2013 Holiday Events in Alexandria, Virginia October 24, 2013


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

Molly Morris
Molly@VisitAlexVA.com or 703-652-5363

2013 Holiday Events in Alexandria, Virginia
"A Quintessential Holiday Getaway"

Named a Top 10 Christmas Town by HGTV and a "quintessential holiday getaway" by Baltimore Magazine, Alexandria, Virginia dazzles visitors with twinkling trees that illuminate Old Town, boutiques and restaurants buzzing with seasonal cheer and Santa Claus welcoming families with warm wishes. Dozens of holiday events deck historic brick-lined streets, including the Campagna Center's Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, featuring a parade of more than 100 clans in tartan, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Potomac River, and First Night Alexandria, a spectacular New Year's celebration with fireworks at the waterfront. Independent boutiques kick off the shopping season with a one-of-a-kind Black Friday event, where windows lit with holiday decorations sparkle with storewide deals on special gifts for loved ones.

As an added treat, Alexandria hotel guests will receive a free "Key to the City" when they show their hotel key at the Alexandria Visitors Center from Thanksgiving through January 5, 2014 (while supplies last). This offer provides admission to nine historic sites as well as discounts to local restaurants and shops.

View the Holiday Event Calendar

Hotel Booking


December 6-7, 2013

43rd Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend

Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free for parade, marketplace and heather & green sales; $110/Taste of Scotland; $35/Designer Tour of Homes

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 takes place on Saturday, December 7 at 11 a.m., when more than 100 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 Christmas Marketplace, Taste of Scotland, Heather & Greens sales (12 /6) and the Campagna Center's Holiday Designer Tour of Homes (12/7).

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.


December 7, 2013

14th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Festivities at 3 p.m.; Boat parade at 5:30 p.m.
Alexandria's Historic Waterfront at the foot of Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free

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, featuring a special appearance by Santa.


December 31, 2013

First Night Alexandria

Afternoon activities: 1-5 p.m. including Fifth Annual Fun Hunt
Performances: 7 p.m.-midnight; Venues throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
Midnight Fireworks: Potomac River at the foot of King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $15/before December 19, $20/after, children 12 and under and active military free

This annual New Year's Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with more than 100 performances at 22 indoor venues, with live music-including a Battle of the Bands-dancing, children's face painting and games. The afternoon Fifth Annual Fun Hunt is accompanied by all-new activities for families-and dogs! First Night's fireworks finale returns with a spectacular display over the Potomac River at midnight.



November 21-December 22, 2013

"A Broadway Christmas Carol" at MetroStage

Special performance: Wednesday, November 27 at 7 p.m.
Thursday-Friday, 8 p.m., Saturday, 3 & 8 p.m., Sunday, 3 & 7 p.m.
MetroStage, 1201 N. Royal Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $50/adults, $25/students 22 and under

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 22-24, 2013

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, 6-9 p.m., Saturday, noon-6 p.m.
The Art League's Madison Annex, 305 Madison Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free

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.


November 29, 2013

Alexandria Black Friday Sale and Festivities

6 a.m. and all day
Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free

Local boutiques open early, offering once-a-year deals to lure shoppers to Old Town Alexandria. Last year saw more than 50 participating local boutiques, coordinated by Shop Local Alexandria to encourage 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. To make the shopping experience even easier, the city has waived all parking fees in city-owned garages and parking meters. Stay for the City of Alexandria Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 6 p.m. on Market Square.


November 29, 2013

City of Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony

6 p.m.
Market Square in front of City Hall, 301 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free

At this official kickoff to the holiday season, the mayor and Santa Claus will light the city tree in Market Square. Entertainment features a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus, performances by the Alexandria Harmonizers and the Alexandria Choral Society, caroling and a community sing-along.


November 29-December 22, 2013

Santa Claus is Coming to Old Town

Saturdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (except for December 7-Scottish Walk Parade day-when hours are 1-5 p.m.), Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Rashmi Pappu Photography Studio, 210 N. Lee Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $20 for a 5 x 7 photo print

Santa and Mrs. Claus are back in Old Town Alexandria to take pictures with children every Saturday and Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas. This opportunity is presented by the Old Town Boutique District in partnership with the City of Alexandria and Rashmi Pappu Photography, with the support of area businesses.


November 29, 2013-January 6, 2014

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
Admission: $17/adult, $8/child, 5 and under free

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.


November 30-December 22, 2013

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
Admission: $22/adult, $15/child 11 and under

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 and go on sale November 1 at 10 a.m. at the Ford Orientation Center or at MountVernon.org.


December 1-25, 2013

The Christmas Attic's Holiday Advent Calendar Art Celebration

Times: Store hours
The Christmas Attic, 125 S. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free

The Christmas Attic, an Old Town landmark, has partnered with area schools, churches, individuals and community organizations once again to produce its annual temporary exhibition featuring illuminated canvases of art. Each day at sundown from December 1-25, the store will reveal "advent art" featuring holiday creations by local organizations and artists. All art will be placed on the exterior of the building facing Union Street, until the entire building is transformed into an advent calendar. Every Saturday in December, holiday entertainment and activities are held inside the store for shoppers to enjoy. Throughout the month, the canvases of advent art will be available for auction in which visitors place bids inside the store. Proceeds from the auction will go to local non-profit The Reading Connection, which is dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk children and families by helping create and sustain literacy-rich environments.


December 5-22, 2013

The Little Theatre of Alexandria's "A Christmas Carol"

Thursday-Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday 3 p.m. & 5 p.m.
The Little Theatre of Alexandria, 600 Wolfe Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $15 (does not include service fees)

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 6, 2013

Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Open House

6:30-9 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free

At the Torpedo Factory Art Center's annual Holiday Open House, this year's theme is "Starry Night," where shoppers find one-of-a-kind gifts while enjoying sweets and savories from Bread & Chocolate. The first 500 guests have the chance to win more than $2,000 in prizes from shopping dollars for the night, original artwork and discounts.


December 6, 2013

Holiday on the Avenue in Del Ray

6-9 p.m.
Del Ray Farmer's Market at Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22301
Admission: Free

In early December, the Del Ray community comes together to light the neighborhood Christmas tree, with a special appearance by Santa Claus. The celebration is followed by an evening stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which is illuminated by thousands of candles called "luminarias."


December 6-22, 2013

Del Ray Artisans 18th Annual Holiday Market

Three weekends: December 6-8, December 13-15 and December 20-22
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
Admission: Free

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.


December 12, 2013

2nd Thursday Art Night: Decadent December

6-9 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free

The Torpedo Factory celebrates the season with two holiday staples - chocolate and shopping! Studios and galleries will be open until 9 p.m. for holiday shopping, while sweets and wine make for an especially decadent evening. Visitors enjoy special exhibits at the Target Gallery, browse handcrafted ornaments in The Art League Gallery, get creative at the DIY craft station or watch a choral performance by the chamber choir Pro Coro Alexandria.


December 14, 2013

Civil War Christmas in Camp at Fort Ward

Noon-4 p.m.
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, 4301 W. Braddock Road, Alexandria, VA 22304
Admission: suggested donation $2/adult, $1/child

Visitors meet a Civil War-era Santa at this family-fun holiday event that explores 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 14-15, 2013

Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours

Saturday, 6-9 p.m., Sunday, 3 to 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
Lloyd House, 220 N. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $20/adults, $15/seniors, $5/ages 6-17 (Special pre-sale discount if tickets purchased before December 1)

To honor 2013 as the "Year of the Virginia Historic Home," visitors come "Home for the Holidays" with Historic Alexandria. Guests are invited to travel through time and experience Alexandria's colonial, Victorian and 1930's history and domestic life during the holiday season at Carlyle House, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Lee-Fendall House and Lloyd House. On this self-guided tour, patrons enjoy sites by candlelight and hear live musical performances while surrounded by seasonal greenery. Free shuttle service between sites is available.


December 15, 2013

Holiday Favorites with the Colonial Handbell Ringers

2 p.m. & 4 p.m.
The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free (reservations required)

Alexandria's History Museum will once again host the Colonial Handbell Ringers as they present their festive holiday musical show. Guests get into the holiday spirit as they listen and sing along with the group's one hour performance of holiday classics. Though the event is free, reservations are required. Guests can contact the Lyceum for reservations.

More events on www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com

About Alexandria, Virginia
Only five miles 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 2013 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.