Monday, November 30, 2015

Winter holiday fun in Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia

The Christmas and holiday season in Old Town Alexandria is very festive. There are lots of holiday events and fun for all ages. I'm a bit late to the party in finishing this post this year to share November events, but I did want to share some of the events going on. 

[ Note: This post was originally written for a specific date/weekend in 2015 but has been updated to reflect annual traditions in Alexandria ]

Campagna Center's Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and Weekend

The parade honors Alexandria's Scottish heritage and features over 100 Scottish clans dressed in traditional garb playing Scottish music as they march through Old Town. This perennial event takes place the first weekend in December with the parade starting at 11 a.m. on Saturday. This parade features over 100 marching units and typically draws a big crowd. 2015 marked the parade’s 45th year.  

The Campagna Center is located at 418 S. Washington Street, and you can learn more about the other festivities surrounding this event on the official website. 

Torpedo Art Factory's Holiday Open House 

Each December the Torpedo Art Factory Center features a holiday event. Visitors are invited to the studios, which stay open late, to do some holiday shopping to find those unique gifts. Every year a new theme to the event is named. Past activities have included a children's scavenger hunt, raffles, giveaways, live music, snacks, and a special visit from Santa.

If you are shopping for the art aficionado in your life, this may be a great place to get your shopping done. The Torpedo Art Factory Center is located at 105 Union St., in Old Town right on the waterfront. 

Carlyle House's Annual Soldier's Christmas Open House

Alexandria is tightly entwined with Colonial America and its rich history is still very present today due to the wonderful preservation that goes on in Old Town. One of the reminders of early American history is Carlyle House. 

Every year, coinciding with the Scottish Walk parade day, Carlyle House holds its own event to re-enact how soldiers lived and celebrated Christmas during Revolutionary times. 

Visitors can see military drills, music and other festivities in full living history. Visitors can expect to see military drills, music, and other festivities with costumed living history members portraying 18th-century soldiers from the First Virginia Regiment. In the past, food and beverages were also shared. Learn about Army medicine during this era. Also, there will be Colonial games for the kids.

Carlyle House is located at 121 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria, Va. 22314. In addition to regular tours, many special events are held throughout the year.

Alexandria Archaeology Museum's Ornament Decorating Workshop

Every year during the holiday season, the museum hosts a free event where visitors can decorate and take home dough ornaments. These ornaments are designed to replicate the museum's own pottery collection; a great hands-on event for the kids! The Alexandria Archaeology Museum is located at the Torpedo Factory Art Center (3rd floor) at 105 N. Union Street. For more details on this event and others, you can visit their website (scroll down to see this event).  

Parade of Lights Holiday Boat Parade

This annual parade takes place down on the waterfront in Old Town Alexandria. Boat owners decorate their vessels and compete for prizes. Visitors can come down to the riverfront and see the boats cruise along the Potomac River. The fun typically starts at 5:30 p.m.
Early December is usually a busy time in Old Town!

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