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Christmas Day Activities?

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Virginia Beach...
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Christmas Day Activities?

Wondering if the DC businesses all shut down for Christmas Day? Are the museums closed? What would an out-of-towner do other than a movie theater? Are there many good restaurants open?

Thanks for any information that you may be able to provide!

Silver Spring...
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1. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

You can walk around the monuments.

Most stores and I believe all museums will be closed. E Street is a nice movie theater

www.opentable.com will be helpful for food

Edited: 10 December 2011, 20:31
Washington DC...
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2. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

Very little will be open. No museums that I know of will be open. Many restaurants will be closed, but a few neighborhood places will be open and the hotel dining rooms and a few other places. The Pageant of Peace may have things going on around the National Christmas Tree. But in general it is pretty quiet around here on Christmas Day.

Washington, D.C.
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3. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

Christmas Day is a good time to see the monuments and memorials in DC and northern virginia, but the visitor centers are not open. You can still walk up and get close to them and close-by parking is a lot easier also.

The U.S. Botanic Garden on the National Mall is open on Christmas Day and has a lovely holiday greens exhibit, model trains, replica of DC buildings and exhibits.

Mt. Vernon, Washington's Estate, is open on Christmas Day and the house is decorated as an early-American Christmas. i believe this is the only time of the year the 3rd floor is open to the public.

Arlington National Cemetery is open on Christmas day so you can walk all over it, but the tour-mobiles will not be operating in the park. you can find a map here, print it out and plot your course. dc.about.com/gi/o.htm…

Usually there is a free Christmas Day concert of some sort at the Kennedy Center - check its web site and calendar. can be reached by Foggy Bottom Metro.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

Well put, barusso...you summed it up better than I could have. Below, you'll find some information on the best restaurants in DC for Christmas Dinner (compliments of About.com). I will first note that my two FAVORITE Christmas dinner suggestions are not on About.com's list, and I feel it important to list them because of how much I love them :)

First, The Hay-Adams' Lafayette Room - "Christmas Day:

Breakfast 7:00am to 11:00am

Brunch 11:30am to 2:30pm. Christmas Day brunch $90 per person including a glass of champagne/$50 per child 12 and under.

Dinner 5:30pm to 8:30pm. 5 course menu $95 per person including a glass of champagne upon arrival/$50 per child 12 and under/$125 per person paired with wine. Prices are exclusive of tax and gratuity."

Second, the Willard - it is decorated beautifully and is my favorite of ALL the ones I suggested - Go for brunch, it is the best! - from their website: Christmas Day Brunch in the Willard Room and Crystal Room:

Our festive Christmas Day holiday brunch offers something for the entire family. With seatings at 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m., this festive brunch is priced at $85 per adult, $35 for children ages 4 through 12 and free for children under 4.

Café du Parc Holiday Offerings

Known for its authentic French cuisine, Café du Parc will be open Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day offering a seasonal menu. Lunch is available noon through 2:30 p.m., dinner will be offered from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m and brunch is offered on Sundays. In November and December, we will have a prix fixe menu available for pre-theater dining. A list of hand-selected French wines is available to complement your meal. Reservations are suggested.

Reservations are necessary for holiday dining events and can be made by calling our Holiday Hotline at (202) 637-7350. Complimentary valet parking is provided for all guests dining in our restaurants for lunch, dinner and afternoon tea. Beverages are included only where indicated. Tax and gratuity are excluded.

The Willard’s Afternoon Tea in Peacock Alley, priced at $39 per person or

$49 with a glass of Champagne, will be offered Friday through Sunday from November 4 until December 1. Tea will be served daily throughout December (except December 25, 26 and 31) from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Dates and times are subject to change based on hotel events, special events and holidays. Reservations are necessary; please call (202) 637-7350.

1789 Restaurant - 1226 36th St. NW, Washington, DC (202) 965-1789. Enjoy a Christmas celebration at this federal style restaurant in Georgetown. A la carte menu. Serving Christmas Eve. Closed Christmas day. Entrée prices range from $23 to $34.

Adour at St. Regis Washington DC - 923 16th Street, NW Washington, DC (202) 509-8000. Christmas Eve - 5 courses, $95.00 per person. Christmas Day - 4-course traditional menu $95 per person, $45 for kids age 6-10.

Agora - 1527 17th Street, NW, Washington DC (202) 332-6767. The new restaurant in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington DC, features Turkish and Greek small plates. The regular menu will be available on Christmas Day.

Bistrot Lepic & Wine Bar - 1736 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Washington, DC (202)333-0111. The new DC restaurant offers a French Bistro-inspired holiday menu on Christmas Eve. Four-course menu $49.50 per person. Open with a la carte menu on Christmas Day.

Blue Duck Tavern - 24th at M Street NW, Washington, DC (202) 419-6755. Regular menu on Christmas Eve. A three-course Brunch on Christmas Day will feature festive selections from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. $90 per person, children ages 6 to 12 are $42, under 6 are free. An a la carte Christmas Dinner will also be available 6 - 10:30 p.m.

Bourbon Steak - Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC (202) 944-2026. The restaurant will be open Christmas Day serving a three-course dinner, $80 per person and $40 per child aged 12 and under.

Cafe Promenade - The Mayflower, A Renaissance Hotel, 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC (202) 347-2233. The restaurant will feature a grand buffet style brunch on Christmas Day from 12 - 4 p.m. $79 per adult, $40 ages 12 and under and a four-course Christmas Dinner on both Dec. 24 and 25 for $68 per person.

Citronelle - Latham Hotel, 3000 M Street, NW, Washington, DC (202) 625-2150. Enjoy a special Christmas dinner at one of DCs finest restaurants.

Coeur de Lion at the Henley Park Hotel - 926 Massachusetts Ave., NW Washington, DC. (202)638-5200. Regular menu on Christmas Eve and a Fixed Menu on Christmas day for $75 per person, $25 per child.

Daily Grill - 1310 Wisconsin Ave., NW Washington, DC. (202) 337-4900. Serving their regular menu and seasonal specials.

Fiola - 601 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington DC. (202) 628-2888. Christmas Eve dinner is a traditional Italian Feast of the Seven Fishes. Eight-courses $125 per person. The restaurant will also offer their regular a la carte menu on Christmas Eve.

J & G Steakhouse - W Hotel, 515 15th St NW Washington, DC. (202) 661-2440. Enjoy a four course special menu on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. $75 per person.

Morrison-Clark Inn - Massachusetts Avenue and 11th Street, NW, Washington, DC (202) 898-1200. Elegant four-course dinner at a historic inn in the heart of Washington, DC. $65.00 per adult, $26.00 per child under 12.

McCormick & Schmick's Seafood - 1652 K Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 861-2233. 901 F Street NW, Washington, DC. (202) 639-9330. M & S Grill, 600 13th St. NW, Washington, DC. (202) 347-1500. A la carte menu and holiday specials are offered at all locations of this upscale seafood restaurant.

Sou Wester - Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave, SW. Washington DC (202) 787-6040. Three course family-style dinner for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Dinner. $65 per adult. Children up to 12 years old $35.

Edited: 11 December 2011, 08:49
Washington, D.C.
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5. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

Queenstea,

I forgot to mention in my above post in this post but did in another Christmas question thread:

depending on your interest in religious buildings, and irrespective of one's religion, visiting the National Cathedral, St. Matthews Cathedral (on Rhode Island, just off Connecticut Avenue and 17th - where JFK funeral mass offered), and Shrine of the Immaculate Conception would all have lovely services and music, some decorations and would be nice on Christmas Day - or any other day (although they won't have guided tours on the day).

also, the christmas train display at Union Station (west and main halls) will be running and the station is a beautiful place just to look at from an architecture/renovation (long ago) standpoint. like the other things mentioned above and before, free.

as to restaurants, it's always hard to recommend when people don't mention budget or type of food they might be looking for, but Sou'Wester, J&G (more expensive), and Bourbon steak are recommended.

Make reservations early as they are going fast for the restaurants open on that day. check with opentable.com or the individual hotel, call even if your favorite place doesn't show availability (sometimes they can squeeze you in).

I would second just going to the Willard even if just for a drink to see how pretty it is decorated.

Woodbridge, Virginia
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6. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

A few things to do on Christmas Day:

1. Visit the monuments. Very small crowds and the weather isn't usually bad around Christmas.

2. Visit the National Christmas Tree at The White House.

3. Go ice skating outdoors at the Sculpture Garden.

4. All of the restaurants in Chinatown are normally open very late.

Washington, D.C.
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7. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

update on above Union Station and train display suggestion. The west side of Union Station is now cut off and filled with scaffolding to address earthquake-related repairs, so the atmosphere is a bit diminished. the train display (to access you have to go to west exterior entrance to station - can't by main hall) seems smaller than in most years, i assume due to the construction work.

I want to underscore the U.S. Botanical Gardens as it IS open on Christmas Day. I went again this weekend and it is always a great place to visit, any time of the year, but has lovely pointsettias throughout and its annual train display (of course, all free entrance). great place to relax and so interesting.

Again, Mt. Vernon, National Cathedral, Arlington Cemetery are also open Christmas Day

Arlington, Virginia
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8. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

I want to chime in on the Botanical Gardens. They are always beautiful, but at as Barusso mentioned, poinsettias abound and the train display is awesome; little niches with intricate wood carvings, Thomas the train sets for little kids' amusement, bridges above your head with trains passing above, it's really cool! They also have wood carvings of all the DC landmarks (white house, supreme court, capitol building, to name a few) and an exhibit with the homes of many of the presidents, as a sort of "Then and Now" comparison. There are rooms with orchids (my favorite flower) and all sorts of exotic species. It is worth the trip for that alone, but the festivity of the holiday season makes it a must-see.

Arlingtonman13

9. Re: Christmas Day Activities?

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