DC Travel Guide  |  Things to Do

November in Washington

The holiday season gets under way this month, and Washington has lots in store to get you in the spirit. Plus, read on for Veterans Day activities, Fotoweek DC, and more.

November 6 through 8: Washington Craft Show
Held at the Washington Convention Center, this juried show features the work of nearly 200 artisans. Everything from clothing to jewelry to glass goods will be for sale. Tickets are $15 general admission, $13 for seniors, and $10 for students. Friday 10 to 8, Saturday 10 to 6, Sunday 11 to 5.

November 7 through 14: Fotoweek DC
Now in its second year, this weeklong photography competition and festival features the work of shooters from around the world. Festival events include portfolio reviews, lectures, workshops, and activities for kids. More than $20,000 in prizes is at stake—$1,500 for winners of 11 categories and $5,000 for the best in show. The event schedule for Fotoweek DC is here.

November 12 through 15: Museum Shop Around at Strathmore

Check a few Christmas gifts off your list by heading to the Mansion at Strathmore, where nonprofit organizations sell arts and crafts, jewelry, clothing, toys, books, CDs, plants, and more. Admission is $8.

November 11: Veterans Day Festivities

To honor our country’s veterans, there are wreath-laying ceremonies, storytelling, speakers, color-guard presentations, and more at monuments and memorials throughout the area. Some not to miss:
Alexandria Black History Museum. A program to honor African-American veterans featuring speakers, music, and dramatic presentations; 11 to 1.
Arlington National Cemetery. A wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns; 11.
Mount Vernon. Free admission for active-duty or retired military all day. Activities include a free patriotic community concert by an all-veteran barbershop chorus at 11 and a wreath-laying ceremony at George Washington’s tomb.
Navy Memorial. A ceremony with the US Navy Ceremonial Band, the ceremonial guard, and color guard; 1 PM.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Ceremony starts at 1.
Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Storytelling from 8:30 to noon and 2 to 4.

November 13 through 15: Historic Alexandria Antiques Show & Sale
More than 40 antiques dealers convene at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Alexandria to show and sell furniture and decorative accessories, glass, ceramics, textiles, folk art, jewelry, and more. Friday 11 to 8, Saturday 11 to 6, Sunday noon to 5. There’s also a preview cocktail party on November 12. For ticket information, call 703-549-5811.

November 19 through January 3: Christmas on the Potomac at Gaylord National Resort
More than 2,000,000 lights and a 60-foot glass Christmas tree are on display at Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor. The holiday celebration features choir performances, carved-ice sculptures, a fountain show, ice skating, scavenger hunts, indoor snowfall, and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Tickets range from $13 to $24.50 depending on age and when you go; kids under four are free. Military and group discounts are available. Purchase tickets here.

November 21: Silver Spring Thanksgiving Parade

Silver Spring hosts a Thanksgiving parade on Georgia Avenue, which features music, dancers, and entertainment for the family; 9:30 to noon.

November 27: Holiday Parade in Reston
Reston begins gearing up for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving with a full day of holiday activities. At 7:30 AM, run with professional track star and local hero Alan Webb. A Macy’s-style holiday parade will march down Market Street at 11, with giant balloons, dancers, bands, and more to celebrate the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus, who’ll arrive in a horse-drawn carriage. From 12:30 to 4:30, kids can visit with Santa, and at 6 there’ll be a tree lighting and holiday sing-along. End the day with a horse-drawn-carriage ride around Reston Town Center from 6:30 to 10. The ride costs $5 a person; children under age six are free.

November 27: Alexandria Holiday Tree Lighting

Santa will make an appearance at this annual tree-lighting event in Old Town Alexandria. There’ll also be musical entertainment and a carol sing-along. The rain-or-shine event, which is held at city hall, runs from 7 to 9.

November 27 through December 13: Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Learn about George and Martha Washington’s Christmas traditions with a candlelight tour of their home. You’ll also meet historical characters including Martha herself. Fireside carol singing, hot apple cider, and ginger cookies are part of the festivities. Open 5 to 8 Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Tickets—$18 for adults, $12 for kids under 12—on sale beginning November 1.

This article is part of Washingtonian.com’s Visitors’ Guide. For more articles like it, click here. If you’re visiting in a different month, check out our City Schedule for events happening throughout the year.