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Votes

Alexandria/Mount Vernon Holiday Calendar 2008

<b>Ongoing

</b> Martha Washington hosts an 18th-century Christmas with candlelit walks, fireside caroling, and early American décor during Mount Vernon by Candlelight. The Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings (Nov. 28, 29, & 30; Dec. 5, 6 & 7; and 12, 13 & 14) from 5–8 p.m. Tickets may be purchased in advance at the Ford Orientation Center or through www.MountVernon.org. Admission is $18 for adults and $12 for children under 12.

Mount Vernon welcomes former White House pastry chef Roland Mesnier as he creates a gingerbread replica of George Washington’s home from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 12 through Nov. 25. The five-foot-wide and two-foot-tall gingerbread Mansion replica will be on display as part of the new Christmas at Mount Vernon daytime event, which begins on Nov. 28. Visit www.MountVernon.org for more information.

Gallery West presents “Small Works and Holiday Show and Silent Auction” through Jan. 4 at 1213 King St. Features a variety of art work by members in every size. Silent auction ends Dec. 8. Visit www.gallery-west.com or call 703-549-6006.

Gather the Family at Woodlawn runs Dec. 14,21 and 28 at Woodlawn. Experience an 1820s Christmas with America's First Family before trees, Santa and stockings. Tours available from 5:30-8:30 p.m. $15/person; $5/grades K-12. Visit www.woodlawn1805.org or call 703-780-4000.

The Alexandria Jaycees will sell Christmas trees this season, with proceeds in part benefiting the chapter's holiday shopping tour for kids. The annual tree sales support the Holiday Shopping Tour for underprivileged kids and the chapter's general programming funds for community and leadership development. The Holiday Shopping Tour gives area kids a fun shopping day with funds provided and pizza party to follow, which allows them to purchase gifts for their families. This year's shopping event is set for Dec. 13. The Alexandria Jaycees tree lot is located in the parking lot at the Safeway on the corner of S. Royal and Gibbon Streets in Old Town Alexandria. Tree sales run Nov. 29 until Dec. 20 or when trees sell out). Lot hours are: Monday-Friday 6 p.m.-9 p.m.; Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sundays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more details or for membership information, call the Jaycees' 24-hour recorded event line 703-866-7171 or visit www.alexjaycees.org.

Tree Sale. The Alexandria Police department Christmas tree sale begins on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Alexandria Union Station parking lot (110 Callahan Drive). The official lot hours are: Monday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m.; Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. This year's tree selection includes Scotch Pines, Douglas Firs, Fraser Firs, and Concolor Firs. They will range in size from 4 1/2 feet to 10 feet tall. Proceeds benefit the Alexandria Police Youth Camp.

The Little Theater of Alexandria will perform “Scrooge! The Musical” from Nov. 22-Dec. 21 at 600 Wolfe St., Old Town. Performances are Wednesdays-Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10/person and can be purchased at www.thelittletheatre.com.

The Alliance Dance Institute presents “Nutcracker” from Nov. 29 through Dec. 28 in the Landmark Mall, 5801 Duke St. Performances are Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. $20/person. After the show, stay for photo opportunities. Visit www.adidance.com or 703-354-6000.

This Christmas, arrange for a personalized letter from Santa Claus, postmarked from the North Pole. The Alexandria Jaycees are offering customized letters sent directly to children from Santa for only $5 each. The letter will also include a coupon to a child-friendly restaurant. Letter requests must be received by Dec. 8. Orders received after Dec. 8 will be postmarked from Virginia. For more information or to place an order, visit www.alexjaycees.org.

The American Horticultural Society hosts holiday happenings at its headquarters at River Farm. From Dec. 1 to Jan. 16, River Farm’s grounds and estate house will feature lights, poinsettias, and other festive holiday decorations. All are welcome to visit and enjoy Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but note that the grounds will be closed from Dec. 25 through Jan. 4.

<b>Bazaars and Fairs

</b>Throughout the holiday season, visit one of the many bazaars and fairs for unique gifts for family, friends and others on your list. A variety of items will be sold along with food and beverages.

Saturday/Nov. 22

Christmas Bazaar. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Mary’s School, 400 Green St. The Bazaar includes over 60 exhibitors/vendors, Santa’s Workshop, crafts, bake sale, flea market, children’s games and prizes, book sale. Free.

Holiday Shop. 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, 1909 Windmill Lane. Over 50 artisans in fiber arts, photography, wood, paper, metal, glass and clay; orchids; crafts from around the world; quilt raffle. Country kitchen with chutneys, baked goods, gingerbread house kits; enjoy a delicious lunch of soup, sandwich, cheese pie. Free.

Floral Design Workshop. 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road. Design a Thanksgiving centerpiece. $48/person. 703-642-5173.

Thursday, Dec. 4

Scottish Christmas Walk Marketplace. Noon-5 p.m. at Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. Shop for a variety of holiday items, visit a café and buy heather and greens. Visit www.scottishchristmaswalk.com or 703-549-0111.

Heather and Greens Sales. 7-9 p.m. at Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. Try a touch of heather and greens to enhance holiday decorations with a Scottish flair. Purchase fresh heather bundles or a variety of wreaths, garlands, flatwoods and more. Free. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

Holiday Pottery Show and Sale. Noon-6 p.m. at The Art League in the Torpedo Factory, 105 N. Union St. Free. Purchase a variety of items by residents ranging from $5-$100. Visit www.theartleague.org or 703-683-5358.

Friday/Dec. 5

Scottish Christmas Walk Marketplace. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. Shop for a variety of holiday items, visit a café and buy heather and greens. Visit www.scottishchristmaswalk.com or 703-549-0111.

Heather and Greens Sales. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. Try a touch of heather and greens to enhance holiday decorations with a Scottish flair. Purchase fresh heather bundles or a variety of wreaths, garlands, flatwoods and more. Free. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

Tree Sale. The Alexandria Police department Christmas tree sale begins on Friday, Dec. 5 at the Alexandria Union Station parking lot (110 Callahan Drive). The official lot hours are: Monday-Thursday, 3-9 p.m.; Friday, 3-10 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. This year's tree selection includes Scotch Pines, Douglas Firs, Fraser Firs, and Concolor Firs. They will range in size from 4 1/2 feet to 10 feet tall. Proceeds benefit the Alexandria Police Youth Camp.

Art & Crafts Holiday Market. 7 p.m. at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Search through gifts created by more than 20 artist members and enjoy baked goods. Call 703-838-4827 for more.

Saturday/Dec. 6

A Christmas Marketplace. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. Vendors sell unique, holiday gift wares in a boutique setting. Free. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

Heather and Greens Sales. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. Try a touch of heather and greens to enhance holiday decorations with a Scottish flair. Purchase fresh heather bundles or a variety of wreaths, garlands, flatwoods and more. Free. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

Craft Sale. Heritage Presbyterian Church is holding a craft sale "Made by the Bell" from 9 a.m.-noon at the church, 8503 Fort Hunt Road. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to support Heritage Presbyterian Women’s outreach programs for children and women. Call Jenny Kennedy at 703-360-9546 or visit www.heritagechurchva.org for more information.

Art & Crafts Holiday Market. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Search through gifts created by more than 20 artist members and enjoy baked goods. Call 703-838-4827 for more.

Emmanuel Episcopal Church Holiday Bazaar. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at 1608 Russell Road. Free. There will be a silent auction, vendors, variety of items, children’s activities and more. 703-683-0798.

Holiday Pottery Event. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Schlesinger Center, 3001 N. Beauregard St. Free. Browse works by students of NOVA. Visit www2.nvcc.edu for more.

Sunday/Dec. 7

Art & Crafts Holiday Market. Noon-4 p.m. at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Search through gifts created by more than 20 artist members and enjoy baked goods. Call 703-838-4827 for more.

Holiday Shopping Spectacular. The Alexandria Commission for Women is holding a art and shopping spectacular from 3-6 p.m. at the Next Realty, 900 N. Fayette St. Purchase arts and crafts, jewelry, handbags and more from emerging women artists. Free. 703-838-5030.

Saturday/Dec. 13

Craft Sale. Heritage Presbyterian Church is holding a craft sale "Made by the Bell" from 9 a.m.-noon at the church, 8503 Fort Hunt Road. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to support Heritage Presbyterian Women’s outreach programs for children and women. Call Jenny Kennedy at 703-360-9420 for more information.

<b>Alexandria Lights Up

</b>A few areas in Alexandria are celebrating a community-wide holiday kick-off with tree lightings. Area tree lightings include various activities such as photos with Santa, receptions, caroling and more.

Friday/Nov. 28

Tree Lighting. City of Alexandria will hold a tree lighting from 7-9 p.m. The event includes musical entertainment with greetings from the Mayor and Santa Claus in Market Square, 301 King St. Free. 703-838-4844.

Saturday/Dec. 6

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. Begins at 3 p.m. with a holiday review featuring local school groups performing. Santa will arrive via boat dockside at the gazebo. Pets are welcome for photos as well. Boat parade starts at 5:30 p.m. Free. Visit www.funside.com for more.

Lights of Love. The Inova Mount Vernon Hospital Auxiliary will present the 26th annual Lights of Love program at 5 p.m. in the hospital's main lobby. For a donation of $5 dedicate a light in memory of a loved one or to honor a friend, neighbor, or relative who has added joy. For a donation of $100, dedicate a light in the tree-top star. Entertainment includes the "Festival of Music" by the West Potomac High School Soundsations and songs by Dr. Cleve Francis, Inova MVH cardiologist and renowned vocalist. A reception in the hospital cafeteria will follow the program. The hospital is located at 2501 Parker's Lane, Alexandria. For any questions contact the Volunteer Services Office at 703-664-7260.

Tree Lighting and Luminaria Display. 5:30 p.m. on Mount Vernon Avenue, followed by a tree lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. near the Mount Vernon Rec Center, located at Commonwealth and Mount Vernon avenues. Free. Visit www.pwba.org, www,funside.com or 703-683-2570.

Thursday/Dec. 11

Holiday Tree Lighting. 5-7 p.m. at Hoffman Town Center. Free. The Alexandria Harmonizers will provide entertainment. Free. Gift card donations will be requested to help the wounded and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. There will be raffles, free food and more.

Sunday/Dec. 14

Tree Lighting. 6:15 p.m. at the King Street Garden Park, across from the King Street metro. Enjoy a tree lighting, caroling, hot cider, cookies and a special guest. Free.

<b>Holiday Music Events

</b>There are a multitude of music events to celebrate the holidays and being with loved ones. There are concerts by high schools, choirs and more.

Sunday/Nov. 30

Holiday Concert. 6:30 p.m. at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St. Performance by the Dennis J and friends. $15/person; $25/couple. 202-438-5704.

Thursday/Dec. 4

Celtic Concert. 8-9:30 p.m. at the Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. Listen to fiddlers, pipers, Scottish dancers and more. $30/person. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

Friday/Dec. 5

Very Merry Musical. 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. Hear A cappella music and enjoy a family meal with Santa. $25/adult; $12/child. Visit www.harmonizers.org or 703-910-4600.

Saturday/Dec. 6

Massed Band Concert. 1-1:30 p.m. at King and Royal streets, in front of City Hall at Market Square, 301 King St. Free. Hear a variety of songs after the parade route.

Holiday Concert. 7-8:30 p.m. at River Farm, 7931 E. Boulevard Drive. Features music by Jody Marshall, Andrea Hoag and Paul Nahay. $10/member or $15/nonmember. Space is limited. Visit www.ahs.org or 703-768-5700 ext. 125.

Very Merry Musical. 12:30 p.m. or 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. Hear A cappella music and enjoy a family meal with Santa. $25/adult; $12/child. Visit www.harmonizers.org or 703-910-4600.

Sunday/Dec. 7

Holiday Performance. 2:30 p.m. at the George Washington Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan DRive. The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic (WMP) will present holiday music. General admission tickets are $20. Students 18 and under are free. All concert tickets can be purchased at the door or online at www.wmpa.us.

Saturday/Dec. 13

High School Christmas Concert. Bishop Ireton Christmas Concert featuring students playing in the Concert Band, Choir, and Wind Ensemble at 7:30 p.m. in the Garwood Whaley Auditorium, 201 Cambridge Road, Alexandria. $5/adult; $3/student/senior. 703-212-5183.

Sunday/Dec. 14

High School Christmas Performance. Bishop Ireton Christmas Concert featuring students performing at 2 p.m. in the Garwood Whaley Auditorium, 201 Cambridge Road, Alexandria. Features special guests. Free. 703-212-5183.

Holiday Performance. The Asaph Ensemble will be performing their Christmas performance at 4 p.m. at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 3001 N. Beauregard St. in Alexandria. The Company will be premiering a new work, "Petite Suite," to music by Claude Debussy. The highlight of the evening will be the restaged and newly costumed "Clara's Christmas." Tickets $15/adult; $10/children and seniors. For more information call 703-368-1812.

Holiday Performance. The Alexandria Choral Society will perform at 4 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2701 Cameron Mills Road. Features music by the adult and children’s choir and more. $20/adult; $15/senior and children. Visit www.alexchoralsociety.org or 703-548-4734 ext. 2.

Christmas Candlelight Service. 6 p.m. Alexandria Presbyterian Church, 2405 Russell Road, Alexandria, will hold its annual Christmas Candlelight Service with choirs and instrumentalists, the Belmont Brass, and carol singing by candlelight. A reception will follow. For information, call 703-683-3348 or visit www.alexandriapres.org.

Children’s Holiday Concert. 3:30 p.m. at Alfred Street Baptist Church, 301 S. Alfred St. $25/person. Hear music by the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra. 703-548-0885.

Wednesday/Dec. 17

Holiday Music Performance. West Potomac High School Chorus and Orchestra will present “Messiah” at 6:30 p.m. in the Springbank Auditorium, 6500 Quander Road. Other holiday favorites will be performed. $5/person.

Sunday/Dec. 21

Holiday Music Performance. From 3-5 p.m. enjoy music by "The Colonial Ringers and the Canterbury Ringers" at the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria. Free. Visitors will also be able to give a try with the music bells. Call Bob Schurk at 703-838-4994.

<b>Family Holiday Events

</b>Families can come together and enjoy a multitude of events geared towards families, from candlelight tours to a children's tea party.

Thursday/Nov. 27

Turkey Trot. 31st annual Turkey Trot from 8:30-11 a.m. at Cora Kelly School. Runners are encouraged to bring non-perishable foods. $10 on-line or $15 on race day. Visit www.pwba.org for event information.

Friday/Nov. 28

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Saturday/Nov. 29

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Sunday/Nov. 30

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Thursday/Dec. 4

Children's Tea Party. 3:30-5:30 p.m. at the Masonic Memorial, 101 Callahan Drive. This special event features Santa Claus. $40/adult and child and $10/each additional ticket. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

Friday/Dec. 5

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Holiday Dinner Theater. Alexandria Harmonizers Chorus presents “A Very Merry Musical” at 7:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. $15/adult; children ages 6-12 are $7; age 5 and under free. Enjoy favorite songs and a family meal with Santa. Reserved table seating. Visit www.harmonizers.org or 240-206-9626 for tickets.

Saturday/Dec. 6

Scottish Preview. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Lyceum, 201 S. Washington St., Alexandria. Includes bagpipe performances, Celtic music, military living history demonstrations and more. Free. Call 703-838-4994 for more information.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Santa Railway Express. Ride with Santa from King Street Station to Old Town Manassas and back on two Fridays before Christmas. The train departs King Street Train Station in Alexandria at 1:25 p.m. and travels to Old Town Manassas Train Station. Passengers will disembark for holiday stories and treats. The train returns to King Street at 3:30 p.m. Buy tickets only at Whistle Stop Hobbies in Old Town. Visit www.whistlestophobbies.com for more.

The Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. 11 a.m. beginning at the corner of Wilkes and South Pitt Streets in Old Town and ending at the Campagna Center. Over 100 Scottish Clans, pipe and drum bands, Scottish dancers, re-enactment groups, Scottie dog groups, dignitaries and, of course, Santa Claus will march down the cobblestone streets of Old Town. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

Holiday Designer Tour of Homes. 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. Stroll through buildings of historic importance dressed up for the holidays by acclaimed interior designers and local florists. Tickets required $25/advance or $30/day of purchase and can be purchased at homes. Call 703-549-0111 for tickets. For more information on the Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, visit www.campagnacenter.org or www.scottishchristmaswalk.com.

A Soldier’s Christmas. Noon-4 p.m. at Carlyle House, 121 N. Fairfax St. The First Virginia Regiment will highlight the life of a soldier during the American Revolutionary War. Includes demonstrations, music, gaming and more. The Regimental surgeon will discuss medicine and show 18th century surgical instruments. Admission is a suggested $5 donation per person. Visit www.carlylehouse.org or 703-548-2997.

Holiday Dinner Theater. Alexandria Harmonizers Chorus presents “A Very Merry Musical” at 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 2932 King St. $15/adult; children ages 6-12 are $7; age 5 and under free. Enjoy favorite songs and a family meal with Santa. Reserved table seating. Visit www.harmonizers.org or 240-206-9626 for tickets.

Sunday/Dec. 7

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Holiday Tea at Woodlawn. Enjoy a special blend of tea and period confections while learning about tea customs of the early 19th century and then take a tour of the house. Noon and 2 p.m. $25/tea or $30/including tour. Reservations required. Private teas available for groups. Visit www.woodlawn1805.org or call 703-780-4000 ext. 27.

Friday/Dec. 12

Plantation Christmas. 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Gunston Hall, 10709 Gunston Road. Take candlelight mansion tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, music and food samples. $14/adult; $7/children. 703-550-9220. Visit www.GunstonHall.org.

Holiday Dinner. Seatings available at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Gunston Hall, 10709 Gunston Road. Holiday dinner includes the traditional fare. $39.95/adult and children ages 11 and up. $19.95/children ages 6-10. Price includes admission to “Plantation Christmas.” Reservations required, 703-550-9220. Visit www.GunstonHall.org.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Saturday/Dec. 13

Historic Candlelight Tour. Four of Old Town Alexandria’s historic sites will welcome guests and open their doors from 5-9 p.m. for the festive Historic Alexandria Candlelight Tour program. The area’s premier traditional holiday event features period music, seasonal decorations and special costumed tours. This year’s tour will include Carlyle House Historic Park, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, the Lee-Fendall House and the newly re-opened Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. The tour is self-guided. Ticket prices are $20 for adult, $15 for seniors and $5 for children ages 6-17. For information, tickets and group sales information, contact the Gadsby’s Tavern Museum at 703-838-4242. Tickets for this event can also be purchased on-line at www.HistoricAlexandria.org.

Civil War Christmas Celebration. Fort Ward Museum is holding its annual Camp Open House from noon-4 p.m. There will be live history, music of the period, decorations, tours and refreshments. Suggested donation. A highlight of the program will be a Civil War-era Santa Claus, dressed according to a wartime image made popular by Thomas Nast. Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site is located at 4301 W. Braddock Road in Alexandria. 703-838-4848.

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Plantation Christmas. 6:30-9:30 p.m. at Gunston Hall, 10709 Gunston Road. Take candlelight mansion tours, horse-drawn carriage rides, music and food samples. $14/adult; $7/children. 703-550-9220. Visit www.GunstonHall.org.

Holiday Dinner. Seatings available at 4:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Gunston Hall, 10709 Gunston Road. Holiday dinner includes the traditional fare. $39.95/adult and children ages 11 and up. $19.95/children ages 6-10. Price includes admission to “Plantation Christmas.” Reservations required, 703-550-9220. Visit www.GunstonHall.org.

Holiday Open House. Noon-3 p.m. at The Hermitage, 5000 Fairbanks Ave. Celebrate the holidays with tree trimming, caroling, special entertainment and refreshments. RSVP by Dec. 4. 703-797-3815.

Kwanzaa Workshop. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St. Do crafts and play games to learn about Kwanzaa. Free. Visit www.alexblackhistory.org or 703-838-4356.

Sunday/Dec. 14

Mount Vernon by Candlelight. Learn about the Washington's Christmas traditions, meet historic characters and tour the home by candlelight, including the rarely seen third floor from 5-8 p.m. at George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate & Gardens. Visit www.mountvernon.org or call 703-780-2000 for cost information.

Holiday Tea at Woodlawn. Enjoy a special blend of tea and period confections while learning about tea customs of the early 19th century and then take a tour of the house. Noon and 2 p.m. $25/tea or $30/including tour. Reservations required. Private teas available for groups. Visit

www.woodlawn1805.org or call 703-780-4000 ext. 27.

Saturday/Dec. 20

Santa Railway Express. Ride with Santa from King Street Station to Old Town Manassas and back on two Fridays before Christmas. The train departs King Street Train Station in Alexandria at 1:25 p.m. and travels to Old Town Manassas Train Station. Passengers will disembark for holiday stories and treats. The train returns to King Street at 3:30 p.m. Buy tickets only at Whistle Stop Hobbies in Old Town. Visit www.whistlestophobbies.com for more.

Wednesday/Dec. 31

First Night Alexandria. Celebrate the New Year with activities, performances and more in approximately 30 venues in Old Town and Del Ray. There is a cost. Visit www.firstnightalexandria.org or 703-838-5005.

<b>Art and Classes

</b>The many art studios will hold their annual holiday art gatherings where people can meet the artists, browse and buy some orginial art work. There are also many workshops available to learn about Kwanza and decorate ornaments based on excavated artifacts.

Thursday/Dec. 4

Holiday Open House. Torpedo Factory is holding an open house from 6-9 p.m. at 105 N. Union St. Features music, drinks and hors d’oeuvres. Meet artists and browse gifts. Free. Visit www.torpedofactory.org or 703-838-4565.

Friday/Dec. 5

Artists Reception. The Del Ray Artisans' Fine Art & Crafts Holiday Market will have a free reception from 7-9:30 p.m. at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Call 703-838-4827 for more.

Saturday/Dec. 6

Holiday Ornament Decorating Workshop. 1-4 p.m. at the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, 105 N. Union St., 3rd floor of the Torpedo Factory Art Center. Families are invited to celebrate the holiday season with an afternoon of historic arts and crafts with the Alexandria Archaeology Museum. Decorate take-home ornaments using shapes, colors and patterns based on the Museum's collection of excavated artifacts. Free. Call Alexandria Archaeology for more information, 703-838-4399.

Art & Crafts Holiday Market. 10 a.m. at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Search through gifts created by more than 20 artist members and enjoy baked goods. Call 703-838-4827 for more.

Holiday Reception. 6-9 p.m., Gallery West presents “Small Works and Holiday Show and Silent Auction” through Dec. 24 at 1213 King St. Features a variety of art work by members in every size. Silent auction ends Dec. 8. Visit www.gallery-west.com or call 703-549-6006.

Sunday/Dec. 7

Art & Crafts Holiday Market. Noon-4 p.m. at the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, 2704 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria. Search through gifts created by more than 20 artist members and enjoy baked goods. Call 703-838-4827 for more.

Saturday/Dec. 13

Kwanzaa Craft and Game Workshop. From 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at the Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., Alexandria. This free workshop, conducted by Museum staff, is geared towards those wishing to learn more about Kwanzaa or find inexpensive ways of incorporating this celebration into their lives. The Museum staff will present a brief overview of the principles of this African American celebration. Participants do not need to bring anything, as all supplies will be provided. For more information call the Museum at 703-838-4356.