Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 12/19-12/25: Capitol Hill Menorah Lighting, Bull Run Festival of Lights, and “Into the Woods”

Plus, a holiday cocktail tasting.

Photograph courtesy of Bull Run Festival of Lights.

Happy holidays, everyone!

The most wonderful time of the year is finally here so let’s celebrate all week-long. Check out a neighborhood menorah lighting, or toast the season at a local happy hour or cocktail crawl.


Best Things to Do This Week

  1. Capitol Hill Menorah Lighting. Celebrate Hanukkah at the 9th Annual Capitol Hill Menorah Lighting. You can enjoy jelly doughnuts, potato latkes, and hot beverages; there will be fire dancing and traditional music performances, too (Mon, free, Capitol Hill).
  2. Bull Run Festival of Lights. Drive through more than two miles of glowing light displays at the 2022 Bull Run Festival of Lights. After you take in all of the illuminations, you can eat s’mores in the Christmas Village and play games and ride outdoor attractions at the carnival (through Jan. 8, $30+, Centreville).
  3. “Into the Woods.” Get tickets to the musical fairytale adventure Into the Woods at Signature Theatre. Watch favorite storybook characters chase after their happily-ever-afters on a magical quest through an enchanted forest (through Jan. 29, $40+, Arlington).
  4. Toast to the Holidays. Cheers to a week of merriment at a cocktail tasting at six local restaurants. You can pick up your drink tickets and complimentary ice mold from the Capitol Riverfront tent at Half Street, SE, then try out winter remixes of margaritas, cider, hot chocolate, and more (Tues, $20, Navy Yard).
  5. Chanukah Happy Hour: Hora & Heat. Dance the night away at Franklin Hall in celebration of Chanukah. You can also perk up your taste buds by indulging in a hot sauce contest or spicy olive oil tasting, take Israeli dance lessons, chow down on traditional Hanukkah food, play with dreidels, and more (Mon, $5, Northwest DC).

The cast of Into the Woods at Signature Theatre. Photograph by Daniel Rader.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Live out your pop star dreams at Holiday Sing-A-Long with District Karaoke (Wed, free, Northeast DC). Go to a one-stop shop for holiday cheer at Wunder Garten (Mon, free, NoMa).

Arts and culture. Visit the 11:Eleven gallery to checkout the neon light exhibit, “SELF HELP(through Jan. 22, free, Northwest DC). Observe “Diff’Rent Strokes For Different Folks” at Art of Noize (through Jan. 14, free, Northwest DC). Be creative at the Queer Cross Stitching Circle (Mon, $5+, Northwest DC). Take a scholarly journey with professor John Pfordresher to discover “How Dickens ‘Invented’ Christmas(Mon, $12+, Penn Quarter). Be a part of a sip and craft pop-up at the museum (Tues, $20, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery). Explore the solo exhibition “Matriarchs and Daughters Dream Oceans of Braille,” at Homme DC (through Jan. 6, free, Northwest DC). Or check out “Beyond the Frame(through Jan. 21, free, U Street). Take your kids to an interactive exhibit based on the Pixar movie Inside Out (through Jan. 8, free, National Children’s Museum). Take a deep dive into the landscapes of India at the new exhibition “Unstill Waters: Contemporary Photography from India(through June 11, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).

Theater and shows. Ring in the holidays at The Hip Hop Nutcracker (Mon-Thurs, $34+, Bethesda). Laugh out your grievances at Festivus Miracles! (Fri, $20+, Northwest DC). Get ready to experience mind-bending magic at Brian Curry’s The Good Liar (through Jan. 21, $50, Downtown). Catch the last showing of Bah Humbug (Mon, $5+, Frederick).

Holiday festivities. View the “Season’s Greenings” exhibition during extended evening hours (Tues, free, U.S. Botanic Garden). Light up your bike and go on a festive ride with neighbors (Tues, free, Arlington). Celebrate Winter Solstice by a campfire (Wed, $10, Southeast DC). All ages are welcome to party at the library (Mon, free, Deanwood). Raise a glass with Drink Masters Netflix show winner Lauren “LP” Paylor O’Brien at Lyle’s holiday pop-up (Mon, free, Dupont Circle). Go to the Queen’s English holiday market (Tues, free, Northwest DC). Party with DC’s Ward 5 councilmembers at Union Market (Tues, free, Northeast DC). Make a wreath while singing along to live caroling (Tues, free, Arlington).

Hanukkah celebrations. Participate in a festive night with friends and family in honor of Chanukah at Edlavitch Jewish Community Center (Mon, $10, Northwest DC). Participate in a menorah lighting nightly at Union Market (Mon-Sun, free, Northeast DC). Attend Light Up Arlington (Tues, free, Arlington). Old Town Alexandria is throwing a Chanukah Festival and there will be donuts and hot cocoa (Mon, free, Alexandria).

Music and concerts. Decide whether you love or hate the holidays at a concert featuring local artists (Mon, $25, Southwest DC). Jam with Maryland natives Never Ending Fall (Tues, $18, the Wharf). Embrace the magic of Christmas at O Night Divine! (Mon, Sat, $15+, Kennedy Center).

Get involved. Break a sweat at a glow in the dark yoga class to help Georgetown Ministry Center’s mission to combat homelessness (Thurs, $8, Georgetown).

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Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.