By Patricia Hall, FairfaxFamilyFun.com
Among the unique holiday events in our area is one that is — literally — a splashing good time: if you are in Northern Virginia or the DC metro area for Christmas, one must-see event is the annual “Water skiing Santa.” This free, fun, family-friendly community event is something you should check out at least once in your life, and it’s worth waiting around for, no matter what the weather (the event happens rain, snow, or shine).
Santa has taken to water-skiing on the Potomac River since 1985 on each December 24. The one-of-a-kind Washington DC tradition features a water-skiing Santa, of course, along with a Jet-skiing Grinch, Frosty the Snowman in a dinghy, Flying Elves, Kneeboarding Reindeer and more. And they are not just passing through, either — this is an action-packed show featuring chases, flips, and other stunts, with a narrator providing a play-by-play of the skits, with fun music playing in the background.
The event starts at 1 pm sharp, with pre-show entertainment at 12:45 pm; after the show, the characters usually stay around to greet visitors and take photos. In previous years, the show took place at National Harbor in southern Maryland but since 2015 it has been on the waterfront of Old Town Alexandria, VA. According to the event’s organizers, the best viewing is along the waterfront from King Street south to Prince Street, including City Marina, King Street and Waterfront Park. The Water skiing Santa website has a map and more details. The entire performance takes about 40 minutes.
This is an all-weather event, and it’s enjoyable no matter what. We’ve attended this show several times in the past, and one year in particular (2012) was particularly chilly: drizzly and a bit windy. Our young son, who normally would not have wanted to stay out in that weather, was so amazed by the stunts that he didn’t mind (it helps we were WAY bundled up and had bought hot cocoa beforehand!). Below is a video from that day: in this scene from the Water-skiing Santa 2012, Santa’s Elves rescue Frosty the Snowman, under attack by The Grinch. So, layer up, bundle up, grab your hand warmers and mugs of hot cocoa, and enjoy the show!
Water-skiing Santa 2012 at National Harbor: Santa’s Elves rescue Frosty the Snowman, under attack by The Grinch
Posted by Fairfax Family Fun on Monday, December 23, 2013
Photo courtesy and (c) Water-skiing Santa; video by and (c) Patricia Hall