Holiday Activities

Holiday Guide

Where to go on New Year's Eve

Where to go on New Year's Eve

From cool concerts to hot clubs, Going Out Guide has compiled a list of New Year's Eve events in the Washington area to suit everyone's taste.

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Local Events

Track down winter waterfowl

A National Park Service ranger leads a walking tour, with an eye toward witnessing the Potomac River's seasonal occupants.
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Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Prog rock, castles, wizards, flame towers, leather-clad dancers and headbanging: How else would you want to channel your holiday spirit?
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Ice! 2010

Two million pounds of ice are transformed into the setting of Dr. Seuss's "How the Grinch Stole Christmas."
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Capital Bacon & Beer Bash

Heavy Seas Brewery's Winter Storm Category 5 Ale is the featured beer at this gut-busting fete, along with 10 different kinds of bacon.
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'A Christmas Carol'

Ford's Theatre stages an adaptation of Charles Dickens's classic tale of Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
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Christmas at Oatlands

The historic mansion gets decked out in its holiday best for daily, guided tours highlighting 200 years of well-known guests.
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Annmarie Ornament Show

A display of hand-made ornaments decorate trees in the arts center's main gallery.
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Joffrey Ballet's 'The Nutcracker'

The Chicago-based dance troupe brings its classic production of the Tchaikovsky holiday favorite to the District.
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Season's Greenings

Trains chug through locales of favorite childhood stories, and a collection of D.C. landmarks are hand-crafted from natural plant materials.
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Brookside's Garden of Lights

Take a drive through the four seasons, shown through illuminated displays of everything from raindrops to sunflowers.
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'A Broadway Christmas Carol'

Part comedy, part holiday classic, MetroStage's production mixes "A Christmas Carol" with parodies of showtunes.
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Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Mrs. Washington invites visitors to enjoy carols, cookies and cider, as well as a tour of the first president's mansion by candlelight.
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Bull Run Festival of Lights

The holidays illuminate the regional park with a display that includes a display of more than 40,000 animated lights set to music.
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'The Polar Express in 4-D'

Talk about a cinematic experience! Viewers will feel the wind and smell the hot chocolate during this journey to the North Pole.
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National Menorah Lighting

The Jewish festival of lights kicks off with a concert featuring the U.S. Navy Band and family-friendly fun, plus latkes and donuts.
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Menorah on Ice

Eat latkes and jelly donuts while you wait for the lighting of a menorah carved from ice at 7 p.m.
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'A Rockapella Holiday'

The five-man a capella group brings its blend of amusing antics and impressive harmonizing to the season's most infectious ditties.
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Swedish Christmas Bazaar

Get into the Scandinavian spirit during this fair that features Swedish arts and crafts, activities for kids, a raffle and, of course, glogg.
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Scuba Santa

Bring a swimsuit for a quick scuba lesson and a St. Nicholas photo like none other -- you're both underwater.
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Hanukkah Happy Hour

Celebrate the sixth night of Hanukkah with drink specials at the Pour House and Hawk 'N' Dove.
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Cirque Dreams: 'Holidaze'

You've never seen holiday ornaments this acrobatic before.
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Merry Tuba Christmas

What's that sound? Hundreds of tubas playing Christmas carols? Why, then, it must be the holidays. (Bring your horn and join in.)
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Gingerbread House Contest

Local bakers build their best edible homes in hopes of catching the eyes of visitors, who will vote on the winning house.
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Mormon Temple Light Festival

Nearly a half-million lights and live music illuminate the grounds of this mystical-looking structure.
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Parade of Lights

One of the great Annapolis traditions, yacht owners sail on through the harbor with their boats decorated for the holidays.
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Evangel Cathedral Christmas

Take in several Christmas stories during this Broadway-like musical production.
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A Scandinavian Christmas

Special guest Andrea Larson joins Andrea Hoag, Loretta Kelley & Charlie Pilzer for a concert of vocals and strings.
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National Christmas Tree Stage

Enjoy the sounds of holiday favorites in the light of the National Christmas tree in the days leading up to Christmas Eve.
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The BSO Holiday Spectacular

The orchestra takes on a Vegas twist this year, complete with a sparkling Santa chorus line, dancing animals and holiday favorites.
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'The Nutcracker'

Septime Webre's Washington Ballet performs this holiday classic at the Warner Theatre.
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Gay Men's Chorus

The group performs 'Men in Tights: A Pink Nutcracker,' a joyous, sugar plum-laden interpretation of 'The Nutcracker.'
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Holly Trolleyfest

Stop for a chat with Santa and Mrs. Claus before enjoying a large model train display set up beneath a decorated tree.
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Rock 'N Shop

Got a music fan you need a gift for? Swing by the Black Cat to pick up records, t-shirts and all sorts of rock junk.
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A Candlelight Christmas

The Washington Chorus takes to the Kennedy Center to sing holiday classics and perform a candlelight processional.
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National ZooLights

Head to the National Zoo at night for light displays, animal exhibits a train ride for children and plenty of family fun.
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Holiday Mayhem

Signature Theatre hosts a holiday-themed cabaret with a backing band and some twisted holiday humor.
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Messiah Sing-along

Join the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, a 200-voice choir and soloists for a holiday sing-along of Handel's 'Messiah.'
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Water-Skiing Santa

In addition to St. Nick, there will be his reindeer on knee boards, flying elves, a dinghy-bound snowman and a jet-skiing Grinch.
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Open presents, hit the movies

Because what else are you going to do after the gifts have been given, spend time with family? Find out what's playing on the area's movie screens.
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Symphony of Lights

Drive through this 40-acre park hosting the 17th annual light show, made up of more than 70 different animated and stationary displays.
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Model Train Display

Union Station's decorations aren't complete without this model display featuring a replica of a Norwegian train, part of the Toys for Tots drive.
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Carillon concert at Brookside

Continue the holiday spirit into 2011 with the sound of bells from classical hammered dulcimers.
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Military Bowl

It's not quite the BCS Championship, but bowl season hits D.C. as it's ACC vs. Conference U.S.A. at RFK Stadium.
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'Oy Vey in a Manger'

Drag quartet the Kinsey Sicks add a little camp to Christmas with this cabaret of parodied holiday tunes.
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Gogol Bordello

It'll be hard to find a New Year's Eve party as rowdy as the one featuring this over-the-top gypsy folk band whose concerts have a circus feel.
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Editor's Picks

Holiday fun around Washington

There are plenty of Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and other holiday events to keep you busy.

On stage in December

Like salty and sweet, opposing flavors can create a complementary treat. So it goes with theater this month.

Must-see holiday movies

Ann Hornaday's guide to what's on through the end of the year.

A twist on the holiday show

Warm-and-fuzzy family shows that also boast a sense of humor.

Celebrate the season with a tasty Christmas beer

Bars across the area are offering rich, spicy ales that are perfect for cold winter evenings.

Reader photos: Holiday lights

Have you decorated your house or yard? Show us your outdoor seasonal illuminations.

The Grinch is at National Harbor

The Grinch is cold. But it's not just because his heart is two sizes too small. This Grinch is made of ice.

Cut your own tree

A trip to a Christmas tree farm is a perfect family outing.

 

Reader Photos

'Tis the season to twinkle Share your photos of your outdoor holiday decorations.