America’s capital boasts several charming holiday experiences, even if that first snow hasn’t quite fallen yet. Of course, you’ll want to watch The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center and see the National Christmas Tree, but the nation's capital has plenty of Christmas markets and bazaars as well. Here, the three of the best Christmas markets in Washington, D.C.:
Junior League of Washington Holiday Shops
Set this year in warehouse event venue Dock5 at the trendy, innovative Union Market, the Holiday Shops raises money for the Junior League of Washington, a women’s volunteer group. Past merchants have peddled everything from jewelry to home goods to children’s toys. This year’s version has an additional draw: a huge selection of treats at Union Market’s food hall. Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE.
Downtown Holiday Market
This outdoor shopping village lasts a month each year and brings Christmas cheer to the Verizon Center/Chinatown area of Washington. Shop for art, antiques, and jewelry from over a hundred local vendors. The market is easily accessible by public transportation, and you can catch a game or head to the National Portrait Gallery or Chinatown to make a day of it. F Street between 7th and 9th Streets NW.
Christmas in Middleburg
Forty-five minutes west of D.C. sits tiny, scenic Middleburg, Virginia. The beautiful countryside hosts vineyards and horseback riding (Jackie O. liked to saddle up in the region) and provides a rustic setting within easy travel distance of the city. The Christmas in Middleburg celebration (pictured at top) is more than just a market: the three-day festival includes sales, fairs, parades, and recitals. Make it a weekend trip by staying at a local in or the Salamander Resort & Spa.
Insider Tip: An online search of “Christmas bazaars in D.C. area” should turn up updated info on smaller, more intimate events at parishes around the region. Many are European style and feature authentic cuisine.