4 More Things To Do During the Holidays in the D.C. Metro
Ahh… it is our favorite time of the year again – the holiday season leading to Christmas!
Last year we moved to Alexandria, Virginia (our first time living on the East Coast) and we were able to explore a lot of the D.C. metro (D.C., Maryland and Virginia surrounding areas) during the holiday season, but there is so much to do we were not able to see it all. This year, we were able to see and do a few more things, which we plan to do the same the following year. So, to add to our list from last year (click here to read post), here are four more things you can do during the holidays in the D.C. metro area.
Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree
This one is focused on the locals and now that we are locals, we definitely wanted to participate in this activity this year. We always have a fresh Christmas tree, a tradition we started since our very first Christmas together, and what better way to get our Christmas tree than to cut it down ourselves?! Keep in mind, this is all very new to us because we have only lived in St. Louis, Dallas and Las Vegas, where there are no Christmas tree farms.
There are plenty of Christmas tree farms in Maryland and Virginia, but we chose Hanks Christmas Tree Farm in Markham, Virginia – an hour away from Washington D.C.. We could not be more happy with our choice because we were fortunate to meet Hank the man himself! Hank is a really nice gentleman that runs the Christmas tree farm with his family. He supplies gloves, hand saws and sleds for everyone. For only $40, guests can cut down their own handpicked Christmas tree.
Hanks Christmas Tree Farm has several different trees to choose from, so that everyone can find their traditional Christmas tree. The trees include: Fraser Fir, Douglas Fir, Concolor Fir, Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Serbian Spruce, White Pine and Leyland Cypress.
There were several different areas with rows of trees to choose from. Just walking down each row inspecting every tree was fun for us. It was a very hard decision to find our perfect tree, but in the end we found a lovely Norwegian Spruce.
The whole process of finding, cutting and preparing your tree is fun because YOU do it all! You really do everything, but grow your Christmas tree. Once we brought our Christmas tree to Hank, he had Adam spruce it up on the “shaker” and then bag it. It was an awesome experience to be able to do everything ourselves instead of watching someone take care of our tree – it was very rewarding and makes our Christmas tree more sentimental.
We will definitely be back next year, as Hank says the trees will be very tall!
Hanks Christmas Tree Farm
12230 Belle Meade Rd
Markham, VA 22643
To cut your own Christmas tree – $40
To purchase already cut trees, prices vary
Be Merry at Miracle on 7th Street
The Drink Company is well known for having some of the best themed pop up bars in the nation. This year alone, we have been able to go to their Cherry Blossom, Game of Thrones and Miracle on 7th Street bars (we only missed the Halloween one). The Drink Company turns a space of five rooms into a winter wonderland with a menu full of holiday spirits (no pun intended).
The five room themes to describe this year are: a Gingerbread house, Chinese and a Movie, a winter wonderland with a moving toy train, a nutcracker gallery and a sleigh room for selfies.
To get from the Chinese and a Movie room to the sleigh and nutcracker gallery, guests must pass through a hallway of multicolored lights. This hallway was so beautiful and amazing, people would stand there enjoying their drinks instead of standing at the bars! It is as popular as the sleigh for Instagram selfies.
The drinks are not cheap, but compensate for there being no charge at the door. We find this justifiable because being inside the bar is definitely an attraction worth paying for. Most cocktails are priced at $14 and $5 eggnog and manischewitz shots. They also have a beer and wine list and a few snacks to purchase. Most cocktails come in a cute Santa, snowman or polar bear mug, which can all be purchased to take home for $10.
If you enjoy sweet drinks go for their fan favorite Snow Angels, Ice Skating, Cookie Dough and Snuggle cocktail. Yes Elf movie lovers, that is the name for the cocktail. It includes, cookie dough-infused vodka, coffee liquor, hazelnut liquor, creme de cacao, milk and cookie dough bites with a cookie dough skewer. It is similar to a White Russian and is DELICIOUS!!!
If you are a peppermint lover, you will love Candy, Candy Canes, Candy Corns and Syrup cocktail – Buddy the Elf’s four main food group. It actually is not overly sweet, but you do have to like peppermint to enjoy this drink. It includes Absolut Elyx vodka, white chocolate peppermint soda and candy cane. It comes in a cute elf glass and a mini candy cane.
Miracle on 7th Street
1839-1843 7th St. NW
Washington, DC, 20001
Mon – Thurs : 5pm – 12:30am
Fri: 5pm – 1:30am
Sat: 1pm – 1:30am
Sun: 1pm – 12:30am
Christmas Eve: 1pm – 6pm
Christmas Day: closed
New Year’s Eve: 1pm – 6pm
Take a Walk Through the Zoo Lights
We have heard nothing but great things about Zoo Lights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. Since it is part of the Smithsonian, like all of their museums, the entrance to the zoo is FREE! It is open daily from 5pm to 9pm with the exception of December 24th and 25th and operates until January 1, 2018.
Though the animals are sleeping, the zoo comes to life with more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights. Colorful lights are strung on almost every tree in addition to animal light silhouettes, 3D animal light figures and animated lights sync to holiday music.
Before you take your stroll through the zoo, be sure to stop at the visitor center to buy a cup of hot chocolate, coffee, eggnog and mulled cider (adults can even get their drinks spiked). While your choice of your hot beverage is warming your hands, be sure to also grab a s’more kit and stand by the fire while you roast your marshmallows.
Children can enjoy three attractions at Zoo Lights, the choo-choo train, a ride around the carousel and snow-less tubing. You can buy your tickets for these attractions at the ticket stand or visitor center. Some exhibits are still available for sightseeing such as, the Small Mammal House, Reptile Discovery Center and Think Tank.
Whether you are there for the activities, animals or even the spiked drinks, walking through Zoo Lights is a fun attraction for anyone.
Don’t forget to check their website for a schedule of live events!
Smithsonian Zoo Lights
Conservation Biology Institute
3001 Connecticut Ave.
NW Washington, DC 20008
November 24th through January 1, 2018 (with the exception of December 24th and 25th)
Open daily from 5pm to 9pm
Walk Through Georgetown to See the GLOW Exhibit
Another great free event that takes place outdoors at night. Georgetown is an amazing and popular neighborhood in Washington D.C. to visit any time of the year, but during the holiday season, Georgetown features an outdoor light art exhibit. The artists are from all around the world and showcase light art in various forms – this year there are 9 artists. Some are interactive pieces while others are mesmerizing to just observe.
The entire walk does not take long (give or take an hour) as the art pieces are strategically placed on a convenient route for travelers. At each art piece there is a sign describing the artwork, artist and a map showing where each art piece is located. There is also an interactive map on the Georgetown GLOW website. For those who enjoy audio guides, the Georgetown GLOW website also includes an audio guide for each exhibition.
The Georgetown GLOW is available for guests to enjoy nightly from 5pm to 10pm until January 7, 2018. So if you are in the Georgetown neighborhood, be sure to keep an eye out for GLOW.
Starts at Washington Harbor
3050 K St NW
Washington, DC 20007
December 8th through January 7, 2018
Open daily from 5pm to 10pm
We hope you enjoyed our second list of things to see and do in the D.C. metro area. We look forward to exploring more and hopefully seeing the rest of what D.C. metro has to offer during the holiday season.
We wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year!!!