The Best of D.C. in Winter
With winter, it's hard to get excited about less daylight and impending snow and freezing temperatures, but between winter festivals, holiday lights, indoor activities, and seasonal events, there is much to warm up to in DC this time of year. Dating back to 1923, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony by the President and First Family outside of the White House is the signature event. However, DC's festivities don't end with the holiday season and can continue well into the New Year.

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Penn Quarter's Pop-Up Holiday Market

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Every December, a charming holiday market pops up on F Street in the heart of Washington, D.C. There's a stage for live music, warm drinks, and dozens of booths brimming with local art and food.

The Penn Quarter Holiday Market is usually open between noon and 8 p.m. each day, starting in late November. It takes place between 7th and 9th Streets in front of the National Portrait Gallery.

I used to stroll through the market on my way home from work when I lived in Washington, D.C. I found it was a great place to find quirky Christmas gifts—inspired by the nation's capital or not.

Last-minute shoppers, take heart: the Penn Quarter Holiday Market is usually open through December 23.

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by Meena Thiruvengadam
AFAR Local Expert
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