December Alexandria Events
2nd, 3rd & 10th
46th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade
Admission: Free for parade, Heather and Green sales; $110-$290 for Taste of Scotland; $35 for Designer Tour of Homes; $20 for Deck the Halls with Santa
Don’t miss Old Town Alexandria’s most spectacular holiday weekend. In 1749, the City of Alexandria was officially established by three Scottish merchants and named after its original founder, John Alexander, also of Scottish descent. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with a weekend of festivities. The iconic Scottish Christmas Walk Parade takes place on Saturday, December 3, at 11 a.m., when dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans will parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds.703-549-0111 http://www.campagnacenter.org/scottishwalkweekend
More weekend events include a Taste of Scotland (December 2), Heather and Greens sale (December 2-3), the Campagna Center’s Holiday Designer Tour of Homes (December 3), and Deck the Halls with Santa (December 10). The Campagna Center partners with Mazda North America, the Scottish Government, Passport Auto, the St. Andrews Society, and the City of Alexandria to host the annual parade. Consistently ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the South, this event has grown from a small informal parade to an entire weekend filled with events and festivities. #SCWW16
2nd & 3rd
Mount Vernon by Candlelight
Admission: $24 for adults; $16 for youth
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
This holiday season, experience Mount Vernon in the soft glow of candlelight! Come join the estate for candlelit character-guided tours of the first and second floors of the mansion, 18th-century dancing and fireside caroling. Guests will hear about the Washingtons’ holiday cooking and see a reproduction of Martha’s Great Cake. “Mrs. Washington” and Aladdin the Christmas camel will also be on-site.
2nd – 17th
The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s “A Christmas Carol”
The Little Theatre of Alexandria
600 Wolfe Street
The Little Theatre of Alexandria rings in the holiday season with a return of the classic by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly Victorian humbug, travels with ghostly guides through Christmas past, present, and future to find the true meaning of the holidays. Complete with special effects, Victorian carols, and Tiny Tim, “A Christmas Carol” is a must for the entire family.
2nd-4th, 9th-11th, 16th-18th
Del Ray Artisans’ 21st Annual Holiday Market
Fridays 6-9 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
Cost: Free to browse
Del Ray Artisans
2704 Mount Vernon Avenue
Del Ray Artisans’ Annual Holiday Market offers unique handmade fine arts and crafts from local artists, including pottery/ceramics, photography, jewelry, fiber, paper crafts and glass. Artists donate a percentage of their sales back to Del Ray Artisans to help support future exhibits and programs. Different artists will be featured each weekend!
3rd, 4th, 9th-11th, 16th -22nd
Alexandria Holiday Market
11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Admission: Free to browse
300 John Carlyle Street
The highly anticipated Alexandria Holiday Market is modeled in similar fashion to Europe’s festive Christmas markets, which are popular in countries across the pond like Germany and France. Traditionally, the markets would transform outdoor town centers where vendors would take up shop in small wooden stalls. Similarly, the Alexandria Holiday Market will encourage shoppers to “shop outside the box” and come outdoors to the festival to find unique art and craft items and enjoy sweets and mulled wine. To help get into the holiday spirit, shoppers will also be treated to live entertainment from local musicians. The Alexandria Holiday Market will cater to the whole family and feature a special children’s corner with special activities for kids, including Santa.
17th Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Waterfront at the foot of Cameron Street near the Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union Street
On the first Saturday of December, at sundown on the day of the annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, Alexandria’s harbor lights up as dozens of illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront. The boats are always dressed to impress a panel of judges who will award prizes in a dozen categories including Best in Show, Thinking Outside the Christmas Box, and Hardiest Souls. Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM is the parade announcer.
Scottish Walk Parade Open House at Carlyle House
Admission: Free ($1 suggested donation)
121 N. Fairfax Street
Step back in time to see Carlyle House decorated for the holidays in the style of the 18th century. John Carlyle, one of Alexandria’s town founders, was a British merchant of Scottish descent. Come into the museum to warm up after the Scottish Walk Parade and learn more about 18th century Alexandria! This is a free event, but a suggested donation of $1/person is welcome.
Alexandria Archaeology Ornament Decorating Workshop
December 3, 2016 from 1-4 p.m.
Admission: Free; no pre-registration required
Alexandria Archaeology Museum
Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union Street #327,
Decorate take-home paper ornaments using shapes, colors, and patterns from the city’s finest 18th– and 19th-century excavated artifacts. It’s fun, it’s free, and it’s for the entire family. No registration required.
Holiday on the Avenue in Del Ray
Pat Miller Neighborhood Square
Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue
Kick off the holidays with a visit to Del Ray for the annual holiday tree lighting, featuring a special appearance by Santa Claus, who will lead carols and sit for photos with children. In the true spirit of the holidays, the community will be collecting items such as canned goods, nonperishable foods, and diapers for Carpenter’s Shelter. Continue the celebration and start your holiday shopping with a stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias. Pick your favorite in the neighborhood business association’s annual Christmas tree decorating contest.
8th thru Jan 8th
“Fully Committed” at MetroStage
1201 N. Royal Street
Forty outrageous characters and one iconic, irrepressible Washington actor. Tom Story plays a restaurant reservationist, juggling phones, personalities and pandemonium with the dexterity of a Cirque du Soleil contortionist. Prestige, power, desperation, and boundless egos are all on display at one of the most exclusive, trendiest restaurants in NYC. Sam, our lowly reservationist, is manning the phones, the pressure and the chaos. But hope abounds that our out-of-work actor will be cast and escape this circus of bad behavior and entitlement (and maybe even get home for Christmas). Devastatingly funny. A one man tour de force. Must-see entertainment before, during, and after the holidays.
Civil War Christmas in Camp
Admission: $2 suggested donation per person; $5 per family
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site
4301 W. Braddock Road
Get in the holiday spirit and learn how Christmas was observed during the Civil War. This popular family-oriented event features a patriotic Civil War Santa Claus, reenactors in winter camp settings, period decorations, fort tours, and kids’ activities. No registration required.
Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours
Admission: $25 adults; $20 seniors (65 years and older) and active military; $5 children (ages 6-17)
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum
134 N. Royal Street
Travel through centuries of local history as you learn more about Alexandria during the holiday season at Carlyle House, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Lee-Fendall House. Enjoy each site by candlelight, smell seasonal greenery, sip on drinks and taste period inspired food. Seasonal libations will be available for purchase.
10th & 17th
Friendship Firehouse Ornament Decorating Workshop
Admission: $5 per ornament decorating kit
Friendship Firehouse Museum
107 S. Alfred Street
Come decorate and take home ornaments inspired by firefighting. Put your own unique embellishments on fire helmets, fire trucks, and fire hydrants. They make great decorations for the home or office—and excellent gifts! For children ages 4-10, and their caregivers. No registration required.
Colonial Handbell Ringers Concert
2 & 4 p.m.
201 S. Washington Street
Enjoy your favorite holiday music performed by the Colonial Handbell Ringers! Ten “ringers,” in period costume, will be playing a full five-octave set of 80 handbells. The ringers will perform children’s classics, timeless holiday tunes, and original show-stoppers. Audience participation in the sing-a-long encouraged.
16th & 17th
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon
Admission: $34 adult/$24 youth with mansion tour; $30 adult/$20 youth without mansion tour
George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy
Join Mount Vernon for an evening of family-friendly fun and fireworks choreographed to holiday music, with fireworks beginning around 9 p.m. Take a stroll through the estate while being serenaded by local choirs, visit with re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment in winter encampment, and learn 18th-century dance moves from costumed guides in the Greenhouse. “George and Martha Washington” will also be on-site to greet Mount Vernon’s holiday guests. Watch as colonial artisans demonstrate the 18th-century process of creating chocolate. Keep toasty by warming up by a bonfire, visiting the blacksmith shop, or enjoying some hot chocolate or cider. Additional tasty food will be available for purchase. Still haven’t found the perfect holiday gift? Take some time to complete any last minute gift needs at the Shops at Mount Vernon, open late during Christmas Illuminations. Christmas Illuminations takes place rain or shine.
King and Oronoco Streets
Now in its 31st year, this favorite DC-area Christmas Eve event comes to Old Town Alexandria for the third time. Gather at Alexandria’s Potomac River waterfront for a spectacular show by the Waterskiing Santa and his wakeboarding reindeer, plus flying elves, the Grinch and his friends, Frosty the Snowman and Jack Frost. Prime viewing area is along the waterfront between King Street and Oronoco Street, which includes Founders Park and the Alexandria City Marina.
First Night Alexandria
Admission: $20 December 1-11; $30 December 12-31
Afternoon activities: 2-5 p.m. including the Seventh Annual Fun Hunt
Performances: 7 p.m.-midnight; venues throughout Old Town and one at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Avenue
Midnight fireworks: Potomac River at the foot of King Street
This annual New Year’s Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with more than 150 performances at 25 indoor venues, with live music, dancing, children’s face painting and games. The afternoon’s Eighth Annual Fun Hunt is accompanied by all-new activities for families and pets. There’s a venue at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center in Del Ray filled with fun activities for children 10 and younger. There is dancing in the street at the east end of King Street beginning at 10 pm. First Night’s fireworks finale returns with a spectacular display over the Potomac River at midnight.
Go to http://www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/holidays for events and more.