As my good friend Andy Williams said, “It’s the most wonderful time of the year!!” While I’ve been patiently waiting to post this post until after Thanksgiving, I’d be lying if I said my room hasn’t been decorated since the beginning of the November…sue me. Anyone that knows me knows that I LOVE Christmas and this time of year. I’ve always loved Christmas, and not for the gifts but, that is to come in a future post about the “reason for the season.”
One of the main reasons I love this time of year is because there are sooooo many fun, free/inexpensive activities to do with your friends, family, significant other, etc. Don’t worry, this list has already been sent to my boyfriend 😉 Given that this time can also bring on a lot of stress, mostly financially, I wanted to share some of the activities that are on my list. While the activities I’ve included below are local to the DMV, I’d be shocked if there weren’t similar activities near where you live!
I went to this a couple years ago with some friends and loved it. The National Zoo and gets all decked out for Christmas! Best part, this is activity is FREE and stays open through January 1st. I will warn not many of the animals are out due to the weather but, it’s still fun to walk around with some friends and see the lights! The reptile and monkey house were open the last time I went.
Going along with the light theme, Meadowlark Botanical Garden’s which is located in Vienna has been on my list of Christmas activities for a while. This activity does cost money but is only $14/ticket! This one stays open a little longer than Zoo lights, until January 6th. Fair warning when you purchase tickets, you do purchase them for a specific day/time. I do know that there is a similar garden that has a winter walk in Delaware for those local to that area! My best friend, Lisa, took me there a couple a years ago and it was stunning (once we left the succulent she spent 3 hours taking pictures of)!
ICE! Is located in the Gaylord Hotel at the National Harbor in Maryland. Even if you don’t go to ICE!, the Gaylord itself is beautiful! ICE! is a winter wonderland of you guessed it, ice. Each year there is a different theme and this year it’s Charlie Brown! The best part is there is currently a Groupon for $25/ticket which is a great deal! In the past you’ve also been able to buy discounted tickets at Costco. Similar to Meadowlark, when you buy a ticket you reserve it for a day/time. My family and I went about 5 or 6 years ago and it is mind blowing to know everything is made from ice. You can visit now through January 1st. This is one I’ll be sad if I don’t get to for sure!
Another free event that’s actually happening this Saturday, December 1st, is the Alexandria/D.C. Boat Parade! Festive boats start in Alexandria and work their way down the Potomac ending at what’s known as the part of D.C. called The Wharf. My roommates and I went last year and had so much fun! There’s great live music, drinks, and FREE pictures with Santa! I’m super sad to be missing it this year but highly recommend for those who haven’t gone!
In addition to the activities listed above, there’s always ton’s of tree lightings throughout the city, and I’m sure yours too! I hope everyone has a wonderful and fun holiday season!
As Monica said, “Now that Thanksgiving is over, let’s get ready for Christmas!”