Baby, it’s cold outside: 12 holiday-themed things to do in the region

WASHINGTON — It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and with December comes a series of wonderful, holiday-themed things to do.

Light shows, holiday treats, and gifts galore — what more could you ask for? Check out this list of 12 holiday-themed things to do in the region to make the winter this year that much more special.

ZooLights.JPG
Washington, D.C.

Zoo Lights is free and fun for the whole family. The National Zoo illuminates its grounds with twinkly lights and animal displays every night Nov. 29 to Jan. 1 (except Dec. 24, 25, and 31) from 5-9 p.m. Visit the website for time confirmations, location and parking directions, as well as event details.

Washington, D.C. The Wharf is always packed with things to do since its opening earlier this year, but for its first holiday season, it’s bound to become a winter wonderland. Check out their events calendar to find more information about exciting activities like Nog Fest or Christmas caroling along the waterfront. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)
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Washington, D.C.

The U.S. Botanic Garden decks its halls Nov. 23- Jan. 1 with a grove of conifer trees, a poinsettia showcase and the East Gallery’s 800 foot-long fantasy train display. The ‘Season’s Greetings’ exhibit is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on most days, and has live music on several evenings in December.

Washington, D.C.  The Downtown Holiday Market is filled a rotation of vendors, so it’s necessary to return to this bustling spot during the holiday season. Visit their website for more information on their exhibits, food and drink, and other special events. (WTOP/Heather Brady)
Washington, D.C. The holiday season is also the time of year to rekindle your spiritual relationship, and what better way than a trip to the new Museum of the Bible? Visit the website to reserve tickets and impress your local church with all your newfound knowledge. (WTOP/Heather Brady)
Company dancers wait their turn backstage at a rehersal of Pacific Northwest Ballet's 20th anniversary of ''The Nutcracker,'' Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2003, in Seattle. The Nutcracker opens Friday, Nov. 28, and runs through Dec. 28 at the new McCaw Hall. Over 250 ballet students and 50 company dancers are included in three casts during the 33 performance run. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Washington, D.C.

Whether it’s “The Nutcracker” or “A Christmas Carol,” you can catch up on the classics in D.C. throughout the holiday season at Warner Theatre  and Ford’s Theatre respectively. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Holiday decorations are stored, prepared and shipped from the American Christmas warehouse in Mount Vernon, N.Y., Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.   American Christmas is essentially a decorations attic for the nation's largest city and the surrounding area and is piled high with every imaginable holiday decoration to adorn city streets and skyscrapers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Virginia

Mount Vernon is a popular Virginia tourist attraction, but come December, new holiday-themed events turn it into a place even locals can enjoy. Visit the website for more information about events, such as a chocolate-making demonstration and the chance to chat with camels. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Virginia Bluemont Vineyard is having a Holiday Cookie Pairing that matches up some of your favorite holiday treats with you favorite alcoholic beverage from Dec. 15-17. It also has a “12 Days of Christmas” deal for 12 days in December, and isn’t the only Virginia vineyard getting into the holiday spirit. Check out Bluemont Vineyard’s website for more information for the event or go on Virginia’s Holiday Winery Events page to seek out other vineyards with other spirited activities and deals. (AP/Seth Wenig)
Virginia Drive through Bull Run Park Nov. 22 through Jan. 7 for the Festival of Lights: almost 2.5 miles of light displays set to music. For location, hours and excluded holiday dates, visit their website. (AP/Seth Wenig)
Virginia Spotsylvania Towne Center turns into a holiday hub come December. Tell Santa your ultimate Christmas wish, see a Concert in Lights and do your holiday shopping all in one place. Check our their events calendar for details and other exciting holiday activities. (AP/Seth Wenig)
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Maryland

The annual ICE! show at the Gaylord National Harbor is one of the region’s most talked-about events. This year’s theme is the classic 1964 “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” There are more than 2 million pounds of carved ice at this exhibit, which runs through Jan. 1. Visit the website for information on ticket prices and times. (AP Photo/GLOBE NEWSWIRE)

Whooohoooo!! We are so excited for #holidayheap! It’s THIS SATURDAY! Meet over 50 Local/Regional Makers!! We have 13 NEW VENDORS! TAP to see who they are! Shop small + give the gift of handmade!! Help us spread the word! Tag someone you want to tell about the show or remind them to come!! Food by @wildethymebaltimore & @doobysbmore Music by @danielbiltmore Demos & giveaways by @artistcraftsman_baltimore See what “Baltimore’s Best Local Craft Fair” has in store this year! It’s FREE and open to the public 10-5! 2640 St Paul St 21218! —————————————— Photo by @emmaweissphoto #charmcitycraftmafia #holidayheapsneakpeeks #makersgonnamake #makersmovement #makersmarket #thebmorecreatives #visitbaltimore #collegetown #shoplocalbaltimore #craftfair

A post shared by Charm City Craft Mafia (@charmcitycraftmafia) on

Maryland Charm City Craft Mafia in Baltimore, Maryland, is doing a Holiday Heap, a local craft fair that showcases indie artists. Visit Dec. 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to buy one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family. Check out their website for more details or check out Maryland’s website, which has a whole section dedicated to holiday-themed craft events in the area, if you can’t make this year’s Holiday Heap! (Globe Newswire/Marriott International, Inc.)
Phtoo shows a Christmas light display
Maryland

Winterfest in Ocean City, Maryland, has now been going on for 25 years. Read up on this year’s changes that come with the 25th anniversary of this 400-display light show in Maryland and visit their website for more details. Can’t make it to Ocean City? Maryland has a list of holiday light displays all across the state — see the site to find one near you.

People ice skate at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
D.C., Maryland, and Virginia

Last but not least, ice-skating is a fan favorite, skilled or not. Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland, the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden in D.C., and Pentagon Row in Arlington, Virginia, all offer outdoor skating during the holiday season and throughout the cold-weather months. Times and prices vary based on location. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

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ZooLights.JPG
Garden.jpg
Company dancers wait their turn backstage at a rehersal of Pacific Northwest Ballet's 20th anniversary of ''The Nutcracker,'' Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2003, in Seattle. The Nutcracker opens Friday, Nov. 28, and runs through Dec. 28 at the new McCaw Hall. Over 250 ballet students and 50 company dancers are included in three casts during the 33 performance run. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Holiday decorations are stored, prepared and shipped from the American Christmas warehouse in Mount Vernon, N.Y., Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017.   American Christmas is essentially a decorations attic for the nation's largest city and the surrounding area and is piled high with every imaginable holiday decoration to adorn city streets and skyscrapers. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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Phtoo shows a Christmas light display
People ice skate at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)


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