You probably wouldn’t guess it from all the Christmas events I keep posting about that I actually do double duty when it comes to the holidays. As an interfaith family, we celebrate both Chanukah and Christmas – I grew up lighting the menorah, while my husband anticipated Santa’s visits. But we’ve embraced each other’s traditions, especially at this time of year, and try to give our kids the best of both.
Last year around the holidays, I discussed how this can pose some challenges for us. Christmas is right in our faces, with tons of activities and events to celebrate it throughout the season. Chanukah…not so much. But it’s not that the events don’t exist at all, you just have to try a little harder to find them. Well, I’ve done the legwork for you, so if your family seeks special events around town that celebrate Chanukah, here’s where you can find them. Chag Sameach!
National Menorah Lighting
Where: The National Ellipse
When: December 20, 4pm
Admission: Free, but you must request tickets
This is the Jewish counterpart to the National Christmas Tree Lighting. Every year, the National Menorah is lit in a ceremony on the Ellipse. Along with the lighting, there will be entertainment by the U.S. Marine Band as well as Dreidelman and the Macabees. If you don’t mind waiting in line afterward, stay for latkes and donuts. Tickets are free, but you need to request them in advance. Go here to get yours.
Chanukah on Ice
Where: Pentagon Row Ice Rink
When: December 15, 6-8:30pm
Admission: $10 advance, $12 at the door
Celebrate Chanukah a week early at an ice skating party. Along with fun on the ice, festivities will include a menorah lighting, a raffle for a Flip camera, latkes and other treats, and more. Ice skate rentals are included, but food will be sold separately.
Rockin’ Hannukah Concert
Where: Alden Theatre
When: December 18, 3pm
Tickets: $15, $10/McLean residents
Yosi and the Superdads play an interactive and humorous family concert filled with klezmer, rock, ska and rockin’ Hanukkah tunes. Recommended for ages 3 and up.
Menorah Lighting Celebration
Where: Cabin John Shopping Center
When: December 21, 6-7:30pm
The highlight of Chabad Shul of Potomac’s Chanukah celebration will be a Juggling Rabbi who has entertained audiences around the world. But there will be even more than that to enjoy – a giant menorah lighting, magic tricks and balloons, music and dancing, latkes and jelly doughnuts, and more.
Where: Civic Center, Silver Spring
When: December 18 – 25
You can find a week’s worth of Chanukah activities in Silver Spring. From candle dipping and jewelry making to story time and sing-a-longs, there will be activities for the whole family to enjoy, thanks to Chabad of Silver Spring. Be sure to check the website for the schedule and more details about the event, which includes its own Chanukah on Ice on the 25th.
Chanukah Candyland Bethesda
Where: Bethesda Row
When: December 22
Celebrating Chanukah has never been so sweet! Join Chabad of Bethesda as they light a menorah made of jellybeans and present an exciting magic show. Chanukah music, latkes and other treats will also be part of the festivities that are open to everyone. The program will be held at Bethesda Lane on Bethesda Row in downtown Bethesda.