Washington DC in December: 8 Best way to Celebrate the Holiday Month

December brings with it a festive vibe and holiday season and if you happen to be taking a holiday trip around Washington DC in December, there is nothing better than that. Walking across the snowy roads, decorated Christmas trees, mistletoes and beautiful strings of lights embellishing the entire neighbourhood – this is what Washington DC in December keeps in store for travellers. So, here is a list of the 8 best things to do on your trip to Washington DC in December.

8 Best Things to Do in Washington DC in December:

1.  Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

A magnificent construction designed to revive the gothic architecture, Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful place for you to visit any time of the year but December brings with it some extra aesthetic vibes as it gets decked up with holiday ornaments and decorations. It plays host to a variety of programs, services and celebrations as the month bring in the birth of Jesus Christ. The Christmas concert equipped with choirs and carols constitutes the key highlight of your holiday visit to the cathedral along with the beautiful sight that awaits you. So, come and ring in the holiday spirit as you visit this National Cathedral of Washington DC in December.

Location: 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20016, United States
Monday-Friday: 10:00 AM - 5:30 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday: 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Admission: Free

2.  Upshur Street Craft Market

Craft Market

An annual holiday craft market and fair organised on the well-lit and decorated street of Upshur, this is popularly known as the holiday fair featuring handcrafts, winter treats, holiday lounge and other fun activities. It remains a popular tourist attraction during the month of December in Washington DC courtesy of its diverse and yet local ambience. Buy some hot chocolate or eggnogs to enjoy the wintery feels of Washington DC in December. Blooming with artist and artistic ambience, the event remains free to access for everyone. 

Location: 843 Upshur Street Northwest, Washington, DC, 20011
Admission: Free
Hours: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

3.  National Christmas Tree

National Christmas Tree

One of the oldest Christmas traditions in Washington DC in December is the lighting of the National Christmas Tree at the Ellipse near the White House. As the First Family flips the switch after the countdown and the magnificent Christmas tree gets lit up with thousands of merry lights just a few days after Thanksgiving, the world welcomes the onset of Christmas and its merriment. The decorated Christmas tree stands as a popular and beautiful attraction till the new year symbolising the hope of happiness and peace that each year brings with it.

Location: 5th St NW &, E St NW, Washington, DC 20500, United States
Date: December 1st every year

4.  ‘A Christmas Carol’ at the Ford’s Theatre

Ford's Theatre

An annual affair of Washington DC in December with Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ has resulted in a much loved and anticipated December ritual for locals as well as tourists visiting the national capital. The iconic Ford’s theatre plays host to the presentation of this classic play of Dickens and jumps in to celebrate the merriment of the holiday month. This musically equipped play has been considered to be infectiously jolly and is thereby annually presented to a huge audience on the holidays. It has become a holiday ritual for this historically significant venue which attracts a huge audience each year. 

Location: 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, United States

5. Menorah Lighting Ceremony

National Menorah

Located at the Ellipse near the White House, the National Menorah is recognised as a powerful symbol to celebrate the Jewish heritage and culture by both locals and tourists visiting Washington DC. It remains a much loved and important ritual of DC in December where the President lights up a candle on the menorah. It goes on for eight days to celebrate Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights. The festival honours the reconsecration of the holy temple in Jerusalem through musical performances by renowned and local artists and by lighting the candle on the world’s largest Menorah.

Location: 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230, United States

6. Chinatown Holiday Market

Holiday Market

A famous Christmas market in Washington DC organised in the Penn Quarters, the Chinatown Holiday Market features live music playing around more than hundreds of vendors and artists. The open-air venue with aesthetic tents set up for exhibiting and selling art and other products plays host to a huge crowd every year. The beautiful exhibit of fine arts and fair trades assure the visitors to find some of the great gifts for the festive season. The shopping experience here at this beloved shopping destination is a must-have experience to support small local business and artists.

Location: F St NW &, 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, United States
Hours: 12:00 PM to 8:00 PM

7.  Holiday Boat Parade

Holiday Boat Parade

An annual event in early December that kicks off the holiday season in Washington DC, the Holiday Boat Parade is a beautiful sight providing visitors with a unique and enriching experience. The Washington channel past The Wharf gets lined with boats decked up with beautiful and colourful lights. These parading lines of twinkling and aesthetic boats become a sought-after attraction as you visit Washington DC in December. This annual tradition is further embellished with gorgeous Christmas trees, holiday films screening, hot chocolates and other winter treats available on the decorated venue. 

Location: The Wharf, 1 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024, United States
Hours: 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM

8. Georgetown GLOW

Georgetown GLOW

Only free curated outdoor public light exhibition in the oldest neighbourhood of Washington DC, the Georgetown GLOW is an annual art event embellishing the already beautiful snowy nights of DC in December. These neighbours will be freely exhibiting the beautiful arts of talented local artists spread over at different locations in Georgetown. You can stroll around the entire area on your own while admiring their artistic appeal or simply take a tour for a much involved and curious experience as you can learn about the historic significance of the Georgetown neighbourhood. 

Hours: 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Admission: Free
With so many annual events happening at that time in DC, visitors can plan their trip in quite a strategic manner. Visit or engage in any of the listed activities and events to spend a nourishing yet fun time in DC during the holiday hustle. So, have a festive and cheerful holiday with loved ones while you visit Washington DC in December.

This post was published by Aditi Shree

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