Day trips: Gift ideas, food and Christmas trees


Downtown Holiday Market


You'll find some unusual gifts at this year's Downtown Holiday Market, which features products from over 180 artisans and crafters. Browse through houseware, jewelry, paintings, clothes and crafts from around the world, offered at 60 exhibits each day. There will also be live music and entertainment while you shop, as well as food vendors including Shake Shack and Alexa's Empanadas.

The market is in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Open daily from noon to 8 p.m., Nov. 30 to Dec. 23. Call 202-215-6993 or go to

Smithville, N.J.

December Events at Historic Smithville

Head to Historic Smithville in December for holiday attractions for the entire family. The monthlong event will feature a Christmas train ride, a Magical Talking Tree and 100 Christmas trees floating on Lake Meone that light up to holiday music. You can also browse numerous shops in the village and stay the night at The Colonial Inn.

The light show, train ride and other holiday attractions are open from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. every Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 1 to Dec. 23. Call 609-748-8999 or go to


Annual Memorial Illumination

As December begins, witness a different kind of light show at Antietam National Battlefield. Volunteers will light over 23,000 candles to represent the casualties in the bloodiest single-day battle in the history of the United States. This one-day event is a driving tour.

The tour will begin at 6 p.m. Dec. 1 on Route 34 east of Sharpsburg. In case of rain or wind, the event will be rescheduled to Dec. 8. Call 301-432-7672 or go to

Williamsburg, Va.

Christmas Town at Busch Gardens

Enjoy a weekend at one of America's most beautiful theme parks, which will be decked out for the holidays. Additions to the park include holiday twists to some of your favorite rides, a Christmas train ride around the park, a German marketplace, holiday food and a penguin exhibit. There will also be holiday-themed shows and many chances for the kids to meet Santa.

Christmas Town is open 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 and 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Dec. 2. The event will be open on additional dates until Dec. 31. Single-night tickets start at $27 per person, and can be purchased online. Call 800-343-7946 or go to



Taste of Philly Food Tour

Philadelphia is known for its cheese steaks, hoagies, pretzels, Breyer's ice cream and Hershey chocolate. Find out why during this 90-minute walking tour, where you can learn about the history of the city's famous foods, see pretzels being twisted and, of course, taste the food. The tour was written and is frequently led by Carolyn Wyman, author of "The Great Philly Cheesesteak Book" and "Spam: A Biography."

The tour begins at 10 a.m. Dec. 1 at the Beer Summit at Reading Terminal Market. Tickets can be purchased online and prices range from $8.95 to $32.95. Call 215-545-8007 or go to