Posted at 04:56 PM ET, 12/01/2011

With holiday season in full swing, head to Leesburg

Families walk past a handmade post tin lantern on the steps of Otter Creek Collections in Old Town Leesburg. (Tracy A. Woodward - THE WASHINGTON POST)
There’s a fresh chill in the air. Leaf blowers everywhere are hard at work removing piles of fallen foliage. And, if you’re like me, you’re already behind on Christmas shopping. Instead of heading to a gigantic mall along with hordes of other determined shoppers, why not have some fun with it and really get in the Christmas spirit?

Here’s a suggestion: Leesburg. The latest in our series of neighborhood guides (others include Georgetown, Rockville and Annapolis), Leesburg is a quaint haven of holiday cheer this time of year. Its brick sidewalks and historic buildings, cozy haunts and stores brimming with antiques and one-of-a-kind Americana welcome visitors with open arms. You’ll find Christmas decorations galore at Savannah’s of Leesburg, jazzy piano at Lightfoot Restaurant and an abundance of Christmas trees at Oatlands Plantation.

If you need an excuse to go, this month offers several. Tomorrow is First Friday in Leesburg, a monthly event starting at 6 p.m. where shops and galleries in town stay open late and offer performances, tastings and more. Tomorrow’s First Friday kicks off with a Christmas tree and menorah lighting at 6 p.m. on the Town Green. The event also marks the opening of MacDowell Brew Kitchen, a new spot with six draught beers and 18 craft brews that has been in the making for some time now.
Savannah’s of Leesburg is the town’s capital of red and green. From lush holiday wreaths to Christmas ornaments, the store has a broad array of seasonal decor. (Jess Righthand)

This weekend also is Leesburg’s Fine Arts & Craft Show, with works by more than 90 artisans, all unique and all handmade. On Dec. 10 at 10 a.m., the holidays hit full stride with a Christmas parade, complete with floats, Santa and live music. And then, on Dec. 17, show your receipt from any downtown business and get a free horse-drawn carriage ride. Or, gather up the girls on Dec. 15 and head to Girls Night Out, a Santa-themed shopping night.

Whether you go to Leesburg for the shopping, the food or just to get out of the city, visit our Leesburg neighborhood guide for ideas on where to go and what to see while you’re in town.

By  |  04:56 PM ET, 12/01/2011

Categories:  Holiday | Tags:  Holiday 2011

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