Arts & Entertainment, Events

Alexandria Events- December 2021

Alexandria Enchants Visitors with Nostalgic Holiday Wonder

This holiday season marks the return of Alexandria’s biggest holiday weekend featuring the Campagna Center’s 50th Anniversary Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and the 21st Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon. Don’t miss cherished holiday traditions throughout the season, including Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon and Waterskiing Santa on Christmas Eve.

Throughout the season, holiday markets abound citywide for festive al fresco experiences. Lovers of the arts can soak up live performances from the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Little Theatre of Alexandria, and more. For parades, candlelight tours, festive performances and more, check out the upcoming events below.

For more holiday events and activities, visit


3rd & 4th

Campagna Center’s 50th Anniversary Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade
Taste of Scotland: Friday, December 3 at 6:30 p.m.
Parade: Saturday, December 4, at 11 a.m.
Admission: Free to view; $75 registration fee to march in parade; $200 and above for Taste of Scotland Scotch Tasting
Throughout Old Town Alexandria

Campagna Center is thrilled to celebrate the 50th Anniversary Scottish Walk Weekend in Alexandria. In 1749, the City of Alexandria was established by Scottish merchants. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with a weekend of festivities. At the Campagna Center’s iconic Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds. The weekend kicks off with the Taste of Scotland Scotch Tasting on Friday evening in the newly renovated Atrium Building.



Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Parade begins at 5:30 p.m.; Dockside festivities 2 to 8 p.m. at Waterfront Park (1A Prince Street)
Admission: Free; $ for food/drink and some activities
Parade viewing areas: Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Waterfront Park (1A Prince St.), Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.), Shipyard/Harborside Park (1 Wilkes St.), Windmill Hill Park (501 S. Union St.) and Ford’s Landing Park (99 Franklin St.)

Old Town Alexandria’s historic waterfront will shine for the 21st annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights sponsored by Amazon as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Enjoy dockside festivities from 2 to 8 p.m. in Waterfront Park including a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company and holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM. Take part in hands-on activities including a Letters to Santa postcard station and a holiday ornament activity. Enjoy savory bites, gourmet popcorn and a hot chocolate bar. At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to attend the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival.



Waterskiing Santa
1 p.m.
Admission: Free

Now in its 36th year, this favorite D.C. area Christmas Eve event returns to Old Town Alexandria. Gather along historic Alexandria’s Potomac River waterfront for a spectacular show by Waterskiing Santa and his merry crew. The prime viewing area is Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), with more great views from the Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), and Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.). Come early to see the pre-show (on jet skis).


Through the 19th

Waterfront Art Market
Saturdays and Sundays through the 19th

11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center

1 Cameron St.


Visit the Waterfront entrance at Torpedo Factory Art Center to discover new artwork from a rotating lineup of the Art Center’s studio artists. Find paintings and photographs to jewelry and wearables, then step inside to browse the three floors of the Art Center for even more original art for purchase. (There will be no market on Saturday, December 4.)


3rd, 9th & 21st

Museum Shopping Evenings at Carlyle House
5 to 8 p.m.
Admission: Free
Carlyle House Museum Shop

121 N. Fairfax St.

Enjoy shopping small and local. Stop by the Carlyle House Museum Shop for wonderful holiday gifts. An assortment of Virginia made items, ornaments, soaps, and more are available for purchase.


3rd-5th, 10th-12th, 17th-19th

Del Ray Artisans’ 26th Annual Fine Art & Fine Craft Holiday Market

Fridays, 6 to 9 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Admission: Free

Del Ray Artisans

2704 Mount Vernon Ave.


Del Ray Artisans annual Holiday Market offers unique handmade fine arts and crafts from local artists. Choose from wall art, pottery, photography, jewelry, glass and much more from different artisans each weekend. Plus, purchase 2022 wall calendars, cookbooks and upcycled tote bags to support Del Ray Artisans.


3rd – 18th

The Little Theatre of Alexandria’s “A Christmas Carol”
Various times
Admission: $20
The Little Theatre of Alexandria

600 Wolfe St.

The Little Theatre of Alexandria rings in the holiday season with a return of the classic by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable, bitter old miser, 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-see for the entire family. Proof of vaccination or negative COVID test within 72 hours, plus mask-wearing, is required.


4th & 5th

Metropolitan School of the Arts Presents: “The Nutcracker”
12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
Admission: $28+ for adults; $26+ for seniors and students
The Rachel M. Schlesinger Center for Performing Arts

4915 East Campus Drive


Metropolitan School of the Arts looks forward to bringing you their magical Nutcracker performance. On this great adventure, Clara will be transported to a “fantastical” land where she will meet the dazzling Snow Queen, dancing snowflakes, the Sugar Plum Fairy and many more wonderful characters. This is a delightful performance with over 120 performers and the pure sound of the holidays with the wonderful Tchaikovsky score.



Scottish Walk Open House at Carlyle House
12 to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax St.


Visit Old Town on Saturday, December 4, 2021, to enjoy Alexandria’s rich Scottish heritage and see the Scottish Walk Parade march past Alexandria’s oldest stone building, Carlyle House. After the parade, enter the museum gates and step back in time for a free open house in the spirit of the holiday season.


Holiday Festival at Torpedo Factory Art Center
2 to 8 p.m.
Admission: Free
Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union St.


Torpedo Factory Art Center joins the fun on Alexandria’s most festive weekend of the year. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by fire boat around 3:30 p.m. on the Waterfront. Music fills the halls and the waterfront, beckoning people to browse three floors of open artists’ studios. Santa will even take a spin on the famous Torpedo Bike. Masks are required for all visitors over the age of 2, regardless of vaccination status.


4th, 11th, & 18th

Candlelight Tours at Lee-Fendall House
On the half hour from 5:30 p.m. through 7:30 p.m.
Admission: $10 for adults; $5 for children (ages 5-17)
Lee-Fendall House

614 Oronoco St.

Celebrate the holiday season with evening candlelight tours of the Lee-Fendall House decked out in Victorian splendor. The antique toy exhibit will also be on view. Space is limited to 10 people at a time, and advance reservations are required. Face masks and social distancing will be in place throughout the tour.


5th, 12th, & 19th

Old Town North Holiday Markets
1 to 3:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Montgomery Park

901 N. Royal St.


In addition to Old Town North’s weekly Thursday Farmers Market, the Old Town North Community Partnership will be hosting three holiday markets at Montgomery Park. Explore the festive, European-style markets for hand-crafted gift items and specialty food items.


5th & 12th

Holiday Kissing Ball Workshops
2 p.m.
Admission: $25 per person (advance registration required)
Lee-Fendall House

614 Oronoco St.

Learn the history behind using greenery to decorate homes for the holidays, then craft your own boxwood kissing ball using fresh cuttings from the Lee-Fendall garden. Please note that these workshops will be held outdoors, so please dress appropriately.



Del Ray Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting
6 p.m.
Admission: Free
Pat Miller Neighborhood Square

Mount Vernon Ave. and E. Oxford Ave.


Kick off the holidays with a visit to Del Ray for the annual holiday tree and menorah lighting. Continue the celebration and start your holiday shopping with a stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias and feature storefront windows hand-painted for the holidays. Masks are required. Look for a donations drive for Carpenter’s Shelter.


10th & 11th

Colonial Holiday Nights
5 to 8 p.m.
Admission: $10 per adult; $3 for children, ages 6 to 12
Carlyle House

121 N. Fairfax St.


Experience the holiday season with Carlyle House focusing on how the Carlyle’s and their enslaved workers observed the holidays during the 18th century. Space is limited and reservations are required. All participants including those under the age of 5 must be registered.



Alexandria Citizens Band’s 5th Annual Alexandria Holiday Sing-Along
7:30 p.m.
Admission: Free
Del Ray United Methodist Church

100 E. Windsor Ave.


Experience a jolly good time at the always popular Alexandria Holiday Sing-Along. You’ll join in song with your neighbors as Conductor Mike Evans and the hometown Alexandria Citizens Band play your holiday favorites. Don’t miss ringing in the season with this fabulous music tradition. Wear your holiday sweaters and Santa hats. Masks are required. Free tickets available via Eventbrite.



Del Ray Vintage & Flea Market
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Admission: Free
Parking Lot

1900 Mount Vernon Ave.

Don’t miss the holiday edition of this monthly outdoor vintage and flea market in the heart of Alexandria’s bustling Del Ray neighborhood. Find 50+ vendors offering vintage, antique, thrift and artisan goods at two open-air lots, with free appraisals plus bakery and coffee booths.


A Victorian Christmas
On the hour from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m.
Admission: $10 for adults; $8 for children (ages 2-12); free for children under 2
Lee-Fendall House

614 Oronoco St.


Experience the wonder of the season by visiting the Lee-Fendall House for a family-friendly Victorian Christmas. Enjoy traditional décor, music, seasonal crafts, a visit with Santa, a toy exhibit and more. All recommended health requirements, including face masks and social distancing, will be followed.


6th Annual Del Ray Candy Cane Bar Crawl
1 to 6 p.m.
Admission: $15 for advanced tickets; $20 at the door
Various locations along Mount Vernon Ave.

Take a break from the bustle of holiday preparations and enjoy specialty drinks and delights at Del Ray restaurants during a neighborhood bar crawl to benefit Neighborhood Health. Enjoy holiday costume contests for individuals and groups, raffle prizes and live music. Trolley transportation will be provided along the avenue.


Christmas Market and Holiday Craft Show
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: Free
John Carlyle Square Park

300 John Carlyle St.


John Carlyle Square Park will dress up for the holidays and host more than 80 artisans and crafters, independent consultants and other local small businesses. Check off your shopping list with everything from unique handmade jewelry to organic bath and body products to home décor, holiday ornaments and much more. Take a break from shopping to enjoy the beautiful Christmas Carols Show and bring little ones the Elves’ Shop where they can create a customized Christmas ornament. But make sure they do not miss when Santa stops by, ready to take pictures with him.


Civil War Christmas in Camp
12 to 4 p.m.
Admission: Suggested donation is $2 per person; $5 per family
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site

4301 W. Braddock Rd.

Get in the holiday spirit with a patriotic Union Santa Claus, reenactors in winter camps celebrating the season, period decorations, soldier-led fort tours and kids’ crafting activities.


11th, 12th, 18th & 19th

Tall Ship Providence Christmas Story Time
12 p.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Admission: $5 per person, with a special rate of $25 for families of more than 5
Tall ship Providence

1 Cameron St.


Come aboard the tall ship Providence for a special Christmas story time. This year’s tale will be “The Christmas Ship,” the true story of the schooner Rouse Simmons, the ship that for years supplied Christmas trees to the people of Chicago by making a dangerous winter crossing of Lake Michigan. This story is sure to delight young sailors ages 5 to 12. Check in at the Gazebo on the G-H Pier next to Founder’s Park.


17th & 19th

Alexandria Symphony Orchestra Presents: Home for the Holidays

The ASO brings back the joy of live holiday music that audiences yearned for in 2020. ASO will accompany dancers from BalletNOVA with selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Alexandria Choral Society joins the ASO for choruses from Händel’s Messiah and will lead the audience in popular holiday carols. The concert will be presented with no intermission. Masks are strongly recommended for non-vaccinated attendees by the CDC, our concert venues and the ASO. For information based on current health guidelines, please visit our website prior to each concert.


17th from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.

Admission: $20 to $85 per adult, $5 per youth, $15 per student

Rachel M. Schlesinger Center Alexandria Campus

4915 East Campus Drive


19th from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.

Admission: $20 to $60 per adult, $5 per youth, $15 per student
George Washington Masonic National Memorial

101 Callahan Dr.



Olde Year’s Day at Torpedo Factory Art Center
1 to 5 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union St.

The whole family can celebrate the close of 2021 at Torpedo Factory Art Center. Find hands-on activities, meet artists working in their studios, and get inspired for 2022.


Annual First Night Alexandria

12 p.m. to midnight
Admission: Free for Market Square Kickoff, Battle of the Buskers, Block Party and fireworks finale; ticket prices vary for individual shows
Various locations throughout Old Town Alexandria

Experience the region’s signature New Year’s Eve festival of music and more. Enjoy live performances throughout the day and into the evening for kids, teens, adults and seniors. New events include a kick-off at Market Square and a “Battle of the Buskers,” leading up to the midnight countdown and fireworks finale over the Potomac River. Visit the event website for a full schedule of events.

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