18 Bull Run Festival of Lights
Wednesday, November 18–Sunday, January 3; Monday – Thursday: 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays – Sunday & holidays*: 5:30p.m. to 10 p.m. *(Holidays include Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve and New Years. Bull Run Regional Park
Nov. 18 through Jan. 3. The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a NoVA favorite. Hop in the car and enjoy a very merry light and music show. Be advised: Fridays are one of the festival’s busiest days, so be prepared. Still, it’s one of the best days to go, as the carnival will be open until late! Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville; 703-359-4633; Day) nvrpa.org/park/bull_run_festival_of_lights; Prices vary.
27 Reston Holiday Parade, Tree Lighting, and Sing Along
Friday, November 27; 11:00 AM–10:00 PM; Reston Town Center
Reston Town Center launches the festive season at the 25th annual Reston Holiday Parade at 11:00 a.m. with Macy’s-style balloons, musicians, dancers, antique cars, characters, community groups, dignitaries, special guest emcees, and much more. The one-of-a-kind, one-hour, half-mile parade along Market Street also welcomes the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage. Since 1991, rain or shine, the parade has been an annual tradition on the day after Thanksgiving. Celebrating “Home Sweet Home,” this year’s parade will honor the 25th anniversary of Reston Town Center, the meaning of home, and everything else that’s sweet. Before the parade begins, thousands of jingle bells will be handed out to spectators lining the route. After the parade, enjoy visits and photos with Santa and Mrs. Claus plus Mini-Train rides until 4:30 p.m. and street entertainment. The Clauses will return for the Fountain Square Tree Lighting and Sing Along at 6 p.m. Afterwards, there’ll be horse-drawn carriage rides on Market Street from 6:30 until 10 p.m. Proceeds from the photos and rides benefit local charities. The acclaimed Ice Skating Pavilion is open all day and every day from November until March. Phone: 703-579-6720
Christmas at Mount Vernon
Friday, November 27 – Wednesday, January 6; 9:00 AM–4:00 PM; George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens
Mount Vernon has decked the halls for the holiday season and invites you to celebrate this festive time of year with a special daytime program offered through January 6!
Visit George Washington’s estate and see Aladdin the camel on the grounds, in honor of the camel that Washington paid to visit Mount Vernon in 1787. Stroll through the estate during the Christmas season and see sparkling holiday decorations, featuring 12 dazzling Christmas trees, and historical chocolate-making demonstrations.
Experience Christmas how the Washington’s would have celebrated it on a tour of the Mansion. Go behind-the-scenes and tour the rarely-open third floor of the Mansion. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mount Vernon, VA 22309. Phone: 703-780-2000; Admission Fee: $17/adults; $8 child. www.mtvernon.org
4 Christmas in Middleburg
Friday, December 4 – Sunday, December 6; 11:00 AM Friday–4:00 PM Sunday; Downtown
Starting at 11 a.m. the Middleburg Hunt takes to the streets creating a spectacular sight as approximately 100 horses, riders in red coats and dozens of hounds come through the town.
The Middleburg Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. as spectators line the sidewalks along Washington Street (Route 50) to watch as a unique assortment of floats, troops and bands march by in a mile-long parade. In keeping with the animal friendliness of the town, the parade includes over 700 horses, llamas, alpacas and dogs. Not to be missed are the antique fire trucks, children on floats, and of course, Santa brings up the rear riding on a beautiful horse drawn coach. Through the day there are hayrides, choir performances, the Garden Club’s Christmas Flower & Greens Show and the Craft Show as well as shopping and dining in the town’s shops and restaurants, creating a day-long family festival for visitors. A Wine Crawl is the final element, allowing adults to wind down and relax while sampling wines from area vineyards, and foods in local restaurants. Phone: 540-687-8888. www.christmasinmiddleburg.org
4 Merry Old Town: Manassas Christmas Tree Lighting
Friday, December 4; 5:30 PM–8:00 PM; Manassas Museum Lawn
Make time to enjoy old-fashioned family fun at the “Merry Old Town” celebration in Old Town Manassas! The holiday fun begins at 5:30 p.m. with holiday music and at 6:00 p.m. when Santa arrives at the Manassas Depot via VRE train.
The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the Manassas Museum. Take a free hayride around Old Town and go for a skate at the Harris Pavilion ice rink. Of course, Santa will hear the Christmas wishes of all the children at the Harris Pavilion gazebo. 9101 Prince William Street. Free admission.
4 Town of Leesburg Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting
Friday, December 4th, 6:00 p.m.; Town Green.
Join friends and neighbors and celebrate the start of the holiday season in Leesburg at the annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony on the Town Green. The festive ceremony will feature performances from local schools and a holiday message. The crowd will be encouraged to join in on a holiday sing-a-long and view the lighting of the Christmas tree and Menorah.
4 National Christmas Tree and State Trees
Friday, December 4, Ellipse in Washington, D.C. On December 4, announcement of the National Christmas tree route, standing and lighting will be announced.
The National Christmas Tree will be lit every night through January 1. The Pathway of Peace around the National Christmas Tree is free and open to visitors 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through January 1. The pathway loops around the National Christmas Tree and features 56 unique Christmas trees and ornament displays representing every U.S. state, territory, and the District of Columbia. Located on the Ellipse on Constitution Avenue side of the White House. Through January 1, 2016.
5 Herndon Annual Tree Lighting and Sing-Along
Saturday, December 5; 5:00 PM–6:00 PM; Town of Herndon Town Square
Start the holiday season with this annual celebration. Carols, tree lighting, and a visit from Santa. Corner of Lynn and Elden Streets, Herndon. Sponsored by the Dulles Regional Chamber. 730 Elden Street. Phone: 571-323-5301. Free admission.
5 Merry Old Town: 70th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade
Saturday, December 5; 10:00 AM–4:00 PM, Historic Downtown
Join us for the 70th Annual Greater Manassas Christmas Parade on December 5, 2015. Please visit www.gmchristmasparade.org for details, including parade route.
Free parking for the parade is available in the parking garage on the corner of Prince William St. and Main St. There is also timed parking available on the street. Handicapped parking is available in the BB&T parking lot located on Center Street and the 7-11 parking lot located at the corner of Grant and Center Street. Free admission. Rain or shine.
5 Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show at Ida Lee Recreation
December 5th, 9:00 AM-4:00 PM and December 6th, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM.
No big-box shopping here! This show features over 90 local and regional artisans selling hand-made items including candles, stained glass, carved wood, jewelry, leather products, table linens, and much more. Find something for everyone on your shopping list and a little something to brighten your home this season. Admission and parking for this show are free.
6 Herndon Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
Sunday, December 6; 10:00am-4:00pm; Herndon Community Center.
Over 80 artisans and craftspeople will exhibit and sell their work at this annual arts and crafts show sponsored by the Town of Herndon Department of Parks and Recreation. A variety of handcrafted items and fine art will be on sale including wreaths, quilts, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, decorations, original artwork, photography, stained glass, and more. 814 Ferndale Ave., Herndon, VA. Free admission and parking. Additional parking at the Herndon Centennial Golf Course.
12 Annual Leesburg Christmas and Holiday Parade
Saturday, December 12th – 6:00PM
On the second Saturday of December, the holiday spirit will be in full swing as Leesburg hosts the annual holiday parade starting at 6 p.m. The parade will usher Santa and his friends down King Street, through Historic Leesburg. The parade will begin at Ida Lee Drive and end at Fairfax Street. Parade participation is open to the public, including businesses, civic groups, teams, organizations, and community groups.