A-Long' is when you are asked to join the tradition of a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.” So, bring your kids here if you want them to experience something different and make sure that you bring a bell with candles. 

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8. Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras of Strathmore: Enchanted Visions

Maryland Classic Youth Orchestras of Strathmore

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When? December 4

Where? Strathmore

What’s cool? Listen to the chorus music presented by the young artists on children’s favorite songs. 

There are many Christmas activities in Maryland that you would love to participate in with your kids. One of these is the youth orchestra program in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. Along with Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra (MYCO) is a part of Strathmore music center. You will find skilled musicians from different corners of the country coming here to present their melodious performance. While this orchestra is enjoyed by the adults, kids also love the performance of Prokofiev’s Cinderella & Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty. 

9. Annual Kwanzaa Day Celebration: A Unique Christmas

Annual Kwanzaa Day Celebration

Image Source: soulchristmas/

When? December 27-28

Where? Fort Stanton Recreation Center

What’s cool? Attend the performance by Jessica Smith, the Culture Queen, on Kwanzaa culture. 

If you are looking for free events in Washington DC where you can enjoy Christmas with your kids without any cost, Annual Kwanzaa Day celebration is just for you! This is celebrated between December 26 and January 1 by the African Americans to celebrate their rich cultural heritage on Christmas. The celebration is quite simple but engaging. You will be able to see the Coyoba dance here which will be followed by candle-lighting ceremony, a feast, and gift-giving program. There will be live music, interactive activities for kids, a Christmas concert, and storytelling that you can enjoy with your entire family. 

10. Seasons Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden: A Christmas with Trees

U.S. Botanic Garden

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When? November 24 - January 2

Where? U.S. Botanic Garden, next to the U.S. Capitol

What’s cool? Haven’t been to all the major attraction of DC? You will find all just at one place in this garden. 

If you want your kids to know the cultural heritage of Washington DC during the Christmas season, take them to U.S. Botanic Garden. The Christmas at this botanic garden is special. Come the festive season and you will find the place surrounded by exhibits displaying model trains and wonderful replicas of Washington DC’s popular buildings and monuments. Every year they come up with a new theme that fascinates both kids and their parents. Last year, the theme was National Parks and Historic Places which was a big hit. 

11. National Christmas Tree: Celebration on the "Pathway of Peace"

National Christmas Tree

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When? November 30, 2017

Where? President’s Park, The Ellipse

What’s cool? Let your kids be courageous and full of enthusiasm while following the military band. 

This celebration began in the year 1923 and this is known as the soul of Christmas celebrations in Washington DC. National Christmas Tree lighting is celebrated with great enthusiasm in DC and be it kids or adults, everyone enjoys the spectacular sight. This day marks the beginning of the three weeks Christmas celebration in DC. While tickets to this beautiful fest is totally free, you must win the tickets via lottery. The entire place bathes in light when the President lights up the huge Christmas tree surrounded by 56 small trees known as Pathway of Peace. You might be thinking what will be there to entertain your kids. Don’t worry! Plenty of popular entertainers from the world will be there to keep your kids engaged. 

Christmas in Washington DC is fun! Apart from all the events mentioned above, you will find tons of special events and activities such as Smithsonian Holiday Festival, Candlelight Tour, holiday concerts, and Christmas shows to attend with your kids. So, get your kids ready in their cute Christmas attires and book these events in advance. Merry Christmas!


After five years of her teaching career, Shraddhanvita decided to make 'travel' her passion. For her 'a rolling stone does gather moss' ...