Walking in a Winter Wonderland: Fun and Free Ways to Spend Holiday Break

Winter break for students runs from Thursday, December 21 through Tuesday, January 2. Looking for fun and (mostly) free activities to do over the break? Look no further! Here are a list of some of the best sights and events happening right around you:


  1. Take a stroll through the Alexandria Holiday Market. Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through December 23 and the weekdays leading up to Christmas, artisans, crafters and other vendors are featured at this festive event. Enjoy live entertainment by Justin Trawick and the Common Good on December 23!
  2. Looking to support local artisans? The Torpedo Factory is hosting its “Made in Alexandria Holiday Pop-Up.” While at the Factory, admire the festive art in the Scope Gallery titled “Naughty & Nice,” featuring clay elves, Kris Kringle and so much more!
  3. Waterskiing Santa is here! Stop by Waterfront Park on Sunday, December 24 from 12:30 to 2 p.m. and see Santa make his way along the Potomac.
  4. Celebrate the holidays at Mount Vernon. Watch historic chocolate-making demonstrations and see the resident fifer play holiday tunes.


  1. Head to the Kennedy Center on Christmas Day for the 19th Annual “All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam.” The Kennedy Center offers free performances every day at its Millennium Stage.
  2. Does your family celebrate Hanukkah? Head into D.C. to see the National Menorah, the world’s largest menorah!
  3. While downtown, walk over to the United States Botanical Gardens to see the annual display, “Season’s Greenings.” It features some of the areas largest indoor trees, a beautiful showcase of poinsettias, models of DC monuments made from plant materials and a fantastic train display. The Botanical Gardens also feature a mini-concert series every Tuesday and Thursday.
  4. 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.
  5. Mixing the magic of holiday lights and the creativity of art, 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.
  6. Head over to the fantastical Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on Saturday mornings to celebrate artist Ai WeiWei by using LEGOs to create 2D and 3D portraits!

ACPS wishes our students, families, teachers, staff and friends a wonderful holiday break filled with love, laughter and happiness.

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