Rockin’ Around D.C.


Courtesy of Lacey Morrison

The Christmas tree in D.C. is visited by lots of people during the winter

Caroline Boda, Sentry Staff Reporter

Amidst the chaos that accompanies exams, it can be challenging to take advantage of the Christmas season in these last few days before winter break. While high school students are more often in the library or have their heads buried in schoolbooks, consider taking a break from your studies to visit the immense number of holiday events offered throughout our city. With our nation’s capital being just a ten-minute drive away, it seems only right to experience these seasonal activities that are merely at the reach of our fingertips.

As the temperature begins to drop and a hint of Christmas is in the air, ice rinks across the Washington-Metro area open their doors to welcome visitors. Amongst these, one of the most prominent spots to skate sits along the Potomac River at the Washington Harbour Ice Rink ( Guests can gain admission and rent ice skates for a combined total of 16 dollars, and afterwards warm up with a hot beverage and holiday snacks from rink-side restaurants.

There is no better way to end a chilly evening than with a warm fire and a classic Christmas movie. Grab some blankets, make a warm cup of hot cocoa and curl up on the couch to watch one of the most acclaimed Christmas films. Among these stand How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Home Alone and A Christmas Story. In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Home Alone, Regal Cinemas is showing this well-loved film in theaters across the nation. In DC alone, there are showtimes available at the Gallery Place Theater and the Majestic Theater. You can find tickets and more information to see this Christmas classic on their website:

Among DC’s lights displays, the Bull Run Festival of Lights ( is a favorite with locals. From the comfort of their own car, guests can drive through two and a half miles of magical light displays while keeping warm. For only $20, a car with up to 14 people can enjoy this magnificent drive full of lights and eye-catching designs. After the drive, hot cocoa and photos with Santa Claus are offered in the holiday village only a short walk away.

During the brisk months of winter, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo ( offers free admission to see the park transformed into a winter wonderland. Decked out with environmental-friendly lights and holiday decorations, the zoo offers seasonal treats and live music performances while getting the unique opportunity to view the animals at nighttime. After exploring the dazzling array of lights in the zoo’s walkways and trees, visitors can enjoy the spectacular light show to top off the night.

After the busyness of the Christmas season has come to a close, the anticipation of New Year’s Eve rapidly approaches. The Potomac River serves as an excellent spot to take a dinner cruise throughout the entire winter season, but especially on the night of New Year’s Eve. The deck of an Odyssey cruise boat ( provides a remarkable view of the New Year’s fireworks in Alexandria set off over the river. Before the spectacular midnight firework show, guests can enjoy live music off the boat from local artists throughout the streets of Old Town Alexandria beginning at 6 p.m. ( This seasonal event serves as a phenomenal way to ring in the new year.

We are very fortunate to live in our nation’s capital, especially during the most wonderful season of the year. With everything from lights and live entertainment to movie theaters and the National Mall, it is a must to get your studying done early and to take advantage of the holiday season in these last few days before Christmas.