What's open on Christmas weekend in the DC area

Spending Christmas in the D.C. area? Aside from the lights, Santa sightings, and Christmas trees (both big and tiny) around town, there are plenty of things open on Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 this year.

Things to do on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Ice Skating

There are plenty of places to go ice skating Christmas weekend around the DMV. The ice skating rink at the Sculpture Garden is closed on Christmas, but it's open during the day on Dec. 24. Ice skating at Reston Town Center, at Stonebridge in Woodbridge, and at Washington Harbour in Georgetown, and at the Canal Park Ice Rink in Navy Yard are all open all weekend, including Christmas Day. 

See a movie

Most movie theaters are open on Christmas Day. Head to an AMC or Regal movie theater to catch the latest movies, including Avatar: The Way of Water and Spirited. 

Local theaters such as the Angelika Pop-Up at Union Market and the AFI Silver Theater in Silver Spring will be open on Christmas Day as well. 

Mount Vernon 

George Washington’s Mount Vernon is open 365 days, including on Christmas! On Christmas Eve, there will be some additional holiday events, including holiday food, fifing, and a chocolate-making demonstration. On Christmas Day, you can walk the grounds, and around mid-day experience tributes at the slave memorial and at Washington’s tomb. 

More info here.  


Ranked as one of the best Christmas lights demonstrations in the nation, Zoolights is closed on Christmas Day. But on Dec. 24, head to the Smithsonian National Zoo to see the lights! 

More info here.

Waterskiing Santa 

Santa likes to get in a little recreational water skiing before he makes his long trip to deliver presents on Christmas Eve. Head to the waterfront in historic Old Town Alexandria for the show at 1:00 p.m. on Dec. 24, followed by a meet and greet.

More info here.

Visit the National Mall & monuments around D.C. 

Smithsonian Museums are only closed one day a year - Christmas Day. But they are open on Dec. 24! 

The monuments around the National Mall are open to walk around all weekend, and the crowds may be lighter than usual. The National Christmas Tree is located on the Ellipse near the White House. 

The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery will be open during regular winter hours. The cemetery lays wreaths on every headstone throughout the cemetery to honor the legacy and sacrifice of veterans. 

Go to the National Harbor

There's plenty to do at the National Harbor around the holidays. Head to ICE! at Gaylord National, go ice skating, watch Cirque: Spirit of Christmas, or take a photo with Santa. 

Other notable mentions: Georgetown GLOW, Enchant DC, Merriweather Symphony of Lights, Artechouse, Bull Run Festival of Lights

Where to eat on Christmas Day

Le Diplomate

The French brasserie will be serving up food on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. Make your reservation here


The Balkan restaurant's locations in D.C. and VA are offering a brunch feast on Christmas featuring a spread of kebabs, beet tzatziki and fresh-baked pita. 

Chang Chang

Fancy a little Chinese food for Christmas? Chang Chang is offering a Chinese feast by chefs Simon Lam and Pichet Ong with dishes like pan-fried dumplings, mapo tofu, eggplant with spicy garlic sauce, bamboo fish, and sweet and sour spare ribs. 

The Grill 

The Grill is open on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with a holiday menu featuring bone-in short ribs with a pomegranate braise, and pan-roasted Day Boat sea scallops with brown butter, sage risotto, and winter squash. 


Stable is open on Christmas Eve and for brunch on Christmas Day with a prix-fixe menu for $56 per person with a glass of Simonet Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine, plus an appetizer, fondue for sharing, and dessert.


Succotash will be offering their signature chicken and waffles til 3pm on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. For dinner, there's a special holiday menu that includes honey-glazed-ham biscuits with cranberry-ginger jam, miso-butter poached lobster, roasted duck breast, and eggnog cheesecake for dessert.

Stores that are open on Christmas Day

Did you forget a gift for a loved one? Run out of that one ingredient you need for Christmas dinner? 

Most stores are open on Christmas Eve. Check your local store for operating hours. 

Grocery stores open Christmas Eve Dec. 24:

  • Aldi
  • Amazon Fresh
  • BJ's
  • Costco
  • Food Lion
  • Fresh Market
  • Giant
  • Harris Teeter
  • Lidl
  • MOM's Organic Market
  • Publix
  • Sam's Club
  • Shoppers
  • Target
  • Walmart
  • Wegmans
  • Weis
  • Whole Foods

Retail stores open on Christmas Eve Dec. 24: 

  • Apple
  • Best Buy
  • Bed, Bath & Beyond
  • Big Lots
  • CVS
  • Dillard's
  • DICK's Sporting Goods
  • GameStop
  • JCPenney
  • Kmart
  • Kohl's
  • Macy's
  • Old Navy
  • Sears
  • Target
  • Walmart

Looking for stores open on Christmas Day? You have less options. 

Some Giant locations or Safeway stores will be open with limited hours. Some CVS and Walgreens locations may be open. And as for convenience stores, you may be able to head to a Wawa or 7-Eleven

READ MORE: What's open and closed Dec. 26, the day after Christmas