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Just a short distance from D.C is Fairfax County which has that big city feel of D.C. but also that vibrant landscape and experience of a small rural town. Here is the list of the best family holiday activities to do this Christmas in Fairfax, Virginia.

Bull Run Festival of Lights

bull run festival of lights

(Bull Run Regional Park, Nov 10 – Jan 7)

A family favorite, this 2.5-mile drive-through light display features holiday and fairytale vignettes. It’s ideal for all ages, including young kids, and concludes with a Holiday Village and carnival​​.

Buy Tickets Here: Festival of Lights

Great Falls Celebration of Lights

great falls celebration of lights

(Great Falls Village Centre, Dec 3rd)

The Annual Christmas Tree Lighting in Great Falls

Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies as the sounds of the season fill the air with performances by local school choirs.

Visit the petting zoo and pony rides before Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive by fire truck to light the tree at 5:00. Children are then welcome to share their holiday wishes with Santa.

More Info: Great Falls Celebration of Lights

Meadowlark Winter Walk of Lights

meadowlark winter walk of lights

(Vienna, Nov 10 – Jan 7)

This 0.6-mile outdoor path is lined with over 500,000 lights and displays, featuring flowers, birds, insects, and woodland creatures. It’s perfect for capturing holiday photos and watching children’s eyes light up​​.

More Information: Winter Walk of Lights

Ice & Lights Winter Village

Ice and lights winter village

 (Cameron Run, Nov 17 – Jan 1)

Featuring a Village light display with photo opportunities, this event includes an ice skating rink for an extra fee. Light-up and cuddly items are available for purchase, along with treats and drinks​​.

Purchase Tickets Here: Ice & Lights Winter Village

Season’s Greenings at the US Botanic Garden

Holiday as US botanic Gardens

(Washington DC, Nov 23 – Jan 1)

This holiday display at the US Botanic Garden features Poinsettias, iconic DC monuments and memorials made from natural elements, and an elaborate model train display​​.

More Information: US Botanic Gardens

Mount Vernon by Candlelight

mount vernon by candlelight

(Nov 24 – Dec 9 Weekends + Dec 17)

Enjoy soft lights, holiday patterns, Christmas carolers, and an 18th-century winter encampment at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Learn about early American holiday traditions and visit Aladdin the Christmas Camel​​.

More Information: Mount Vernon by Candlelight

Christmas in Middleburg

christmas in middleburg

(Dec 2 – 4)

Middleburg’s annual event includes a “Hunt and Hounds Review,” a greens sale, craft fair, caroling, a holiday concert, and food and spirits tastings throughout the town​​.

More Information Here: Christmas in Middleburg

Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend

scottish christmas walk weekend

(Alexandria, Dec 2)

This event features a parade with Scottish clansmen and bagpipes, a Christmas marketplace, and Alexandria’s Boat Parade of Lights​​.

More Information Here: Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend

Occoquan Holiday Market

Occoquan Holiday Market

(Occoquan, Dec 2 – 3)

This market in historic Occoquan features local artisans and crafters selling handmade works, along with festive decorations and a beautiful Christmas tree​​.

More Information: Occoquan Holiday Market

Additional Fun Activities

  • Festive First Weekend at Winterfest (First Friday and Saturday of December): This event at Reston Association features a magical trail through the Enchanted Forest and ends at the Vendor Village, offering food, drinks, and keepsakes​​.
  • Get Moving at the Ice Rink: Enjoy outdoor ice skating at Reston’s ice skating pavilion or the Fairfax Ice Arena​​.
  • Signature Holiday Events: These include the Fairfax City Holiday Market, Christmastide at Gunston Hall, Winter Market at The PARC at Tysons, Jingle on Lake Anne Holiday Event, and others​​.
  • Christmas and Holiday Concerts: Various musical ensembles and Christmas carol sing-alongs bring the festive spirit​​.
  • Meet Santa Claus: Opportunities to meet Santa across various locations in Fairfax County​​.
  • Holiday Fun in the Parks: Events like Holiday On The Farm, Winter Wonderland at Burke Lake Park, and Candlelight Holiday Tours offer a range of festive activities​​.