Looking for something fun to do this weekend?
With just a week and a half left until Christmas, we've rounded up all the cool stuff happening in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia this weekend -- December 14-16!
Santa Speedo Run | Annapolis | Saturday
The Annapolis Santa Speedo Run on Saturday, December 15, definitely takes the cake for the most fun holiday race. The goal of the run is to spread Christmas cheer, make downtown shoppers and tourists laugh, and donate to Toys for Tots.
Elf the Musical | Olney Theatre Center, Olney | Friday–Sunday
Based on the Will Ferrell movie we all know and love, Elf the Musical is playing in Olney this holiday season! The story of Buddy the “elf” has captured hearts all over the world and is a great way to get you into the holiday spirit. Buy tickets here, and then read OCN’s review of Elf the Musical!
Lights on the Bay | Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis | Every day, ongoing
Pile everyone into your car for the annual Lights on the Bay! For the 24th year, you can take a two-mile scenic drive along the Chesapeake Bay to see all kinds of light displays — both animated and stationary. Kids can take part in a scavenger hunt, too. Admission begins at 5 p.m.
German Christmas Village | West Shore Park, Baltimore | Every day, ongoing
There are plenty of outdoor Christmas markets to choose from, but the German Christmas Village (at West Shore Park in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor), has proven to be a success year after year. Plus, it has European charm! Modeled after the traditional Christmas markets in Germany, the event is such a unique, authentic German experience that boasts more than just shopping!
Pandora Ice Rink | Baltimore Inner Harbor | Every day, ongoing
Nothing screams winter and the holidays quite like ice skating! Bundle up the kids (or your significant other) and take them down to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor to the Pandora Ice Rink. Check the ice rink’s website for more information.
Winterfest of Lights | Ocean City | Every day, through Dec. 31
Winterfest of Lights is an Ocean City tradition! Grab some hot chocolate and board the Winterfest Express to take a one-mile journey through one million holiday lights and hundreds of animated light displays.
Joy of Christmas | National Cathedral | Saturday–Sunday
The National Cathedral will be the beautiful backdrop to three wondrous shows that include Christmas choral music and festive sing-alongs. Conducted by Steven Fox, “Joy of Christmas” will sweep you into the holiday spirit with classical pieces and modern favorites, all accompanied by an organ and brass quintet, Seraph Brass. Program selections include Ave Maria (Rachmaninoff), On Christmas Night (arr. Ledger), Hymn to the Virgin (Britten), The Blessed Son of God (Vaughan Williams), Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and many more!
Miss Saigon | The Kennedy Center | Friday–Sunday
Experience the heartbreak and timeless love story of Miss Saigon this holiday season during its one-month run at The Kennedy Center. Set in war-torn Saigon, this epic musical tells the story of an American G.I. and his Vietnamese love. This incredible spectacle will run you through a range of emotions from sadness to elation to incredulity and back again.
Holiday Pop-Up Market | Shopkeepers in D.C. | Saturday
Channel your Small Business Saturday vibe at a holiday pop-up market this weekend. Gluten-free sweets, found clothing and objects, illustrations, plants, and more will be available at Shopkeepers, one of D.C.'s coolest spaces.
Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show | The Atlas Performing Arts Center | Friday–Sunday
In need of an up-“beat” tradition to start with the fam? Through December 30, check out Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show! One of the top 10 African-American dance companies in the U.S., Step Afrika! is a D.C.-based group that combines clapping, stomping, and stepping to get their audience into the spirit of the season. Their annual set of holiday performances has become a D.C. tradition over the last seven years.
A Christmas Carol | Ford’s Theatre | Friday–Sunday
Catch this classic show to not only get you into the holiday spirit, but to also reflect on everything wonderful in your life. Take your friends, family, kids — everyone will enjoy and relate! Plus, the show is at Ford’s Theatre, which is worth a visit all on its own. Get your tickets for the show here.
Georgetown GLOW | Georgetown Neighborhood | Nightly, ongoing
Running along the canal, Georgetown GLOW runs nightly through the holiday season. This absolutely gorgeous outdoor display of lights makes the perfect backdrop for a romantic after-dinner walk or late afternoon family stroll. And it’s free!
ZooLights | National Zoo | Every night, ongoing
Take the fam to see ZooLights at the National Zoo, in all its 500,000 LED light glory. This year, make sure you check out their new attraction, the Symphony of Lights — where an interactive light canopy responds to music!
Season’s Greetings Holiday Train Show | United States Botanic Gardens | Every day, ongoing
Every year the Botanic Garden puts on a holiday show, and this year they’re showcasing famous train stations around our nation, decorated (of course) with the most stunning holiday-themed details. And the best part? It’s completely free. The show takes place every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check out the Botanic Garden’s website for more information.
D.C. Downtown Holiday Market | 8th and F Streets | Every day, ongoing
Looking for a quaint, fun holiday outing with friends and family? Don’t miss the Downtown Holiday Market this season in Penn Quarter/Chinatown. Featuring 150 local and regional vendors, the market will be open from noon to 8 p.m. every single day. Read more information about the D.C. Downtown Holiday Market.
Christmas Illuminations | Mount Vernon | Friday–Saturday
Infuse your holiday season with a bit of history and some incredible family fun! With Christmas Illuminations, Mount Vernon will come alive with historical reenactments and festive treats before an astonishing display of fireworks. Bring the whole family out for a night you won’t soon forget!
Wreaths Across America | Arlington National Cemetery | Saturday
Wreaths Across America is looking for volunteers to help lay holiday wreaths on the graves of fallen servicemen and women at Arlington National Cemetery and all over the country. Learn how you can help here!
Pentagon Row Ice Rink | 1201 S. Joyce Street, Arlington | Every day, ongoing
At over 68,000 square feet, Pentagon Row Ice Rink is the largest outdoor ice skating facility in Northern Virginia. Nestled between the restaurants and shops of Pentagon Row, the ice skating rink is a favorite with locals for a great family outing. Don’t have skates? Not to worry: all sizes are available for rent.
LightUP Fest | One Loudoun, Ashburn | Nightly, ongoing
Featuring traditional Chinese lanterns and state-of-the-art lighting technology, LightUP Fest is a light festival that celebrates a rich cultural heritage. Entertainers of all types, foods from all over the world, and more than 70 light displays are all key to making this event an incredible experience for the whole family.
VB Ice | 3640 Dam Neck Road, Virginia Beach | Every day, ongoing
Virginia Beach’s first outdoor ice rink is open! The cost is $15 per person (including skate rental) or $7 per person if you have your own skates. This is bound to be a very popular attraction this holiday season, so expect crowds and be prepared to practice some patience.
What events did we miss? Tell us in the comments!