Northern Virginia is a wonderful place to celebrate Christmas. Many Virginia communities host special holiday events, ranging from small town Christmas tree lighting ceremonies to holiday parades to visits with Santa to lively community sing-alongs. Here is a guide to help you enjoy the season and make this year one to remember!
Christmas in Old Town Alexandria
The city of Alexandria hosts wonderful holiday events including the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Scottish Walk weekend, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, candlelight tours, Christmas in Camp, and a variety of holiday concerts. See the schedule of events. Alexandria is also a great place to shop for unique Christmas gifts. See a shopping guide for Alexandria, Virginia.
Christmas at Mount Vernon
November 23, 2012 - January 6, 2013. Christmas at one of Northern Virginia’s top attractions transports visitors back in time to experience the holidays like George Washington did with themed decorations, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th-century dancing, and even a Christmas camel.
Bull Run Festival of Lights
Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville, Virginia. (703) 359-4633. November 21, 2012 to January 6, 2013. This festive display of lights features penguins, snowmen, deer, candy canes and Santa. After viewing the lights you can visit the Winter Wonderland Holiday Village that includes amusement rides, an ice skating rink, entertainment, shopping, contests, food, and more.
Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg
The Christmas season comes to life with Colonial Williamsburg’s world-renowned holiday decorations and 18th century seasonal programming. Beating drums, trilling fifes, firework displays, theatrical programs and interpretive characters take visitors back in time to celebrate the holidays as our forefathers did during colonial times. Throughout the holiday season, Williamsburg is a great destination for a day trip or getaway. The Grand Illumination is December 2, 2012.
Christmas Town at Busch Gardens
November 23-December 31, 2012. The Williamsburg, Virginia amusement park is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, combining an immersive holiday experience with one-of-a-kind shopping and dining opportunities, all-new holiday shows and a spectacular light-dancing Christmas tree.
Reston Town Center Holiday Parade
November 23, 2012. Enjoy a full day of celebration with the Northern Virginia community with the Annual Race for the Kids, a thanksgiving parade, visits with Santa, the tree lighting and carriage rides.
Manassas Christmas Parade
December 1, 2012. Old Town Manassas celebrates the Christmas season each year with a weekend of old-fashioned family fun at the "Merry Old Town" celebration. The festivities include a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the Manassas Christmas Parade, a gingerbread contest and lots of holiday activities for all ages.
December 1, 2012. Middleburg is a wonderful place to celebrate the Christmas holiday in Northern Virginia. Traditional festivities include the Middleburg Hunt where approximately 100 horses, riders in red coats and dozens of hounds parade through the town.
Leesburg Christmas Events
The Historic town of Leesburg celebrates the holidays with a variety of community events including a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a holiday craft show, and a holiday parade, festival and concert. Leesburg is also a great place to enjoy shopping, dining, and seasonal cheer. See the schedule of events.
Christmas at Oatlands Historic House and Gardens
Leesburg, Virginia. Throughout the holiday season, the 360-acre estate will come alive with historic and handcrafted decorations. Explore the estate and enjoy live music, unique shopping and afternoon tea.
City of Fairfax Festival of Lights & Carols
December 1, 2012, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Historic Downtown Fairfax, Kitty Pozer Garden and Old Town Hall, 3999 University Dr. Enjoy a day of holiday cheer and festivities including lunch with Santa, s'more’s by the yule log, ice sculpting, hot cider, face painting, Christmas tree lighting and caroling.
Lake Anne Village Center
December 8, 2012, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Village Road, Reston, Virginia. Welcome the holidays with a Lake Anne tradition of a petting zoo, entertainment, ornament-making for children, Faux Bear,
holiday market vendors, and the arrival of Santa by barge. Santa sails in at 12:00 p.m. to visit with children on the plaza. The event is free, presented by Lake Anne Merchants Association. In the
evening, Light Up Lake Anne presents the plaza tree lighting and caroling at 6:00 p.m. End the day with a Christmas Concert at Washington Plaza Baptist Church.
See also, Holiday Concerts in Northern Virginia