Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or gingerbread cookies, if you haven’t experienced Georgetown during the holidays yet, well—as any resident at the nearby Colonel apartments in Shaw will attest—it’s a magical experience. Just how magical? It comes down to some really great Christmas shopping and events guaranteed to warm even the iciest hearts this holiday season.
Here are our top five things to do this holiday season in Washington, DC:
Watch Our Nation “Deck the Halls” at the National Christmas Tree Lighting
Yes, you’ve decked your gorgeous historic apartment in NW DC to the nines, but you’ll have to pry yourself away to see the National Christmas Tree Lighting is on December 4th at 5 PM on the South White House Lawn. It’s been a tradition since 1923 (take that, Rockefeller Tree!). Before you go, delve into a sweet caramelized pear tart, melty rich chocolate truffle cake, hot chocolate—or something stronger, if you prefer—at Off The Record, a cozy best-rated bar across the street. Free to attend
Directions: Take the G8 bus at 9th Street NW and M Street NW, then hop off at 1 Street and 15th Street NW. It’s a three-minute walk to Off the Record on 16th Street.
Head to the Downtown DC Holiday Market
Your mom probably already bought holiday gifts into 2015, but you’re (probably) not as on top of things as your mom. Head to the Downtown DC Holiday Market (located in the revitalized Penn Quarter) to get a handle on all your holiday shopping!
It runs through December 23rd from noon to 8 PM every day. If you need some ideas, the refreshing ginger, grapefruit, or peppermint soaps at Joyful Bath Co. are great for a holiday or everyday, and 100% handcrafted rustic cheese boards at Tree to Art are instant American classics. Free to attend
Directions: Skip the drive (parking is tough) and take public transit or walk. The market is located on the sidewalk of F Street, NW between 7th and 9th Streets, just a 13-minute walk from local luxury apartments in NW DC. Head south on 9th Street and make a left on K Street NW. Make a right on 7th Street, and you’re there. You can also walk to the MT Vernon Sq/7th Street Convention Center Metro station and take the M Green towards Branch Avenue, then get off at Gallery Place Chinatown Metro Station.
Get Your Holiday Shop on at Union Station
Union Station’s a landmark in its own right, and the best time to see it is now – it’ll be decked out through Christmas. It’s completely covered with holiday goodness from wreaths to a giant Norwegian tree. Pick up some fancy-schmancy shaving supplies at Union Station’s The Art of Shaving, or some virtuously healthy, high-performance beauty products at the Follain pop-up. And hey, with all that walking, you’ve definitely earned yourself some Shake Shack. Free to attend
From The Colonel Apartments, take 9th Street NW and Massachusetts Avenue Northwest to Columbus Circle Northeast. Make a slight left onto Columbus Circle Northeast/Columbus Monument Drive Northeast, then keep right to stay on Columbus Circle Northeast/Columbus Monument Drive Northeast. OR walk from The Colonel Apartments to New York Ave. NW and 9th Street NW, then catch the DCWE towards Union Station. It’ll take you right there.
Skate the Chill Away at Washington Harbor
Put all thoughts of your grade-school field trip behind you. It’s time to don the skates again at DC’s largest outdoor ice-skating venue. Bonus: who’s going to see you fall 11,000 feet away? Hours vary, but you can beat the crowd by getting there early on a Saturday (10 AM-10 PM). Before you go, buy a killer skating uniform at Nordstrom Rack (and maybe grab some gifts for your favorite cousin while you’re at it). Cost: $10, Skate Rental: $5
Driving (8 minutes): Head South on 9th Street from Shaw and other nearby NW DC neighborhoods toward M Street NW. Turn right on K Street NW, then keep right to continue on US-29 S/K Street NW. Turn left toward K Street NW, then take the first right onto K Street NW. It’s on your left! OR – walk to NY Avenue NW and 9th Street, then take the DCWE (30 minutes) toward Georgetown. Get off at K Street NW and 30th Street NW.
Walk Inside a Winter Wonderland at Ice! 2014
This is a spectacle that’s not on the menu in most other cities – the Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! 2014 is chock full of holiday scenes atop 5,000 sculpted blocks of ice. You’ll feel like you stepped into the Frosty TV special! It runs all the way through January 4, 2015, the perfect antidote to post-holiday blues. They’ll loan you an oversized coat, but don’t forget your hat and gloves – baby, it’s a chilly nine degrees inside. Cost (Peak): $34 (Non-Peak): $27
Once you’ve experienced one holiday in Georgetown, you may never want to go home for the holidays again (sorry, Mom and Dad). And when you’ve gotten your fill of skating, shopping, and chilling, head back to the courtyard at The Colonel and roast in front of a toasty fire.
Featured Image: Flickr