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Thanksgiving, Holiday Lights, and a Hanukkah Feast: Things to Do in DC, November 25-28

Plus: A guide to shopping local on Small Business Saturday

Illustration by Melissa Santoyo.

Hey y’all!

We’ve got fun things to do on Thanksgiving (besides eat delicious food), twinkling holiday light displays, and where to shop on Small Business Saturday.

I’m so grateful for all of the readers of this newsletter and the folks who send me cool events!

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Thanksgiving plans: Need something to pass the whole waiting for the food to get ready? There are plenty of cool things happening on Thanksgiving and the next few days after. Check out our recommendations for ways to get out of the house this holiday weekend.

Bird walk: Get in some morning exercise before chowing down at the Station’s 5K Turkey Trot in Riverdale Park, Md. The race will be guided by Gold’s Gym, and you have the choice to either walk or run. But participating in the race doesn’t come without perks: each person will get a free drawstring bag and a one-week pass to the gym. Thursday 11/25 from 9 AM-11 AM; Free, register here.

A festive fantasy: Travel along the Holiday Road in Leesburg’s Morven Park, and step into a winter wonderland. The walking trail is decorated with illuminated larger-than-life displays that will transport you to the North Pole, Gingerbread Lane, and Christmas tree forests. Friday 11/26 through January 2022 from 5 PM-11 PM; $34.99-$59.99, buy tickets here.

Life’s a movie: The Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Fort Washington, Md. will debut their immersive “I Love Christmas Movies” experience this weekend. You can walk through the most iconic scenes from beloved holiday films, such as Elf, A Christmas Story, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The installation will feature replica sets with props, animatronics, audio clips, and other special effects. Friday 11/26 through Friday 12/31; $25-$40, buy tickets here.

Shop local: Small Business Saturday is this weekend, and it’s the perfect time to start shopping for Christmas gifts. Washingtonian created a guide to shopping local that gives details on all of the promotions and events this all weekend.

A night at the ballet: The Washington Ballet will perform Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic The Nutcracker at Warner Theatre. The production, set in Revolutionary War-era Georgetown, replaces the traditional characters with well-known historical figures, such as Georgetown Washington and King George III. Saturday 11/27 through Sunday 12/26 (show times vary); $68-$174.50, buy tickets here.

O Christmas Tree: CityCenterDC is kicking off the holiday season with their annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration. The 75-foot tree will be decorated with more than 150,000 lights and 4,500 ornaments. Other festivities include a live musical performance by dance band The Revels, balloon art, and face painting. Saturday 11/27 at 6 PM; Free, find out more here.

A feast worth celebrating: Hanukkah starts on Sunday, which means it’s time to indulge in tasty meals and treats. Modern Israeli restaurant Sababa will serve a special four-course meal with roasted garlic labneh and hummus, potato lates, and lamb tagine.  Sunday 11/28 through Monday 12/6; $85, find out more here.

Community vibes: This month’s open house at the Anacostia Arts Center is also about giving thanks to your community and supporting small businesses. There will be a pop-up market with local artisans, a small business networking hour, a candle making workshop, and a holiday-themed open mic. Sunday 11/28 from 2 PM-6 PM; Free, register here.

See ya!

Sadly, this will be my final Things to Do newsletter! It has been wonderful learning about all of the wonderful things that Washington has to offer. But don’t worry, we’re handing over the email handle to Clockout DC’s Jade Womack, who will also post her to-do recs on our site. And I will get to do more in-depth culture coverage. Thank you for reading, and please reach out to me at dbaker@washingtonian.com to let me know what you’re up to. Have a good Thanksgiving!

Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.