The Best Northern Virginia Christmas Activities in 2023

Family

November 22, 2023

Are you looking for the best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023? Northern Virginia is a magical place to be during the holiday season. The region comes alive with twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a host of activities that bring joy and cheer. With so many to choose from, it can be hard to know which ones are worthwhile and which you can skip over.

best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023 featuring a family session among pine trees

a family session captured by a northern virginia family photographer including a mom, dad, three kids, and two puppies standing in a tree field

As a newborn photographer in Northern Virginia who has lived here for many years, I have first-hand experience with the best Northern Virginia Christmas activities. So, without further ado, here are my top picks for the best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023 that you won’t want to miss.

Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights

Start your Christmas journey with a visit to the Meadowlark Botanical Gardens’ Winter Walk of Lights. As one of the best Northern Virginia Christmas activities, this spectacle transforms the garden into a winter wonderland, complete with over half a million LED lights. The event will run from November 10th- January 7th this year. This .6-mile outdoor walking experience is perfect for families, couples, and anyone who loves the glow of holiday lights.

northern virginia family photographer captures three kids sitting on a blanket and playing with lights

Bull Run Festival of Lights

The Bull Run Festival of Lights is another must-see light show in Northern Virginia, running from November 10th to January 7th. This 2.5-mile drive-through light show features thousands of colorful displays, culminating in a fantastic holiday village with rides, refreshments, and, of course, Santa Claus himself. It’s the perfect way to spend a night with your loved ones.

best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023 featuring a boy playing with Christmas lights on a tree

a girl eating an ice cream cone next to a pine tree

a little girl putting an ornament on a tree shot by a northern virginia family photographer

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Step back in time with a candlelit tour of George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate. You’ll hear stories of past Christmases at the estate, meet historical characters, and enjoy festive music. This unique experience combines history and holiday spirit in a way that is truly unforgettable. Remember to buy tickets in advance because this tends to sell out, especially on the weekends!

best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023 featuing a mom, dad, and two puppies.

grandparents holding their grandkids in a field captured by a northern virginia family photographer

best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023 featuring a family of five sitting in a tree field.

Ice Skating at Reston Town Center 

Nothing says Christmas like ice skating, and the rink at Reston Town Center is one of the best places to do it in Northern Virginia. Surrounded by shops, restaurants, and beautiful holiday decorations, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.

three children sitting on the bed of a truck, smiling

three kids sitting on the back of a truck and hugging for best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights 

Head to the historic waterfront in Alexandria for the annual Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on December 2nd, 2023. This nautical parade features dozens of brightly lit boats sailing down the Potomac River, creating a dazzling display that’s a highlight of the holiday season in Northern Virginia.

grandparents and grandchildren sitting on the bed of a truck

best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023 featuring a girl smiling with her grandparents

a little boy smiling next to his grandpa, captured by a northern virginia family photographer

a girl smiling

Conclusion: Best Northern Virginia Christmas Activities in 2023

From dazzling light displays to historical tours and natural beauty, Northern Virginia offers a wide range of activities to make your 2023 Christmas truly special. Whether you’re a local or planning a holiday visit, be sure to add one of these best Northern Virginia Christmas activities in 2023 to your festive calendar.

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When was the last time you had family photos taken? Life gets in the way but the kids just keep getting bigger. Take the time to document them just as they are right now with a Northern Virginia family photography session. I strive to provide you with an experience that is relaxed, joyful, and stress free. From studio wardrobe to providing you with carefully curated heirlooms such as albums and wall art, you can rest assured that I will take care of you and all of the details along the way. Contact me today to book your next family photo session!

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