We’re Open: D.C.’s Coolest Christmas Day Happenings

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Finding something to do with your little elves on Christmas Day might feel like searching for a pine needle in a haystack. But you’ll be surprised to find out that some local family friendly places are open every day of the year (including Christmas Day) and have fun activities the whole family can enjoy. Beat it, cabin fever!

Photo: U.S. Botanic Garden

The U.S. Botanic Garden
The U.S. Botanic Gardens will be open Christmas Day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., so you can check out the Season’s Greenings Exhibit: “ Roadside Attractions! “ Take a trip across America as this year’s model trains will chug around, below, through, and above plant-based iconic sights from across the United States. Check out classics like Texas’ Cadillac Ranch, New Jersey’s Lucy the Elephant, and many more. If trains aren’t your thang, view thousands of blooms throughout the Conservatory, including an array of poinsettia varieties. As always, they have a collection of D.C. landmarks made from plant materials with the new addition, this year, of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

100 Maryland Ave., SW
Online: usbg.gov 

Photo: Edlavitch Jewish Community Center

31st Annual December 25th Day of Service (D25)
The Edlavitch Jewish Community Center hosts their largest volunteer event of the year on Christmas Day. Join over 1,000 volunteers in the D.C. area as they serve meals, sing carols, visit home-bound seniors, throw holiday parties, play bingo, and deliver holiday cheer to those in need. Many of the projects are family-friendly and there are various options to choose from.

1529 Sixteenth St., NW
Online: washingtondcjcc.org

Photo: National Cathedral

National Cathedral Christmas Day Organ Recital
Take a drive into the city and visit one of D.C.’s gems, the Washington National Cathedral. At 1:30 p.m., organists, the Rev. Benjamin Pearce Straley and George Fergus, will play a Christmas afternoon recital of traditional and familiar holiday favorites on the Cathedral’s grand organ. You do not need to reserve tickets for this event. There is a $10 recommended donation.

3101 Wisconsin Ave., NW
Online: cathedral.org

Photo: Kennedy Center

All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam
Add a little soul to the holiday! While the Kennedy Center has no performances scheduled on Christmas Day, they will be hosting their 19th annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam. This takes place every Christmas on the Millennium Stage which is free and open to the public. This year, you can catch host/vibraphonist Chuck Redd, drummer Lenny Robinson, trumpeters Robert Redd and Tom Williams, bassist James King, and vocalist Delores King Williams.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
2700 F St., NW
Online: kennedy-center.org

Photo: Miracle on 34th Street

Take a Drive Down Miracle on 34th Street
Take a drive through Baltimore’s Hampden neighborhood to 34th Street. For over 70 years, residents have been decking their houses out with Christmas lights and decorations. You can walk or drive to see the festive exhibitions. It’s a fun thing to do as a family and if it’s too cold, you can always just stay in your car and enjoy the view.

720 West 34th St. (Baltimore, Md)
Online: christmasstreet.com

Do you know of anything cool happening on Christmas Day? Tell us in the comments.

–Guiomar Ochoa