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Family-Friendly Activities near Washington DC this December

The end of the year is coming fast, and before you know it, we’ll be into the new year. That said, as we near December, more family and friends gather to spend time together and celebrate the holidays. So, if you’re looking for family-friendly activities near Washington DC, this winter, we’ll go over some seasonal events you don’t want to miss. 


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Family-Friendly Activities Near Washington DC This Winter

Looking for fun activities that you can bring the whole family to this winter? Luckily, it’s not hard to find winter fun. There are several family-friendly activities near Washington, DC, happening now! Check out our list of family favorites if you’re in the DC area for winter this year. 

  1. Downtown Holiday Market
  2. Fairfax City Holiday Market
  3. Season’s Greenings at US Botanic Garden
  4. The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
  5. Enchant Christmas

Downtown Holiday Market

Don’t miss out on the 18th Annual Downtown Holiday Market in Washington, DC. Take the family to visit the beloved outdoor market this year to support small businesses and artists from across the region. 

This year’s Holiday Market feature’s over 70 exhibits from local businesses, allowing you to check out a diverse selection of gifts. The Holiday Market is open now daily through December 23 from 12 pm to 8 pm. 


Fairfax City Holiday Market

If you want to do some holiday shopping, you can’t pass up the Fairfax City Holiday Market. They’re open the first two weekends of December and located in Old Town Square. 

Vendors vary throughout the two weekends, meaning you can see various holiday gift items. Additionally, they’ll have live music and several activities to enjoy while browsing. Make sure to check out the Fairfax City Holiday Market December 2 – 4 and 9 – 11. Admission is free for all ages, and hours are on Friday from 5 pm to 8 pm, Saturday from 12 pm to 6 pm, and Sunday from 12 pm to 5 pm. 

Season’s Greenings at US Botanic Garden

The US Botanic Garden’s holiday display is a popular activity that’s exciting for the whole family. This year’s “Season’s Greenings” features a train display, farming scenes, holiday decor, and DC landmarks made from plants. 

Visiting the US Botanic Garden is completely free, and tickets are not required. The outdoor train display is open now until January 2 from 10 am to 5 pm daily. Additionally, the Conservatory is open daily from 10 am to 5 pm. 

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade

Another great all-ages activity to consider this year is the District’s Holiday Boat Parade on December 3. At this popular holiday event, you can see over 60 decorated boats pass along the Washington Channel this year. 

Get into the holiday spirit with ornament decorating, face painting, ice skating, and pictures with Santa! This event is free and open to people of all ages, with no registration required to enjoy the activities.


Visit the Holiday Boat Parade on December 3 from 6 pm to 9 pm at the District Pier. If you want to enjoy exclusive access and watch the parade from a Water Taxi, learn more and buy a ticket online here.

Enchant Christmas

A great seasonal activity to bring the kids to is Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park. Enchant Christmas features a giant light maze, ice skating, a village of holiday shops, and more! Start the maze by walking through lighted tunnels and illuminated lands to find your way to the 100-foot-tall Christmas tree at the end.

Tickets for the maze range from $23 for children to $35 for adults. If you’re interested in ice skating while you’re there, it’s an additional $18 for adults and $15 for children. Additionally, you can pay to secure a parking spot online for $20.

2022 Holiday and Christmas Light Displays Near DC

Looking at festive lights and seasonal displays is one of the best parts of the holiday season. Additionally, it’s a great way to get out of the house for some family fun. That said, here’s a list of this year’s holiday and Christmas light displays near Washington, DC.  

  • Bull Run Festival of Lights
  • Cameron Run’s Ice & Lights Winter Village
  • Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights

Bull Run Festival of Lights

Each year, the Bull Run Festival of Lights is a must-see attraction for families near Washington, DC. Enjoy 2.5 miles of illuminated holiday light displays from the comfort of your car. Just turn off your headlights and follow the lights!


This year’s Festival of Lights is happening now through January 8, 2023, on Monday – Thursday from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm. In addition, you can enjoy the lights from 5:30 pm to 10 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and Holidays. 

Tickets for the Bull Run Festival of Lights are $30 per vehicle online and $40 at the door. Vehicles with 15 or more passengers will cost $75 online. That said, if you’re buying tickets online, you can use promo codes to save on select days. 

Cameron Run’s Ice & Lights Winter Village

One of the largest winter attractions in DC is Cameron Run’s Ice & Lights Winter Village. If you need something fun to do, you can take the whole family here to enjoy unique light displays, outdoor ice skating, and several photo opportunities. 

If you need tickets, you can buy them now through January 1 online for $8 (+ online fee) or at the door for $10. Or, if you’re interested in ice skating at the Village, you can buy tickets online for $20 (+ online fee) for one hour of ice skating. 

You can visit the Winter Village nightly, including on holidays, from 5 pm to 11 pm starting now until it closes on January 1. After January 1, the skating rink is open on weekends and holidays from 11 am to 5 pm, January 7 through February 26. 

Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights

Another popular attraction near DC is the Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark’s Botanical Gardens. This winter’s display has tons of holiday scenes to enjoy, including flowers, animals, and illuminated trees. 


Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights is open from Friday, November 11 – Sunday, January 8, 2023, including all holidays in between. Tickets for the Winter Walk of Lights are on sale now, and you can purchase them online for $16 (+ online fee). Or you can buy them at the door for $20 until December 8. 

After December 8, you can purchase tickets online for $18 (+ online fee), and tickets will no longer be available at the door. Additionally, this event’s proceeds will go to support Meadowlark Botanical Gardens and 34 other NOVA Parks sites. 

Are You New to the DC Area?

If you’re new to the area and want to explore family-friendly activities near Washington, DC, you’re in luck. There are several winter events for all ages, allowing families to come together and celebrate the holidays. So, if you live in Washington DC, make sure to check out these family-friendly holiday events happening near you. 

However, if you’re new to the area and looking for rental housing, reach out to Bay Property Management Group. Our dedicated property managers in Northern Virginia can help you find a rental property that fits your budget and your needs. 

On the other hand, if you own rental properties near DC and you need help overseeing your rentals, reach out to us for property management. We offer comprehensive services, including property marketing, tenant screening, maintenance, and more. Contact BMG today to learn more about our services!