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2013 Holiday Guide to Everything: Festivals, Santa Visits, Black Friday, Ice Rinks, Giving Back and More

2013 Thanksgiving, Christmas and Hanukkah events in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.

2013 Holiday Guide to Events in Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.
2013 Holiday Guide to Events in Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland.

By Patch Staff

Here's your very first holiday present: A long list of things to do this season from festivals, to Santa visits, volunteer opportunities and more.

Want your event included? List it in the comments below.


Parades, Festivals,Christmas Tree Lightings


Bull Run Festival of Lights: Through Jan. 5, just off of Interstate 66 on Route 29 (Lee Highway) in Centreville. The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority says they expect to see more than 30,000 cars drive through the holiday light display before it ends Jan. 5. Find out more here.


Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights: Through Jan. 5. Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna 22182. Visit Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights to experience over 500,000 LED lights and displays that bring Meadowlark Botanical Gardens to life! Click here for the details.


Jingle Bell Carriage Rides: through Jan. 3, 706 Caroline St., Fredericksburg. Jingle Bell Rides are available every evening except Monday, through Jan. 3. Reservations for the carriage rides are recommended. $100 - $120, depending on carriage purchased for the evening.


National Christmas Tree: Musical performances by volunteer choirs, bands and dancers will be given nightly until Sunday, Dec. 22. Tuesday-Friday performances will be from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday performances will run from 1 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Santa's Workshop will be open Monday-Thursday 4-6:30 p.m. and 7-9:30 p.m.; Friday-Sunday 12:30-4:30 p.m. and 5:30-9:30 p.m.; Dec. 24: 11 a.m.-3 p.m.


Mr. Grinch Carriage Rides: Each Sunday in December, Fredericksburg. Take the kids on a short ride with Mr. Grinch approximately 15 minutes. Photo opportunity for the kids and kids get a Christmas Goody Bag. Travel down Caroline Street to see the decorated store windows and back. Rides run every Sunday in December (weather permitting). More info.


27th Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit at Ferry Farm: Sunday, Dec. 8 - Monday, Dec. 30 at George Washington's Boyhood Home at Ferry Farm, 268 Kings Hwy., Fredericksburg.  The 2013 theme is "Moments in U.S. History."  The exhibit opens with judging at noon on Dec. 8.  It then is open daily 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., except for Dec. 24, 25 and 31.  Admission to Ferry Farm plus the exhibit is $8 adults;, $4 students. Admission to the exhibit only is $4 adults, $2 students.  Children under six are free. 


Rappahannock POPS Orchestra Holiday Concert: Saturday, Dec. 20. 7:30 p.m. at Grace Church of Fredericksburg Center for the Arts, 1141 Heatherstone Dr., Fredericksburg. $20 adults, $15 seniors (65 and over), $15 students (with valid ID), children under 18 are free. 


How to Give Back 


Sponsor a family: Register to sponsor a family from Fairfax-based charity Our Daily Bread’s holiday assistance list. There are 3,000 families in Fairfax County in need of help. Provide holiday meals and gifts for children. Register to sponsor families or donate at: www.ODBFairfax.org/Holiday or contact hpassist@ODBFairfax.org or 703-273-8829.


Holiday Gift Distribution: Forward Future Youth Services will be distributing gifts to families in need on Dec. 19. We are looking for volunteers to help out at the event. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact us at info@forwardfuture.org or call us at (571) 266-8299. Thursday, Dec. 19, 6 p.m.; 500 E. Frederick, Sterling.


Rappahannock United Way: (RUW) has released its 2013 Holiday Volunteer Opportunities Guide. "Local nonprofit agencies have provided us with their wish lists for donation items and information regarding volunteer projects throughout the season," RUW said. View the list online or download the attached .pdf version.


The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys for Tots Drive: An annual event to collect new, unwrapped toys for children in need each year. There are dozens of locations in the Northern Virginia area. View a full list of drop-off locations online.


Ice Rinks


Harris Pavilion: Daily thru Jan. 5. Times vary. 9201 Center St., Manassas. In Old Town Manassas, all sessions are open skate, no time limit. $8 adults, $7 for ages 10 and under. $3 skate rental. Season passes available. More info.


Prince William Ice Center: Two-hour open skate every day. Times vary. 5180 Dale Blvd, Woodbridge. $7 admission, $3 skate rental. More info.


Ice Skating Pavilion, Reston Town Center: Until March. Times vary. 1818 Discovery Street, Reston.  $10 adults, $8 under 12 and older than 55. Skate rental $5. Seasonal passes available. 703.709.6300. 2013-2014 Season - open daily from early November until March the Pavilion floor is transformed into a gleaming ice skating rink. Ice skates and other supplies are available inside the Skate Shop directly beside the Pavilion (behind Clyde's).  More info.


Pentagon Row Ice-Skating: Open now. Details here.


Washington Harbour Ice Rink: Open now until March from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Thursday, 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Adults $10, Children $8, Skate rental $5. Open holidays.


Where to Get Your Picture with Santa


Santa at Potomac Mills: Every day through Dec. 24, during regular mall hours. Potomac Mills, 2700 Potomac Mills Circle, Woodbridge. Get your photo taken with Santa and give him your holiday wish list. Photo package pricing varies. More info.


Get Your Picture Taken with Santa at Tysons: Santa will be available for photos and visits at his winter wonderland house, located between Nordstrom and Bloomingdale's wings on level one - through Dec. 24. Click here for Santa’s hours.


Visit Santa at Dulles Town Center: Santa is in the house! Click here for hours.


See Santa at Pentagon City: Santa even has special hours for photos with pets! He takes breaks to feed the reindeer at 1 and 5 p.m. More info here.


Santa at Fair Oaks Mall: Be sure to check out the Ice Palace while you’re waiting! More info.


Holiday Concerts


Frosty Follies: Through Dec. 22.  Lorton’s Metropolitan School of the Arts will perform their free Frosty Follies shows at various dates and locations throughout the region. View more information.


In Santa, We Believe: Saturdays through Dec. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center on 9601 Ox Road in Lorton. Watch the classic “In Santa, We Believe” story live onstage. The show is for children and their families. View more information and make reservations.


Oh, Holy Night: Dec. 20th, 7:30 p.m. at the Workhouse Arts Center on 9601 Ox Road in Lorton. Celebrate the Christmas season with Christmas carols in this 90-minute performance. Get tickets online.  


Jingle in the Jungle - A Children's Christmas Adventure Story Rose the skunk is not very happy. She wants to play and have friends, just like everyone else. But the kids make fun of her and tease her because she is different. She wants to change that with her Christmas wish. This is a wonderful play about acceptance and self-esteem, all wrapped up in the Christmas spirit. Dates: DDec. 20, 2013, 6:30 p.m.; Dec. 21, 2013, 5:30 p.m.; Dec. 22, 2013, 5:30 p.m. Oatlands, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg.


Rappahannock POPS Orchestra Holiday Concert: Saturday, Dec. 20. 7:30 p.m. at Grace Church of Fredericksburg Center for the Arts, 1141 Heatherstone Dr., Fredericksburg. $20 adults, $15 seniors (65 and over), $15 students (with valid ID), children under 18 are free. 

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