Let it GLOW
December—Latin for ‘the month that bleeds you dry.’ Fortunately, our month-long, FREE outdoor public light art exhibition is back for its 6th edition from Friday, December 6, 2019 through Sunday, January 5, 2020! Experience the sparkle of the season at Georgetown GLOW, featuring 11 installations by local and international artists lit nightly from 5 – 10 pm. Set against the historic backdrop of DC’s oldest neighborhood, it’s the only event of its kind in the region.
Celebrate opening night of GLOW at the ‘Something Hot on Grace Street’ holiday party, with a community bonfire from 4:30–8:00 pm at Grace Street and Wisconsin Ave. Hosted by Grace Street Collective and Thyme Holdings, the free event will feature s’mores, music, and a pig roast!
Shop GLOW Specials
Now that you’ve saved a little money, you can spend it elsewhere. In conjunction with the month-long exhibition, more than 40 of Georgetown’s national retailers, small businesses, restaurants, and hotels will be offering in-store promotions and special events throughout GLOW. The 25 days of holiday cocktails, including the wonderfully named Ho Ho Ho-t Toddy, should be reason alone to hop in that Uber and head to Georgetown. Visit our round-up page for details on each promotion.
Practice Your Triple Axel
Every winter, Washington Harbour’s fountain (3050 K Street NW) transforms into DC’s largest outdoor ice skating rink. Take advantage of 2-for-1 admission from 4 pm – 6 pm on Tuesdays, $2 off admission on Thursdays with a college ID, a kid-friendly Cartoon Skate on Saturday mornings, and Rock n’ Skate on Saturday nights. Whether you’re there with the little ones, on a holiday date night, or entertaining relatives visiting from out of town, it’s arguably the most picturesque rink in the district.
Take a GLOW Tour
Want to go beyond that coveted ‘gram shot and get a real sense of how Georgetown GLOW fits into the overall context of DC’s oldest neighborhood? Several local tour companies are offering more than 30 GLOW-inspired walking tours, tying the exhibition to history, food, photography, and art themes. Visit georgetownglowdc.com/walking-tours for more information.
Bask in the Martin's Merriment
When it comes to the holiday spirit, no one does it quite like Martin’s Tavern. The neighborhood institution looks like it came straight out of a Pinterest board, and it’s as cozy and charming as it gets. From garlands, bows and greenery at every turn, to model train sets in the front windows, it’s impossible not to catch the holiday spirit. Still need convincing? Spiced hot buttered rum and bourbon hot toddys for the win.
Celebrate Like the Swedes
Georgetown’s answer to IKEA, the annual Swedish Holiday Bazaar returns to the House of Sweden (2900 K St NW) Saturday, December 7 from 10 am – 5 pm. Sponsored by the Swedish Women’s Educational Association and supported by the Embassy of Sweden, the free bazaar will feature Swedish arts & crafts, crystal, textiles, artwork, books, and decorations, plus Swedish Christmas carols performed by the Santa Lucia Procession, home baked goods, and Swedish sandwiches.
Make it A Book Hill Holiday
The charming Georgetown section of upper Wisconsin Avenue (O St to Reservoir Rd NW) is hosting A Book Hill Holiday on Saturday, December 14 from 4 pm – 8 pm, featuring a holiday snack and stroll with festive sips and bites at participating stores, strolling carolers, in-store holiday events, and special promotions.
Pay Santa a Visit
Naughty or nice, TD Bank is inviting children to drop off their letters to the North Pole and take free photos with Santa that same day (Saturday, December 14) from 4 pm – 8 pm inside TD Bank (1611 Wisconsin Ave NW). Pets with paws can also get their pictures taken with the man in red.
Why yes, we will have that third glass of eggnog! Instead of rushing home after GLOW, or cutting the festivities short because you have to drive, make a night (or weekend) of it in Georgetown with one of our hotel’s Stay Local holiday packages.
Book a Champagne Ice Bubble Experience at The Four Seasons Hotel and unlock a room rate (including parking) of $450 a night. Winter experiences span every area of the hotel, from the glistening exterior and Iced Spa, to heated, Champagne-themed dining in ice bubbles on the Bourbon Steak patio and Apres-ski at ENO Wine Bar. Kids are invited to sleep “under the stars” in their guest rooms in glow-in-the-dark domes.
Georgetown Suites is tying guest rates to the temperature outside with their Cool Deal, in addition to free parking (November 21 – March 1).
The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown is offering guests a GLOW welcome bag and breakfast for two, plus complimentary valet parking throughout GLOW.
The Graham is offering a DC Lights package, November 22 – January 6, including a map of the GLOW light art installations, winter sips and bites, ice skating vouchers, and two free drinks in the Alex Speakeasy with a toy or book donation for Children’s National Hospital.
Light Up the Season
We pity the Four Seasons employee responsible for untangling these tree lights every year, but appreciate their goodwill. Head inside the hotel’s cozy lobby for the third annual Light Up the Season on Sunday, December 15 from 1 pm – 4 pm, showcasing festive (and incredibly creative) holiday trees, mantlepieces, menorahs, and dollhouses by DC’s top local designers, who have partnered with Children’s National Hospital patients – all to benefit the hospital. Click here for tickets. (Photo credit: Richie Downs/Asico Photo)
Pretend You're in a Hallmark Movie
We’re ready for you, Candace Cameron Bure. Throughout the entire season, holiday wreaths on every lamp post and lights along every rooftop make Georgetown one of the city’s most festive neighborhoods. While you’re here to check out GLOW, don’t forget to take a self-guided tour of the uniquely decorated merchant windows throughout the commercial district.
Get Your 'Fa la la' on with Live Music
Pipers piping, drummers drumming, you know the drill. Whether you’re planning an end-of-year happy hour with co-workers, holiday date night, or entertaining out-of-town guests, Georgetown has live music and nightlife to carry you into the next morning – and new year.
If you’re checking off your GLOW bucket list, don’t miss the installation Filament at 3206 N Street NW featuring live dance performances, then head next door from 6 pm – 10 pm on scheduled nights for a jazz performance at SandboX, in addition to food and drinks. Performances include Todd Marcus (Dec. 13), Lena Seikaly with Steve Herberman trio (Dec. 14), Chris Barrick (Dec. 20), Sharon Clark (Dec. 21), Elijah Balbed and Dave Manley (Dec. 27), and Steve Herberman (Dec. 28).
Blues Alley, America’s oldest continuing jazz supper club, has a full calendar of world-class musicians every month, including a Dec. 17 performance by Swedish jazz musician Gunhild Carling. Famous for playing three trumpets at the same time, Gunhild’s performances include postmodern adaptations of many pop songs, from Material Girl to Pharrel Williams’ Happy, plus the occasional tap dancing.
For a straight-up sing-along, head to Georgetown Piano Bar and watch two of the area’s best pianists duel it out and get the place on its feet. Sweet Caroline followed by Last Christmas, anyone?
If music isn’t moving you, but you don’t want to go home just yet, Pizzeria Paradiso and Church Hall both offer a slew of old-school arcade games that feel like the best blast from the past – paired with a craft beer or glass of wine, as a bonus.