Hanukkah Events 2017
The Festival of Lights is coming soon! Several organizations in Northern Virginia offer events for the community to celebrate the high holidays, and Hanukkah of course is one of the most festive times. See our list below for menorah lightings, special Hanukkah celebrations, and other seasonal events. Please note many of these are outdoor celebrations, so dress accordingly for the weather. As always, check specific sites for schedule updates or inclement weather cancellations. If you know of a Chanukah event that is NOT yet listed here, please submit the details (including date, location, description, and official link) so we can add it. As always, we list community events that are family-friendly (all ages or most ages) and open to the public. Thanks!
Fri., Dec. 1 – Leesburg Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting
Celebrate the start of the holiday season in Leesburg at the annual Christmas Tree and Menorah Lighting Ceremony on the Town Green. The event, with performances from local schools and a holiday sing-along, starts at 6 pm.
Sun., Dec. 3 – Jewish Community Center (JCC) Hands-on Chanukah
The Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia presents a special Hanukkah story time and book fair at Barnes and Noble in Tysons Corner from 11 am to 3 pm with children’s crafts. This is a free event.
Sun., Dec. 3 – Menorah Magic at Home Depot
Chabad of Reston-Herndon presents a fun pre-Chanukah experience at the Reston Home Depot. Free that little Van Gogh hiding inside of you by crafting your own Menorah with tons of different materials. Also enjoy Chanukah treats, raffle, and more. Two shifts are available (both free): 3:30 to 4:15 pm or 4:30 to 5:15 pm.
Thurs, Dec. 7 – Chanukah Story Time and Crafts
Moms, dads, grandparents and anyone who loves books is invited to bring your children to enjoy PJ Library story time and arts and crafts., this month to learn about the Jewish holiday of Chanukah. Dress for messy fun, as there will be stories, crafts, hands-on props, and even dreidel (tops spinning) lessons. This free event at Chantilly Regional Library is open to all and takes place from 10:30 am to 11:30 am.
Sun., Dec. 10 – Hanukkah Celebration in Leesburg
Join the Village at Leesburg to celebrate the upcoming miracle of Hanukkah with Rabbi David Greenspoon of Congregation Sha’are Shalom in Leesburg. Activities will take place near the Menorah in Village Plaza.
Tues., Dec. 12 – National Menorah Lighting
The Lighting Ceremony of the National Menorah takes place on the White House Ellipse on Dec. 12 at 4 pm. Gates open at 3:15 and the event is free, but tickets are required. This is a fun family festival with live entertainment by the United States Air Force Band and Dreidelman and the Macabees, plus menorah kits and dreidels, and hot latkes and donuts. The event is presented by American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad).
Wed., Dec. 13 – Light Up Arlington: Clarendon Menorah Lighting
Meet at Clarendon Central Park (at the Clarendon Metro Station) at 6 pm for the lighting of a giant 6-foot menorah. Enjoy lively Chanukah music, chocolate gelt and dreidels for all, and hot potato latkes. Sponsored by Chabad Lubavitch of Alexandria Arlington.
Thurs., Dec. 14 – Hanukkah Party in Washington
The National Museum of American Jewish Military History (along with the Jewish Study Center) invites you to a Hanukkah Party with latkes, jelly doughnuts, gelt, and songs. Explore the museum at 6 pm and then starting at 6:30 enjoy games, plus learn about facts and myths about Hanukkah and how Jews in the American military have continued the tradition of the Maccabees. Admission is free, with donations accepted; there also will be a collection of winter coats for veterans in need.
Thurs., Dec. 14- Chanukah on Ice
Annual community event at Pentagon Row featuring ice skating, lighting of a giant 6-foot menorah, a free raffle, and food including kosher hot dogs, latkes. The lighting ceremony is open to all; activity fees are $10 in advance, $13 at the door (includes skate rental; food sold separately).
Sun., Dec. 17 – Chanukah Bowl and Gelt Drop
Chabad of Reston-Herndon is hosting a Chanukah Bowling Party for all at Bowl America! The fun-filled evening includes Chanukah bowling, a special Bowling Ball Menorah Light a surprise guest, a chocolate gelt drop from high atop a firetruck ladder and bucket, Chanukah treats, and more. The event will be at and organizers request RSVP to secure enough lane rentals. This is an all-ages event, 4-6 pm. Admission is free and bowling with shoe rental is $12 per person.
Sun., Dec. 17 – Chanukah Celebration at Mosaic
Celebrate the miracle of Chanukah with the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia at Mosaic District in Merrifield. The free event, starting at 4 pm, includes songs, kids’ activities, and complimentary kosher treats.
Sun., Dec. 25 – Alexandria Chanukah Festival
Share in the spirit and Joy of Chanukah at The Grand Chanukah Menorah Lighting in Old Town Alexandria at 6:30 pm. This is a free annual community event with local dignitaries, family entertainment, raffles, light sticks for kids, lively Chanukah music, and hot potato latkes, and chocolate gelt and dreidels for all. In 2017, the Chanukah Festival moves to a new location at The Lyceum history museum.