Holiday Events in A Top 10 Christmas Town October 15, 2012


Claire Mouledoux, or 703-652-5367


2012 Holiday Events in Alexandria, Virginia
A Top 10 Christmas Town


Holidays in Alexandria

Alexandria, Virginia, is famous for its holiday traditions and festivities. See why the city was named a Top 10 Christmas Town by HGTV and take part in signature events throughout the season, like the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Skip the mall and start a new family tradition by getting pictures with Santa Claus in Old Town any Saturday or Sunday between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and shop locally owned boutiques and art venues for gifts. Feel transported by an old fashioned sense of holiday wonder as you celebrate, dine and shop on early-American historic main streets. For parades, candlelight tours, festive performances and more, check out the listings below.

Go to for even more on Alexandria's event calendar.


November 30 & December 1, 2012
42nd Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend
Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: Free for Parade and Marketplace; $100 Taste of Scotland (general admission); $35 Designer Tour of Homes

Even the dogs wear tartans during the annual Scottish Christmas Walk in Alexandria, Virginia. On Saturday, December 1, more than 100 Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans will parade through the streets of Old Town. They'll be joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds of every description. The Saint Andrew's Society of Washington, DC, partners with the Campagna Center and the City of Alexandria to host the annual parade. Other events of the weekend include A Christmas Marketplace and A Taste of Scotland, both on November 30, and the Campagna Center's Holiday Designer Tour of Homes on December 1. 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 1, 2012
13th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Time TBA
Alexandria's Historic Waterfront at the foot of Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: FREE!

At sundown, Alexandria's harbor lights up when 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.

December 31, 2012
First Night Alexandria
Afternoon activities: 2-5 p.m. including Fourth Annual Fun Hunt and much more
Performances: 7-11:15 p.m.; Venues throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
Midnight Fireworks: Potomac River at the foot of King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $15 before December 17; $20 after. Children 12 and under and active military are free.

This annual New Year's Eve bash takes over Old Town Alexandria with 100 performances at 18 indoor venues, with live music, dancing, and children's face painting and games. The afternoon Fourth Annual Fun Hunt is joined by all-new activities for families - and dogs! First Night's beloved fireworks finale returns at a NEW location, with a spectacular display over the Potomac River at midnight. Afternoon activities, 2 to 5 p.m. Performances, 7 to 11:15 p.m.



November 15 - December 23, 2012
"A Broadway Christmas Carol" at MetroStage
Every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday
8 p.m. Thurs.-Fri., 3 and 8 p.m. Sat., 3 and 7 p.m. Sun.
MetroStage, 1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $

A delicious cross between the classic Charles Dickens tale and uproarious song parodies of favorite Broadway show tunes. Laugh-out-loud, roll-in-the-aisles funny

November 23, 2012
Alexandria Black Friday Sale and Festivities
6 a.m. and all day
Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314

Local retailers open early with once-a-year deals sure to lure shoppers to Old Town Alexandria. Participating stores offer 30% discounts from 6 to 8 a.m., 20% from 8 to 10 a.m., and 10% starting at 10 a.m. The city is offering free parking at meters and in city-owned garages. New this year, the Free King Street Trolley will begin at 6 a.m. Stay for the city's annual Tree Lighting Ceremony at 7 p.m.

November 23, 2012
City of Alexandria Tree Lighting Ceremony
7 p.m.
Market Square, 301 King St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: FREE!

As the official kickoff to the holiday season, the city tree is lighted. Entertainment features a visit from Santa, a performance of Santa's Frosty Follies by the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center, caroling and a community sing-along.

November 23 - December 9, 2012
Old Town Boutique District's Window Wonderland
Throughout Old Town Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: FREE!

Come out to Old Town Alexandria and view the festive Window Wonderland of holiday lights and decorations on display at our local boutiques. Shoppers are invited to vote for their favorite window décor via Facebook and Twitter.

November 24 - December 23, 2012
Santa Claus is Coming to Old Town
Every Sunday and Saturday
Hours: Saturdays, 9 am to 4 p.m. except for December 1 (Scottish Walk Parade day) when hours are 1 to 5 p.m.; Sundays, Noon to 5 p.m.
Location: Bike and Roll Alexandria, One Wales Alley, Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $15 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. Presented by the Old Town Boutique District in partnership with the City of Alexandria and Bike and Roll Alexandria and with the support of area businesses. The cost for pictures is $15 for a 5 x 7 print.

November 29, 2012
Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Open House
6 to 9 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: FREE!

Join the Torpedo Factory Art Center's artists for the annual Holiday Open House! Shop for one-of-a-kind gifts while enjoying sweets and savories from Bread & Chocolate.

November 30 - December 2, 2012
17th Annual Holiday Market at Del Ray Artisans
Three weekends: November 30-December 2, December 7-9 and December 14-16; Fridays from 6 to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m.
Del Ray Artisans, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301
Admission: FREE!

Join us for the 17th annual Holiday Market! The Market offers unique handmade fine arts and fine crafts from local artists (including pottery/ceramics, photography, jewelry, cloth, paper crafts, and glass) and delicious bake sale items to benefit a local non-profit. Admission is free. All artists donate a percentage of their sales to help support Del Ray Artisans.

November 30 - December 1, 2012
Alexandria Harmonizers Holiday Dinner Theater
Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Venue: First Baptist Church of Alexandria, 2932 King St., Alexandria, VA 22302
Admission: Reserved Table Seating. Adults $30, Children $15, Seniors $25

Begin your holidays in the brightest way, with the Alexandria Harmonizers happy holiday dinner show! Featuring seasonal favorites in caroling and choral masterpiece sets; a light hearted musical play starring the one and only "Jack In The Box"; plus a delicious dinner served by your singing Harmonizer waiters! TICKETS NOW ON SALE at for the sixth anniversary of this popular event, Always a sell-out.

December 1 to 25, 2012
The Christmas Attic's Holiday Advent Calendar Art Celebration
Times: Store hours
The Christmas Attic, 125 S. Union St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: FREE!

Old Town's landmark, The Christmas Attic, has partnered with area schools, churches, and community groups again to help produce its annual temporary exhibition featuring illuminated canvases of art for The Christmas Attic's Holiday Advent Calendar Event. From December 1 through December 24, each day at sundown, the store will reveal "advent art" featuring a variety of local holiday creations. All art will be placed either in the windows or on the brick of the building on the front side facing Union Street. Visitors can picture the entire building being transformed into an advent calendar. There will be holiday entertainment and activities inside the store for shoppers to enjoy on a variety of nights. At the closing of the Advent Calendar event, the canvases of advent art will be available for auction at a post-event celebration (to be scheduled). Proceeds from the auction will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of the Mid-Atlantic.

December 7, 2012
Holiday on the Avenue in Del Ray
6 to 9 p.m.
Del Ray Farmer's Market at Mount Vernon Ave. and E. Oxford Ave., Alexandria, VA 22301
Admission: FREE!

In early December, the entire community comes together to light the neighborhood Christmas tree. Even Santa attends! This joyous celebration is followed by an evening stroll down the Avenue, which is illuminated by thousands of candles, called "luminarias".

November 30 - December 16, 2012
The Little Theatre of Alexandria's "A Christmas Carol"
8 p.m. Thursday & Friday, 3 p.m. & 5 p.m. Saturday & Sunday
600 Wolfe St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $15 (does not include service fees)

Ring in the holiday season with a return of the classic by Charles Dickens. Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly Victorian humbug, travels with ghostly guides through Christmas past, present, and future to find the true meaning of the holidays. Complete with special effects, Victorian carols, and Tiny Tim, "A Christmas Carol" is a must for the entire family.

December 8, 2012
Christmas in Camp Holiday Open House at Fort Ward
12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, 4301 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22304
Admission: $2/adult, $1/child

Join 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, period music, 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 8 & 9, 2012
Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours
Saturday, December 8, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sunday, December 9, 3 to 6 p.m.
Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House
Admission: $20 adults/$15 seniors/$5 kids
Special pre-sale discount if tickets purchased before December 1.

Take a break from the fast pace of the season and enjoy the unique charm and history of Old Town at this popular holiday event. Tour Gadsby's Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House and the historic Bank of Alexandria building by candlelight and enjoy seasonal decorations, entertainment and light refreshments. Special this year - a holiday taste of historic chocolate, co-sponsored by the Historic Division of Mars, Inc.

December 8, 2012
Breakfast with Santa at the Carlyle Club
9 a.m.
Carlyle Club, 411 John Carlyle St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $28.95 adults; $15.95 kids age 4 to 12; age 3 and under FREE!

Please join us for our 5th annual Breakfast with Santa. The elves will begin seating at 9 a.m. as we eagerly await Santa's arrival. Don't forget to bring you camera! There will be plenty of time to sit on Santa's lap and share your list with him. A full breakfast buffet will be available. Enjoy this great family tradition!

December 13, 2012
2nd Thursday Art Night: Decadent December
6-9 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., 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 9pm for holiday shopping and sweets and wine will make for a decadent evening. Visit Target Gallery for the 5x5(x5) exhibition reception. Enjoy the reception for Suzanne Vigil's solo show, Up Close & Personal, and browse handcrafted ornaments in The Art League Gallery. Get creative at our DIY craft station, and enjoy other festive activities.

December 16, 2012
Holiday Favorites with the Colonial Handbell Ringers
2 p.m. & 4 p.m.
Lyceum, Alexandria's History Museum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: FREE
Join the Colonial Handbell Ringers as they present their festive holiday musical show! Get into the holiday spirit as you listen - and sing along - with their one hour performance of holiday classics. 2 p.m. with repeat performance at 4 p.m.

December 21, 2012
Christmas with the Rat Pack at The Carlyle Club
Friday at 8 p.m.
Carlyle Club, 411 John Carlyle St., Alexandria, VA 22314
Admission: $25

A thrilling night of great music and song. Experience Frank, Dean, and Sammy - the original Rat Pack - performed with a wonderful mix of song, comedy, sketches, and brilliant musical arrangement. A sensory experience you don't want to miss - the music that inspired and thrilled an entire generation! Christmas with the Rat Pack brings these characters to life and make them vibrant. The Rat Pack will be singing all your favorite Christmas songs.

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About Alexandria, Virginia
Located along the picturesque Potomac River within eyesight of Washington, DC (just five miles away), charming Alexandria, Virginia, was named a Distinctive Destination by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for its urban charm that blends an extraordinary American past with modern flair. Alexandria offers a variety of critically acclaimed restaurants; a boutique collection featuring designer clothes, shoes, antiques and home decor; a thriving art scene; a variety of hotels; and hundreds of years of American history among 18th- and 19th-century architecture.