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Stay Safe + Socially Distant with Holiday Events in Bethesda image

Stay Safe + Socially Distant with Holiday Events in Bethesda

By: Heather Bien Category: Events, Neighborhood

While our holiday celebrations will look different this year, there are still plenty of opportunities to find festive cheer with holiday events in Bethesda and surrounding areas this holiday season.

As a DC-based blogger, I’m always looking for ways to celebrate each season and December is no different. I mean, it’s the most wonderful time of the year, right?! And, since many of you may have already started bringing out your festive decor in October, I’m sure you’ll be excited to start booking your holiday calendar.

One of the best parts of being a blogger is sharing local activities with my readers and I’m so thrilled to bring these holiday finds to The Elm’s blog. I researched the best in holiday events in Bethesda and beyond to find that even during a year as unusual as this one, we’re still doing our best to bring joy to the season. You’ll find holiday markets filled with local makers and artisans –– perfect for tracking down thoughtful gifts for everyone on your list. Discover socially distanced light spectaculars, spend an afternoon transported back to carefree childhood memories while ice skating outdoors, or stream one of your favorite holiday season performances.

Holiday Events in Bethesda + Beyond

December: Downtown Holiday Market in DC

Venture into the city for a holly jolly day (or evening!) of shopping at the Downtown Holiday Market. This year, the holiday village has a larger footprint and is limiting shoppers to adhere to COVID precautions. Add even more cheer to your visit by stopping by the National Christmas Tree and admiring the 50+ trees decorated by students from all 50 states and other territories.

December: Ice Skating in Montgomery County

Lace up your skates and relive childhood memories (or try out the ice for the first time!) at one of the many ice skating rinks throughout Montgomery County. Is there anything better than a chill in the air, the sound of blades hitting the ice, and a celebratory hot chocolate?!

December: Holiday Art Market at Gaithersburg’s Art Barn

Make an appointment at the Art Barn to explore handmade, unique gifts made by some of the area’s most talented artisans. The Holiday Art Market, presented in partnership with the Gaithersburg Artist Collective gives you the opportunity to discover two- and three-dimensional works that will bring you joy long beyond the holiday season (and you’ll besupporting local small business!).

December: Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival

For 25 years, Gaithersburg has been welcoming merrymakers to drive through the spectacular display of lights at Seneca Creek State Park. From illuminated trees to charming displays of lights open nightly, this is the original socially distanced holiday activity.

December: Glen Echo Holiday Art Show + Sale

Whether you’re in the (holiday) market for paintings, ceramics, jewelry, holiday ornaments, glass, or more, you’ll find it at the incredibly diverse Holiday Art Show + Sale at Glen Echo Park. Their resident visual artists are displaying their talents during extended hours made available for socially distant shoppers.

Saturday, December 19 + Sunday, December 20: Virtual Hip Hop Nutcracker

Get in the groove of the holiday season with this annual Strathmore tradition. Marvel at contemporary dance set to the instantly recognizable and festive notes of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Note: General admission tickets allow you to stream the event live, while VIP tickets allow access to stream the performance for up to 48 hours after the initial live stream, plus you’ll be given access to view a post-show conversation with the show’s creators.

Sunday, December 20: Live Streaming the Best of Handel’s Messiah

While you may not be able to sit in a theatre this year, you can stream a moving (and free!) performance of Handel’s Messiah, presented by the National Philharmonic from the stage of the Music Center at Strathmore.

We hope that these spirited events add some holiday cheer to your December but remember to check availability and updated restrictions before making plans. This season may be unprecedented but we’re excited to celebrate safely and enjoy all that the Bethesda area has to offer. Make sure to tag The Elm on Instagram @LiveTheElm when you take our suggestions!

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