Christmas/Winter Holidays in Prince William County 2013

So, here’s the deal, I say “Christmas” unless it’s for something else.  However, I want everyone to have a merry/happy/joyful whatever they wanna have, so if you have events I’m missing for whatever holiday you celebrate, send them to me! Do not, however, send me an angry note about me having a section for Christmas Trees, because that’s what they are or listing church events, because some people like those.  Are we good? Yes? 

Also, please note that this remains a living document until around January 1st, so if you have events to add, please send them my way, and I’ll be happy to add your event, too!! It’s free and easy 🙂

All of these events are also on our calendar!! 

Okay, let’s continue:
Pre-Hannukah Party at Virginia Gateway (November 24, 4pm)
Join the Chabad Lubavitch of Northern Virginia at 4 pm for a pre-Chanukah celebration on the Plaza at Atlas Walk, as they light up the holiday season!  Enjoy Latkes, Dreidels, music, doughnuts and other great gifts and fun, including an olive oil making demonstration.

Winter Fun, Not Otherwise Specified:
Old Town Carriage Rides (Sundays, December 8-22)
Enjoy a free carriage ride around Old Town Manassas! 1-4pm, leaves from the train depot. 

Outdoor Ice Skating (November 15-March 2)
The Harris Pavilion in Manassas offers outdoor ice skating at a rate of $7 per adult and $6 per child.  Skate rentals are available for an additional $6. In January, Wednesday nights from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. are free. Hours vary, check for details.

Snow and Story (Various Dates)
Prince William Ice Center offers a “Snow and Story” program where children play on the “snow” and ice and then enjoy a story and hot coco.  See our listing here, or plan your group’s private adventure by calling 703-730-8423. 

Indoor Skating (Various Dates/Times)
Both Prince William Ice Center (Woodbridge) and the Haymarket Iceplex offer public skating sessions for your year-round enjoyment.  See each website for details and restrictions.  

Black Friday Events:
Prince William Ice Center “Drop and Shop” Camps (November 11th and 29th)
Bring your kids to PWICE for a fun day of skating, games, and crafts.  Ice Stars Skating Camp for beginner-intermediate, Pro Intensity Hockey Rookie Camp Levels 1-4, Full Day $50, Half Day 9-1 OR 1-5, $35.  Before and after care 8am-9am and 5pm-6pm, $10/hour.  Call 703-730-8423 to reserve your child’s spot!

Non-Service Church Events:
Movie Night at GSUMC (December 7th 10am)
Good Shepherd UMC will be showing “Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas” on December 7th from 10am-11am.  14999 Birchdale Avenue, Dale City in their upper educational level (use the ramp to enter).  All ages are welcome to this FREE event.

Living Nativity (December 12-14th, 6:30-9:30pm)
The Worship Center offers a very popular Living Nativity December 13-15, at the Hylton Memorial Chapel, 14640 Potomac Mills Road, Woodbridge.

Live Nativity (December 14th, 5pm) 
The Live Nativity will be presented on Dec 14 at 5:00, with refreshments and goodies afterwards.  It’s a great opportunity to see the nativity scene reenacted, with the wise men, live animals, Mary and Joseph, and the star of the show, baby Jesus!  Come and enjoy a beautiful evening, join in singing the music for the season,  and relive the story of the birth of the Christ Child, God’s gift to us!
Grace Lutheran Church
1601 Prince William Parkway
Woodbridge, VA 22191
(703) 494-4600

Santa Events:
Breakfast With Santa at Ticonderoga Farms
Pancakes with warm syrup and sausages, orange juice, coffee, hot chocolate, and apple cider. Adults – 3 large pancakes and 3 sausages with a drink, Children – 2 large pancake and 2 sausages with a drink Space is limited to 80 for each seating  Saturday Nov. 30th 10am,  Sunday Dec. 1st 10am, Saturday Dec. 7th 10am, Sunday Dec. 8th 10am, Saturday Dec. 14th 10am, & Sunday Dec.15th 10am
Register online@

Breakfast With Santa at Manassas Park Community Center (December 21, 9-11am)
$5/child gets you pancakes, crafts, games, and of course the man himself! More info on their website.

Breakfast with Santa at Forest Park HS (December 14 8:30 to 11:30)
 Doors open at 8:30, I don’t have a ton of details but you can find more info here. This is a fundraiser for their band (I believe)/music department.

Santa at Jump N Jimmy’s (December 21, 4:30pm-9:00pm)
Ho Ho Ho! Santa Claus is coming to Jump-N-Jimmy’s on Saturday, December 21st. We will have 3 sessions for you to choose from: 4:30pm-5:45pm, 6pm-7:15pm or7:30pm-9pm $10 per child-includes Picture with Santa, Bouncing, Crafts and Cookies! Call Today to Register! Space is Limited! 703-753-5867

Pet Pictures with Santa at Manassas Mall (December 1, 7, and 15, 7-9pm)
Hosted by JCPenney. December 1, 8 and 15th get photos of you, your pet, and Santa.  Fees apply. Please enter the mall through entrance 4 or 5.  Domestic pets only, must be on a leash or in a carrier. 

The VRE holds its annual “Santa Train
Santa train is held to benefit Operation Lifesaver.  Dates for tickets are not yet available, but the rumor is they will be online again, and they GO VERY FAST.  (Like, sold out in the first 10 minutes fast) so be prepared!! Watch for facebook updates, because I’ll let you know as soon as I hear about the ticket release dates. (Santa Train is SOLD OUT)

Santa and the Marines (December 14th 3pm-5pm)
Join the National Museum of the Marine Corps on the second Saturday of December for fun with Santa!  This month’s family day will include a visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus, holiday crafts, letters to the North Pole, and more.  3pm-5pm.

Santa will be at Potomac Mills Mall from November 15th to December 24th.  Monday-Saturday from 10am-9pm with 1 hour “milk and cookie breaks at 1 and 4:30.  Sundays 11-6 with a 45 minute milk and cookie break at 2:15. The 22nd and 23rd Santa will be there from 10am-9pm with breaks at 1 and 4:30 and on the 24th he’ll be there 9am-5pm with one break at 1pm.

“North Pole Sing-a-Long” at Workhouse Arts (December 15, 11am or 1pm)
Join us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA for The North Pole Family Sing-a-long, live onstage!Join Santa and his friends for a spirited and interactive show for the whole family! Our cast leads this exciting audience-participation performance, as you help us sing our way through our favorite songs of the season! Don’t miss the Reindeer Games, as the residents of the North Pole bring songs and laughter! Running time approximately 75 minutes, appropriate for all ages.
Concessions available before the performance and at intermission.
Sunday December 15, 2013 at 11am & 1pm
Tickets: $12 adults; $8 children under 12 years old
For tickets and information, please visit:

Christmas Tree Farms:
Ticonderoga (Manassas Adjacent- Chantilly)
Our Winter Christmas Festival includes hayrides to the white pine fields with access to all of our farm attractions with an admission fee of $6.95 per person. Depending on the weather, it can be a winter wonderland with snow, or just another outdoor time at the farm exploring the nature. Our fire pits are inviting to keep you warm and make some s’ mores or for roasting hot dogs.
Since our family farm started its early days as a Christmas tree farm 51 years ago, this is a very special season for us. Pre-Cut trees are available.

Evergreen Acres (Nokesville)
Visit their Facebook page for more information! Cut your own trees.

Holiday Parades:
Santa’s Old Bridge Parade (November 16th, 10am)
Route is TBD, according to their website (seems like they should’ve decided by a week out!!), note that according to their rules, there is NO CANDY at this parade. Typically follows Old Bridge Road past Festival shopping center- but check their site for details/updates.

Merry Old Town Parade (Saturday, December 7, 2013, 10 a.m.)
Old Town Manassas. See amazing floats, local celebrities, live performances, marching bands, equestrians, animated characters, giant balloons, and Santa at the Manassas Christmas Parade. The parade route begins at Mathis Avenue and concludes at the intersection of Center Street and Grant Avenue. Enjoy enchanted Christmas stories at the Train Depot from 2-5 p.m.

Town Of Dumfries (December 14th 12pm)
The Town of Dumfries holds its Annual Christmas-Holiday Parade on December 14th beginning at 12pm at Town Hall (17755 Main Street)

Christmas Tree Lightings:
Virginia Gateway (November 16th 5-7pm)
Virginia Gateway will have their tree lighting November 16th from 5-7pm.  Santa and Mrs. Claus will be on hand for sleigh rides, entertainment, and more.  Free.

Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center (November 29, 6pm)
Kick off the holiday season with the inaugural tree lighting at Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center (14900 Potomac Town Place, Woodbridge, VA  22191).  Enjoy holiday entertainment including “Those Funny Little People” and carriage rides.

Old Town Tree Lighting (Friday, December 6, 2013, 6:30 p.m.)
Manassas Museum, 9101 Prince William Street, Manassas, Virginia. Santa arrives at the Manassas Depot via VRE train at 6 p.m. The evening includes a live concert on the lawn of the Manassas Museum, the lighting ceremony, free hayrides, and visits with Santa.

Town of Dumfries Christmas Tree Lighting (Saturday, December 7, 5-6pm)
Join the Town of Dumfries for our Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Event!
Please stop by Town Hall, between 11/20-12/6, and pick up an ornament, to decorate, and place on the Town Tree! Visit for details!

Plays and Performances:
Drumming With Dishes: Holiday Edition (December 3-8)
Back by popular demand! Arts on the Horizon’s inaugural production is back again, just in time for the holiday season! This gentle, playful adventure takes place in a special kitchen, where two friends cook up joyful music together. From a pasta-box Christmas tree to dreidels spinning on pots and pans, these friends (and their live guitar accompanist) bring many of your favorite holiday songs to life like you’ve never seen before! This whimsical production is a 35-minute interactive, non-verbal show, which features two adult actors and a musician. Geared towards children ages 2-6. (Lorton Workhouse, December 3-8th, various showtimes)

Civil War Christmas at Leesylvania State Park (December 21 or 22)
Join LSP on 12/21 or 12/22 from 10am-4pm.  Santa will be there, enjoy period music, costumed interpreters, and light refreshments. Make decorations, and have your picture with santa (bring a camera).  $2/pp or $6/family.  The Manassas Chanticleers will sing carols on 12/21 from 11-2. Meet at the Visitors Center.

NVYB “The Nutcracker” (December 7th at 5pm, December 8th at 3pm)
The Northern Virginia Youth Ballet is proud to present it’s 7th annual production of “The Nutcracker”! Saturday, December 7th at 5pm Sunday, December 8th at 3pm Osbourn Park HS
8909 Euclid Avenue, Manassas, VA This year’s production features Guest Artists Melissa Zoebisch & Alexandru Glusacov as Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier as well as Dmitri Vistoropskiy as The Nutcracker Tickets are $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for seniors and children (All tickets $5.00 more at the door). You may order online via or by calling 703-368-2268

Gainesville Ballet “Clara and the Nutcracker Prince” (November 30, 6:30pm)
Gainesville Ballet presents “Clara and The Nutcracker Prince” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center, Merchant Hall, on Saturday, November 30, 6:30 pm, starring Nour Eldesouki and Carolina Boscan. Order tickets through the Performances page.

Gainesville Ballet “Tea With Clara” (November 17th 2:30pm) 
Enjoy “Tea With Clara” at Gainesville Ballet on Sunday, November 17th 2:30-3:30 pm, $15 per person.  Order tickets through the Performances page.

The Lasley Center “Nutcracker” (December 7th at 6pm and December 8th at 4pm)
The Lasley Centre for the Performing Arts presents its second annual full-length production of The Nutcracker at Fauquier High School.  Sat., Dec. 7 at 6 pm and Sun., Dec. 8 at 4 pm.  Order tickets at (A special discount and backstage experience are offered for Girl Scouts. Contact your troop leader for details.)

Ben Lomond Community Center (December 7th and 8th, various shows)
The Nutcracker
December 7 1:00 p.m. (abbreviated)
December 7 5:00 p.m. (full show)
December 8 1:00 p.m. (abbreviated)
What better way to celebrate the holidays than with this seasonal ballet classic? Performances by the Prince William County Dance program. Our shorter afternoon shows are perfect for families with younger children. Held at the FERLAZZO BUILDING 15941 Donald Curtis Drive, Woodbridge, VA 22191. $6 for children, $8 adults, 2 and under FREE.  Tickets available at Ben Lomond CC, Dale City Rec, and Veterans Park. 

“Oh Holy Night” at Workhouse Arts (December 20th at 7:30pm)
Join us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA for “Oh Holy Night”, a Christmas Concert performed live. December 20th, 7:30pm. Our cadre of carolers perform some of the world’s most beautiful music to celebrate the Christmas season, and honor the meaning for the season.
Our soloists are joined by a select chorus of talented high-school vocalists from the area. Casting information to be posted as it becomes available. Running time approximately 90 minutes, appropriate for all ages. Concessions available before the performance and at intermission.
For tickets and information, please visit:

“Wintertime Sock Hop” at Workhouse Arts (December 14th 8-10pm)
Attention all Baby Boomers and Bobby Soxers!  Join us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA for The Sixth Generation live in concert in 60’s Dance Hall Style.
Award-winning rock-n-rollers, The Sixth Generation, perform live in the McGuireWoods gallery with plenty of room to dance the night away! Formed in Michigan in 1966, this dynamic band is the forefront of musical style reflecting the late 1960s. The Sixth Generation is a Michigan Rock and Roll Legends Hall of Fame inductee whose specialty is playing hits from the 1960s as well as original songs about the era, throughout the Midwest and Mid Atlantic regions. Their crowd pleasing performances bring back fond memories for baby boomers and a surprising appreciation of good music for younger generations.

“North Pole Sing-a-Long” at Workhouse Arts (December 15, 11am or 1pm)
Join us at the Workhouse Arts Center, 9601 Ox Road, Lorton, VA for The North Pole Family Sing-a-long, live onstage!Join Santa and his friends for a spirited and interactive show for the whole family! Our cast leads this exciting audience-participation performance, as you help us sing our way through our favorite songs of the season! Don’t miss the Reindeer Games, as the residents of the North Pole bring songs and laughter! Running time approximately 75 minutes, appropriate for all ages.
Concessions available before the performance and at intermission.
Sunday December 15, 2013 at 11am & 1pm
Tickets: $12 adults; $8 children under 12 years old
For tickets and information, please visit:

Brentsville Holiday Concerts (December 14 at 5pm or 6pm)
Get in the Holiday spirit with an evening of seasonal music at the beautiful and historic Brentsville Union Church.  Two concerts will be performed by the Brentsville District High School Chorus.  Enjoy hot cider and cookies by a warm bonfire.
Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre 12229 Bristow Rd., Bristow, Va. 703-365-7895

Woodbridge Flute Choir Holiday Concert (December 14 at 3pm)
The Flute Choir will present a holiday offering with a free-love collection taken to benefit mission projects in Burma and Thailand.  Concert held at Greenwich Presbyterian in Nokesville.

Crafts for Kiddos:
Alpha-Bet Preschool Holiday Crafts (December 7 from 12-3pm)
After the Manassas Christmas Parade, join us for a fun afternoon of crafts!  All crafts will be kid-friendly and will make great holiday gifts.  Our school is located in the Manassas Church of the Brethren 10047 Nokesville Road, Manassas, VA 20108.  Everyone is welcome!

Salt Dough Ornament Making (December 5 at 7pm)
Manassas Park Community Center will supply the materials and know-how, you just come create.  $3/pp fee covers everything you’ll need.

Living Nativities:
Manassas St. Thomas “Drive Thru” Nativity (December 14th 5:30-8:30pm)
Experience the magic of the times surrounding the birth of Jesus
first hand as it is created before your eyes! Feel the heartbreak of
Mary and Joseph as they are turned away by the Inn Keeper! Watch as the
wisemen make their journey to see the Christ Child! Hear the angels as
they proclaim the good news to the shepherds! We will be presentng the Drive-Thru Living Natvity for the Community on Saturday, December 14, 5:30 to 8:30pm at the Manassas Campus parking lot.8899 Sudley Road, Manassas, VA

The Worship Center Live Nativity (December 13-15th 6:30-9pm)
Located at Hylton Memorial Chapel, Woodbridge, this nativity is large and well done by all accounts I’ve heard. Drive through or get out of your car, if you prefer.

Family-Friendly Services

Charitable Events:

Light Shows (Out of County)
Bull Run Festival of Lights (November 20-January 5 5:30pm-9:30pm, Weekends to 10pm)
Read about our experience here, or check out their website here.  2013 ADMISSION FEES (through January 5th, 2014): Monday – Thursday Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Holidays $15 Cars (1-14 people) $20 Cars (1-14 people) $25 Van (15-34 people) $30 Van (15-34 people) $50 Bus (35 or more people) $55 Bus (35 or more people) Carnival: 2013 Dates: November 21-24, 29-December 1, 5-8, 12-January 1 (weather permitting)

ZooLights (November 29-January 1, evenings 5pm-7pm)
National Zoo (DC) Admission is free, although activities are at a price.  Check deal sites like LivingSocial for deals on packages of carousel rides, train rides, snow tube rides, glow bracelets and PARKING- which is not free for anyone!! 

Out of County (North) But Cool:

The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me (Kennedy Center, DC December 14-22) 
Washington National Opera continues its 2013-2014 season with the world premiere of a new holiday family opera: The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me, December 14-22 in the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.
Based on Jeanette Winterson’s award-winning children’s book which tells the story of the Nativity from a donkey’s point of view,The Lion, The Unicorn, and Me features new music composed by Tony®-nominated composer Jeanine Tesori (Thoroughly Modern Millie and Shrek The Musical) and a libretto by the poet J.D. McClatchy. This WNO commission is directed by WNO Artistic Director Francesca Zambello and conducted by Kimberly Grigsby (Broadway’s Spring Awakening and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown) in her WNO debut.
“Winternational” at the Ronald Reagan Building Plaza (December 6 4-7pm)

On the evening of the National Christmas Tree Lighting, we invite you and your family, friends and colleagues to learn about and experience the holidays and traditions from a global perspective. Open to the public, this event will feature:
-Cultural performance stage
-Gingerbread cookie decorating station
-Complimentary cookies, hot cocoa and apple cider
-Cultural exhibitors
Join us as we explore the different ways in which the world celebrates the winter season through food, culture, customs and traditions.

Holiday Events at the Ritz-Carlton Tysons Corner (Ongoing)
The Ritz-Carlton offers a life-size gingerbread house, Thanksgiving Brunch, Nutcracker Tea, Princess Tea, Gingerbread House Decorating, Christmas Lunch/Brunch/Dinner, and more.  Check out all of their event dates, pricing, and more HERE.
Wolf Trap National Park Holiday Sing-A-Long (December 7, 4pm)
December 7, 2013, 4 p.m. 1645 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia (703) 255-1900. 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. Sing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs with the United States Marine Band vocal groups from the metropolitan Washington area. The audience is invited to bring candles to light during the last verse of “Silent Night,” the final song of the program. There is also a ‘Jing-A-Long’ during the singing of Jingle Bells, so bring a bell along with your candle. Admission is free and no tickets are required.
National Harbor Christmas On The Potomac (November 15th to January 5th, times vary)
National Harbor features weekly concerts, tree lightings, fireworks, and more.  Also, be sure to check out the ground-floor of the Gaylord National Hotel, which features a nightly indoor light show and “snow” which happen four times each evening from 5-9pm! It’s great for those years we miss out on real frozen precipitation.  National Harbor is also home to ICE! “Twas the Night Before Christmas” presented by the Gaylord, as well. Tickets for ICE! start at $27 for adults and $19 for children, although do watch the deal sites for better prices!  PS- the Peeps store (I know, you’re thinking Easter, but they do Christmas, too!) usually puts up a great display!  Additionally, at the Gaylord, you can check out “Gingy’s Gingerbread Decorating” for $35.95, Brunch with Santa ($56 adults/$27 kids), and more.

Gingerbread Story Time at the National Building Museum (December 3rd, 10:30 or 11:30)
Tuesday, December 3, 10:30 am-Noon Book of the Month: Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett
Readings at 10:30 and 11:30 am. Free with admission to Building Zone. Recommended ages 3-5.
I am the Gingerbread Baby, fresh from the pan. If you want me, catch me if you can!

Out of County (Not North!) But Cool: