My DC Holiday Season Bucket List | Friday Chatter

Happy Holiday’s, friends! A little later today, I’ll be hopping on a plane to fly home for the holidays, so if the blog & social is a little quieter than you are used to… that’s why! We’re about to get real festive up in here, so grab your jingle bells, your tackiest red & green sweater and some hot cocoa to take on this post!

I have been in DC for over two years now, and shamefully… I’ve always worked right through the holidays. I never really celebrated in DC and typically always waited until I got home to dive into baking, watching movies & doing anything at all festive. After watching one too many Hallmark Channel Christmas movies, my roommate Amanda and I decided to fix that this year! We took on the crazy challenge of doing as many Holiday-y things as we possibly could over the last two weeks! We soon learned that life is crazy and all of these activities do take time…. just a little more time than we were ready for!

Yes, we made a list, checked it twice to make sure it would barely cost us any money and then put all of our items on our calendars! Did we get to some? Definitely! Did we get to all? NOPE, and thats okay! Grace, people. Especially during the holidays! (This just means we have MORE fun for next year!) We had ambitious plans and didn’t get to every single thing on this list but had so much fun with what we were able to get done!

If you are spending any time over the holidays in DC, now or in the future, I wanted to let you know that anything on this list is fun, *almost* free and definitely festive! ALSO, for my friends that are not local to DC, there are quite a few holiday inspired activities on this list that can be modified for where you live OR can be done right at home! Again, we attempted to keep the cost of this adventure as low as possible. I think I am MOST excited about the last thing on this list because anyone can do it anywhere!! So, let’s get started!

Is this a comprehensive list of EVERYTHING to do in DC? Nope! But, I hope it gets you started with your festive celebrations!

DC Popup Bar: Miracle on 7th Street

Website | Cocktail costs vary

This is something that has been on my DC list for a few years now! There is an adorable popup bar that is converted into a fun theme a few times a year. During the holidays, it is converted into the Miracle on 7th Street! Think holiday decorations, fun and festive drinks, and lots of twinkle lights! We didn’t get to this before this blog post is going live, but it is still on my list! (I’m hoping to go before the New Year!!) Pro tip: There is often a line to get into the Popup Bar, which is part of the reason that this hasn’t happened yet!

Zoo Lights

Website | Free!!!

You people know your lights! A few weeks ago, I was hoping to source some info on where the best lights were in the DMV from my friends on IG, and a ton of y’all recommended Zoo Lights! I didn’t get to the Zoo this year, but it is definitely on my list! I’ve been Google & Insta stalking Zoo Lights like crazy, and they look like a ton of fun!

Don’t mind the cell photos! Capitol Tree on the left and National Tree on the right!

Capitol Tree

Website | Free!!!

I’ve always wanted to see this tree in person! I don’t know why I am just now seeing it for the first time because I used to drive by the Capitol building to get to work everyday! I’m not going to lie, we were a little more mesmerized by the Capitol building than we were with the tree, but the tree itself was so beautiful! We then walked over to the National Christmas Tree and menorah. Heads up: This is a pretty long walk! 

National Christmas Tree/Menorah

Website | Free!!!

I was a little confused when I realized that the National Christmas Tree was literally just big cone of lights, but so surprised to find that the space around the National Christmas Tree was transformed into an adorable village of trees from the 50 states and territories! They each had ornaments on them, decorated by school kids, and I loved that touch! The smaller trees were definitely my favorite part! As we were leaving, we heard some music or a show starting. Definitely going to need to time our visit better next time!

Deck the Halls

My favorite sites for shopping: Michaels, Target & Trader Joe’s | Pricing Varies

I have slowly been adding more and more holiday decor to my apartment this year… from a tree & ornaments that I got on Black Friday special last year to a $6 evergreen wreath that I found at Trader Joes, we are definitely in the spirit in our apartment! For so long, I didn’t really want to decorate my apartment for the holidays because I spend Christmas at home! I quickly found that this made me sad and started building up my holiday decor collection. I wouldn’t say that we go all out, necessarily, but there is a festive flair in the air!

I’ve found the best time to shop for decor items is Black Friday/Black Friday weekend and right after the holidays when stores are running sales.

Pizza and a Movie

Freeform Online/Netflix | Varies

We all need a night to relax, especially this time of year. I LOVE Christmas movies and will take any excuse to watch one, two or seven. One night, we stayed in, ordered pizza in and booted up our favorite festive flick. Some of my favorites: Home Alone 1 & 2, Christmas with the Kranks, Eloise at Christmastime, The Santa Claus & Christmas Vacation!

Holiday Market

Website | Free admission + anything you buy!

We stopped by the holiday market near the Portrait Gallery on our way home from the Capitol Tree and the National Christmas Tree. We were pretty exhausted from our workouts earlier in the day and about 10 miles of walking (oops), so we didn’t stick around too long to shop! We quickly browsed the booths filled with gifts, artwork and treats. I definitely hope to head back here again soon when I’m not so exhausted and hungry! There sure are some talented makers and artists in DC!

The Ice Rink at the National Gallery of Art

Website | Skating fees for two 45-minute sessions (beginning on the hour):$9 for adults

Ok… this is another thing that was on our list, and then the day that we were ready to go, it rained! I’m keeping it on my list for the future though because this spot looks BEAUTIFUL! Plus, it is right near a Metro!

Donate and give back

I’ll let you get creative here! | Free OR a financial contribution of your choice

I put this on my list as a way to motivate myself to finally get the bags of clothing and shoes that I have been meaning to donate for months out of my room! (Good news: they have finally been delivered to a donation box!) Doing good feels good, especially during the holidays. I want to encourage you today to give what you can to a cause that you care about! Maybe it is cleaning out your closet to give clothing to those in need or a financial contribution to an organization with a mission that you support. Maybe it is paying for the person’s Starbucks behind you or volunteering your time to an organization that needs extra support this time of year. Whatever it is, make an effort to brighten someone else’s holiday season! I can almost guarantee that it will brighten yours too!

Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie BINGO

Website | Free!!

Ok this one may just be the ENTIRE reason I put together this holiday list. I am SOOO excited about this! Hallmark Channel Christmas Movie BINGO actually began because I always have the Hallmark Channel on in the background this time of year. We all know how many similarities there are in plot lines, so my roommate and I started making a list. The list soon grew to to a very long list, and the list soon got broken into BINGO cards. Click the cards below to download your set of playing cards!

There are a few ways that you can use your BINGO cards, but I do want to encourage you to get creative! The first is the way that I would recommend… Grab a roll of holiday stickers or a festive marker and check off items and events as they occur! The first person to get across, up and down or diagonal BINGO wins bragging rights! The second is the very off-CKP-brand way to play (but I couldn’t resist including it in this post!)… pour yourself a big glass of wine or cider and take a sip and check off the box every time something on your card happens! (You can also sub cookies for wine— take a bite when you would take a sip!) The first person to get a BINGO gets to pick the person that has to finish their drink (or cookie!). Drink responsibly, friends 😉

* Now… I do need to clarify and say that I made these BINGO Cards based upon the Hallmark Channel in general and they are not designed around one specific movie. SO, the playing field is totally leveled between the cards! (In fact, it may take a movie or two to get a full BINGO!) Also, I did just want to mention that these cards are in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with the Hallmark Channel. They’ve just been inspired by their movies! If you decide to play BINGO this holiday season, I would love to see! Feel free to share with me on Instagram by tagging @caitkramer!!!


Hallmark Holiday Bingo

Happy Holidays, y’all! Wishing you the brightest and merriest of seasons!

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