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Stay Local DC: Your Weekend Staycation Guides to Washington, DC

Plan a weekend getaway to the nation’s capital, where can’t-miss events, plays, concerts, museum exhibits and so much more await.

Locals: we’ve got you covered all the way through February, as Washington, DC is your staycation and weekend getaway capital during the winter months. Turn any weekend into a DC adventure filled with holiday revelry, acclaimed performances, jaw-dropping art and historic experiences.

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Child ice skating at Enchant Christmas ice skating trail - Where to ice skate this winter in Washington, DC

Take a jaunt through Enchant at Nationals Park (Nov. 22 – Dec. 29), the world’s largest Christmas light maze that also features a marketplace with local, national and international vendors (get 10% off tickets with code VISITDC). Pay homage to veterans of the Revolutionary War at Anderson House’s free exhibit, America’s First Veterans (open through April 5). Take in the Tony Award-winning Newsies at Arena Stage (playing through Dec. 22).

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@fiz1point5 - ZooLights winter holiday celebration at Smithsonian National Zoo - Free family friendly things to do in Washington, DC

Bask in locally roasted coffee, mini-doughnuts and dozens of pop-up tents selling holiday items at the beloved Downtown Holiday Market (Nov. 22 – Dec. 23). Marvel at 500,000 LED Christmas lights at the National Zoo’s ZooLights, which is free to attend from Nov. 29 – Jan. 1, 2020. 

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Holiday Parade of Boats Light Parade on the Potomac River - Holiday Light Shows and Events in Washington, DC

Enjoy seasonally themed laughs at the Kennedy Center with The Second City’s Love, Factually (Dec. 3-29). Pay a visit to holiday markets at the House of Sweden (Dec. 6) and the Heurich House Museum (Dec. 7-8) or browse Native American crafts at the Native Art Market at the National Museum of the American Indian (Dec. 7). Take in stunning on-the-water scenery via The District’s Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf (Dec. 7).

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The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker - Holiday Performances in Washington, DC

Pack your weekend with holiday theater offerings. See Dickens’ timeless classic, A Christmas Carol, at the historic Ford’s Theatre (Nov. 21 – Jan. 1, 2020) and check out Keegan Theatre’s Irish take on the story in the form of An Irish Carol (Dec. 12-31). Enjoy another legendary tale, The Nutcracker, with a DC spin courtesy of The Washington Ballet (at Warner Theatre, Nov. 23 – Dec. 29). Leslie Odom, Jr. will lead the Kennedy Center’s NSO Pops in a holiday-themed performance (Dec. 13-14).

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@wwwchris - Visitors at the National Christmas Tree on the National Mall - Free winter things to do in Washington, DC

Witness Georgetown in artful, holiday glory during Georgetown GLOW, a jaw-dropping exhibition of light art (Dec. 6 – Jan. 5, 2020 from 5-10 p.m.). Venture to the White House Ellipse to attend the lighting ceremony of the National Menorah (Dec. 22 at 4 p.m.). Gaze at and snap photos in front of the gorgeous National Christmas Tree. Visit the Newseum a final time before its closure on Dec. 31 (Use promo code DC25 to get 25% off tickets).

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@abroadwife - Holiday displays at the United States Botanic Garden's Seasons Greenings - Winter holiday events in Washington, DC

Extend your Christmas revelry with a daytime visit to Mount Vernon, where decorations and festivities linger through Dec. 31, or wander through the incredible Season’s Greenings at the U.S. Botanic Garden (Nov. 28 – Jan. 5, 2020). Although not holiday-themed, Jersey Boys makes for a raucous good time at the National Theatre (Dec. 17 – Jan. 5, 2020).

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@bobbykdc - Wintertime ice skating at the National Gallery of Art - The best winter activities in Washington, DC

Catch Come From Away at the Kennedy Center (Dec. 10 – Jan. 5, 2020), a New York Times Critics’ Pick featuring a Tony-nominated cast and a Tony-winning director. Glide on ice skating rinks at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, Canal Park and Washington Harbour. Speaking of ice: bring a crew to the Capital One Arena to watch the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals take on the San Jose Sharks (Jan. 5, 12:30 p.m.).

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@rickysanch - Washington Wizards NBA basketball game at Capital One Arena - Pro sports events in Washington, DC

Gearheads will not want to miss the Washington D.C. Motorcycle Show at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (Jan. 10-12). You can fill two nights with NBA excitement, as the Washington Wizards take on the Atlanta Hawks (Jan. 10) and the Utah Jazz (Jan. 12). After the holiday push, take advantage of more than 100 free things to do in the District and check out can’t-miss deals and discounts.

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@jbano1 - Sunrise over the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC

Dine on delicious food at discounted prices at dozens of DC restaurants during Winter Restaurant Week (Jan. 13-19). Don’t miss an epic production of My Fair Lady at the Kennedy Center before it leaves town (playing Dec. 17 – Jan. 19). Learn tips and tricks for exercise and a healthy diet during the NBC4 Health & Fitness Expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (Jan. 18-19). Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Jan. 20).

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Land Rover stunt course at the Washington Auto Show - Interactive indoor event and car show in Washington, DC

Head to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the Washington Auto Show (Jan. 24 – Feb. 2), a DC tradition that previews more than 600 new models from over 35 manufacturers. Experience the incredible talent of singer Grace Potter at The Anthem (Jan. 25). Revel in Chinese New Year celebrations all over the District, capped off by a parade on Jan. 26.

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Washington Capitals game at Capital One Arena - Reasons to check out a Capitals hockey game in DC

Kids will adore the interactive, espionage-themed SpyFest at the International Spy Museum (Jan. 31). Grab a ticket to A Thousand Splendid Suns at Arena Stage (Jan. 17 – March 1), a stirring stage adaptation of Khlad Hosseini’s bestselling novel. The Kennedy Center hosts Next to Normal, winner of three Tony Awards and starring Rachel Bay Jones of Dear Evan Hansen fame (Jan. 29 – Feb. 2). The Washington Capitals take on the rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 2 at Capital One Arena.

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Visitors at the National Gallery of Art on the National Mall - Free art museum in Washington, DC

Watch the Washington Wizards take on Luca Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks at Capital One Arena (Feb. 7). Laugh your way through the Shakespearean comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor at Folger Theatre (Jan. 14 – March 1). Treat your eyes to Painting from Nature: European Landscape Sketches, 1770-1870 at the National Gallery of Art (Feb. 2 – May 3). Indulge your taste buds by attending the DC Chocolate, Wine and Whiskey Festival at Dock5 at Union Market (Feb. 8).

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Couple at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront - Romantic date spots, places to eat and more in Washington, DC

Spend Valentine’s Day in DC in style by utilizing our awesome date ideas. Head to Ford’s Theatre for Silent Sky (Jan. 24 – Feb. 23), which details the astronomical accomplishments of Henrietta Leavitt, or catch The King’s Speech at The National Theatre (Feb. 11-16). Observe premier volleyball teams from around the country during the Capitol Hill Volleyball Classic at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (Feb. 15-17).  Celebrate President’s Day with George Washington’s Birthday Celebration at Mount Vernon (Feb. 17).

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@lgphotodc - Contemplative Court inside the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture - Free Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC

Honor the incredible creative work of Native American women with the Renwick Gallery’s Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists (Feb. 21 – May 17). Celebrate Black History Month by visiting the National Museum of African American History and Culture and other DC landmarks. Immerse yourself in American mythology with Shipwreck: A History Play About 2017 at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Feb. 10 – March 8).

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@jim_malone - Balcony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Theater and performing arts in Washington, DC

Rock out with The Lumineers at Capital One Arena (Feb. 28). Savor spirits and stimulate the senses at the DC Cocktail Festival at the National Union Building (Feb. 29). Have an epic night at the opera by purchasing tickets to the Don Giovanni at the Kennedy Center (Feb. 29 – March 22). Go on an illuminating road trip inspired by John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath with Arena Stage’s Mother Road (Feb. 8 – March 8).

Discover the best things to do this weekend in Washington, DC