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2013 Holiday Guide to Everything: Festivals, Santa Visits, Ice Rinks, Giving Back and More

Updated: D.C., Virginia and Marland events for the winter holidays.

2013 Holiday Guide to Events in Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.
2013 Holiday Guide to Events in Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.
Here's your very first holiday present: A loooong list of things to do this season from festivals, to Santa visits, volunteer opportunities and more.

Want your event included? List it in the comments below.


Holiday Runs


The 12Ks of Christmas Holiday Run: Saturday, Dec.14 at 10:30 a.m. on the Capital Crescent Trail, meet at 3700 Water St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20007. Hosted by DC Running Club, the run/walk will benefit The W.H.A.L.E.R.’s Creation Annual Foster/Adopted Youth Christmas Dinner. Start off with holiday music and finish with a costume contest, T-shirts and eggnog. 


Parades, Festivals,Christmas Tree Lightings


Bull Run Festival of Lights: Through Jan. 5, just off of Interstate 66 on Route 29 (Lee Highway) in Centreville. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority says they expect to see more than 30,000 cars drive through the holiday light display before it ends Jan. 5. Find out more here.


Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights: Through Jan. 5. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna 22182. Visit Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights to experience over 500,000 LED lights and displays that bring Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to life! Click here for the details.



Holiday Open House With Great Shoals Winery: 
Through Dec. 15, hours vary; 14526 New Hampshire Ave., Silver Spring, MD. Taste warm spiced apple wine and enjoy fresh baked holiday cookies. Wear your ugly holiday sweater and receive a free tasting flight. Pictures throughout the day and the most hideous sweater gets a special gift. More info.


Jingle Bell Carriage Rides: through Jan. 3, 706 Caroline St., Fredericksburg. Jingle Bell Rides are available every evening except Monday, through Jan. 3. Reservations for the carriage rides are recommended. $100 - $120, depending on carriage purchased for the evening.


Light Parade: Saturday, Dec. 14, 5:45 to 7 p.m., Manassas Drive in Manassas Park. The parade begins at General Ridge’s Golf Course and proceeds west to its ending at the Manassas Park Police Department. More information on the parade is here.  


Herndon Holiday Model Train Show: Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 15, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Herndon Municipal Center, 777 Lynn St., Herndon. W&OD caboose and Herndon Depot Museum also open for tours.  Call 703-437-5556 for more information.


Storybook Holiday Brunch: Dec. 14, 10 a.m. to noon, Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon. Holiday fun includes a visit with Santa, crafts, brunch, and a reading of a holiday story by a special guest. $14 for one child plus an adult. Register by Dec. 13


Mr. Grinch Carriage Rides: Each Sunday in December, Fredericksburg. Take the kids on a short ride with Mr. Grinch approximately 15 minutes. Photo opportunity for the kids and kids get a Christmas Goody Bag. Travel down Caroline Street to see the decorated store windows and back. Rides run every Sunday in December (weather permitting). More info.


Rappahannock Model Railroad Club Christmas Show:  Saturday, Dec. 14, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge #4123, 21 Cool Springs Rd., Fredericksburg. Adults $7, children 4 - 12 $1, under 4 free. 


Historic Fredericksburg Foundation 43rd Annual Candlelight Tour: Saturday, Dec. 14, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 15, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.,  The Historic Fredericksburg Foundation, 1200 Caroline St. Fredericksburg.  The tour features five historic homes.  Tickets range from $10 - $20.  Tickets for the evening tour with cocktail party are $60 each or $100 for two. 


Breakfast with Santa at Eileen's Bakery and Cafe: Sunday, Dec. 15, seatings at 8:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. at Eileen's Bakery and Cafe, 1115 Caroline St., Fredericksburg.  $10.99 - $14.99 Reservations required. 


Laud to the Nativity: Images of Christ’s Birth through the Ages:  Sunday, Dec. 15, 2 p.m. at Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont, 224 Washington St., Falmouth.  Joanna Catron, curator of Gari Melchers Home and Studio at Belmont will lead the presentation.  Free.


Rappahannock POPS Orchestra Holiday Concert: Saturday, Dec. 20. 7:30 p.m. at Grace Church of Fredericksburg Center for the Arts, 1141 Heatherstone Dr., Fredericksburg. $20 adults, $15 seniors (65 and over), $15 students (with valid ID), children under 18 are free. 


How to Give Back 


Sponsor a family: Register to sponsor a family from Fairfax-based charity Our Daily Bread’s holiday assistance list. There are 3,000 families in Fairfax County in need of help. Provide holiday meals and gifts for children. Register to sponsor families or donate at: www.ODBFairfax.org/Holiday or contact hpassist@ODBFairfax.org or 703-273-8829.



Holiday Gift Distribution:
 Forward Future Youth Services will be distributing gifts to families in need on Dec. 19. We are looking for volunteers to help out at the event. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at info@forwardfuture.org or call us at (571) 266-8299. Thursday, Dec. 19, 6 p.m.; 500 E. Frederick, Sterling.


Rappahannock United Way: (RUW) has released its 2013 Holiday Volunteer Opportunities Guide. "Local nonprofit agencies have provided us with their wish lists for donation items and information regarding volunteer projects throughout the season," RUW said. View the list online or download the attached .pdf version.


The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots Drive: An annual event to collect new, unwrapped toys for children in need each year. There are dozens of locations in the Northern Virginia area. View a full list of drop-off locations online.


Toy Drop: Long & Foster Real Estate, Alexandria-Kingstowne office, 5911 Kingstowne Village Parkway, Suite 100, Alexandria. Toys may be dropped Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All donations must be made before Dec. 15.


Ice Rinks


Harris Pavilion: Daily Nov. 15 thru Jan. 5. Times vary. 9201 Center St., Manassas. In Old Town Manassas, all sessions are open skate, no time limit. $8 adults, $7 for ages 10 and under. $3 skate rental. Season passes available. More info.


Prince William Ice Center: Two-hour open skate every day. Times vary. 5180 Dale Blvd, Woodbridge. $7 admission, $3 skate rental. More info.


Ice Skating Pavilion, Reston Town Center: Until March. Times vary. 1818 Discovery Street, Reston.  $10 adults, $8 under 12 and older than 55. Skate rental $5. Seasonal passes available. 703.709.6300. 2013-2014 Season - open daily from early November until March the Pavilion floor is transformed into a gleaming ice skating rink. Ice skates and other supplies are available inside the Skate Shop directly beside the Pavilion (behind Clyde's).  More info.


Pentagon Row Ice-Skating: Open now. Stop by Dec. 7 from 5-8 p.m. for a grand re-opening celebration. Details here.


Washington Harbour Ice Rink: Open now until March from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Adults $10, Children $8, Skate rental $5. Open holidays.


Where to Get Your Picture with Santa


Santa at Mazza Gallerie: Every weekend plus Dec. 23 & 24. Professional photos are available.


Santa at Potomac Mills: Every day through Dec. 24, during regular mall hours. Potomac Mills, 2700 Potomac Mills Circle, Woodbridge. Get your photo taken with Santa and give him your holiday wish list. Photo package pricing varies. More info.


Get Your Picture Taken with Santa at Tysons: Santa will be available for photos and visits at his winter wonderland house, located between Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's wings on level one - through Dec. 24. Click here for Santa’s hours.


Visit Santa at Dulles Town Center: Santa is in the house! Click here for hours.


See Santa at Pentagon City: Santa even has special hours for photos with pets! He takes breaks to feed the reindeer at 1 and 5 p.m. More info here.


Santa at Fair Oaks Mall: Be sure to check out the Ice Palace while you’re waiting! More info.


Breakfast with Santa:  Dec. 7th, 8th, 14th, and 15th 10:30 a.m. at Ticonderoga Farms. Have breakfast with Santa and have your picture taken. Reservations must be submitted before December 2nd. Find out more information and register online.


Breakfast with Santa in Ashburn
: At Brambleton Golf Course Come and enjoy FUN REINDEER games, with Jolly Old Saint Nick!  Your friends at Brambleton invite you to breakfast with Santa. Delicious food, pictures and craft time with Santa. Fun for the whole family, come and discover your Regional Park. Must Pre-Register, please call (703) 327-3403 x102. $7 per child. Saturday, Dec. 14, 9:30 a.m., 42180 Ryan Rd. in Ashburn.


Santa at Potomac Overlook: See Santa when he visits Potomac Overlook Regional Park, 2845 N. Marcey Road in Arlington, at 1 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. Take photos and enjoy refreshments. A $5 donation per visitor is requested. More info here.


Breakfast with Santa at Eileen's Bakery and Cafe: Sunday, Dec. 8, and Sunday, Dec. 15, seatings at 8:45 a.m. and 10 a.m. at Eileen's Bakery and Cafe, 1115 Caroline St., Fredericksburg.  $10.99 - $14.99 Reservations required. 


Holiday Concerts


Winter Wonderland Train Show: Dec. 11-13 5 to 8 p.m.; Dec. 14, 10-5: Dec. 15, 10-4 p.m. Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory, 9419 Battle St., Manassas, VA 20110. National Capital Trackers exhibit their festive, magical and truly awe inspiring Christmas landscape at the Winter Wonderland Train Show.  More information here.  


Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season 8 p.m.  on Friday, Dec. 13 and Sat. Dec. 14.  Friday’s performance is at the  Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas and Saturday’s performance is at George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax. This jubilant concert features the American Festival Pops Orchestra performing under the baton of Maestro Anthony Maiello, with a program of such favorites as “Christmas Festival” by Leroy Anderson, “Carol of the Bells,” Irving Berlin’s “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm,” “Blue Christmas” and an entertaining twist on the holiday classic, “The Nutcracker Suite,” with selections performed in both traditional (Tchaikovsky) and jazz stylings (Duke Ellington)



Jingle Jam: Dec. 14, 2:30 p.m., 8 p.m. Tally-Ho Theatre, 19 West Market Street. A rock n’ roll holiday concert, offering traditional tunes — with an edge. $20. Proceeds benefit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. $5 Jr. Jam at 11 a.m.More info.



Vienna Boy’s Choir: Christmas in Vienna: Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. at the George Mason University Concert Hall. The Vienna Boys Choir performs a program of classical and popular music that includes traditional Christmas carols, Gregorian chants, songs from around the world, and popular holiday favorites. More info.



Frosty Follies: From Nov. 29 through Dec. 22.  Lorton’s Metropolitan School of the Arts will perform their free Frosty Follies shows at various dates and locations throughout the region. View more information.


In Santa, We Believe: Saturdays starting Nov. 30 through Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center on 9601 Ox Road in Lorton. Watch the classic “In Santa, We Believe” story live onstage. The show is for children and their families. View more information and make reservations.


Messiah Sing!: Sing along to Handel's "Messiah," featuring the well-known "Hallelujah" chorus. The chamber orchestra, choir and soloists are accompanied by the Saint Luke pipe organ. The event is 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, at Saint Luke Catholic Church, 7001 Georgetown Pike, McLean. More information here.



Oh, Holy Night: Dec. 20th, 7:30 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center on 9601 Ox Road in Lorton. Celebrate the Christmas season with Christmas carols in this 90-minute performance. Get tickets online.  


Jingle in the Jungle - A Children's Christmas Adventure Story: Rose the skunk is not very happy. She wants to play and have friends, just like everyone else. But the kids make fun of her and tease her because she is different. She wants to change that with her Christmas wish. This is a wonderful play about acceptance and self-esteem, all wrapped up in the Christmas spirit. Dates: Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, 2013, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 22, 2013, 5:30 p.m. Oatlands, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg.



Fredericksburg Community Band Christmas Concert:Wednesday, Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m. in Spotsylvania Towne Centre, 137 Spotsylvania Mall Dr., Fredericksburg.  Free.


Rappahannock POPS Orchestra Holiday Concert: Saturday, Dec. 20. 7:30 p.m. at Grace Church of Fredericksburg Center for the Arts, 1141 Heatherstone Dr., Fredericksburg. $20 adults, $15 seniors (65 and over), $15 students (with valid ID), children under 18 are free. 

Carol Nahorniak December 05, 2013 at 02:13 PM
Santa Claus is at Mazza Gallerie every weekend plus Dec. 23 & 24 (and he's beautiful!), and yes they have professional photos available.
Michelle Peirano (Editor) December 05, 2013 at 04:36 PM
Thanks Carol!

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