15+ holiday happenings around DC area

WASHINGTON — Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year in D.C. From bustling markets to whimsical light displays, here are more than 15 ways to get in the holiday spirit.

Christmas at CityCenter Retail haven CityCenterDC is now home to a 75-foot tree, which is decorated with thousands of lights and ornaments. Its Palmer Alley location is draped in 400 suspended holiday ornaments through Feb. 28.
Holiday-themed pop-up bar at D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood  Looking for something that’s more adult beverage-oriented but still whimsical and fun? The “Miracle on 7th Street” pop-up bar from Drink Company returns through Dec. 31. Catch the usual holiday décor with a dash of pandas, inspired by D.C.’s resident pandas at the National Zoo. And, expect themed drinks with names such as “Snow Cone-gnac,” “Santa Bei Bei” and “Let the Muletide Roll.”    
The United States Botanic Garden's 2018 holiday train display features structures made of plants. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
The holiday train exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden If you’re looking for a free and festive holiday activity to entertain both adults and kiddos, the “Season’s Greenings” exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden is for you. Through Jan. 1, visitors can take in a variety of vegetation, such as a range of beautiful poinsettias, as well as a model display of iconic train stations from across the country. The museum’s Conservatory will also showcase live seasonal music from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on certain Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check out the schedule of shows here. READ MORE: “All aboard! US Botanic Garden holiday display features tiny train stations”  (WTOP/Kate Ryan) (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
The Downtown Holiday Market is back for 2018. (WTOP/Michelle Murillo)
Downtown Holiday Market Looking for a unique gift? The annual Downtown Holiday Market returns to F Street NW, between Seventh and Ninth streets. There, you’ll find a number of artists selling everything from paintings, to clothing and accessories, to antiques and seasonal foods. The market is open from noon to 8 p.m. daily through Dec. 23. READ MORE: “Downtown Holiday Market comes to life”  (WTOP/Michelle Murillo) (WTOP/Michelle Murillo)
Stunning floral displays in the West Building Rotunda rotate throughout the winter and into spring and make the Gallery a classic holiday destination. (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)
Christmas decorations, caroling and more at National Gallery of Art  Throughout December, the National Gallery of Art is hosting a range of activities that are free and family-friendly. Get into the holiday spirit with “Caroling in the Rotunda,” learn about artworks depicting the birth of Jesus, and enjoy the decorations featuring red poinsettias and white hydrangeas through the museum. But, take note: The National Gallery of Art is closed Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. (Courtesy National Gallery of Art) (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)
People ice skate at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
Holidays on ice rinks Canal Park, the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, Pentagon Row and The Watergate Hotel 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) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jacquelyn Martin)
Light Yards at The Yards  D.C.’s Southeast waterfront just got a lot brighter. This year’s Light Yards, the outdoor public light art installation at The Yards, includes Jen Lewin Studio’s “The Pool” and OGE Group’s “Angels of Freedom.” Catch these Instagram-worthy works from 6 to 10 p.m. through Jan. 4. (ASSOCIATED PRESS/Jacquelyn Martin)
(Courtesy LightUP Fest)
Admire a menagerie of lights at LightUP Fest in Loudoun County Catch LightUP Fest at One Loudoun in Ashburn, Virginia, through Jan. 2. The eight-week installation features a plethora of light displays that fall into a number of themes, including “Tour of Fantasy” and “Freedom America.” Tickets for kids ages 3 to 12 cost $19.99; tickets for adults cost $29.99. Find tickets here. READ MORE: “LightUP Fest brings 1 million lights to Loudoun (Courtesy LightUP Fest) (Courtesy LightUP Fest)
Georgetown GLOW Georgetown is dressing a bit differently than the rest of the city for the holiday season. Georgetown GLOW is a curated celebration of contemporary art, put on by the Georgetown BID. The free outdoor exhibit runs through Jan. 6 from 5 to 10 p.m. nightly. Visit the GLOW website for a map of this year’s installations. (Sam Kittner/Georgetown BID) (Sam Kittner/Georgetown BID)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 02:  The Smithsonian National Zoological Park's entrance is decorated with holiday lights during the ZooLights celebration December 2, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Zoo Lights  Zoo Lights is a D.C. tradition. Each year, the Smithsonian National Zoo transforms the Northwest D.C. destination into a winter wonderland with 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights — many of which are in the shape of the zoo’s beloved animals. Zoo Lights is a free event, and it runs through Jan. 1 (closed on Dec. 24, 25 and 31). (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
DC Temple Festival of Lights The 41st annual Festival of Lights offers one of the best light displays in the region. Head to the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kensington, Maryland, to see the temple’s grounds lit with more than 650,000 lights until Jan. 1. There are also nightly performances in the visitors’ center. The Festival of Lights is free and open to the public. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
Other light displays, Christmas festivities around the D.C. regionGingerbread house contest and exhibit through Dec. 30 at George Washington’s Ferry Farm in Fredericksburg, Virginia. (Here’s the Facebook event page.) — Festival of Lights from 5 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. through Jan. 1 in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. — Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens through Jan. 1 in Wheaton, Maryland. — Bull Run Festival of Lights through Jan. 6 in Centreville, Virginia. — Winter Walk of Lights through Jan. 6 in Vienna, Virginia. (Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla)
Donald Trump
The National Christmas Tree Even if you didn’t make it to the lighting ceremony, you can still visit the National Christmas Tree at 15th and 17th streets NW, near the White House. For more information, visit the landmark’s website. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) (AP/Susan Walsh)
ARLINGTON, VA - DECEMBER 24:  Dressed as Santa Claus, Kerry Nistel water-skis on the waters of the Potomac River December 24, 2007 in Arlington, Virginia. This is the 22nd year Nistel has dressed as Santa and water-skied on Christmas Eve.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Water-skiing Santa  Santa doesn’t need a sled when he has a boat. On Christmas Eve (Dec. 24), Santa will take to his water skis at 1 p.m. along the Old Town Alexandria waterfront on the Potomac River. Visit the event’s website for more information. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
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ICE! at Gaylord National One of the hottest attractions of the holiday season is the annual ICE! show at Gaylord National Harbor. There are more than 2 million pounds of carved ice at this year’s exhibit featuring Charlie Brown, which runs through Jan. 1. Visit the website for information on ticket prices and times. READ MORE: ICE! presents a Charlie Brown Christmas at National Harbor (AP Photo/GLOBE NEWSWIRE) (Globe Newswire/Marriott International, Inc.)
Dancers perform on stage during a preview of the musical "Elf" in London, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)
Catching up on all the classics Whether it’s The Nutcracker, Scrooge or Elf the Musical, you can catch up on the classics in the D.C. area throughout the holiday season at Warner Theatre, Ford’s Theatre and Olney Theatre Center, respectively. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP) (Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP/Vianney Le Caer)
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The United States Botanic Garden's 2018 holiday train display features structures made of plants. (WTOP/Kate Ryan)
The Downtown Holiday Market is back for 2018. (WTOP/Michelle Murillo)
Stunning floral displays in the West Building Rotunda rotate throughout the winter and into spring and make the Gallery a classic holiday destination. (Courtesy National Gallery of Art)
People ice skate at the National Gallery of Art's Sculpture Garden in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 24, 2009.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
(Courtesy LightUP Fest)
WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 02:  The Smithsonian National Zoological Park's entrance is decorated with holiday lights during the ZooLights celebration December 2, 2013 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Donald Trump
ARLINGTON, VA - DECEMBER 24:  Dressed as Santa Claus, Kerry Nistel water-skis on the waters of the Potomac River December 24, 2007 in Arlington, Virginia. This is the 22nd year Nistel has dressed as Santa and water-skied on Christmas Eve.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
/ (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)/
Dancers perform on stage during a preview of the musical "Elf" in London, Monday, Nov. 2, 2015. (Photo by Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP)


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