Christmas light displays and holiday merriment are overflowing in Northern Virginia where the spirit of the season glows brightly! Bringing the family to one (or more) of these holiday light shows, events and celebrations will create lasting memories and warm hearts.
Northern Virginia Holiday Light Shows
Historic Occoquan HolidayFest & Tree Lighting Event (Prince William County)
Experience a true small-town holiday celebration with firepits, marshmallow roasting, carolers, hot chocolate, and of course the annual tree lighting. For this holiday celebration Santa arrives by boat too.
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Winter Walk of Lights (Vienna – Fairfax County)
Named the #1 Botanical Garden with “Wow-Factor Winter Transformations” by Fodors, the Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark should be on every family’s to-do list. Stroll amid hundreds of thousands of LED lights at this 95-acre Fairfax County botanical garden and end your half-mile-long walk by roasting s’mores over the campfire and warming up with hot cocoa. (November 11 – January 2) (Website)
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Old Town Alexandria’s historic waterfront glistens and glows as a parade of festively decorated boats cruises along the shoreline of the Potomac in the annual holiday boat parade.
NEW Holiday Road Light Show (Leesburg – Loudoun County)
Eye-catching, twinkling lights and installations welcome visitors to Morven Park’s expansive grounds as they meander through a winding winter wonderland trail complete with everything from the North Pole, Elf Village, Gingerbread Lane, light tunnels, Christmas tree forests, and much more through January 2.
Christmas in Middleburg (Loudoun County)
This Northern Virginia holiday celebration includes a parade featuring scarlet-jacketed riders on horseback, vintage horse-drawn carriages, and a 1.5-mile procession of floats, drummers, bagpipers, hunt dogs, and farm animals. Other weekend activities include breakfast with Santa, a craft fair and Christmas carols.
Annual Northern Virginia Holiday Festivals & Celebrations
Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend (Old Town Alexandria)
Alexandria celebrates its Scottish heritage with a weekend of festivities. The highlight is the parade where dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans march through Old Town along with regional pipe and drum bands, terriers and hounds.
Winter Wonderland at Farm Brew Live (Manassas – Prince William County)
Rent your own private igloo and enjoy live music throughout the holiday season at this 10+ acre brewery campus. (Website)
Old Town Winter Stroll (Old Town Alexandria)
Experience the self-guided Holiday Magic Walk or take a stroll along King Street’s brick-lined sidewalks beneath twinkling tree lights. Pass by beloved seasonal delights, like the Market Square holiday tree, and pop into local shops to pick up a gift or grab a hot drink or treat.
Reston’s Holiday Parade, Tree Lighting, Sing-a-Long Celebration (Fairfax County)
Every year on the Day after Thanksgiving (November 26), Reston begins a day of celebration kicking off with the nationally-ranked holiday parade (perennially a USA Today top ten) and ending with the tree lighting and singalong with the Reston Chorale. Train and carriage rides, a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, ice skating, shopping, and more festivities round out the day.
Bluemont Vineyard (Loudoun County)
Share some “cheers” with friends and family while enjoying the golden glow of 15,000 lights strung through the vines of this Blue Ridge vineyard. The lights will twinkle through the end of the year. (Website)
Old Lucketts Store Holiday Open House (Leesburg – Loudoun County)
Visitors can shop the store and explore the grounds or purchase a ticket online in advance to get access to the special Holiday Design House – a festively decorated 19th Century farmhouse in which all décor and items, from homeware to ornaments to furniture, are for sale. (Website)
Historic Site Holiday Happenings
Christmas at Mount Vernon (Fairfax County)
Christmas past meets Christmas present at George Washington’s beloved estate. Kick off the holiday season with wintry lights and sparkling fireworks overlooking the Potomac River (December 17 & 18) and visit the mansion for candlelit tours and 18th-century holiday traditions throughout December. (Website)
Holidays through the ages at Rippon Lodge Historic Site (Prince William County)
Learn about the history of holiday traditions and how people once celebrated this special time of year at Rippon Lodge Historic Site. (Website)