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National Christmas Tree Photo via Mark Wilson/Getty Images Staff

13 holiday events in the D.C. area, mapped

From a Smithsonian celebration to a hip-hop performance, see what events are sure to make you feel jolly

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Editor's Note: This post was originally published in November 2017 and has been updated with the most recent information.

The year’s not over yet. Have yourself a merry end to the holiday season by checking out one or more of the following fun events, mapped below.

Curbed DC has provided a list of 13 winter-themed performances, from a hip-hop holiday mash-up to a Kwanzaa celebration to a model train-filled botanical garden. Did this map miss your favorite event? Let Curbed DC know in the comments or email the tipline.

For a guide on holiday markets in the D.C. area, head to this Curbed DC article.

If interested in seeing a tree lighting or two, check out this Curbed DC article.

Note: The mapped points have been ordered geographically, from the most north to the most south.

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The Hip-Hop Nutcracker

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Let’s get a little funky. This year, the Strathmore Music Center will offer a holiday mash-up, perfect for the whole family. Here, visitors will be able to listen to classic Christmas and holiday music in the style of hip-hop. If interested, this event will be on December 12 and December 13 at 7:30 p.m. both days.

Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade

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Further out from D.C., those seeking a fun-filled time can visit the lights parade, held on December 9 at Annapolis Harbor and Spa Creek above the Spa Creek Bridge. As one of Annapolis, Maryland’s signature events, it’s sure to be a great time with colored lights twinkling in the night. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

ONE WEEK UNTIL THE EYC Lights Parade!! Saturday, December 9, 6pm sharp! Participants: Skippers' Safety...

Posted by Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kwanzaa Celebration

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In Brookland, Dance Place will celebrate Kwanzaa with dancers from the Coyaba Academy and Coyaba Dance Theater. The event is on December 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. Ticket prices start at $15 for college students and those under the age of 18 and go up to $30 for general admission.

A post shared by Jonathan Hsu (@jonathanhsu92) on

ZooLights

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Every night through January 1, the National Zoo will host a winter wonderland, filled with more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights, complete with holiday music. Also included is a mobile art gallery, a holiday market from December 15 through 17, and a glow-in-the-dark play zone, called Glow Zone, located in the Zoo’s Great Meadow.

Miracle on Seventh Street

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This pop-up bar in Shaw will offer a winterland respite from the city through December 31 with Christmas decorations throughout the location. Christmas-themed cocktails are also featured, such as the Elf’s Breakfast and the Brew Dolph the Rein Beer.

A post shared by Drink Company (@drinkcompany) on

Georgetown GLOW

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Through January 7, 2018, a variety of streets and venues in Georgetown will light up with  public art installations, including neon sculptures and projected videos. Presented by the Georgetown Business Improvement District, the outdoor light art exhibition is free. See where you can find all of the installations on Curbed DC.

Photo via Geraud Periole, courtesy of the Georgetown Business Improvement District

Holiday Concert and Sing-Along

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For the twelfth year in a row, the Atlas Performing Arts Theater will present an holiday concert and sing-along with the Capital City Symphony, Congressional Chorus, and American Youth Chorus. This kid-friendly event will include classics like “The 12 Days of Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The event will be on December 10 at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Photo via Victoria Pickering

Merry TubaChristmas

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For free, the Kennedy Center is presenting Merry TubaChristmas at their Millennium Stage. Presented on December 11 at 6 p.m., this will be the 44th anniversary of the event with hundreds of tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players from around the region.

Photo via Shutterstock/Urupong Phunkoed

Smithsonian Holiday Festival

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At the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, there will be a festival on December 2 and December 3 that will offer free live musical performances, chocolate history demonstrations, and a gift wrapping station. The Polar Express movie will also be shown in 3D. See a full list of all of the events here.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Photo via Shutterstock/Orhan Cam

Season’s Greenings


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Through January 1, the U.S. Botanic Garden will take a trip across America with their annual holiday celebration. This year, the theme is “Roadside Attractions” with model trains chugging around the floral venue. Admission is free with no tickets required.

Botanic Garden Photo via Bob Stovall

Frost Fest

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From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 2, Arlington, Virginia’s Pentagon Row will offer an on-ice fireworks display, a live DJ, ice sculptures, and special promotions. While you’re there, be sure to check out the ice skating rink as well.

A post shared by Sora Park (@sorasorada) on

The Nutcracker

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Don’t let the holiday season go by without witnessing the magic of Tchaikovsky’s Nutracker. This event will be held at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall with the Fairfax Ballet performing. This event will be held on December 16 at 4 p.m.

Photo via Shutterstock/IgorGolovniov

ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

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This annual holiday attraction offers a walk-through winter wonderland with over over 2 million pounds of ice sculptures carved by 35 artisans from Harbin, China. There are also four ice slides. Be sure to bring your jacket as the venue is maintained at 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Spanning through January 1, ticket prices vary, ranging from $32 for those above the age of 12 to $24 for those between the ages of 4 and 11 to free for those 3 and under.

The Hip-Hop Nutcracker

Let’s get a little funky. This year, the Strathmore Music Center will offer a holiday mash-up, perfect for the whole family. Here, visitors will be able to listen to classic Christmas and holiday music in the style of hip-hop. If interested, this event will be on December 12 and December 13 at 7:30 p.m. both days.

Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade

Further out from D.C., those seeking a fun-filled time can visit the lights parade, held on December 9 at Annapolis Harbor and Spa Creek above the Spa Creek Bridge. As one of Annapolis, Maryland’s signature events, it’s sure to be a great time with colored lights twinkling in the night. The event runs from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

ONE WEEK UNTIL THE EYC Lights Parade!! Saturday, December 9, 6pm sharp! Participants: Skippers' Safety...

Posted by Eastport Yacht Club Lights Parade on Saturday, December 2, 2017

Kwanzaa Celebration

In Brookland, Dance Place will celebrate Kwanzaa with dancers from the Coyaba Academy and Coyaba Dance Theater. The event is on December 16 and 17 at 8 p.m. and 4 p.m., respectively. Ticket prices start at $15 for college students and those under the age of 18 and go up to $30 for general admission.

A post shared by Jonathan Hsu (@jonathanhsu92) on

ZooLights

Every night through January 1, the National Zoo will host a winter wonderland, filled with more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights, complete with holiday music. Also included is a mobile art gallery, a holiday market from December 15 through 17, and a glow-in-the-dark play zone, called Glow Zone, located in the Zoo’s Great Meadow.

Miracle on Seventh Street

This pop-up bar in Shaw will offer a winterland respite from the city through December 31 with Christmas decorations throughout the location. Christmas-themed cocktails are also featured, such as the Elf’s Breakfast and the Brew Dolph the Rein Beer.

A post shared by Drink Company (@drinkcompany) on

Georgetown GLOW

Photo via Geraud Periole, courtesy of the Georgetown Business Improvement District

Through January 7, 2018, a variety of streets and venues in Georgetown will light up with  public art installations, including neon sculptures and projected videos. Presented by the Georgetown Business Improvement District, the outdoor light art exhibition is free. See where you can find all of the installations on Curbed DC.

Photo via Geraud Periole, courtesy of the Georgetown Business Improvement District

Holiday Concert and Sing-Along

Photo via Victoria Pickering

For the twelfth year in a row, the Atlas Performing Arts Theater will present an holiday concert and sing-along with the Capital City Symphony, Congressional Chorus, and American Youth Chorus. This kid-friendly event will include classics like “The 12 Days of Christmas” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” The event will be on December 10 at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Photo via Victoria Pickering

Merry TubaChristmas

Photo via Shutterstock/Urupong Phunkoed

For free, the Kennedy Center is presenting Merry TubaChristmas at their Millennium Stage. Presented on December 11 at 6 p.m., this will be the 44th anniversary of the event with hundreds of tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players from around the region.

Photo via Shutterstock/Urupong Phunkoed

Smithsonian Holiday Festival

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Photo via Shutterstock/Orhan Cam

At the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, there will be a festival on December 2 and December 3 that will offer free live musical performances, chocolate history demonstrations, and a gift wrapping station. The Polar Express movie will also be shown in 3D. See a full list of all of the events here.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History Photo via Shutterstock/Orhan Cam

Season’s Greenings


Botanic Garden Photo via Bob Stovall

Through January 1, the U.S. Botanic Garden will take a trip across America with their annual holiday celebration. This year, the theme is “Roadside Attractions” with model trains chugging around the floral venue. Admission is free with no tickets required.

Botanic Garden Photo via Bob Stovall

Frost Fest

From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on December 2, Arlington, Virginia’s Pentagon Row will offer an on-ice fireworks display, a live DJ, ice sculptures, and special promotions. While you’re there, be sure to check out the ice skating rink as well.

A post shared by Sora Park (@sorasorada) on

The Nutcracker

Photo via Shutterstock/IgorGolovniov

Don’t let the holiday season go by without witnessing the magic of Tchaikovsky’s Nutracker. This event will be held at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall with the Fairfax Ballet performing. This event will be held on December 16 at 4 p.m.

Photo via Shutterstock/IgorGolovniov

ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

This annual holiday attraction offers a walk-through winter wonderland with over over 2 million pounds of ice sculptures carved by 35 artisans from Harbin, China. There are also four ice slides. Be sure to bring your jacket as the venue is maintained at 9 degrees Fahrenheit. Spanning through January 1, ticket prices vary, ranging from $32 for those above the age of 12 to $24 for those between the ages of 4 and 11 to free for those 3 and under.