Take a holiday break

Enjoy some regional entertainment

Enjoy some regional entertainment

December 07, 2007|By JULIE E. GREENE

Holidays are a time to spend with family and, occasionally, there's a need to take a break from family.

There are many holiday-related events in the region that would make good day trips to relax from the hubbub of shopping or simply to get out of the house. Or to use as a meeting point to spend time with an old friend.

Here are a few:

Festival of Lights

The Festival of Lights at the Washington Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a monthlong celebration of the season. The festival features concerts, a live nativity, a large display of crche scenes from around the world and decorated trees.

The live nativity is open 7 to 9 p.m. weekdays and 6 to 9 p.m. Saturdays, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, through Tuesday, Jan. 1. The créche scene display is open inside the temple's visitor center from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily except for Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Daily concerts are at 7 and 8 p.m. at the visitors center. Performances include The Mormon Choir of DC on Sunday, Dec. 9; Northern Lights Dance Orchestra on Saturday, Dec. 15; and Alte Kameraden German Band, a Bavarian brass band, on Friday, Dec. 28.


Admission is free; first-come, first-seated.

The temple is at 9900 Stoneybrook Drive in Kensington, Md. Take Interstate 270 south to Interstate 495 east. Take Exit 33 and turn left (north) onto Connecticut Avenue. At the second traffic light, turn right onto Beach Drive. Go straight at the stop sign and at the T intersection, turn left onto Stoneybrook Drive.

For more information, call 301-587-0144 or go to

ZooLights at the Smithsonian's National Zoo

ZooLights consists of 47 light sculptures highlighting animals or plants at the zoo. Twelve of the sculptures are animated.

Activities include participating in a scavenger hunt, making winter-themed crafts, decorating cookies, watching an ice-sculpture demonstration and puppet shows, and listening to storytellers. A schedule of events is available at runs 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays in December.

Tickets are $6 to $10; free for ages 12 months and younger. Tickets are available through Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 202-397-7328, at, or at the zoo's visitor center by the zoo entrance.

The National Zoo is at 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW in Washington, D.C. The zoo entrance is midway between the Cleveland Park Metrorail stop and the Woodley Park/Zoo/Adams Morgan stop, a short walk along Connecticut from either.

A Longwood Gardens Christmas

Longwood Gardens near Kennett Square, Pa., lights up its outdoor trees and fountains, offers ice-skating shows and organ singalongs, and has an indoor holiday garden display.

The ice skating shows feature professional and local competitive skaters, including U.S. National medalist Kendra Goodwin and Olympians Tiffany Scott, Philip Dulebohn, Alexei Beletsky and Cheun Gun Lee. A schedule of ice skaters is available at Click on the schedule link.

A Longwood Gardens Christmas runs through Sunday, Jan. 6, and is open on the holidays.

Admission is $6 to $16; free for ages 4 and younger. Ice-skating performances require a special ticket costing $3 to $4.

For advance tickets, call 610-388-1000, ext. 100, or go to

Christmas City

Christmas City in Bethlehem, Pa., north of Philadelphia, offers several attractions this time of year, including an acrobatic show, a follies show, concerts, a holiday market, old-fashioned carriage rides and tours.

Open through Monday, Dec. 31, though not every activity is offered every day. Admission prices to the shows vary.

Cirque des Amis features high-flying circus performers, music, magic, juggling and comedy. Tickets are $25 (general admission) to $50 (except for Dec. 31 when tickets cost $35 to $60). For advance tickets, call 610-332-3378 or go to

Follies show runs through Sunday, Dec. 23, and costs $13 to $15 with pay-what-you-will shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Call 610-867-1689.

For more information, call 610-332-1300, or go to

"Christmas Carol 1941"

A musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," set in Washington, D.C., following Japan's attack of Pearl Harbor. The show is at Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW, Washington, D.C. Showtimes vary. Runs Tuesdays through Sundays in December, except Christmas Day.

Tickets are $61 to $76. For tickets, call 202-488-3300.

Other destination possibilities

Can't make it to one of the shows listed, but still interested in looking for day-trip possibilities during the holidays?

Check out calendars of events at these tourism sites.

· Washington, D.C.:

· Maryland Office of Tourism:

· Pennsylvania Tourism Office:

· West Virginia Division of Tourism:

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