There are plenty of activities and outings this year to get you in the holiday spirit! Be sure to check this event guide each week to find the craft shows, concerts or 5k events that put the “ho-ho-ho” in the holidays.
Veterans Day Wreath Laying Ceremony
Memorial Amphitheater, Arlington National Cemetery
About 5,000 visitors attend each of the two major annual remembrance ceremonies in the Memorial Amphitheater. They take place on Memorial Day and Veterans Day and are sponsored by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington. Many military organizations also conduct annual memorial services in the amphitheater. In addition, organizations also host memorial observances and events at Arlington. All ceremonies and special events are free and open to the public. Call (877) 907-8585 for details.
Concert to Honor Veterans
St. Francis Episcopal Church, 9220 Georgetown Pike
4pm, donations accepted
A concert to honor veterans featuring music for choir and brass will be presented at St. Francis Episcopal Church. Ensembles performing under the direction of Larry Vote will include the St. Francis Choir, The St. Mary’s College of Maryland Chamber Singers, the vocal ensemble PING and a brass choir which includes students, faculty and current or retired military bandsmen. The program will feature John Williams’ Hymn to the Fallen, and John Rutter’s Gloria among other pieces. The concert is free and open to the public. A free-will offering will be taken to support veterans afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.
Northern Virginia Christmas Market
Dulles Expo Center, South Hall, 4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA 20153
Friday & Saturday 10am – 6pm, Sunday 10am-5pm, $8 for adults (children under 12 free)
Receive $1 off admission by bringing a canned food donation for the Capital Area Food Bank
More than 300 juried artisans from across the country offer fine art, functional & decorative pottery, handcrafted jewelry, glass, photography, woven baskets, furniture, decorative arts, collectible dolls, wearable art, and much more. Specialty food vendors offer gift-packaged gourmet fare such as steamed puddings, almond pound cakes, party dips, sparkling cider, and fruit cakes. Events Management Group, Inc. works with the Capital Area Food Bank helping needy families during the holiday season by collecting donations of canned goods. Receive $1.00 off admission by bringing a canned food donation for the Capital Area Food Bank. Call (757) 417-7771 for details.
Oakton Church of the Brethren Christmas Craft Show
Oakton Church, 10025 Courthouse Rd, Vienna
Thurs-Fri 10am-7pm, Sat 10am-4pm, FREE
Come browse and find unique presents and stocking stuffers, cards and gift bags, seasonal decor, kitchen accessories, baby and children’s items, scarves, hats, and other attire; jewelry, pillows and linens, ceramics, fresh baked pies and cakes, and much more at this three-day event featuring a wide variety of handmade items and craft supplies for purchase, plus a soup and sandwich lunch and bake sale. The church is located where Courthouse Rd. intersects Rt. 123 near Oakton. For more information, see www.oaktonbrethren.org, or call 703-281-4411. The event is a fundraiser for church projects.
November 13–January 3
Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights
Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna
5:30pm-10pm, timed tickets required, $14 adults, $8 children ages 3-12, children under 2 are free
Visit Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights from November 20 –January 3rd to experience over 500,000 LED lights and displays that bring Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to life! Imagine the beauty of Meadowlark’s renowned gardens transformed into a winter wonderland, including a flowing stream of softly glowing lights. Marvel at the two-story animated fountain, stroll past the Gingerbread Village, and explore the beauty of nature like you’ve never seen it. This event is sure to be the highlight of your holiday season! Call (703) 255-3631 for details.
Tree Lighting Ceremony
Tysons Corner Center, Tysons
On The Plaza featuring Kris Allen (American Idol) kicking off Winterfest. Approximate time will be 6:30pm/7pm but check tysonscornercenter.com/events for more information and details.
Fairfax Holiday Craft Show
Fairfax High School, 3500 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax
Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 10am-3pm
$5, $8 for 2-day pass, children under 18 are free
Enjoy handmade crafts including baskets, dolls, floral items, jewelry, paintings, photographs, pottery, clay, wood items and more from artisans from all over the United States, including many local artists.
Vienna Turkey Trot
Vienna Volunteer Fire Department, 400 Center Street South, Vienna
7am Registration, 8am Kids Fun Run, 8:30am 5K/10K
The James Madison High School Band will be hosting the 13th annual Vienna Turkey Trot 5K/10K and Fun Run Proceeds will benefit the JMHS “Pride of Vienna” Band and the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department. Join us for a great run, super music, fun prizes, refreshments after the race and the Finish Line Festival! Visit www.viennaturkeytrot.org for more information.
Arlington Turkey Trot
Christ Church of Arlington, 3020 N. Pershing Drive, Arlington, VA 22201, 8am Adult $40, child (6-17) $25, child (under 6) FREE, All Runners Registered by November 1st, will be guaranteed an Arlington Turkey Trot cotton Tee.
The 11th annual Arlington Turkey Trot takes place on Thanksgiving Day 2016 and was founded by the Christ Church of Arlington. With 5,000 registrants in 2015, net proceeds generated $100,000 to help Arlington residents who need a “hand up.”
Thanksgiving Art and Craft Show (Formerly Vienna Art and Craft Show)
Spring Hill RECenter 1239 Spring Hill Road, McLean, Virginia 22012
Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 11am-4pm $5, Return Free, Parking Free
This terrific show — running for more than 30 years — is moving to the newly renovated Spring Hill RECenter in McLean, VA! The show features some 80 juried artisans offering original, handmade arts and crafts, including decorative painting, fused, etched, painted and stained glass, ceramics and pottery, hand-painted silk, woodworking handweaving, photography, paintings and drawings,clothing and functional textiles, jewelry and much more. All of the artists and artisans will be on hand to answer questions and talk about their work.November 25-26
Horton Vineyards Thanksgiving Open House
6399 Spotswood Trail, Gordonsville, VA 22942
10am-5pm | $10/person includes glass, tastings and cellar tours
Join Horton Vineyards for hot soup and and Horton Norton Chili. Browse for gifts for the wine lover. Take a stroll through the vineyard and walk off some of that Thanksgiving feast. Stock up on wine for the loliday season with special discounts on their award winning wines. Call 540-832-7440 for more information.
Sons of Serendip: Christmas: Beyond the Lights
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 8pm, $33-55
Begin celebrating the holiday season with the inspiring sounds of this original new ensemble. Gorgeous vocals accompanied by harp, cello, and piano sing in the season as the Sons of Serendip perform their lovely interpretations of popular holiday favorites. Through serendipity, these four friends from graduate school found themselves on America’s Got Talent for the 2014 competition where they wowed audiences and judges alike. They quickly earned recognition for their signature sound with unique interpretations of popular works, and their stunning vocals and brilliant instrumentation. This concert includes songs from their album Christmas: Beyond the Lights, featuring the most beloved Christmas songs and carols performed with their singular style that invokes peace and serenity. In their first performance at the Center, the Sons of Serendip are sure to be an inspirational start to your holiday season.
Church Street Holiday Stroll
Historic Freeman Store and Museum
131 Church Street Northeast, Vienna 6pm-9pm Free
Santa will arrive and greet children at the historic Freeman Store and Museum and then help the mayor light the holiday tree at 6:20 pm. All merchants along Church Street will remain open for holiday shoppers. Enjoy fun family friendly activities including a petting zoo, free hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows at supervised bonfires. Holiday entertainment will be provided throughout the evening.
McLean Holiday Crafts Show
McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave, McLean
Friday, 11am-7pm, Saturday, 10am-6pm, Sunday, 11am-4pm
$5 for adults and free for children under the age of 12
Enjoy a wide variety of arts & crafts and holiday music by local school groups. December 3
Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long
Wolftrap Filene Center, 4pm, FREE
Kick off the holiday season with family and friends at Wolf Trap’s 2016 Holiday Sing-A-Long! This annual musical celebration hosts a performance by the United States Marine Band and a Sing-A-Long of Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with choir and vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area.
Wolf Trap will be participating in Toys for Tots by collecting new, unwrapped toys at the entrance to the Filene Center before the Sing-A-Long. Donations are strictly voluntary and not a requirement. Admission is free, and no tickets are required. Parking is free, but limited, so please plan on arriving early.
Bring a candle and join the tradition of exiting the Filene Center with a candlelight processional during the last verse of “Silent Night.” There will also be a “Jing-A-Long” during the singing of “Jingle Bells,” so remember to bring a candle, a bell, and a new, unwrapped toy! Go to www.wolftrap.org for more information.
City of Falls Church Holiday Gift and Craft Show
Falls Church Community Center, 223 Little Falls St. Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 11am-4pm $1 All-Weekend Shopping Pass. Children under 12 receive free admission.
Deck the halls during the holiday season with special gifts from the annual Holiday Gift and Craft Show. More than 50 crafters and merchants show their wares selling unique handmade items, baked goods, and more.
Celebration of Lights
Great Falls Village Centre Hill, 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
Celebrate the beginning of the season with our 26th annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Drink hot cider or cocoa next to the fire as you listen to our local children as choral groups sing seasonal music. The petting zoo and pony rides will keep your kids busy until Mr. and Mrs. Claus arrive by antique fire truck. Event held rain or shine.
Herndon Holiday Arts and Crafts Show
Herndon Community Center, 814 Ferndale Avenue, Herndon
Over 80 artisans and craftspeople will exhibit and sell their work at this annual arts and crafts show sponsored by the Town of Herndon Department of Parks and Recreation. A variety of handcrafted items and fine art will be on sale including wreaths, quilts, jewelry, Christmas ornaments, decorations, original artwork, photography, stained glass, and more. Free admission and parking. Additional parking at the Herndon Centennial Golf Course.
Annual Tree Lighting and Sing-Along
Herndon Town Hall Square, 5-6pm
Get into the holiday spirit with the Towne Square Singers as they usher in the season with holiday music both old and new! The Herndon Towne Square Singers, sponsored by the Town of Herndon Parks and Recreation Department, numbers 25 strong for the upcoming concert. Many members hail from the Town of Herndon and others come from surrounding communities in Fairfax and Loudoun counties. Call 571-323-5304. December 9
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra: The Nutcracker
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 8pm, $39-65
Christopher Zimmerman, conductor
Tchaikovsky: The Nutcracker
Featuring the Fairfax Ballet
Margaret Virkus, Artistic Director
Experience this timeless holiday classic with the FSO and the Fairfax Ballet – a holiday tradition your family will always cherish. Enjoy a winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, sugar plum fairies and epic battles between heroic toy soldiers and mischievous mice. It’s the perfect holiday treat for the entire family!
American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 8pm, $33-55
Just hear those sleigh bells jingling ring-ting-tingling, too. It’s time for the holidays at the Center as the American Festival Pops Orchestra comes home for Christmas with their annual decking of the concert hall. The orchestra’s glorious music fills the air, spreading holiday cheer to audiences of all ages. Join us for this popular family tradition, complete with holiday favorites and a lively carol sing-along — always a concert highlight. Conducted by founder and Artistic Director Anthony Maiello, this pops orchestra brings together the most talented musicians from the metro area to perform the best of the season, including Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” “Christmas Festival,” and other treasured classics. It’s our way of wishing you and yours a happy holiday.
Mason Symphony Orchestra Holiday Concert Featuring the University Singers and Chorale
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 7pm, $5-20
Rapsodia Sinfonica, featuring Dr. Linda
Apple Monson (piano) – by Joaquin Turina
The Three Cornered Hat, Suite No. 1 – by Manuel de Falla
….plus other Spanish-influenced and holiday pieces! Followed by a reception in the lobby.
Christmas, Candles, and a Chorus
Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, 7:00pm
Tickets are free, but reserve yours early for this annual capacity-crowd event
The City of Fairfax Band
The Fairfax Choral Society
Conductor: Robert Pouliot
Guest Host: John Lyon
Guest: Santa Claus
Sponsor: Gingrich Foundation
The Fairfax Choral Society once again joins the CFB for this local celebration of the Christmas season, presented as our annual gift to the community. Featured on this program is the world premiere of Randol Alan Bass’s setting of “Hodie Christus Natus Est”, commissioned by the City of Fairfax Band Association for this performance with the Fairfax Choral Society. The program also features music from Giancarlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors”, and selections from “The Nutcracker”, along with some familiar holiday classics. Visit from Santa! December 17
A Canadian Brass Christmas
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 8pm, $36-60
The world’s best-known brass ensemble returns to the Center with their lively Christmas concert to ring in the season with holiday classics and brass standards. Canadian Brass is renowned for their unique combination of virtuosic playing and heartwarming humor, and their Christmas concert is a particular favorite of audiences worldwide. Their engaging stage presence, rapport with audiences, and incongruous white running shoes have helped make this iconic quintet a household name; but it is their music — performed with utmost dedication, skill and excellence — that rightly earns the most superlative accolades. They were the first chamber ensemble to solo on the main stage at Carnegie Hall, and today they have gained worldwide recognition through their extensive touring, regular television appearances, and a discography that includes more than 130 albums. This is a Christmas treat that you and your family will remember for years to come.December 18
Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 4pm, $33-55
Celebrate the holidays with these extraordinarily talented young Austrian choristers in concert as they perform sacred hymns, holiday pop favorites, and Christmas carols. These gifted boys are known the world over for their glorious harmonies, pristine tone, and extensive repertoire. Without question, the Vienna Boys Choir has stood the test of time, performing continually since 1498 for the Sunday Mass in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel. The choir has been associated with the world’s greatest composers from Mozart to Bruckner, and Franz Schubert was even a chorister. They have been recorded extensively, and regularly tour throughout Europe, the Americas, and beyond. “The angelic voices of this most famous vocal group are ageless” (Salt Lake Tribune). Bring the whole family for an enchanting afternoon right at the height of the Christmas season.
Words & Music December Concert
St. Francis Episcopal Church, 9220 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls
“Star of the Morning” Words & Music’s annual candlelight program celebrating Advent, the Solstice, Christmas, and the coming of the New Year features music and readings reflective of the season. This quiet hour is an opportunity to pause, reflect, and enjoy a moment of peace during this holiday season. For information and tickets visit www.words-music.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
George Mason University Center for the Arts Concert Hall, 7pm, $28-175
The biggest Christmas experience of the year! The original, direct from Russia, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker! “Knock Out!” raves the The New York Times. Enchant the whole family with larger than life magical props, a 60 foot growing Christmas tree and spectacular Russian-made costumes and sets. A must-see event, witness the world’s best dancers on stage in Fairfax!
Jammin Java presents Todd Wright’s 14th Annual Santa Clauster-f@%! Christmas Spectacular
Jammin Java, Thursday 7:30pm (seated), Friday 8pm (standing), $15
Tis the third and the second
nights before Christmas
When Santa Claus gathers
some sixty musicians
To play holiday songs
without ever rehearsing
Making music and magic
with minimal cursing
And before all this holiday dust starts to settle
There’ll be polka, folk, rock and the
So get tickets now or you’ll be out of luck
And you won’t get to say that you got “Clauster….”
MELODIME Annual New Year’s Eve Party!
Jammin Java, 8pm, $35-45
Welshly Arms + The Gallery (night one)
Firekid + Steve Everett (night two)
Melodime’s Americana-flavored songs merge a slight country twang with rock and roll, successfully blending stunning piano melodies with catchy guitar riffs and sing-along choruses. Melodime’s latest single, “Little Thing Called Love,” has received a great response from both fans and critics alike. The Boot describe the track as “catchy, lyrically strong – and perfect to listen to with the windows down during the summertime months,” while Tune Collective describes the track as a “fun song bursting with vibrant uplifting energy.”