It’s the last weekend before Christmas, and if you’re staying in the Washington, D.C., area, there's still plenty to do in the way of festivities! 

Here is your weekend roundup for December 21–24!


Elf the Musical | Olney Theatre Center | Friday–Sunday

Elf is one of those classic Christmas movies that you can watch over and over again and just never get tired of it. It’s always funny, heartwarming, and appropriate for the whole family without being too childish. So why not enjoy this story live? Elf the Musical takes the movie and recreates it in a beautiful performance this holiday season at the Olney Theatre Center in Maryland. Pick up your tickets here

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. -- even on Christmas Day!

Ice Rinks | Various places around Maryland | Every day, ongoing

Ice skating is the quintessential winter activity. But indoor rinks can be boring and claustrophobic. Maryland has some great outdoor rinks where you can enjoy great views while getting in a little exercise. Lessons are available at some of the rinks (for the newbies), or you can watch your kids have fun while relaxing with a hot chocolate. Make sure you call ahead for closures — even ice rinks are susceptible to weather closures! Here's our full list of outdoor ice skating spots.

Light Displays | Various locations in Baltimore | Friday–Monday

If your family's already in town, this is a great activity for everyone young and old. Who doesn’t like holiday lights, right? There are plenty to choose from, too, which means that you can either make the rounds or pick your favorites. Check out all of our picks for Christmas lights in Baltimore.

German Christmas Village | West Shore Park, Baltimore | Friday–Sunday

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!

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.

Washington, D.C.

“A Christmas Messe” | Folger Theatre | Saturday–Sunday

If you can’t get enough Christmas music, "A Christmas Messe" is the performance for you. Of course, everything is a little more fun with a twist. Performed by the Folger Consort, this holiday medley takes you back to Shakespearean times and is sung entirely in middle English. 

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. Find your tickets here.

Live Jazz and Hot Chocolate | St. Regis Hotel | Friday

Every Friday this month the gorgeous and classy St. Regis Hotel will serve hot chocolate and play live jazz in their decked out lobby. It’s the coziest way to spend date night, not to mention, incredibly romantic. And make sure you dress nicely, because the St. Regis lobby is worth a photo for that Instagram feed. 

“Christmas on Wheels” Bike Tour | Various locations in Washington, D.C. | Friday, Saturday

Looking for a unique and also active way to enjoy the holidays? Maybe do this one before your next party to free up some room for all those desserts. The bike tour takes you around the festive D.C. sights while the guide shares the stories, traditions, and background behind each location. 

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. -- even on Christmas Day! Check out the Botanic Garden’s website for more information.

D.C. Downtown Holiday Market | 8th and F Streets | Friday–Sunday

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 through Sunday. Read more information about the D.C. Downtown Holiday Market.


Lansdowne Resort and Spa | Leesburg | Friday–Sunday

If you just have the urge to get away this weekend (maybe even extend it into Christmas Eve and Christmas Day), why not go to a beautiful winter resort in Virginia? Lansdowne Resort and Spa is offering a ton of events this weekend, including everything from a petting zoo and ornament decorating (for the kids), to a relaxing experience for adults, such as the renowned spa. Whether you just want to make it a day trip or the entire weekend, there is no shortage of fun things to do. 

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. What a great way to spend the weekend before Christmas!


How are you getting ready for Christmas this weekend? Share your plans with us in the comments below!