This year Hanukkah begins on December 22nd and ends on December 30th. And you'll find plenty of events celebrating the holiday in Fairfax County and throughout the Capital Region. For many English speakers (such as myself), you might find yourself a bit confused over the spelling of this holiday's name. Is it Hanukkah or Chanukah? The answer (thank you Google) is that both are considered correct, though Hanukkah is the most widely used spelling, while Chanukah is more traditional.

To honor this year's celebration, we've put together eight fun outings in honor of the eight Hanukkah menorah candles that symbolize this celebration. So without further ado, check out the events below...after you listen to perhaps the most recognized Hanukkah (Chanukah) song of the last quarter-century.

Pre-Chanukah Celebration – When Harry Met Sally: The Jewish Deli in Pop Culture

December 19, 1pm-3:30pm
Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia

Join author Ted Merwin as he discusses his most recent book Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli. Learn about how the Jewish deli became a staple of 20th-century pop culture, from comedian John Belushi’s “Samurai Deli” skit to the hit movie When Harry Met Sally.  

National Menorah Lighting

December 22, 4pm
White House Ellipse

Perhaps the most prominent public Chanukah program in the world is the annual lighting ceremony of the National Chanukah Menorah on the Ellipse, just across from the White House in Washington, DC. The lighting of this magnificent menorah – the world’s largest – is attended by thousands every year and seen via television newscasts, internet feeds and other media by tens of millions across the nation and around the world.

The Chanukah Gelt Drop

December 22, 5pm
Herndon Town Hall

Come with your family and friends as Old Town Herndon brightens up the night for this special Menorah lighting. Position yourself to get as much chocolate gelt as you can as it rains down from high above a firetruck (you can also meet the firefighters as we honor their service), enjoy delicious doughnuts and latkes, sip hot cider, and dance the evening away with special Chanukah music! Open to all, free of charge.

Flip Like A Latkeh Trampoline Jump Party

December 24, 4:30pm
Launch Trampoline Park in Herndon

Have a Chanukah blast at this free Chanukah Family Trampoline Jump Party! You're in store for a fun-filled evening featuring:

  • Unlimited jumping
  • Special Menorah Lighting with a surprise guest
  • Chocolate gelt, latkes, donuts and more
  • Grand raffle

And if you don't want to jump, you can come for the food, fun and schmoozing! No synagogue membership or affiliation required.

2019 Annual Hanukkah Party

December 26, 6:30pm
National Museum of American Jewish Military History in Washington, DC

Head into DC for this annual Hanukkah Party featuring latkes, jelly doughnuts, gelt, and song! You'll be able to roam the museum and eat, play games and sing. As part of the program, you'll get to see how Jews in the American military have continued the tradition of the Maccabees. You're invited to also bring your own Hanukkah menorah for a group lighting.

Chanukah Festival

December 26, 6:30pm
The Lyceum in Alexandria

Join the Alexandria community for The Grand Chanukah Menorah Lighting in Old Town. Bring as many family and friends as you can muster and then sing and dance to classic Hanukkah tunes while snacking on delicious potato latkes and chocolate gelt. Oh, and they will have dreidels.

Chanukah Brisket & Latke Dinner

December 27, 6:30pm
Temple Rodef Shalom in Falls Church

Join members of Temple Rodef Shalom for a delectable holiday dinner. The menu highlights for the night include brisket, latkes and other delicious sides and desserts. Participants must register by Sunday, Dec. 22.

Chanukah Menorah Lighting

December 29, 4:30pm
Mosaic District in Fairfax

It’s Chanukah time at Mosaic District – and they're bringing the celebration! Join in the fun as participants light the Menorah's candles, sing songs, enjoy entertainment, feast on sufganiyot (donuts), spin the dreidel and more!


These are just some of the fun things to do during Hanukkah time here in Fairfax County. We have more events listed on our seasonal calendar, so we invite you to take the time to enjoy the holidays and find a fun activity to share with your family. Don't forget to share your memories with us using #FXVA or @VisitFairfax on your social media posts.