With the holiday season here and winter break right around the corner, there are many fun and cheap things to do to this holiday in DC. This week I will give my favorite events to visit throughout the city this winter.
Zoolights at the National Zoo
Visiting the light show at the National Zoo was one of my favorite things to do as a little kid, and as I’ve gotten older, none of the magic has been lost. Zoolights is a month-long light show that takes place at the National Zoo (November 29th-January 1st) that runs from 5-9 p.m. every night. Visitors can walk along paths lined by trees wrapped in multicolored lights with large, glowing animal sculptures including zebras, leopards and elephants. It’s perfect for a photo-op! If the mesmerizing lights weren’t enough, the attraction also has a number of fun activities and food vendors. My personal favorite activity is the carousel, but there is also a big slide, a tunnel of red lights to pose with for pictures and even a projected light show that runs every few minutes. The path is dappled with places to buy hot apple cider and hot chocolate to warm up the visitors on a cold night. The best part about Zoolights, besides an awesome night in the city, is that it’s completely free (thank you, Smithsonian!). Don’t forget to bring a coat, and don’t let finding a parking space deter from the fun. Zoolights is definitely a holiday favorite!
Get the info here
Downtown Holiday Market
My second recommendation for a wintery weekend in the city is the Downtown Holiday Market. It is located on Eighth and F street (right across from the Shake Shack) and runs from noon to 8 p.m. every day until December 23. Even if you’re not in the market for anything, the Holiday Market is a great place to spend time and engage with local artists. If you are in the market for some holiday presents, the Holiday Market is a perfect place to find one-of-a-kind gifts. Vendors sell everything from jewelry to photos. Also, depending on the day and time you visit, there is live music from local bands. Finally, what kind of an adventure would this be if there were no food?! Food carts are dispersed throughout the booths, including German gingerbread, mini donuts, empanadas and, of course, coffee and hot chocolate. The Downtown Holiday Market is a great stop for a little taste of DC art and festivities during the holidays!
Get the details here.
Ice Skate in Georgetown
The final stop I will recommend in this blog is the Georgetown waterfront. Many might recognize this place as the location of a big fountain, but as the weather gets chillier, this destination turns into DC’s largest outdoor ice rink! This spot might not be for you if you don’t like to spend time in the cold, but nothing beats the wintery essence of ice skating outside, just the Peanuts in “Charlie Brown.” Skate rental costs six dollars and ice time costs ten dollars. There’s not much more to say, but ice skating in December in DC is pretty magical.
Find out the details here.
I hope everyone has an amazing holiday season and finds some time to get out in the city!
Families enjoy the lights at this festive walkthrough.
“Colorful Zoolights Sign.” Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, nationalzoo.si.edu/events/zoolights.