Northern Virginia Holiday Guide

Your Holiday Celebrations: Enjoy the Region, Support Your Local Small Businesses & Artists, and Do it in Style!

The holidays are here! From holiday displays to winter celebrations, to visits with Santa or watching a parade, the Northern Virginia region offers much to see and do that will help you celebrate through end of the year. So, whether you are looking for holiday cheer or searching for the perfect Thanksgiving pie, here are a few seasonal events that you might want to check out.


Christmas in Old Town Alexandria

Named one of “America’s Top Holiday Towns” in 2016 by USA Today and a “Top 10 Christmas Town” by HGTV, old town Alexandria offers an authentic holiday experience. The City of Alexandria hosts events including the annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, the Scottish Walk weekend, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, candlelight tours, Christmas in Camp, and a variety of holiday concerts.

Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend and Parade

When:  November 29-December 7, 2022 at various times; parade is December 3rd at 11 a.m.

Tickets: Free for parade


Nalls Farm Market

Driving toward Winchester on Rt. 7 east, you’ll find Nalls Farm Market in Berryville, VA. From the road, Nalls Farm Market looks like any country roadside stand but there’s something special inside – a pie shop. From the instant you arrive and breathe in the freshly baked pie aroma, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back to Grandma’s house. The smell is nothing short of baked bliss. This is a great place to pick up your holiday pies but order early!

Hint: Try the Apple Nut Caramel but you can’t go wrong with any of them.

Location: 4869 Harry Byrd Hwy, Berryville, VA 22611


Bull Run Festival of Lights

The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a 2.5 mile drive-through holiday light show combined with a holiday village and carnival. The seasonal light display features 40,000 animated lights set to music with displays including penguins, snowmen, candy canes, jumping deer, Santa’s workshop, Frosty the Snowman, tin soldiers, elves and Santa.

After viewing the lights, you can enjoy visiting the Winter Wonderland Holiday Village that features amusement rides, an ice skating rink, entertainment, shopping, contests, food, and more.

Location: 7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville, VA 20121

Festival of Lights

 Bull Run Festival of Lights is open seven nights weekly, from November 11, 2022 to January 8, 2023.

Monday – Thursday
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Friday – Sunday and Holidays
5:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
(Holidays include November 24, December 24, 25, 31, and January 1).

Holiday Village

November 29 through December 1, and December 5 through December 29

5:30-9:30pm Monday- Thursday

5:30-10:00pm Friday-Sunday and holiday nights

Holiday nights include December 24 and 25


City of Fairfax Festival of Lights & Carols

Enjoy a day of holiday cheer and festivities including lunch with Santa, s’more’s by the yule log, ice sculpting, hot cider, face painting, Christmas tree lighting and caroling in Fairfax city

When: December 3, 2022 from 12 pm – 6 pm
Location: Old Town Square, 10415 North Street


The Fredericksburg Arts & Crafts Show

Shop a wide variety of quality handmade items.
You will find unique gifts for people on your holiday list. Maybe you’ll pick up a little something for yourself as well.

When: December 2, 3, & 4

Location: 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

Holiday Parade 

Since 1985, the Fredericksburg parade has become a downtown Fredericksburg holiday tradition with bands, marching units, and floats, followed by Santa and Mrs. Claus.

When: Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 5:30 pm



Christkindlmarkt returns this year for a taste of old Germany. If you’ve ever strolled through the traditional Christmas markets in Europe, you’ll love the Christkindlmarkt in Reston.

When: December 8, 2022 4 to 9 pm.

Location: 11150 Sunrise Valley Drive, Reston, VA


Village at Leesburg Christmas Tree Lighting

Santa arrives by horse-drawn carriage to light the Musical Tree. This 5-story tall tree with a snowfall topper and more than 15,000 dazzling lights performs daily music and light shows. The festivities include horse-drawn carriage rides, live performances, holiday characters, cozy fire pits and more. You are encouraged to bring a toy to be donated to Toys for Tots.

When: November 19, 2022 4-7 pm

Leesburg Animal Park Christmas Village

The Leesburg Animal Christmas Village has a new indoor facility that will be decorated with beautiful holiday ornamentations and the outdoor common area will showcase thousands of lights. You can have a photo with Santa, with live animals, or participate in the bonfire and marshmallow roasting. While you’re there, you can pick up a Christmas tree or a wreath at the on site farm market.

When: December 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, & 23 from 6-9pm

Holiday Fine Arts and Crafts Show at Ida Lee Recreation Center

This annual show features more than 95 local and regional artisans with fine, handmade creations and products including candles, stained glass, carved wood, jewelry, leather products, table linens, and much more. Admission is free to the public and door prizes are drawn every hour. 

When: December 3 & 4

Leesburg Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting

The Leesburg community kicks off the holiday season with the town Christmas tree lighting, featuring performances from local elementary schools, high schools, words from the mayor, council and guest speaker. Join in a holiday sing-a-long and stay in town for the evening for Leesburg’s First Friday event. Local businesses and merchants will be open late to host some holiday cheer.

When: Friday, December 2, 6 pm

Oatlands Historic House and Gardens

Visit the historic estate as it comes alive with afternoon teas, holiday house tours, a small works art show, shopping, wreath making, a Christmas cabaret and children’s theater. Oatlands Mansion will be decorated for Christmas and open for walk through tours through the end of December.  Each room of the 1804 Oatlands mansion will sparkle with unique decorations, some featuring materials from the gardens on the property. The holiday décor will also feature beautifully decorated Christmas trees throughout the home. The Mansion will close at 5:00 p.m. daily.

When: Daily, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

*Note: Website is currently under construction.  Check back at

Candlelight Mansion Tours

In past years, the Oatlands Mansion is open from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Visitors will see the mansion sparkling with Christmas lights and old-fashioned decorations, music in the Drawing Room. Candlelight tours are open-house style so you may enjoy at your own pace. Cider and cookies will be available in the Carriage House Visitor Center.  For more information, visit

Candlelight Tours: Dates to be confirmed by Loudoun County Magazine

Oatlands Holiday Teas

Holiday teas are a tradition at Oatlands. Enjoy traditional afternoon tea in our Historic Carriage House, shop in our and unique Museum Store.  Add on a tour of the Mansion to see the house in all its Christmas glory! Don’t miss the Special Candlelight Afternoon Teas before the Candlelight Tours.  See the Afternoon Tea page for full schedule.

Oatlands Wreath Making Workshops –Join Yasmeen Shields as she leads a Wreath Making Workshop at Oatlands! 

December 11, 2 to 4 p.m.

Tickets are $90

Leesburg Christmas and Holiday Parade and Festival

Who doesn’t like a parade? Catch Santa and his friends parade down King Street, through the heart of historic Leesburg.

When: Saturday, December 10, 6:00 pm Rain date is December 11


Manassas Christmas Parade

Old Town Manassas celebrates the Christmas season each year with a weekend of old-fashioned family fun at the “Merry Old Town” celebration. The festivities include a Christmas tree lighting ceremony, the Manassas Christmas Parade, a gingerbread contest and lots of holiday activities for all ages.

When:Saturday, December 3, 10:00 am


Celebrate Christmas in Middleburg

On the first Saturday in December, the community is transformed into a Christmas oasis. A tree lighting, a Christmas parade, shopping, caroling, and more. Over 10,000 visitors make Christmas in Middleburg a family tradition. 

Salamander Tree Lighting, November 30, 6-8 pm. Excitement builds and choirs sing in anticipation for Santa’s arrival to light up the Salamander Resort’s Christmas tree. Join this festive celebration with cookies, hot cocoa, mulled cider and have your photo taken with Santa.

For additional information, please call 540.326.4060.

Joyful Holidays Tree Lighting
Friday, December 2, begins at 5 pm. Details: Tree lighting, carols.

All Day Christmas in Middleburg Festival
Saturday, December 3 starting at 8 am.
Details: Parade, breakfast with Santa, live music, Middleburg Hunt and Hounds Review, arts and crafts and much more!

Spirits of Middleburg
Saturday, December 6, 3-6 pm.
Details: Progressive food, wine tastings, ciders, distilled spirits at establishments from one end of town to the other.


Christmas at Mount Vernon 

Christmas at one of Northern Virginia’s top attractions transports visitors back in time to experience the holidays like George Washington did with themed decorations, a gingerbread Mount Vernon, historical chocolate-making demonstrations, 18th-century dancing, and even a Christmas camel.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Join a candlelit guided tour and hear about holiday traditions in 18th-century Virginia. Learn about the build-up to Revolution as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the year 1772. Tickets are available here.

When: November and December

Christmas Illuminations

Kick off the holiday season with sparkling fireworks overlooking the Potomac River.


Reston Town Center Ice Skating Pavilion

It’s that time again. From early November to mid-March, the Reston Town Center becomes an ice skating pavilion.The skate shop is stocked with over 500 pairs of skates ranging from size 8 toddler through men’s size 13, in both Figure and Hockey styles. 


Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Winter Walk of Lights

Bring your family and friends to be dazzled by the magical Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. Every year from mid-November until just after New Year’s Day, the garden is transformed into a half-mile, walk of lights. Revisit perennial favorites such as the animated Lakeside Lights, the Fountain of Lights, and the Holiday Nature Walk – and look for new displays each year. Put on your walking shoes and bring the family to experience a Northern Virginia festive tradition. Round out your visit by roasting marshmallows and sipping on hot beverages by the fire. 

When: Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights starts on Friday, November 11, 2022, and continues every night (Thanksgiving, Christmas and News Year’s too!) through January 8, 2023.

Wolf Trap National Park Holiday Sing-A-Long 

Sing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with the United States Marine Band vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. The audience is invited to bring candles to light during the last verse of “Silent Night,” the final song of the program. There is also a ‘Jing-A-Long’ during the singing of Jingle Bells, so bring a bell along with your candle. Admission is free and no tickets are required.

When: December 3,  4PM


The Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony

Don your holiday apparel and join the Conservatory Choir (Austin Thorpe, director), Shenandoah Chorus (Hillary Ridgley, director) and Shenandoah Voices (Jeffrey Marlatt, director) for an evening of seasonal songs. Enjoy old and new favorites as we celebrate a time of year filled with joy, hope and love. Come early to stroll Shenandoah University’s festive holiday light display and enjoy a cup of hot cocoa provided by the Shenandoah Conservatory Student Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.

When: Dec. 3, 7:30 pm Tickets are available here.

Article by Jan Johnston Osburn

Updated by Jessica Monte

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