Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Christmas and holiday events in Old Town Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria is full of holiday spirit. Honestly, there is just so much to see and do during the Christmas season in this city it really warranted its own post. On a more personal side, I love, love Old Town during the holidays. So pretty and festive.

So without further ado, here are a number of the family fun things to do in Old Town this year:

See a tree lighting

This is a great event the city throws every year. It includes live entertainment, caroling, a community sing-along and a visit from Santa. The last time I attended, Santa stuck around for a while and visited with the kids. Great event, we had a blast. This year's event takes place on Fri., Nov. 28 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Market Square in Old Town. Admission is free. 

Hangout with Santa & Mrs. Claus

Prior to the big night, visitors to Old Town can meet Santa & Mrs. Claus at the Union Street Public House (located at 121 South Union St.) from 1 to 5:30 p.m. There will be storytelling and magic tricks at 4 p.m. At 5:30 Santa will head on over to the tree lighting playing his bagpipes in a festive parade. Union Street Public House is also offering cookies, cocoa and coffee for sale (along with a full menu if you want to stop and eat).


Old Town is pretty well known for its shopping. With many chic, quaint and fabulous boutiques and shops, there is plenty of selection. On Nov. 28, to coincide with other city events, the city will host its Black Friday sales starting at 6 a.m. If you're one who likes to support local, this is the perfect event! Discounts start at 30 percent off, but do drop throughout the day. The official website offers more details on these specials. The shops are usually nicely decked out and are pretty to look at.

Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend 

A great event that happens every year during the first weekend in December. This year's event is scheduled for December 5 - 6 with the parade taking place at 11 a.m. on Saturday. For more information about this parade, please see my earlier post about local Christmas parades.

Boat Parade of Lights

Now in its 15th year, the Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights will take place on Dec. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Marina (right behind the Torpedo Factory). See more than 50 boats all festively lit up for the holidays cruise the Potomac River. Admission is free.

A Soldier's Christmas at Carlyle House

Another annual event, this year's presentation at the Carlyle House museum takes place on Sat., Dec. 6 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Come learn about how soldiers celebrated the holidays during the Revolutionary War. Admission is free. Carlyle House is located at 121 N. Fairfax St. in Old Town. 

Waterskiing Santa

Santa swings by for another visit to Old Town on Dec. 24 to get in some waterskiing before his big night. He is accompanied by Frosty, the Grinch, his flying elves and kneeboarding reindeer. Showtime is at 1 p.m. (pre-show at 12:45 p.m.) at Alexandria's waterfront between King St. and Oronoco St. Show is free, and happens rain, snow or shine! More information:

These are a few of the big events happening, but honestly, there is just so much going on. There are many theatre performances, live music, special candlelight tours of the city's historic museums and more. You can peruse the city's website to learn more about other specially scheduled events.


  1. I am not sure if this doesn't sound more fun than Winchester, maybe next November or December!!

  2. Yes, this is all good stuff! I loved walking around and looking at all the businesses and homes all decked out. Thanks for stopping by!