The last of the candy corn is gone, your local coffee shop is starting to play holiday-themed music, and it’s finally starting to turn colder. All of this can only mean one thing… Thanksgiving season is upon us! Whether you’re looking for something to do with the in-laws or just going solo, here’s a list of the best holiday-centric activities in the D.C. area for the next couple of weeks.
- Thanksgiving Day Trot for Hunger
Looking for a fun and creative way to feed the hungry on Thanksgiving? This popular 5k fun run and family walk helps SOME (So Others Might Eat) serve more than 800 meals to the hungry every day of the year.
November 28, 2013, 8:30 a.m.
Beginning at Freedom Plaza, between 13th Street NW and 12th Street NW
- Montgomery County Thanksgiving Parade
Kick off Thanksgiving week with a lively celebration in downtown Silver Spring. The family friendly event will include giant balloons, a variety of floats, and the Washington Redskins Marching Band. There will also be clowns, mounted police, costumed characters, fire engines, trained dogs, classic cars, South American dancing groups, and high school marching bands. Can’t wait for Christmas? Santa will be there with his elves and reindeer, as well!
November 23, 2013, 10 a.m.
Begins at Ellsworth Drive and Veterans Place and proceeds South on Georgia Avenue, ending on Silver Spring Avenue in Silver Spring, Maryland
- Mount Vernon by Candlelight
Each holiday season, a costumed guide will take you through George Washington’s historic estate along candlelit lanes. Characters from Washington’s time, including “Martha Washington” and “Nelly Custis,” will tell stories about how the Washingtons celebrated Christmas. After the tour, guests can partake in 18th-century dancing in the greenhouse, sing their favorite carols, and enjoy warm cider and cookies by an outdoor bonfire.
November 29 – December 22, 2013, 5 p.m. – 8 p.m.
23200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
- Anchorman: The Exhibit
In partnership with Paramount Pictures, the Newseum presents “Anchorman: The Exhibit,” including props, costumes, and footage from the 2004 hit comedy, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.” The exhibit features more than 60 costumes and hilarious props and a re-creation of the KVWN-TV anchor desk and news set. The long-anticipated exhibit is the perfect activity for the seasoned DC veterans who have already visited all of the classic tourist spots.
November 14, 2013 – August 31, 2014
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
- Stroll through the National Zoo
What better way to entertain the kids and the adults all at once than with a good old fashioned visit to the zoo? If it’s particularly nippy out, sip some hot cocoa while you say hello to the animals. Did we mention that it’s free?
3001 Connecticut Avenue NW
- Remembering John F. Kennedy
President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 in Dallas, Texas. Honor our 35th president on the 50th anniversary of his death with a visit to his gravesite, the “Eternal Flame” at Arlington National Cemetery. The Newseum is also paying tribute to his death with an exhibit, “Three Shots Were Fired,” and an original documentary, “A Thousand Days,” chronicling his presidency, family life, and death. The exhibit and film will be on display through January 5, 2014.
Arlington National Cemetery
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
- Alexandria Turkey Trot
Burn off those extra calories before the big feast while doing some good on Thanksgiving with a 5-mile run/walk through the historic town of Alexandria in Virginia. The 38th annual trot is hosted by the DC Road Runners Club, a local group affiliated with USA Track & Field. Food donations support ALIVE!, a nonprofit organization serving Alexandria’s needy.
November 28, 2013, 9 a.m.
George Washington Middle School, 1005 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia
- Holidays on Display
Interested in the history of the holiday season? Want a little perspective next time you’re watching the parade on Thanksgiving morning? Visit the National Museum of American History to see “Holidays on Display,” which opened on November 13 of this year. The exhibit examines the “art, industry, and history of holiday display across the United States” by showcasing objects from original displays, photographs, postcards, and illustrations, including items from Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and Marshall Field & Company Christmas windows.
14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, on the National Mall
- Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art
Sure, ice skating is always fun, but there’s something extra special about skating outdoors to a backdrop of the National Archives and the National Gallery’s magnificent Sculpture Garden. If you’re not in the mood to strap into some skates, come check out the scene while sitting at the Pavilion Café, located in the Sculpture Garden, where you can grab a bite to eat and a mug of something hot.
Mid-November through mid-March, weather permitting
Constitution Avenue NW, between 3rd Street NW and 9th Street NW
- National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony
For the first time in almost 100 years, Thanksgiving and Hanukkah will overlap. Celebrate this rare event by attending the National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony at the White House. Festivities will include a musical performance by the US Air Force Band, hot latkes, and donuts. The Menorah will be lit each night of Hanukkah.
November 27, 2013, 4 p.m., rain or shine
The Ellipse, at the NW end of the White House, near Constitution Avenue