5 Ways to Sneak in Last-Minute Holiday Cheer

With the holidays right around the corner, now is the time to enjoy the city’s festive holiday displays and activities, some of which are available all winter long! We’ve gathered ideas for both indoor and outdoor experiences that are sure to warm you up with good old-fashioned cheer… and hot chocolate, because, nothing warms you up quite like a mug of piping hot and creamy hot chocolate.

National Menorah
Throughout Chanukah, the National Menorah stands elegant and tall on the White House Ellipse, an international symbol for the Jewish community. Perhaps the most prominent public Chanukah program in the world, uniquely positioned and prepared to offer creative, logistical and other support to many communities worldwide, catch it before Hanukkah ends December 20!

Washington Harbour
Washington Harbour is the waterfront destination of Georgetown. This lifestyle center is a major highlight of the legendary neighborhood of Georgetown, with shops, restaurants, live entertainment, and outdoor fun all year round. Admire views of the Potomac River and the largest ice skating rink in DC (open until March) while walking the Harbour’s illustrious pier. Head into one of the cozy restaurants or cafes, many featuring holiday specials, if you need a break from the chill.

U.S. National Arboretum
The U.S. National Arboretum has one of the most comprehensive collections of Gotelli Dwarf and Slow-Growing Conifer collections in the world - filling seven acres with 1,400 specimens.  You will be awestruck by the dramatic landscape of hundreds of conifers in many shapes, sizes, and colors.  It is an outdoor oasis perfect for getting lost in, or admiring from the gazebo that rests atop a hill overlooking the collection

Union Station
Union Station is its own self-contained holiday paradise. Its famous Norwegian model train display cannot be missed, and neither can its dazzling Norwegian Christmas tree. The trains are hand-made replicas of real Norwegian trains crafted by an expert model builder and set in a Norwegian landscape of mountains and fjords, and the tree is a gift from Norway thanking the US for their efforts in WW2. The iconic wreaths hanging over the entry to the station greet with you with holiday cheer as you head on your trip!

National Gallery of Art
After exploring the National Gallery of Art’s East Wing, head to the museum’s Espresso & Gelato Bar, where you can indulge in a rich cup of hot chocolate and a decadent pastry. If you prefer to be outside and enjoy the frosty air, go to the sculpture garden to ice skate amid the towering sculptures. Warm up with a mug of hot cocoa from the Pavilion Café, where you can get spiked hot chocolate.