DC Holiday Event Guide 2023: Pop-up bars, performances, lights and more

The holiday season is in full swing and FOX 5 has your guide to the best attractions and events taking place in the District to celebrate!

Holiday pop-ups and celebrations in DC

Seasons Greenings 2023

The U.S. Botanic Garden’s annual holiday display featured model trains, festive lights, poinsettias and D.C. landmarks made from plants. 

Nov. 23 through Jan. 1 | U.S. Botanic Garden
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
More information here.

Enchant DC

Nationals Park will transform into a winter wonderland with an all-new light maze, Christmas trees, ice skating, a holiday village, live entertainment, delicious food and other special surprises.

Nov. 24 through Dec. 31 | Nationals Park
Times depend on date chosen
$36 adults, $27 child
More information here.

Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf

Watch more than 60 decorated boats pass by the Wharf and enjoy ornament decorating, holiday karaoke, family photos with Santa and live music.

Dec. 2 | The Wharf
6 p.m. - 9 p.m.
More information here.

Celebrate Kwanzaa

The Anacostia Community Museum will be celebrating Kwanzaa with a multi-day program featuring events such as African drumming and storytelling, a mat-making workshop and a traditional call-and-response ceremony with storyteller Mama Ayo

Dec. 26 - Jan 1 | Anacostia Community Museum
1 p.m. 
More information here. 

Miracle at Death Punch

Two levels of the beloved Adams Morgan bar Death Punch will be decorated for the holiday season. Themed cocktails, like the Christmapolitan or a Snowball Old-Fashioned, will be available as well as a full food menu from Shibuya. 

Nov. 24 - Dec. 31 | Death Punch
12 p.m. - 2 a.m. 
More information here. 

Sippin' Santa at Black Whiskey

If "Christmas Island" is your favorite song this time of year, head to the Sippin Santa pop-up at Black Whiskey in Northwest D.C. Enjoy tropical Christmas beverages and retro Christmas decor at the 14th Street favorite. 

Nov. 24 - Dec. 31 | Black Whiskey
12 p.m. - 2 a.m. 
More information here. 

Winter Festival at the National Arboretum

The Friends of the National Arboretum is hosting a Winter Festival with over 25 local vendors and activities for the family. 

Dec. 2 | The National Arboretum
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
More information here. 

Ice Rink at the Sculpture Garden

Strap on your skates for a class D.C. Christmas experience on the National Mall. 

Nov. 20 - Mar. 3
11:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m. Sunday - Thursday
11:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday
$12 for adults, $6 skate rental
More information here. 

Holiday Markets in D.C. 

Dupont Circle Holiday Pop-up

Shop more than 120 vendors selling jewelry, pottery, paintings, prints, woodwork, tasty treats and more.

Dec. 2 | Dupont Circle Main Streets
12 p.m. - 5 p.m. 
More information here.

Heurich Christmas Markt 2023

This annual German-style craft market allows you to shop for the perfect holiday gift while learning about the history of the Heurich House.

Dec. 1 through Dec. 3 | Heurich House Museum 
Times depend on date chosen
$14 at the door, $2 for kids
More information here.

Downtown Holiday Market

Get your holiday shopping done and support small businesses at the 19th Annual Downtown Holiday Market! You can expect original artwork, jewelry, clothing, antiques, candles, homemade treats and more.

Nov. 17 through Dec. 23 | F Street, NW between 7th and 9th Streets, NW
12 p.m. - 8 p.m.
More information here.

Salt & Sundry Holiday Shop

Salt & Sundry is hosting a holiday pop-up on S Street in Northwest D.C., featuring holiday gifts from small creators. 

1402 S Street NW
More information here.


Holiday Market at The Parks

The Parks at Historic Walter Reed are hosting a brand new holiday market including carolers, pictures with Santa, a 30-foot tree, crafts and vendors from around the area. 

Dec. 2 | Marketplace Plaza at The Parks
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
More information here. 

Holiday Lightings in D.C. 

National Menorah Lighting 2023

Join in on the event regarded internationally as "the most prominent public Chanukah event in the world" as the National Chanukah Menorah, the world’s largest menorah, lights up on the Ellipse at the White House. President Biden, Vice President Harris and other prominent politicians will be in attendance and a live musical performance will entertain visitors.

Dec. 7 | The Ellipse
3 p.m. - 6 p.m.
More information here.


One of D.C.’s favorite light displays is ZooLights, which features dozens of glowing animal lanterns across the Zoo as well as live music performances, winter treats and opportunities for holiday shopping. ZooLights is no longer free as in past years, now $6 per person. 

Nov. 24 through Dec. 30 | Smithsonian National Zoo
5 p.m. - 9 p.m. 
More information here.

Georgetown GLOW

Enjoy five lit works throughout December from local artists. Over the length of the free five-week event, keep an eye out for a special shopping night, holiday night market, a cocktail crawl and more. 

Dec. 1 - Jan. 7 | Georgetown
5 p.m. - 10 p.m.
More information here. 

Holiday Performances in D.C.

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show

Watch the world’s first holiday show highlighting the African American tradition of stepping, according to Step Afrika! Meet friends from the Arctic Kingdom along with DJ Nutcracker.

Dec. 8 through Dec. 17 | Arena Stage
Showtimes depend on date chosen
$56 - $115
More information here.

GMCW Holiday Show

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C.’s annual Holiday Show is a delightful and joyous musical celebration. The show features performances from the full Chorus, soloists and GenOUT Youth Chorus. 

Dec. 2, Dec. 9 and Dec. 10 | Lincoln Theatre
Times depend on date chosen
$25 - $65
More information here.

Navidad Flamenca

Celebrate the holidays with Spanish music and dancing, featuring the Furia Flamenca Dance company and live musicians. 

Dec. 9 | Atlas Performing Arts Center
4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
$30 - $35
More information here

A Chocolate City Nutcracker

Black Leaves Dance Company re-imagines "The Nutcracker" in a "love letter to Pan-Africanism, the LGBTQIA community, and the celebration of family." 

Dec. 9 | Atlas Performing Arts Center
6:00 p.m. 
More information here. 

Fiesta de los Reyes Magos 

Celebrate Three Kings Day at the Gala Hispanic Theatre! Kicking off with a parade featuring the Three Kings and live animals, followed by a show featuring local musicians and dance troupes. 

Jan. 7 | Gala Hispanic Theatre
1:30 p.m. 
More information here. 

The Nutcracker

The Washington Ballet reimagines the traditional ballet in a D.C.-ified version featuring George Washington and set in Georgetown. 

Dec. 2 - Dec. 30 | Warner Theater
Times depend on date chosen
More information here.