Fun Ways to Spend Your Winter Break

Haven’t quite figured out how you’ll spend all of that free time over winter break? We’ve got you covered with a bounty of fun activities — some of them free! — in and around the city.

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Saturday, December 22

Pop-Up Holiday Happenings on Upper King Street
Enjoy Pop-Up Holiday Happenings on Saturday, December 22 with toy making and game playing by Red Barn Mercantile from 2 to 4 p.m. All activities take place in the park area at the intersection of N. Fayette St. and King St. in Old Town.

Monday, December 24

Waterskiing Santa  
Alexandria’s Waterfront from the Alexandria City Marina and Waterfront Park, now in its 34th year. Gather along historic Alexandria’s Potomac River waterfront at 1 p.m. for a spectacular show by Waterskiing Santa and his merry crew. The prime viewing area is the Alexandria City Marina and Waterfront Park.

Tuesday, December 25

Head to the Kennedy Center on Christmas Day for the 20th Annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam at 6 p.m. The Kennedy Center offers free performances every day at its Millennium Stage.

Monday, December 31

First Night Alexandria
$25 through November 30, 2018; $30 Dec. 1-30, 2018; $35 Dec. 31, 2019
Afternoon activities: 2-5 p.m. including the 10th Annual First Night Alexandria Fun Hunt
Performances: 7 p.m.-midnight at warm indoor venues throughout Alexandria
Midnight fireworks: Potomac River at the foot of King Street

Ship Biscuit Ornament Making During First Night Alexandria
Alexandria Archaeology Museum, Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street #327
An almost completely intact ship’s biscuit from the 18th century was found last year in Alexandria. To commemorate the discovery, visitors are invited from 2 to 5 p.m. to make their own ship’s biscuit. Each biscuit will be stamped with the year and then baked at home to track its preservation. No registration required. While supplies last.


  • Celebrate the holidays at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Watch historic chocolate-making demonstrations and see the resident fifer play holiday tunes.
  • Does your family celebrate Hanukkah? Head into D.C. to see the National Menorah, the world’s largest menorah!
  • If you haven’t see the United States Botanical Gardens annual display, “Season’s Greetings,” you are missing something special! It features some of the area’s largest indoor trees, a beautiful showcase of poinsettias, models of D.C. monuments made from plant materials and a fantastic train display. The Botanical Gardens also features a mini-concert series most Tuesday and Thursday evenings featuring seasonal music.
  • Lions, and tigers, and bears — oh my! Take a walk on the wild side at the National Zoo for their annual holiday ZooLights display. And, watch live performances every night. Stop at the Glow Zone, a glow-in-the-dark play zone for children featuring light-up games and activities.
  • Mixing the magic of holiday lights and the creativity of art, the 5th edition of Georgetown GLOW features a plethora of outdoor public light art installations. Walk the streets of Wisconsin Avenue, along the C&O Canal and around Grace Church as you take in the glow.

School is back in session for students on Thursday, January 3, 2019. We look forward to seeing you then!

Happy Holidays!

ACPS, Alexandria City High School, Brooks, Charles Barrett, Cora Kelly, Early Childhood Center, Events, Ferdinand Day, George Mason, George Washington, Hammond, International Academy, Jefferson-Houston, John Adams, Lyles-Crouch, MacArthur, Minnie Howard, Mount Vernon, NVJDCS, Patrick Henry, Polk, Ramsay, Tucker