This year Hanukkah will begin the evening of December 18 and last until the evening of December 26. Also known as “Festival of Lights,” the holiday commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem in the year 164 BCE, and is celebrated with a nightly hanukkiah lighting and special foods such as latkes and donuts. Here’s where to celebrate in the Washington, DC area:
National Menorah on the Ellipse
When: December 18 at 3:15 PM
Where: The Ellipse
Join thousands of others in front of the White House to light a massive menorah. Visitors will also be able to grab some latkes, donuts, and dreidels during the free event. The US Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will perform. Reserve your ticket online.
First Night of Hanukkah at Metrobar
When: December 18, 4:30 to 8:30 PM
Where: 640 Rhode Island Ave., NE
Kick off the eight days of Hanukkah at Metrobar with vegan donuts and hot drinks. You can even bring your own hanukkiah, if you want. They will continue to light a candle on the menorah everyday at 4:30 PM from December 21–24. Reserve your free spot online.
Fifth Annual Menorah Lighting at One Loudoun
When: December 18, 4:30 PM
Where: 20626 Easthampton Plaza, Ashburn
In addition to lighting the menorah, there will be a gelt drop, where organizers climb to the top of a fire engine and drop packages of chocolate coins into the crowd. There will also be latkes, donuts, apple cider, and hot cocoa. Register online for this free event.
Light Up Arlington–Clarendon Menorah Lighting
When: December 20, 6 PM
Where: 1307 N. Highland St., Arlington
Take home some prepackaged latkes and donuts and sip on hot cocoa while listening to Hannukah music. The 9-foot-tall menorah will be lit up at 6 PM. Free tickets are available online.
Other Hanukkah Events
Ivy and Coney
When: Beginning December 5
Where: 1537 7th St., NW
This bar will be once again be transformed into the Hanukkah bar Chai-vy and Cohen-y. Decorations will go up December 5, and they will light a candle on the menorah every night at 7:30 PM December 18 through 25. They will have snacks such as latkes, sufgani-shots (a jelly donut in a shot form), and Manischewitz. Don’t miss their Chinese Food and Movie Day on December 24 and 25. Check their social media for opening times.
Chanukah Holiday Market
When: December 6, 6:30 PM
Where: 1529 16th St., NW
The holiday market is back at the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center. There will be handmade jewelry, baked goods, and classes where you can learn how to create a dried flower bouquet or babka. Tickets to the market are $6 and can be purchased online.
DC’s Young Women’s Impact Network Hanukkah Happy Hour
When: December 11, 4 to 5:30 PM
Where: 450 Massachusetts Ave., NW
Young women and non-binary people in their 20s and 30s will gather for a night of mingling at the Meridian at Gallery Place. Sip on drinks and snack on some light Hanukkah fare at this event organized by Jewish Women International. Tickets are $10 and you can register online.
Chanukah on Ice
When: December 15, 5:30 to 8:30 PM
Where: 1201 South Joyce St., Arlington
Head to National Landing for a night of skating with family and friends. There will be warm latkes, hot dogs, refreshments, and more. Tickets purchased by December 8 will be $10, and after will be $13. Your purchase includes skate rental.
Hanukkah Metro Minyan
When: December 16, 6:30 to 9:30 PM
Where: 3935 Macomb St., NW
Kickstart your Hanukkah traditions with a Shot of Torah at 6:30 PM, followed by Kabbalat Shabbat at 7. Then head outside for a traditional dinner and try out the hot chocolate bar. Tickets are $10 for Washington Hebrew Congregation members, and $18 for non-members.