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Northern Virginia 2023 Holiday Light Shows, Festivals, Winter Markets and More
Dated: December 1 2023
Are you looking for something to do this holiday season? Here are some fun light displays, parades, festivals, and winter markets to get you into the holiday spirit!
Winter Festivals and Light Shows
NOVA Parks Lights – Daily through January 7, 2024 Three unique options to see holiday light displays throughout the month of December.
Bull Run Festival of Lights in Centreville is a 2.5-mile drive through a holiday light display.
Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights in Vienna is a half mile walk through Meadowlark Botanical Gardens featuring lighted nature themes and animated displays along a paved wheelchair and stroller-accessible trail. If ice skating is more your speed,
Ice & Lights at Cameron Run Regional Park in Alexandria features a winter village with unique light displays, snap family pictures or selfies with a variety of displays. Tickets are required and should be purchased in advance.
Holiday Walk of Lights, Woodbridge. December 1 – 23. Walk down a path of unique, hand-crafted light displays at Neabsco Regional Park FREE!
Winter Lantern Festival, Tysons runs every weekend through February 18. Walk through a world full of lights and lanterns lovingly handmade by artisans, Tickets are required.
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon, Alexandria. December 15th and 16th 5:30pm to 8:30 pm. Visit the grounds of George Washington’s Mount Vernon as it’s lit up for the holiday season. Experience an 18th century winter encampment and finish the evening with fireworks. Tickets required.
Christmas in Middleburg. December 1-3. Startining 5 pm Friday with a Tree Lighting Ceremony and carols. Saturday kicks off with the annual Hunt and Hounds Revue down the main Washington Street, followed by the Christmas parade at 2:00 PM, featuring floats, groups, clubs and animals.
Fairfax City Holiday Market, Old Town Square. The 1st 2 weekends in December. Support your local artist and do some Holiday shopping during the first two weekends in December! Craft vendors will vary between the two weekends, bringing you a variety of vendors to check out. While you're shopping around, enjoy the sounds of live music, dance, and more!
Artisan Market, Occoquan. December 2-3. 100 artisans and craft persons will offer original, handmade work in a full range of media. From handmade bath and body products, candles, gourmet food products and home décor to fine art and jewelry, you are sure to find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list.
Winter Market at The PARC, Tysons. December 2nd 12 pm to 5 pm. The market will feature 20+ small local makers, crafters, and artisans, plus seasonal festivities for all ages, including a special appearance from Santa, an Icy Queen, her adventurous sister, and trusted reindeer loving friend, as well as local performances and other activities.
Holiday Market and Santa Train Rides, Manassas. December 9th 8:30 am to 3 pm. Stroll through the Holiday Market in the heart of Manassas to find local producers, hand-crafted treasures, artisans, and food vendors selling their unique specialties for last-minute holiday gifts. Hop on the Santa Train VRE train rides that depart from the Manassas Railroad Depot at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., and 1 p.m. Train tickets are $5 per person.
Herndon Winter Market, December 9th 12 pm to 7 pm. Enjoy a European style market in Herndon! This market features holiday food, drinks, gifts, and decorations.
Christmas Market and Holiday Craft Show, Old Town Alexandria. December 9th · 11 am – 4 pm. Over 110 artisans, crafters, independent consultants and other local small businesses selling everything from arts and crafts, jewelry and baked goods, to body and hair care.
Holiday Market at Del Ray Artisans Gallery, Alexandria. Fridays 6pm to 9 pm, Saturdays and Sundays 11 am to 6 pm, December 1-23. The Market offers unique handmade fine arts and fine crafts from local artists presenting a variety of media, including fiber/textiles, glass, jewelry, mixed media, polymer clay, ornaments, mosaics, painting, prints, paper crafting, photography, pottery/ceramics, sculpture, watercolor, wood, candles, soaps and more. Different artists are featured each weekend
Other Festivals, Parades, and Celebrations
Santa Lights Manassas, Manassas. 5:15 pm to 7 pm. Holiday musical performances kick off the event followed by Santa arriving at the Manassas Railroad Depot on the VRE train shortly after 6 p.m.
52nd Annual Alexandria Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, Old Town Alexandria. 11am to 1pm. Dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands, as well as terriers and hounds, community groups and more.
Greater Manassas Christmas Parade, Historic Downtown Manassas. 10am to 12pm. The theme this year is Christmas in Toyland.
Christmastide at Gunston Hall, Alexandria. 10am to 5pm. A special visit to Christmases of the past. With games, live music, crafts, Santa, and more, peek into holiday celebrations at Gunston Hall in the 1920s and the 1780s. Explore what Christmas meant for all the different people–enslaved, indentured, wealthy, and poor–at 18th-century Gunston Hall. Snacks are available for purchase.
Jingle on the Lake, Reston. 8am to 4pm. Enjoy a holiday celebration, starring Santa himself! Santa will arrive along with the Vienna Singing Princesses on a decorated boat parade, and accompanied by Santa’s elves on paddleboards!
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, Old Town Alexandria. Dockside festivities 1 pm to 8pm. Parade starts at 5:30 pm. A local favorite, dozens of brightly lit boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Enjoy dockside festivities in Waterfront Park including a pop-up beer garden from Port City Brewing Company, food, activities and more.
Celebration of Lights, Great Falls. 3:30 pm to 6 pm. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies as the sounds of the season fill the air with performances by local school choirs. Visit the petting zoo and pony rides before Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by fire truck to light the tree at 5:00.
Del Ray Holiday Season Kick-Off, Alexandria. 3pm to 6pm. A community Christmas tree and Menorah lighting. Don’t forget to bring breakfast cereal, canned goods, or new underwear (for men, women or children in various sizes) to donate to Carpenter’s Shelter.
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Are you looking for something to do this holiday season? Here are some fun light displays, parades, festivals, and winter markets to get you into the holiday spirit! Winter Festivals and Light