The Nutcracker Tea
Saturdays through Dec. 15, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. Escape to the magical world of “The Nutcracker” ballet, complemented by afternoon tea and treats. Members of the Creative Dance Center, through the Institute of Performing Arts for Youth, will delight your eyes with a contemporary twist on the beloved holiday classic, while the Pastry Team will tantalize your taste buds with an extraordinary selection of tea sandwiches, pastries and sweets. All children will leave with a Nutcracker doll./ The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703-744-3925; ritzcarlton.com/tysons; $75 per person.

Gingerbread House Decorating Class
Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 16, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m. After exploring our life-size gingerbread house, learn to make your own sugary home at a Gingerbread House Decorating Class, taught by The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner’s pastry chefs. The class includes all the ingredients to construct a beautiful gingerbread house as well as a special souvenir./ The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703-744-3925; ritzcarlton.com/tysons; $70 per child age 3 to 12.

Children’s Theatre: “A Magical Christmas”
Saturdays through Dec. 22, 1 p.m. A children’s theatre performance perfect for holidays! There’s something not right in the town of Believe. Santa hasn’t stopped there for many years; in fact he doesn’t even know the place exists! Joy’s grandfather decides to do something about it and make sure that this year’s Christmas will be the most magical ever. Appropriate for all ages. Concessions available in lobby before the performance and at intermission./ Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton; 703-584-2900; workhousearts.org; $8 children, $12 adults.

Bull Run Festival of Lights
Through Jan. 6. The Bull Run Festival of Lights is a NoVA favorite. Hop in the car and enjoy a very merry light and music show. Be advised: Fridays are one of the festival’s busiest days, so be prepared. Still, it’s one of the best days to go, as the carnival will be open until late! Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville; 703-359-4633; nvrpa.org/park/bull_run_festival_of_lights; Prices vary.

Sugarloaf Crafts Festival
Dec. 7-9, times vary. More than 300 of the nation’s finest artisans will set up shop at the Sugarloaf Festival. Shop a stunning array of sculpture, glass, jewelry, fashion, wood, metal, furniture, home accessories, photography and fine art – all hand-crafted by American artists who have been jury selected for this prestigious show. Bring home some unique works of arts for yourself or for people on your holiday gift list. Children under 12 get in free./ Dulles Expo Center, 4369 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly; 800-210-9900; sugarloafcrafts.com/festivals/chantilly/december; $8 online, $10 at the door.

Jingle on Lake Anne
Dec. 8, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Visit the Lake Anne Plaza for a day of merriment and fun, including a wine tasting for adults and crafts for the kids. There will be food, entertainment and a lot more!/ Lake Anne Plaza, 11402 Washington Plaza, Reston; 703-471-6374; lakeanneplaza.com; Free.

Christmas at Gunston Hall
Dec. 8, 3-8 p.m. Ride in a horse-drawn carriage, sip warm cider by the fire and sample period food prepared in the hearth kitchen. Return to the 18th century as costumed characters greet you in the house and throughout the grounds./ Gunston Hall, 10709 Gunston Road, Mason Neck; 703-550-9220; gunstonhall.org; $15 for adults, $8 for ages 6-18; $2 for ages 2-5.

Christmas on the Home Front at Sully
Dec. 16, 1 p.m. Christmas on the Home Front shows a glimpse into holiday festivities during World War II with American GIs, Christmas treats made with rationed goods and familiar music./ Sully Historic Site, 3650 Historic Sully Way, Chantilly; 703-437-1794; fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/sully; $10 for adults, $7 for seniors and children.

Fairfax High School Winter Concert
Dec. 20, 7 p.m. Fairfax High School Choral and Orchestra Department present a performance of Christmas tunes. Bring an unwrapped gift for a child to donate to the Toys for Tots drive./ Fairfax High School, 3501 Rebel Run, Fairfax; 703-219-2355; fhschorus.net; Free.

Herndon Centennial New Year’s Eve Golf Tournament
Dec. 31, 10 a.m. Herndon Centennial Golf Course hosts their annual New Year’s Eve Scramble. Four-person scramble. The entry fee includes green fee, cart fee, range balls, prizes and lunch. Entry deadline: Dec. 21, 2012./ Herndon Centennial Golf Course, 909 Ferndale Avenue, Herndon; 703-471-5769; herndongolf.com; $70 per player.

6th Annual Rocknoceros New Years Eve Party
Dec. 31, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m. Celebrated kids’ band Rocknoceros invites you to celebrate the new year at Jammin’ Java! The annual New Year’s Eve party will feature a countdown and apple juice toast!/ Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave E, Vienna; 703-255-1566; jamminjava.com; $10.

New Year’s Eve in Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge
Dec. 31, 9 p.m.-midnight. Celebrate the New Year with live musical entertainment provided by The Christopher Linman Jazz Ensemble and culinary delights in the newly renovated ENTYSE Wine Bar & Lounge.  As the clock strikes midnight, welcome 2013 with a complimentary champagne toast./ The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, 1700 Tysons Blvd., McLean, 703-744-3925; ritzcarlton.com/tysons; $75 per person food and beverage minimum.



“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”
Dec. 7-9, 13-16. A group of bad apples star in the church’s annual Nativity play and add their own changes to the story./ James Lee Community Center Theater, 2855 Annandale Road #101, Falls Church; 703-534-3387; providenceplayers.org; $15.

Civil War Christmas
Dec. 8, 10 a.m.- 3p.m. Although Christmas didn’t become an official holiday in our country until 1870, it was celebrated during the Civil War by both the United States and the Confederate States of America. Experience Christmas circa 1863, complete with re-enactors and parlor entertainment. Drop by to watch the reenactment in progress./ Cherry Hill Farmhouse, 312 Park Ave., Falls Church; 703-248-5171; cherryhillfallschurch.org/; Free, donations welcome.

The Christmas Cabin of Carnaween
Dec. 7–23 Set in the days of the great potato famine, the tale follows the journey of a tinker’s child who longs for one day having a home of her own. The years go by and her dream would go unfulfilled if not for the wee people who come to her aid on a beautiful snowy night on a hillside in Carnaween. / ArtSpace Falls Church, 410 South Maple Ave., Falls Church; 571-239-5288; creativecauldron.org; $15/ adults, $12/students

Holiday Tea
Dec. 9 and 16, 2 p.m. A full tea, talk by a costumed docent and a tour of the decorated 1845 farmhouse. / Cherry Hill Farmhouse, 312 Park Ave., Falls Church; 703-248-5171; fallschurchva.gov; $28, reservations required

Dan Nichols
Dec. 15, 7 p.m. The singer-songwriter performs his music and Hanukkah favorites with the Temple Rodef Shalom youth choirs. / Temple Rodef Shalom, 2100 Westmoreland St., Falls Church; 703-532-2217; templerodefshalom.org; Free

Watch Night
Dec. 31, 7 p.m.-Midnight Ring in the New Year with free family-friendly festivities at the 15th Annual Watch Night New Year’s Eve Celebration in the City of Falls Church. / Intersection of Broad St. and Washington St., Falls Church; 703-534-4942; fallschurchva.gov; Free



“An O. Henry Christmas”
Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. This local theatre group will perform two classic Christmas tales by O. Henry, including “The Gift of the Magi” and “The Last Leaf”. And what is dinner without a show?  The Dec. 9 performance is a dinner and show combination with an evening meal at The Inn at Vint Hill. Purchase tickets online./ Fauquier Community Theatre, 4225 Aiken Drive, Warrenton; (540)-349-8760; fctstage.org; $15 for adults and $13 for seniors and students.

GumDrop Square in Old Town Warrenton
Nov. 30-Dec. 2, Dec. 7-9, Dec. 14-16, Fridays 6-9 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Sundays 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Enjoy a night celebrating the holidays old school in Old Town Warrenton.  Kids can give Santa Claus their lists and receive pictures with the man in the big red suit.  Enjoy carolers, merchant open houses, food trolleys, hot chocolate and other festivities along Main Street./ John Barton Payne Building, 2 Courthouse Square, Warrenton; (540)-349-8606; partnershipforwarrenton.org; Free.

The Living Christmas Tree
Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 8 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., Dec. 9 at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Once again the Warrenton United Methodist Church will perform their unique Christmas concert.  The choir will light up the auditorium by singing in the eight foot, decked-out wooden Christmas tree.  The concert will also feature an orchestra and featured soloists./ Warrenton United Methodist Church, 341 Church Street, Warrenton; (540)-347-1367; warrentonumc.org; Free

“Elmer the Elf”
Dec. 21-23, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.  He may be just a wee elf, but he has a big heart.  The local theatre company puts on a musical people of all ages will adore.  Watch as Elmer and his elf friends save Christmas in this charming story.  Purchase tickets online./ Fauquier Community Theatre, 4225 Aiken Drive, Warrenton; (540)-349-8760; fctstage.org; $10.

First Night in Old Town Warrenton
Dec. 31, 7 p.m.-Midnight. Kick off 2013 with family-fun provided by the community of Warrenton.  Until 11:45 p.m. over 50 performers will be in attendance to play classical, rock ‘n’ roll and bluegrass music in addition to jugglers, hay rides and puppet shows. Then the town of Warrenton will be lit up by candlelight and song as the clock strikes midnight./ Historic Old Town Warrenton; (540) 341-0988; bluemont.org; $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $3 for children 3-12, free for children under 3.



2012 Gingerbread House Contest
Dec. 1-15, various times. Join Historic Manassas for their 17th annual gingerbread house competition. Children and adults will have two separate contests to construct the most creative gingerbread house. Houses will be displayed in a selection of Historic Manassas shop windows until the announcement of the winners on Dec. 15.  First place receives $100 in cash, second place—$75 and third place—$50./ Old Town Manassas, 9431 West Street, Manassas; (703)-361-6599; visitmanassas.org; Free.

Natalie MacMaster: Christmas in Cape Breton
Dec. 7 at 8 p.m.  Listen to classic Christmas songs and contemporary Celtic melodies performed by Grammy-nominated fiddler, Natalie MacMaster.  The sounds of the strings will have you thinking you are in Nova Scotia for the holidays./ Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; (703)-993-7550; hyltoncenter.org; $34, $42, $50 or free with GMU Student ID.

Carriage Rides in Old Town Manassas
Dec. 9, 1-4 p.m. Travel in style and grab an afternoon ride in a horse-drawn carriage.  Take a journey from the Manassas Train Depot to Old Town and take in the view of the holiday lights and décor./ Manassas Train Depot, 9431 West Street, Manassas; (703)-361-6599; visitmanassas.org; Free.

Winter Wonderland Train Show
Dec. 12-14 from 5-8 p.m., Dec. 15 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dec. 16 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Snack on goodies, visit with Santa Claus and listen to live entertainment by “The National Capital Trackers” while watching trains of all shapes and sizes travel through model towns. The train show is partnering up with SERVE, Inc., an organization supporting Manassas families in need.  Guests are asked to bring donations, such as toys, clothing or non-perishable food./ Center for the Arts, 9419 Battle Street, 3rd Floor, Manassas; (703)-257-8200; manassascity.org; Free.

American Festival Pops Orchestra: Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season
Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. The American Festival Pops Orchestra comes to perform orchestral Christmas tunes.  This special holiday performance will include an AFPO Holiday Brass Quintet, a guest narration of “Twas the Night before Christmas” and, of course, toe-tapping classics by the greater D.C. area musicians under the direction of Anthony Maiello./ Hylton Performing Arts Center, 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; (703)-993-7550; hyltoncenter.org; $32, $40, $48 or free with GMU Student ID.



A 1940s Christmas
Dec. 8, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Travel back in time for a Christmas experience during the 1940s.  Reenactors of the original owners of the home will show guests what the holidays were like during World War II.  Enjoy music, food and drinks while kids create holiday crafts./ Rippon Lodge Historic Site, 15520 Blackburn Road, Woodbridge; (703)-499-9812; pwcgov.org/historicpreservation; $7.

Town of Dumfries Christmas-Holiday Parade
Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. Pick a seat on a curbside and join the town of Dumfries for its “38th annual Christmas-Holiday Parade”. Follow the parade to its finishing spot at the Dumfries Shopping Plaza to dance to music by a live DJ, meet Santa Claus and hear who the parade winners are./ Town Hall, 17755 Main Street, Dumfries; (703)-221-3400; dumfriesva.gov; Free.

Etsy and Pinterest Holiday Party
Dec. 8, 6-10 p.m. Get ready Pinterest fans because this event will be your haven! Local Etsy designers and Pinterest bloggers will display and network their arts and crafts to NoVA locals in search of gifts for the holidays. Shop thrifty with these gift ideas—all of which cost $10 or less./ Tall Oaks Community Center, 12298 Cotton Mill Drive, Woodbridge; (703)-5491-2154; lakeridge.patch.com; Free



Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit
Dec. 1-30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (except Dec. 24-25). For 26 consecutive years, Ferry Farm, the site of George Washington’s childhood home, fills with the tempting aromas of cinnamon and the creative expressions of children and adults alike. Come to see the exhibit of hand-crafted gingerbread houses, or participate in a contest and make your own! This year’s theme is “Songs of the Holidays”. Entry form required to participate in the contest. /Kenmore Visitor Center, 1201 Washington Ave., Fredericksburg; 540-373-3381; https://www.kenmore.org; $5/adult, $2.50/child.

The Magic of Christmas Holiday Pops Concert
Dec. 6-7, 7:30 p.m. (pre-concert event on Dec. 6, 5:30-6:15).  The University of Mary Washington Philharmonic Orchestra invites you to their annual holiday concert, featuring a mix of your Christmas favorites, as well as Christmas tunes from classic holiday movies. A pre-concert event, the Fiddlestix Instrument Petting Zoo, is the opportunity for kids to engage with the joy of musical instruments themselves in a personalized setting. /Dodd Auditorium, University of Mary Washington, 1301 College Ave, Fredericksburg; 540-654-1000; https://philharmonic.umw.edu; $10.

Santa in the Shop
Dec. 7, 6 p.m. Santa takes on a historical bent in this Fredericksburg favorite. Have your photo taken with Santa and listen to his stories about Christmas traditions during the Civil War. /The Museum Shop at the Fredericksburg Area Museum and Cultural Center, 215 William St., Fredericksburg; 540-371-3037 x126; www.famcc.org; Free.

Jingle Bell Carriage Rides
Throughout Dec. Experience Fredericksburg and the Christmas season from a different perspective—from the backseat of a carriage! The Jingle Bell carriage rides will transport you and your family through downtown Fredericksburg and to a different era. Check out the decorated windows, the Christmas tree, and simply relax under a warm blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. /Fredericksburg; 540-371-0094; https://www.oldetownecarriages.com/Holiday-Christmas-Rides.html; $100/hour.

Breakfast with Santa
Dec. 9, 8 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:15 p.m. Don’t bother leaving cookies and milk for Santa to eat all by himself this year—eat with him instead! Santa will be showing up for breakfast throughout the morning at Eileen’s Bakery and Café. Each ticket includes a visit with Santa, one gift per child, breakfast, appetizer and drink. Reservations required in advance. /Eileen’s Bakery and Café, 1115 Caroline St., Fredericksburg; 540-372-4030; https://www.eileensbakeryandcafe.com/; $16/ticket.

Holiday Swing Dance
Dec. 22, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. Need to hone your dancing skills before the big New Year’s Eve Bash? Here’s your chance! Dance the night away with the locals of Fredericksburg. Free beginner group lessons included. /Spotsylvania Towne Center, 137 Spotsylvania Mall Drive, Fredericksburg; 540-847-4581; https://events.fredericksburg.com/event/1067447/holiday-swing-dance.html; Free.



Songs of the Christmas Season
Dec. 16, 3 p.m. Join the Stafford Regional Chorale Society in welcoming the Christmas season with their favorite (and yours) holiday tunes. This community-based group has been providing a platform for the arts through performance and education since 1999. /Colonial Forge High School, 550 Courthouse Road, Stafford; 540-373-0215; https://staffordchoral.org/; Free.



Blue Ridge Chorale Concert
Dec. 7, 7 p.m. Get into the holiday spirit with the help of the Blue Ridge Chorale, Culpeper’s own community choir. This year the group will perform selections from the “Messe de Minuit pour Noel”, a Baroque-era composition sure to be the perfect jump-start to the holiday season. /Prince Michel Vineyards, 154 Winery Lance, Leon; 540-948-4573; www.brcsings.com; $28/adult, $18/child.

Gingerbread House Workshop
Dec. 15, 12 p.m.-4 p.m. Get your hands dirty with an interactive gingerbread house-making class. Area craftswoman Debbie Boyd will guide your imagination as you learn the basics of manipulating tasty sweets into a work of art. Fun for all ages. Register before Dec. 7. /Community Room, 303 N. Main Street, Culpeper; 540-727-3412; https://web.culpepercounty.gov/CountyGovernment/ParksandRecreation.aspx; $25/adult, $20 first child, $15 second child.

LOC Theater Presents: A Christmas Story
Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m. Experience the cult classic, a guaranteed laugh and a sure-fire way to make your holiday bright. Even if you’ve seen the film 100 times, you’ll still be on the edge of your seat until the very end, anxious to see whether Ralphie gets the Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle of his dreams. A perfect movie night for the whole family. Reservations suggested. /Library of Congress Packard Campus, 19053 Mount Pony Road, Culpeper; 540-827-1079 x79994; Free.



Christmas & Holiday Parade
Dec. 8, 10-11:30 a.m. The annual Christmas & Holiday Parade will begin at 10:00 a.m. and will feature local bands, seasonal floats and the man of the season – Santa. The parade will begin at Ida Lee Drive, proceed down King Street through the Historic Downtown, and end at Fairfax Street. / Historic Downtown Leesburg; 703-777-1368; idalee.org; Free

Christmas in Purcellville
Dec. 8, 7:30 a.m. Start the celebration by having breakfast with Santa and then join your fellow revelers for Purcellville’s annual Christmas Parade followed by a full day of activities throughout the town. / Purcellville; 540-751-2300; christmasinpurcellville.blogspot.com; Free (fee for Breakfast with Santa)

Holiday Show on the Square
Dec. 14, 5:30-8 p.m. A festive evening of art, food and wine. Enjoy the art of the area’s leading artists, including a special exhibit by the DaVinci Art Group. All art is available for purchase. / ArtSquare, 12 Cardinal Park Drive, Leesburg; 703-777-8043; loudounartsquare.org; Free

Toys for Tots Holiday Celebration Concert
Dec. 15, 7:30 p.m. The Loudoun Symphonic Winds perform. / Loudoun Valley High School, 340 North Maple Ave., Purcellville; 703-777-7985; lcbandinc.org; Admission is a new, unwrapped toy

Gingerbread House Decorating
Dec. 16, 9 a.m.-Noon, 2-5 p.m. Create more holiday memories with the annual family tradition of gingerbread house making in the Resort Ballroom. / Lansdowne Resort, 44050 Woodridge Parkway, Leesburg; 571-291-7649; lansdowneresort.com; $89 (reservations required)

Christmas at Oatlands
Through Dec. 30 Visitors can view the holiday decorations displayed throughout the mansion and surrounding gardens. / Oatlands Historic House and Gardens, 20850 Oatlands Plantation Lane, Leesburg; 703-777-3174; oatlands.org; Free

New Year’s Eve Celebration
Dec. 31, 6 p.m. The program will showcase some of the best improvisational comedy, live music, and other performers in the region. Confirmed performers include Last Ham Standing, The Amazing Nocheaux, Swami Yohmami, the Original Sideshow Geek, Bob’s Magic Show, and Andy Hawk & the Train Wreck Endings. / Tally Ho Theatre, 19 West Market St., Leesburg; 703-967-1326; tallyholeesburg.com; $15, $5/children younger than 12



Christmas at Mount Vernon
Nov. 23 – Jan. 6, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., recurring daily. Christmas at Mount Vernon has been named as one of the “12 Places to Catch the Holiday Spirit” by AAA! Mount Vernon is again joyfully decking the halls for Christmas at Mount Vernon, a special daytime program offered through January. Themed decorations (including 12 Christmas trees), historical chocolate-making demonstrations, and 18th-century dancing will be offered. Mount Vernon: George Washington’s Estate & Gardens, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; 703-780-2000;  MountVernon.org; $15/adult, $7/child, 5 and under free.

Del Ray Artisans Holiday Market 2012
Dec.  7-9, Dec . 14-16, Fridays 6-9pm (reception), Saturdays 10am-4pm, Sundays 12-4pm. Del Ray Artisans’ 17th annual Holiday Market offers handmade work from local artists, a children’s table where little ones can shop for family members, and handmade ornaments. Bake Sale benefits the non-profit Computer CORE. Del Ray Artisans gallery at the Nicholas A. Colasanto Center, 2704 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; theDelRayArtisans.org/news/pr/; Free

Breakfast with Santa at the Carlyle Club
Dec. 8, 9 a.m. Join the fifth annual Breakfast with Santa. The elves will begin seating at 9 a.m. as we eagerly await Santa’s arrival. Don’t forget to bring you camera! There will be plenty of time to sit on Santa’s lap and share your list with him. A full breakfast buffet will be available. Enjoy this great family tradition! Carlyle Club, 411 John Carlyle St., Alexandria; 703-548-8899; thecarlyleclub.com; $28.95 adults; $15.95 kids age 4 to 12; age 3 and under free.

Second Thursday Art Night: Decadent December
Dec. 13, 6-9 p.m. The Torpedo Factory celebrates the season with two holiday staples – chocolate and shopping! Studios and galleries will be open until 9pm for holiday shopping and sweets and wine will make for a decadent evening. Enjoy the reception for Suzanne Vigil’s solo show, Up Close & Personal, and browse handcrafted ornaments in The Art League Gallery. Get creative at our DIY craft station, and enjoy other festive activities. Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria; 703-838-4565; torpedofactory.org; free.

Holiday Favorites with the Colonial Handbell Ringers
Dec 16, 2- 4 p.m. Join the Colonial Handbell Ringers as they present their festive holiday musical show! Get into the holiday spirit as you listen – and sing along – with their one hour performance of holiday classics. 2 p.m. with repeat performance at 4 p.m. Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria; 703-746-4994; alexandriava.gov/lyceum; free

Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tours
Dec. 8, 6-9 p.m.; Dec. 9, 3-6 p.m. Take a break from the fast pace of the season and enjoy the unique  charm and history of Old Town at this popular holiday event. Tour Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House and the historic Bank of Alexandria building by candlelight and enjoy seasonal decorations, entertainment and light refreshments. Special this year – a holiday taste of historic chocolate, co-sponsored by the Historic Division of Mars, Inc.; Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Carlyle House, Lee-Fendall House; 703-746-4242; historicalexandria.org; $20 adults/$15 seniors/$5 kids

Holiday on the Avenue in Del Ray
Dec. 7, 6-9 p.m. In early December, the entire community comes together to light the neighborhood Christmas tree. Even Santa attends! This joyous celebration is followed by an evening stroll down the Avenue, which is illuminated by thousands of candles, called “luminarias”. Del Ray Farmer’s Market at Mount Vernon Ave. and E. Oxford Ave., Alexandria; 703-746-3301; visitalexandriava.com; free



Family Holiday Concert
Dec. 8, 7-9 p.m.  The Symphony Orchestra of Arlington will present our “Family Holiday Concert” at the beautiful Arlington Temple United Methodist Church. This concert will feature the SOA Chorale, vocal soloists, organist Becky Ellis, and a special treat for the young and young at heart! What better way to spend a holiday night than at the symphony with family and friends! Arlington Temple United Methodist Church, 1835 N. Nash St. Arlington; eventful.com/arlington_va/events; $10-$15

Pet Photos With Santa
Dec. 4, 6-9 p.m., Dec. 11 6-9 p.m. Two chances to catch your pup in a photo shoot with Santa! Proceeds will benefit Oldies but Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue and Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. $20 minimum donation or equivalent dry food donation required. Dogma Bakery, 2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive. Arlington; 571-422-0370; dogmabakery.com; $20

3rd Annual Breakfast with Santa & Holiday Food Drive
Dec. 15, 8-10 a.m. Join the efforts of Hilton Garden Inn and the Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) fight hunger in Arlington County. Enjoy breakfast with Santa with a donation of a non-perishable food item. Make your reservation today by calling 703-820-0440. Hilton Garden Inn at Shirlington; 4271 Campbell Ave.  Arlington; (703) 820-0440; villageatshirlington.com/events/upcoming-events

2012 Metropolitan DC Jingle Bell Run/Walk
Dec. 8, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Get in the spirit this holiday season at the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis®. Be one of the thousands of runners and walkers who hit the nation’s pavements, pathways and parks this winter to fight arthritis, the nation’s most common cause of disability. Jingle Bell Run/Walkis a fun and festive way to kick off your holidays by helping others! Wear a holiday themed costume. Tie jingle bells to your shoelaces. Run or walk a 5 kilometer route with your team members and celebrate the season by giving. Pentagon Row, 1101 South Joyce St., Arlington; jinglebellrunmetrodc.kintera.org; $15-$35

Holiday Follies
Dec. 18-23, Times vary based on date. Signature Theatre pulls some of DC’s brightest stars into the spirit of the holidays with this year’s original production of Holiday Follies. The popular series, now in its third season, will feature performers Bobby Smith (See What I Wanna See, Show Boat), Eleasha Gamble (Chess, Les Misérables), James Gardiner (The Boy Detective Fails, [title of show]), and Rachel Zampelli (Dying City, Brother Russia), under the direction of Walter Ware III. With a cabaret set list built to change from night to night, Signature’s forecast calls for a special week of wintry mix.  Signature Theatre; 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington; (571) 527-1860; signature-theatre.org $41

Holiday Guys
Dec. 18-23, Times vary based on date. As a special addition to the December line-up, Signature is very pleased to present Holiday Guys, playing one week in advance of Holiday Follies. This irreverent two-man cabaret features three-time Tony Award® nominee and Signature favorite Marc Kudisch (Signature’s Witches of Eastwick, Broadway’s 9 to 5) and Astaire Award nominee Jeffry Denman (Irving Berlin’s White Christmas) in a non-traditional holiday show complete with song, dance, and silliness. Catch them here before they pack up and head to The York Theatre Company off-Broadway later in December!  Signature Theatre; 4200 Campbell Ave. Arlington; (571) 527-1860; signature-theatre.org; $41

Gingerbread House & Train Workshop
Dec. 15, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Children will explore the art of gingerbread house and train decorating with Executive Pastry Chef David Collier. Children have the choice to decorate a gingerbread house or train. The fun-filled class includes all the different types of candy and other edible details needed to perfect their train or house with the help of the pastry team. The Ritz-Carlton, Pentagon City 1250 S Hayes St. Arlington; (703) 415-5000; RitzCarlton.com/PentagonCity; $35 per adult; $65 per child ages twelve and under

Winter Wonderland
Dec. 15, 4-7 p.m. Santa is arriving in his “big red sleigh” (an Arlington County Fire Truck!) at 4pm for visits and free photos until 7pm. It will be a magical event with strolling carolers and you can meet Jack Frost! Mix 107.3 will also be joining from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. broadcasting live collecting “Toys for Tots”, so come by with a new unwrapped present to donate and see Santa with merry shopping and entertainment! Market Common Clarendon, 2700 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington; marketcommonclarendon.net; free

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