You are here

Calendar of Events

Nighttime Shopping at the Downtown Holiday Market - Christmas and Holiday Market in Washington, DC

Check out upcoming holiday events, concerts, festivals and exhibitions, including the Women’s Voices Theater Festival and the National Cherry Blossom Festival.


Downtown Holiday Market
F Street between 7th & 9th streets NW through Dec. 23
The popular holiday market held in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery features more than 150 regional artists. Find seasonal gifts (clothing, decorations, fine art), holiday treats and live entertainment at this open-air market, open daily, noon-8 p.m.

The Nutcracker
Warner Theatre through Dec. 24
A beloved local tradition puts a Washington, DC spin on the traditional story, set in the Lincoln White House where the Cherry Blossom Princess graces a child’s adventure. Colorful and comical, this is a performance for family audiences.

Georgetown Glow
Georgetown/Thru Jan. 7, 2018
This month-long celebration displays illuminated artwork from a group of artists, from locally renowned to internationally celebrated, in outdoor spaces throughout DC’s most historic neighborhood.

National Menorah Lighting
The National Ellipse/Dec. 12-20
In celebration of Chanukah, a giant menorah will be lit nightly throughout the holiday near the White House. The first night (Dec. 12) will feature songs, an appearance by Dreidelman and donut giveaways.

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show
Atlas Performing Arts Center/Dec. 15-30
DC’s Step Afrika!, the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, puts on a holiday extravaganza at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in the H Street neighborhood. The family friendly show will combine clapping, stomping and stepping for a dazzling array of percussive dance.

Cathedral Choral Society: Joy of Christmas
Washington National Cathedral/Dec. 16-17
The Joy of Christmas is the Cathedral’s marquee event, featuring renditions of Christmas classics and sing-alongs. This year’s event features a new carol from popular British composer Paul Mealor.

Nationals Winterfest
Walter E. Washington Convention Center/Dec. 16-17
The city celebrates the Washington Nationals with Nationals Winterfest at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Many of the team’s stars, coaches and mascots will be on-hand for fun interaction, games and autographs.


Women’s Voices Theater Festival
Citywide/Jan. 15 – Feb. 15
The second edition of the festival sees 26 professional companies presenting new works by female and female-identifying playwrights. Highlights include: DC-based playwright Annalisa Dias’ 4380 Nights, a meditation on Gitmo prisoners; Familiar by Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead) that considers Zimbabwean immigrants experiencing a Minnesota winter and Timberlake Wertenbaker’s Jefferson’s Garden, a drama that weighs the central contradictions of Revolutionary America’s idealism and realities.

Shakespeare Theatre/Jan. 15 – Feb. 25
The tragic character study of a young Danish prince wrestling with the great questions: submit or resist, life or death, will be staged by the company’s illustrious artistic director Michael Kahn in the final Shakespeare production of his prolific career.

Washington Auto Show
Walter E. Washington Convention Center/Jan. 26 – Feb. 4
Hundreds of production models and historic, exotic, hybrid and concept cars from 35 manufactures drive into the dreams of autophiles. Popular events include ride and drive demos, Hyundai’s “hands on” contest and celebrity meet-and-greets.

Metropolitan Washington Winter Restaurant Week
Citywide/Jan. 22-28
Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington will curate a week filled with deals from dozens of DC restaurants offering multiple-course and prix fixe meals.


Date Nights DC
Citywide/Feb. 1-28
A deals-focused month-long promotion emphasizes DC’s enduring appeal as a romantic destination with discounts at area hotels, restaurants, tours and attractions.

Brand New: Art and Commodity in the 1980s
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden/Feb. 14-May 13
The first museum exhibition to examine the appropriation of late 20th century commercial products will feature artists who worked in NYC’s East Village including Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons and Richard Prince who played with the language of packaging to brand both piece and creator.

Lunar New Year 2018: China National Symphony Orchestra/Tan Dun
Kennedy Center/Feb. 15
World-renowned artist and conductor Tan Dun returns to lead one of China’s most outstanding orchestras in celebration of the Lunar New Year.

200th Anniversary of Fredrick Douglass's Birth
Fredrick Douglass National Historic Site/Feb. 17-18
The National Park Service will commemorate the 200th birthday of legendary African-American abolitionist Frederick Douglass with signature events to honor his life and connect his legacy to communities in the historic Anacostia neighborhood.


Sally Mann: A Thousand Crossings
National Gallery of Art/March 4 – May 28
Arguably the most influential American photographer currently investigating the South, Sally Mann has captured images of family, landscape, battlefields, mortality and legacy over 40 years in Lexington, VA. The collection of 125 images, many not previously exhibited, frames her talent for placemaking.

Direct Current
Kennedy Center/March 6-16
A ten-day festival of contemporary American art, music, film, dance, drag and activism converge at the nation’s performing arts campus with presentations new to Washington audiences. The programming taps luminaries like Taylor Mack, Bang on a Can All-Stars, Mark Rylance and Phillip Glass.

2018 Atlantic 10 Men’s Basketball Tournament Championship
Capital One Arena/March 7-11
The postseason Atlantic men’s NCAA tournament comes to the District for the first time.  Fourteen teams including the George Mason Patriots and George Washington Colonials play in the five-day tournament.

National Cherry Blossom Festival
Citywide/March 20 – April 15
The nation’s largest springtime celebration returns to fill four weeks of free family events, many with Japanese influence, a nod to the gift of the trees in 1912 from the Mayor of Tokyo to the citizens of Washington, DC. Among the signature events: Pink Tie Party (March 15); Opening Ceremony (March 24); Blossom Kite Festival (March 31); Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival (April 7); National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (April 14).

No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man
Renwick Gallery/March 30 – Sept. 16
The first major national exhibition to focus on the large-scale participatory work from the annual gathering of bohemians who construct a city of 70,000 in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert for one week a year.

For more information, please contact our communications team.