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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

During college, the holiday season is fun, but also very stressful. Coming back after Thanksgiving can be hard, and many feel burnout. It also seems like all you do is school work, between big assignments and getting ready for finals. That’s why it is so important to carve out time to get out and do something fun, and during the holiday season there are lots of options to choose from in D.C.! Listed below are some of the activities that I have done, as well as ones I want to try!

  1. The Downtown Holiday Market: This is one of my favorite D.C holiday activities!! It’s  located in Gallery Place, which is only five stops away from CUA on the D.C. Metro’s red line. There are over seventy shops, all of which are local small businesses, and six food vendors (one of which has the best churro ever!). I’m able to get all my Christmas shopping for my family done there, and there is something for everyone. It also is located right by the National Portrait Gallery which has a nice indoor space for studying if you want to combine a fun activity with a productive one! http://downtownholidaymarket.com/
  2.  Ice Rink at the Sculpture Garden: Last year my friends and I went ice skating in Georgetown, but it was a bit of a rough rink, so I would love to try the Sculpture Garden’s rink sometime! You are able to skate while being surrounded by art and pretty views of the National Gallery of Art (which has free admission!). This is also accessible by the red line, and is four stops away from CUA at Judiciary Square. The admission fee to skate is $9 if you show your student ID, and skate rentals are $6. https://www.nga.gov/visit/ice-rink.html
  3.  The National Christmas Tree: This activity is very nostalgic for me because I visited the tree as a child and the joy and excitement I felt seeing it that first time has stuck with me today! The tree is free to visit, and is a good opportunity to get some fresh air while also feeling the holiday spirit. This is also accessible using the red line, and is six stops away at Metro Center! https://thenationaltree.org/
  4.  The Wharf: This is a really fun area to visit if you haven’t before and has fun things to do during the holiday season! The area is decorated with holiday decorations and a big Christmas tree. There are also lots of small businesses to gift shop at, and afterwards you can grab a bite to eat at any of the Wharf’s delicious restaurants. They also have a s’mores roasting area, which is a fun activity to get your mind off the pressure of finals. This article will most likely come out after it happens, but if you are in D.C. next year, the Wharf also hosts the District’s Holiday Boat Parade at the beginning of December, which looks like a lot of fun! https://www.wharfdc.com/
  5. Season’s Greetings at the Botanic Gardens: The Botanic Gardens are so cool to visit anytime of the year, but especially during the holiday season! From the end of November to the beginning of January, the Botanic Gardens have the Season’s Greetings holiday exhibit, which features poinsettias, holiday decorations, mini D.C. sights, and cute model trains! Also, if you are like me, being in a warm environment surrounded by plants is helpful in fighting the seasonal depression that always seems to start around this time. https://www.usbg.gov/holiday

I wish you all the best of luck with finals, and that you get some much needed rest over winter break!

Hi! I'm Caroline Chaney and I attend the Catholic University of America, located in Washington, D.C. I am a Sociology major with a minor in Politics and I love reading, listening to 70's music, and spending time with family and friends :)