Posted in WashingtonDC

20th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Photo by Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria.

For the most part, the planning part of my brain has already left the US. But I do still have a few things on my DC bucket list. The holiday boat parade in Alexandria was one of them. Happily, my kiddo is a pretty good sport and doesn’t mind being dragged on random adventures, but I try not to overwhelm or over-schedule him either.

So on Saturday afternoon we hopped in the car and headed to Alexandria to catch the boats. I parked about six blocks from the event because I thought parking would be horrible. So of course, we passed half a dozen spots that were closer, but it was free, so it’s all good!

He also still lets me hold his hand, so we walked and talked at a leisurely pace toward the market square, took a few photos in front of the big Christmas tree, then crossed over to Dolci Gelati for some holiday gelato. The best thing about eating ice cream when it’s 40F outside is that it doesn’t melt!

I had two super yummy scoops…Irish Coffee and Gingerbread, and A chose Cranberry-Orange and Candy Cane. The Candy Cane was a bit too strong for him, but he loves his fruit flavors, so the Cranberry-Orange was a big hit.

Market square in Alexandria.
Our favorite gelato place all year round.

We checked out the waterfront marina but couldn’t really get a good spot due to all the people, so we wandered north along the sidewalk through Founders Park until we found a nice clear view of the water. We were still surrounded by people, but the edge of the park kind of sloped down toward the water, so it was easy to see over their heads. A also found a great spot in a tree, climbed up, and watched most of the boats from there with one other adventurous kid.

And the boat parade was great! They had everything from reindeer to menorahs to hula dancers to sharks. The one with the shark was A’s favorite. The website said that 60 boats participated in the parade, but we probably made it through about half of that before A got tired and wanted to go home. But I was more than happy with what we had seen. (My phone takes terrible pictures in low light, so these are courtesy of the Visit Alexandria FB page.)

Photo by Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria.
Photo by Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria.
Photo by Evan Michio for Visit Alexandria.

There was also a gorgeous bright half-moon overhead and fireworks across the water on the opposite bank. The weather was cool, but we had layered up, and there was no wind, so we were quite comfortable as we walked back toward the car.

Sunday was much quieter. I had a couple mimosas, and we spent most of the day on the couch watching old episodes of the BBC TV series Merlin. I’d say it was a lovely weekend all around. 🙂

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