2014 Holiday Events in Alexandria, Virginia “Holidays Made Extraordinary” November 6, 2014

CONTACT: Claire Mouledoux, CMouledoux@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5367

 

2014 Holiday Events in Alexandria, Virginia
"Holidays Made Extraordinary"

Alexandria, VA- Just minutes from Washington, DC, visitors can feel transported by an old fashioned sense of holiday wonder on Old Town Alexandria, Virginia's brick-lined streets and historic waterfront, with festive events, twinkle-lit trees and shopping at local boutiques. NEW this year, the Waterskiing Santa comes to Old Town for the very first time, with a show on Christmas Eve. Alexandria is famous for its holiday traditions and events, including the Campagna Center's 44th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, featuring a parade with dozens of Scottish clans in tartan, the 15th Annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Potomac River, and the 20th anniversary of First Night Alexandria, a spectacular New Year's celebration with 100 performances and a fireworks finale. Independent boutiques kick off the shopping season with one-of-a-kind Black Friday and Small Business Saturday events, where windows lit with holiday decorations sparkle with special gifts for loved ones. For parades, candlelight tours, festive performances and more, check out the listings below. Named a Top 10 Christmas Town by HGTV, Alexandria offers an authentic holiday experience - the way it was meant to be.

Go to www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/holidays for holiday events, top 10 things to do, dining ideas, hotel packages and more. 

TOP EVENTS: 

 

December 5-6, 2014 
44th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade
Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
703-549-0111
Free for parade, holiday marketplace and heather & green sales; $110-290/Taste of Scotland; $35/Designer Tour of Homes; $20-$35/Deck the Halls with Santa
www.scottishchristmaswalk.com

 

Don't miss Old Town Alexandria's most spectacular holiday weekend. In 1749, the city of Alexandria was officially established by three Scottish merchants and named after its original founder John Alexander, also of Scottish descent. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with a weekend of festivities. The iconic Scottish Christmas Walk Parade takes place on Saturday, December 6 at 11 a.m., when more than 45 Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans will parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds. More events Friday and Saturday include a Taste of Scotland (12 /5), Deck the Halls with Santa (12/5), Heather and Greens sale (12/5 and 12/6), Holiday Marketplace (12/6) and the Campagna Center's Holiday Designer Tour of Homes (12/6).
The Saint Andrew's Society of Washington, DC partners with the Campagna Center and the City of Alexandria to host the annual parade. Consistently ranked by the Southeast Tourism Society as one of the top 20 events in the South, this event has grown from a small informal parade to an entire weekend filled with events and festivities. #SCWW14

December 6, 2014
15th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
5:30 p.m.
Alexandria's waterfront at the foot of Cameron Street near the Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-3301
Admission: Free
www.visitalexandriava.com/holidays

At sundown on the day of the Scottish Christmas Walk parade, Alexandria's harbor lights up as more than 50 illuminated boats cruise the Potomac River at the historic waterfront, led by Alexandria's fireboat Vigilant and Washington, DC's fireboat John Glenn. New this year, DC media personality Tommy McFly of 94.7 Fresh FM will be the parade announcer. At the marina before and after the parade, stop in to the Torpedo Factory Art Center's Holiday Open House between 4 and 7 p.m. to enjoy performances by the Alexandria Choral Society plus gift shopping in open artist studios.

December 24, 2014
Waterskiing Santa Comes to Old Town Alexandria
1 p.m. (Pre-Show at 12:45 p.m.)
Alexandria's Waterfront between King and Oronoco streets, Alexandria, VA 22314
Free Admission
www.waterskiingsanta.com

Now in its 29th year, this favorite DC-area Christmas Eve event comes to Old Town Alexandria for the very first time. Gather at Alexandria's Potomac River waterfront for a spectacular show by the Waterskiing Santa and his wakeboarding reindeer, plus flying elves, the Grinch and his friends, Frosty the Snowman and Jack Frost. And this year's show will feature a new, never-seen-before act in the Washington, DC area. The prime viewing area is along the waterfront between King Street and Oronoco Street which includes Founders Park and the Alexandria City Marina.

December 31, 2014
20th Anniversary of First Night Alexandria
Afternoon activities: 2-5 p.m. including Sixth Annual Fun Hunt
Performances: 7 p.m.-midnight; Venues throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314 and one at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center, 2701 Commonwealth Ave. 22305
Midnight Fireworks: Potomac River at the foot of King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-3301
$15/before December 17, $20/after, children 12 and under and active military free
www.firstnightalexandria.org; #FNA20th

Celebrating 20 years, this annual New Year's Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with more than 100 performances at 22 indoor venues, with live music, dancing, children's face painting and games. The afternoon's Sixth Annual Fun Hunt is accompanied by all-new activities for families and pets. A photo contest invites revelers to share their First Night photos and win prizes, including cash! First Night's fireworks finale returns with a spectacular display over the Potomac River at midnight.

MORE HOLIDAY EVENTS:

November 26-December 28, 2014
"A Broadway Christmas Carol" at MetroStage
Wednesday-Thursday, 8 p.m.; Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday, 3 & 8 p.m.; Sunday, 3 & 7 p.m.
MetroStage, 1201 N. Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-548-9044
$50
www.metrostage.org

Created by Kathy Feininger and directed by Michael Sharp, this MetroStage holiday tradition is a delicious cross between the classic Dickens' tale and uproarious song parodies of 33 Broadway show tune favorites by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim and many more.

November 28, 2014
Black Friday Alexandria Sale and Festivities
6 a.m. and all day
Boutiques in Alexandria, VA
703-746-3301
www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/blackfriday or www.BlackFridayAlexandria.com

Local boutiques will open early, offering once-a-year deals to lure shoppers to Alexandria. Last year saw more than 50 participating local boutiques, encouraging shoppers to choose smaller stores. Participating stores will open at 6 a.m., offering initial discounts of up to 30% off. At 8 a.m., the discounts drop to 20% off and 10% off starting at 10 a.m. Stay for the annual City of Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Market Square.

November 28, 2014
City of Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony
6-8 p.m.
Market Square in front of City Hall, 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-3301
Free
apps.alexandriava.gov/Calendar/Detail.aspx?si=7764

At this official kickoff to the holiday season, the mayor and Santa Claus will light the city tree in Market Square, accompanied by live entertainment, a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Claus and a community sing-a-long.

November 29, 2014
Small Business Saturday in Alexandria
Boutiques in Alexandria, VA
703-746-3301
www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/shopsmall

Head to the DC region's "shop small" headquarters for Small Business Saturday on November 29th. More than 30 independent Alexandria boutiques will offer special promotions, such as merchandise discounts, gifts with purchase, complimentary services, treats, and/or festive activities. Shoppers may get a free Rebecca Minkoff designer "Shop Small" canvas tote bag when they bring two receipts from local Alexandria shops to the Alexandria Visitors Center, 221 King Street-one bag per customer while supplies last.

November 28-December 21, 2014
Mount Vernon by Candlelight
Saturdays and Sundays, 5-8 p.m.
George Washington's Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22309
703-780-2000
$22/adult, $15/child 11 and under
www.mountvernon.org

Join "Mrs. Washington" as she hosts an enchanting evening of candlelight tours, fireside caroling and festive treats. Timed tickets are $22 for adults and $15 for children 11 and under. Tickets available October 27th at 10 a.m. at the Ford Orientation Center or at MountVernon.org.

November 28, 2014-January 6, 2015
Christmas at Mount Vernon
Daily, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
George Washington's Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22309
703-780-2000
$18/adult ($17 online), $8/child, 5 and under free
www.mountvernon.org

Holiday visitors will enjoy themed decorations, chocolate‐making demonstrations and 18th‐century dancing, plus a rare opportunity to tour the third floor of the Mansion. In 1787, George Washington paid 18 shillings to bring a camel to Mount Vernon for the enjoyment of his guests. Today, visitors can meet Aladdin the camel on the grounds.

December 5-7, 2014
The Art League presents Artfête
Open House and Holiday Party: Friday, 6-9 p.m.
Holiday Ceramics Sale: Friday, noon-9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Holiday Jewelry Sale: Friday, noon-9 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
The Art League's Madison Annex, 305 Madison Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-683-2323
Free
www.theartleague.org

The Art League helps kick off the holiday season with an annual art celebration and open house featuring exhibits, live music, artist demonstrations, steamroller printing and refreshments, as well as a weekend-long ceramics and jewelry sale of handmade wares by The Art League students and associates.

December 5-20, 2014
The Little Theatre of Alexandria's "A Christmas Carol"
Thursday-Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 3 & 5 p.m.
The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-683-0496
$15
www.thelittletheatre.com

The family-favorite classic by Charles Dickens, equipped with special effects, Victorian carols and Tiny Tim returns to the Little Theatre of Alexandria. The story follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly Victorian humbug, who travels with ghostly guides through Christmas past, present and future to find the true meaning of the holidays.

December 5-21, 2014
Del Ray Artisans 19th Annual Holiday Market
December 5-7, December 12-14 and December 19-21
Fridays, 6-9 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sundays, noon-4 p.m.
Del Ray Artisans, 2704 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301
703-838-4827
Free
www.thedelrayartisans.org/holidaymarket

Del Ray's annual Holiday Market offers unique handmade fine arts and crafts from local artists (including pottery/ceramics, photography, jewelry, cloth, paper crafts and glass) and bake sale items to benefit a local non-profit. All artists donate a percentage of their sales to help support the Del Ray Artisans. Different artists each weekend!

December 5-24, 2014
Alexandria's Holiday Market
Friday-Sunday, December 5-7, 12-14, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Tuesday, December 19-23, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Wednesday, December 24, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
John Carlyle Square, 300 John Carlyle Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Free
www.alexandriaholidaymarket.com

While shopping for unique art and craft items for loved ones, at this unique holiday market, visitors can enjoy live entertainment, traditional European food and sweets, wine and beer. Also present will be a children's corner featuring kids' activities that help little ones learn more about European traditions and culture.

December 6, 2014
Torpedo Factory Art Center's Holiday Open House
4-7 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-838-4565
Free
www.torpedofactory.org

During the Torpedo Factory Art Center's Holiday Open House, artists will keep their studios open late for visitors to find special handmade gifts. Adding to the festive atmosphere, the Alexandria Choral Society will perform seasonal favorites throughout the evening. Stop in before and after the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, taking place at 5:30 p.m. at the Alexandria waterfront.

December 6, 2014
Holiday on the Avenue in Del Ray
6 p.m.
Del Ray Farmers Market at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301
703-683-2570
Free
www.visitdelray.com

Discover your holiday spirit with a visit to Del Ray for the annual holiday tree lighting and a special appearance by Santa Claus, who will lead carols and sit for photos with children. The celebration continues with an evening stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of candles called "luminarias." In the true spirit of the holidays, the community will be collecting items such as canned goods, diapers and towels for the Carpenter's Homeless Shelter.

December 6, 2014
A Soldier's Christmas at Carlyle House
Noon to 4 p.m.
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-549-2997
Free Admission
carlylehouse.org

The "Soldier's Christmas" event will feature re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, as well as costumed interpreters from historic Carlyle House who will highlight colonial life in Alexandria during the holidays at the time of the American Revolution. Some of the activities visitors will see include demonstrations of military drill, fife and drum music, gaming, cooking, and more. The Regimental surgeon will be discussing Continental Army medicine and demonstrating 18th-century surgical instruments in the basement, while officers and ladies entertain guests in the dining room. There will be activities and colonial games for children. The program takes place immediately following the annual Scottish Walk parade in Old Town Alexandria.

December 13, 2014
Civil War Christmas in Camp at Fort Ward
Noon-4 p.m.
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, 4301 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22304
703-746-4848
Suggested donation $2/adult, $1/child
apps.alexandriava.gov/Calendar/

Visitors meet a Civil War-era Santa at this family-fun holiday event exploring how Christmas was observed during the Civil War. The program features living-history interpreters, a Victorian Christmas tree, refreshments, readings of The Night Before Christmas and a patriotic Santa Claus inspired by Thomas Nast's Civil War cartoon. Guided tours of the fort, weather permitting.

December 13-14, 2014
Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours
Saturday, 6-9 p.m., Sunday, 3-6 p.m.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, 134 N. Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Lee-Fendall House, 614 Oronoco Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-4242
$20/adults, $15/seniors, $5/ages 6-17
apps.alexandriava.gov/Calendar/

Guests are invited to travel through time and experience popular Alexandria historic homes during the holiday season at Carlyle House, Gadsby's Tavern Museum and Lee-Fendall House under this year's theme, "History and Chocolate." On this self-guided tour, patrons enjoy sites by candlelight, live entertainment and chocolate treats. Free shuttle service between sites is available.

December 14, 2014
Holiday Favorites with the Colonial Handbell Ringers
2 p.m. & 4 p.m.
The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
703-746-4994
Free (reservations required)
www.alexandriahistory.org

The Colonial English Handbell Ringers will return with their annual concert at the Lyceum, featuring a group of 12 performers from across the Maryland/D.C./Virginia area clad in colonial attire, bringing a 5-octave set of nearly 80 handbells from the world-famous Whitechapel foundry in London. The Colonial English Handbell Ringers present "Suite Dreams" this holiday season featuring an 80-plus handbell performance of several beloved Nutcracker Suite selections. This year's holiday concert will also include some new arrangements of popular classics, and of course, the ever-popular audience participation sing along. Join us as we ring in a dream-filled holiday season! Identical performances at both 2 PM and also 4 PM, seating capacity is limited, reservations required.

December 20, 2014
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon
5:30-9 p.m.
George Washington's Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22309
703-780-2000
$30/adult, $20/youth
www.mountvernon.org

For the first time ever, Mount Vernon will open its doors for an evening of holiday-themed fireworks and special programs. Before the fireworks show begins at 8:45 p.m., watch colonial artisans make chocolate, meet re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, enjoy cider by a bonfire, and learn 18th century dance moves from costumed guides. "General and Lady Washington" will be on hand to greet Mount Vernon's holiday guests, who can learn more about the Washingtons' Christmas traditions in a tour of the first and second floors of the mansion. Visitors can also look forward to performances by local choirs and musicians playing 18th century tunes, with the evening culminating in a sparkling fireworks display set to holiday music and overlooking the Potomac River.

Go to www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com/holidays for events and more.

ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA
Minutes from Washington, DC and located along the scenic Potomac waterfront, Alexandria offers cosmopolitan shopping and dining against a backdrop of 18th- and 19th-century architecture. Named a "Top ArtPlace" for its dedication to maintaining a thriving artistic and cultural scene, the city houses renowned art galleries, theater companies and music halls. Once home to George Washington and key players throughout American history, Alexandria combines its rich history with award-winning restaurants, chic boutiques and ever-evolving arts to create an extraordinary getaway destination.

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