Discover holiday markets and events, seasonal hotel packages, sparkling light displays and local shopping in Washington, DC this holiday season
(Washington, DC) – Destination DC (DDC), the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is pleased to share how to experience DC this holiday season, from seasonal celebrations, memorable events, shopping local, light displays and themed hotels stays. For the latest guide to Washington, DC in the wintertime, visit washington.org/winter.
“A holiday trip to the nation’s capital offers both festive holiday experiences and winter adventures for visitors,” said Elliott L. Ferguson II, president and CEO of DDC. “It’s exciting to see our theater and music venues open presenting classic and innovative performances. Those visiting this winter will find great hotel deals and should take advantage of our restaurants that have perfected the art of cozy dining with warm drinks and delights served fireside . Tap into the joyful spirit across the city this time of year.”
Seasonal Hotel Packages and more on washington.org
- Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC: Book the Holiday Shop and Play package and maximize your shopping, dining or spa time with a enjoy a three-hour session for a child 3-10 years old at the Panda Club, a $100 dining credit, overnight valet parking and late checkout to maximize shopping time. Available November 24, 2021 – January 2, 2022.
- Kimpton Banneker: Book A Star is Born! this holiday season through Dec. 31. Enjoy a $50 credit, a welcome amenity, upgraded room, four times the IHG Reward Points and 50% off parking.
- Sofitel Washington, DC: Enjoy complimentary breakfast for two adults and up to two children, hot chocolate and cookies welcome amenities and two holiday themed movies for the entire family in the Père Noël suite.
- Westin Georgetown: Spread Holiday Cheer through Jan. 31, 2022. Enjoy a staycation rate which includes complimentary self-parking and late checkout upon availability.
Holiday Events and Performances
- Experience Charles Dickens’ beloved Yuletide story of transformation and redemption, “A Christmas Carol,” at Ford’s Theatre Nov. 24 - Dec. 27.
- Washington Ballet presents “The Nutcracker” Nov. 27 - Dec. 26.
- The Wharf lights its Christmas Tree on Nov. 26.
- The National Menorah is lit on the Ellipse on Nov. 28 through Hanukkah.
- Energize the holidays and enjoy “Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show” at the Atlas Performing Arts Center Dec. 9-19, 2021.
- An unforgettable return to choral music is back at the National Cathedral with the “Joy of Christmas,” Dec. 11-12.
- Catch “A Candlelight Christmas” Dec. 19-22 at the Kennedy Center.
- Enjoy free outdoor holiday movies on the Potomac at National Harbor on Sundays, Nov. 14, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022.
- Wreaths Across America volunteer holiday wreath laying program returns to Arlington National Cemetery Dec. 18.
Dazzling Light Displays
- The United States Botanic Garden features an outdoor holiday display with festive adornments, winterberries and lighted trees from Nov. 24, 2021 - Jan. 2, 2022.
- Penn Quarter’s luxury shopping and restaurant destination CityCenterDC dresses up with a dreamy installation of 400 gleaming ornaments and a 75-foot tree for the season.
- Explore the magic of the Mischievous Elf at the world’s largest light maze, Enchant. Taking place at Nationals Park Nov. 26 - Jan. 2, 2022, the family-friendly experience offers ice skating, holiday beverages, a holiday market and a chance to meet Mr. Claus.
- Every night from Dec. 1 - Jan. 1, 2022, The Yards DC features illuminated 22-foot tall trees, Light Yards trimmed top to bottom in holiday decor and festooned lights that will cast The Yards’ Sun Deck with beautiful colored patterns.
- George Washington’s Mount Vernon (Dec. 3-4, 10-11, 19) is decked out in eye-catching candlelight illuminations with tasty holiday treats and drinks for sale.
- The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was chosen from Six Rivers National Forest in California. Once lit in December, the tree glows nightly on the West Front Lawn through New Year’s Day.
- Celebrate the holidays with the District's Holiday Boat Parade showcasing more than 60 beautifully decorated boats parading along the Washington Channel at The Wharf on Dec. 4.
Holiday Markets and Only-in-DC Shopping
- Shop DC’s minority- and women-owned businesses from anywhere through the city’s new digital retail platform Shop in the District.
- The magical Downtown Holiday Market returns to Penn Quarter with local vendors, light bites and festive décor. The market is free to the public and runs Nov. 19 - Dec. 23.
- Celebrate the season with Eastern Market Main Street Nov. 1 - Dec. 31 with the fifth year of The Holly Days. Enjoy holiday shopping, dining, lighting and window displays, music and more.
- The Heurich House Museum's Christkindlmarkt is back in person this year in the Castle Garden Dec. 3-5. Shoppers can stroll through a German-style market featuring dozens of local artisans.
- The Westin Georgetown is hosting a holiday market 11:00am - 3:00pm Dec, 5 featuring DC women-owned small businesses. Shop soaps, organic teas, simple syrups and more.
- Find locally made gifts at Shop Made in DC, Nubian Hueman and La Cosecha.
- Washington Harbour Ice Rink is open from Nov. 12 - March 13, 2022.
- Ice skate in the shadow of the National Gallery of Art from Nov. 19 - March 6, 2022.
- The Wharf Ice Rink returns on Nov. 24 and remains open through February 2022.
Restaurants around the city continue offer indoor dining, takeout and delivery as well as heat lamps and fire pits for outdoor comfort. Book reservations in advance for the following:
- Enjoy delicious Italian food on Osteria Morini's heated outdoor patio, where you can relax and experience the sights and sounds of one of DC’s waterfront neighborhoods.
- The heated terrace at Fig & Olive keeps guests warm while indulging in delicious small plates, outstanding seafood and pasta selections and a prix-fixe option.
- Cozy up with warm cocktails in a private heated igloo on the patio of the Watergate Hotel’s Next Whiskey Bar.
- Between the heated sidewalk patio, covered outdoor streatery and Royal Irish Coffee - made with Colombian rum, espresso, spiced simple, mole bitters and Licor 43 cream float, staying warm is easy at Ledroit Park spot The Royal.
- Enjoy seasonal menus at spacious heated beer gardens and rooftops including Hi-Lawn, Midlands Beer Garden and Wunder Garten DC.
- Bourbon Steak in Georgetown is offering chalet suites on the terrace until December 31. The new chalet suites are each inspired by an iconic Four Seasons ski resort and diners can delve into themed menus andthe full Bourbon Steak menu is also available in the Dining Chalet Suites.
Per Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, masks are no longer required indoors in Washington, DC after Nov. 22, 2021. Entities throughout the city have implemented enhanced health protocols, and some businesses require proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter. The National Mall and National Park sites require face coverings indoors and at crowded outdoor sites. Visitors should check with attractions and venues directly for the latest operating status.
About Destination DC:
Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital, is a private, non-profit membership organization of 1,000 businesses committed to marketing the area as a premier global convention, tourism and special events destination with a special emphasis on the arts, cultural and historic communities. washington.org.
November 18, 2021