2020 Holiday Events in Alexandria, Virginia
Photo via Pexels
Despite the overall slowdown in tourism and travel, Alexandria has been racking up accolades over the last year including one of Oprah magazine's Best Christmas Villages and Towns in the World in 2020 and Southern Magazine's Perfect Southern Town for a Hallmark Christmas Movie. To say the least, Alexandria has plenty to offer in the way of merrymaking.
Scroll through and pick an event to look forward to, but before you go, check out their safety measures (face coverings are required) and review the constantly updated schedules and availability. Note that some events are online only this year!
City of Alexandria Tree Lighting
Online November 21, 6pm-7pm
Market Square 300 King Street, Alexandria
The ceremony features virtual presentations, a proclamation from the Town Crier, a message from Mayor Wilson, a Santa appearance, and a poem read by Alexandria Poet Laureate KaNikki Jakarta. Masked visitors are invited to view the tree throughout the holiday season.
Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run
Open Nightly 5pm-10pm
November 20-January 3, 2021
Skating Only Weekends 11am-5pm
January 9-February 28, 2021
More than a dozen walkable holiday light displays are available to evoke oohs and ahhs. If you need more holiday spirit, enjoy shopping, food, music, and ice skating. The skating rink is limited by capacity, and the park encourages prepayment online.
Photo by Heather Whitfield
Alexandria Shop Small Week
November 27-December 6
Head into Old Town and Del Ray for Alexandria’s biggest shopping week of the year. The inaugural Alexandria Shop Small Week begins on Plaid Friday, which is Alexandria’s Small Business Black Friday, followed by Small Business Saturday. Expect 10 days of exciting giveaways, great deals, and one-of-a-kind promotions hosted by the area’s best boutiques and stores.
Mount Vernon Holiday Programs
November 27-December 31
Winter Glow Evenings: November 27-29, December 11-13 and 26-28
Christmas Illuminations, December 18-29
A wide variety of holiday celebrations are available to visitors headed to Mount Vernon. Meet Aladdin the camel, discuss the holiday planning with Martha Washington, or take part in a tour that describes the delicious detail of the the Washington’s traditional holiday dinner.
Photo via George Washington's Mount Vernon
The newest attraction at Mount Vernon is Winter Glow. The estate will be illuminated with festive lights while Christmas Carolers serenade your stroll over to the 18th-century winter encampment replica. The Christmas Illuminations fireworks show caps off the holiday season at Mount Vernon.
Alexandria’s Carlyle Holiday Market
November 27- December 4
Onsite December 5-6, 10am - 7pm
The Carlyle Vitality Initiative hosts its Annual Holiday Market, with virtual and in-person options. John Carlyle square transforms into an open-air holiday market that features physically distant vendors. Shoppers may purchase in advance and pick up at dedicated times if they prefer. This year begins a new tradition, the Carlyle Cookie Crunch, which allows revelers to add professionally baked cookies from each vendor to their festive cookie tin.
Del Ray Holiday Market
November 28 and 29, 10am-2pm
The Del Ray Holiday Market is one of the events that starts Alexandria’s Small Business Saturday. The open-air market features Del Ray Business Association members and local artists from Art on the Avenue. A food drive for the Salvation Army begins on Saturday, followed by live music and food for purchase on Sunday.
Photo via Flickr user Cliff
ABC’s The Great Christmas Light Fight Winner, Collingwood Lights
1601 Collingwood Rd. Alexandria, Virginia 22308
Evenings, Between Approximately December 1 and New Year’s Week
Weather permitting, December 1 is the first day Bill and Jan Vaughan’s handcrafted Christmas displays will light up the skies near their Fort Hunt neighborhood. The Vaughans beat tough competitors from across the country. Their $50,000 prize was earned from 25 years’ worth of experience spreading holiday cheer through animated and choreographed shows each night.
The Little Theatre of Alexandria Presents A Christmas Carol
Wednesdays-Fridays 8pm, Saturdays and Sundays 3pm
Adjusting to the unusual times, the playhouse is presenting the classic story told in an untraditional way. Showgoers will be introduced to seven live actors portraying all of the traditional roles. New this year, the production also includes animation, 3D, and virtual reality.
First Night Alexandria
An Alexandria favorite offers residents a time to enjoy the family-friendly and culturally diverse art in many forms throughout the city. This year, “A Night of Nostalgia" is a drive-in concert and is available online and in-person, The in-person VIP experiences offer a sing-along, dancing, and local food trucks, and fun giveaways. The evening ends with fireworks at midnight.
A few classic Alexandria holiday events will be sorely missed, such as The Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and the Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, but the city’s water skiing Santa will be online for everyone to see. And, if you want to attend a regional festive favorite, head to Bull Run Festival of Lights in Centerville. The 2.5-mile light display will put you in the holiday spirit in no time.
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