By Jackie Jeter, President of the Metro Washington Labor Council AFL-CIO and Cherri Senders, President of Labor 411

After surviving a game-changing national election that will change the landscape of our nation, Washington DC gears up for the final holiday season of the Obama administration. From a union perspective, 2016 has been a year of action and progress. A few of the many highlights include supporting our service workers brothers and sisters in their continuing fight for a living wage at National and Washington Dulles Airports, seeing the United Food and Commercial Workers approve new contracts with Safeway and Giant, and our continued participation in the ongoing Fight for 15. We salute the work of all our union brothers and sisters in their fight to build a strong middle class.

As anyone who has visited DC during the holiday season knows, our nation’s capital represents when it comes to displaying some serious yuletide spirit. When you’re not hunkering down against the cold with family, friends and loved ones, we invite you to take advantage of some of the enchanting holiday offerings below. There are options for all ages and price ranges, and we thank our DC union brothers and sisters for helping to make them all sparkle.

Last but not least, a great way to get around town is our great – and all-union -- Metro rail and bus system, which will get you where you need to go safely and inexpensively.

1.  The National Christmas Tree
      When: Ongoing through January 1, 2017
      Where: On the ellipse between 15th and 17th Streets NW, Washington, DC 20500
      What: Visitors can enjoy a live 40-foot tree and the "Pathway of Peace," 56 smaller, decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia. This year’s lighting design includes approximately 310 LED cool white micro style lights and 350 red, white, and blue LED string sets – all Energy Star® qualified – and roughly 300 recycled star ornaments.
      Unions: NTEU, USPPFOP
      More Info: click here
Metro: Farragut West (Blue/Silver Orange) or Farragut North (Red)

2. ICE! at the Marriott’s Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center
      When: November 20, 2016 – January 4, 2017
      Where: 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, Maryland 20745
      What: Frosty the Snowman invites you to step inside a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 blocks of ice weighing 1.5 million pounds! The attraction includes a live ice carving zone and the Frostbite Factory where ice artisans create their frozen wonders.
      Union: UNITE HERE
      More info: click here
Metro: NH1 Line from Southern Ave (Green) or NH2 from Huntington (yellow) or King St (Blue/yellow)

3. Washington Wizards at Verizon Center
      When: Multiple home games through April 12, 2017
      Where: 601 F Street NW, Washington DC, 20004
      What: OK, so it’s not strictly a holiday event, but you can catch the flashy duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal battle their NBA rivals several times in December and January.
      Union: IATSE, UNITE HERE
      More info: click here
Metro: Gallery Place (Yellow/Green/Red)

4. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theater
      When: November 19, 2016 - December 31, 2016
      Where: 511 Tenth St, NW, Washington, DC 20004
      What: Craig Wallace headlines as the miserly Scrooge who is led on a journey of redemption by the Ghosts of Christmas Past Present and Future in this music infused holiday favorite.
      Unions: AFM, IATSE
      More Info: click here
Metro: Metro Center (Blue/Silver/Orange/Red)

5. The Nutcracker by the Washington Ballet at the Warner Theater
      When: December 1, 2016  - December 24, 2016
      Where: 513 13th Street, NW Washington, DC 20004
      What: The classic tale of Clara and her magical journey includes appearances by George Washington and King George III in the celebrated production with whimsical touches by the Washington Ballet.
      Unions: IATSE
      More Info: click here

Metro: Metro Center (Blue/Silver/Orange/Red)

6. National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah at the Kennedy Center
      When: December 15, 2016 – December 18, 2016
      Where: 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566
      What: Laurence Cummings conducts four gifted singers and the University of Maryland Concert Choir in Handel’s masterpiece, an NSO tradition.
      More Info: click here
Metro: Dupont Circle (Red)

7. Zoolights at the National Zoo
      When: December 27, 2015 – January 2, 2016
      Where: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
      What: “Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. A free 34-day event, ZooLights includes live music performances, tasty winter treats, and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping.”
      Union: AFGE
      More Info: click here

Metro: Cleveland Park (Red)

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