Washington DC has a ton of fun things to do throughout the year, especially around the Holidays. Check out these festive events that will definitely put some joy in your life.
THE US BOTANICAL GARDEN
100 Maryland Ave SW
Looking for a quick way to get the family in the holiday spirit this year? Check out the "Season's Greenings" Holiday Displays at The US Botanical Garden. The Botanical Garden is on the grounds of the United States Capitol.
Poinsettias and holiday lights will be EVERYWHERE. G-Gauge Model Trains will deck the halls. They will even have detailed model displays of DC Attractions made from plants.
The Holiday Festivities take place November 24th - January 2nd - from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed on Christmas Day
Admission is free. No tickets are required.
245 First St SW
Make sure that you check out Bartholdi Park while you are there. It is across the street from the Botanical Garden and my #1 favorite hidden GEM here in DC. The park's centerpiece is a fountain, made for the Centennial of the US by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. You might have seen some other works done by him later in his career...... He also designed the Statue of Liberty.
THE US CAPITOL
West Lawn of the US Capitol
The US Capitol began displaying "The People's Tree" in 1964. A new tree is selected every year from a different National Forest. This year a 78 ft tree, named Ruby was selected for the US Capitol. Ruby is from the National Forests in North Carolina and will be filled with 10,000 ornaments made by school children from her home state.
The Capitol Christmas Tree is just as gorgeous during the day as it is at night. I recommend that you bring your ugliest sweater and take some great photos here during the day.
3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington DC's Smithsonian National Zoo will light up at night for the holidays again this year. Environmentally friendly LED lights and dozens of glowing animal lanterns will transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland! Festivities will include live music performances and yummy winter treats.
Zoo Lights runs November 25th - December 30th - 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Admission to ZooLights is free, but a special entry pass is required.
Parking will cost you $30.
The zoo is of course Metro accessible via the Red Line to the Woodley Park-Zoo or Cleveland Park metro stations.
15th St NW &, E St NW
This year the White House Ellipse holds the annual lighting ceremony for the National Menorah on December 18th. A new candle will be lit each night for the next seven nights.
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Between 7th and 9th Streets along Constitution Avenue NW
The Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art turns into a winter wonderland complete with an ice skating rink. This activity comes with great views of the National Mall.
November 26, 2022 – March 5, 2023
Sunday – Thursday, 11:00 AM. – 9:00 PM
Friday – Saturday, 11:00 AM. – 11:00 PM
12 and under $9
$6 Skate rental
825 10th St NW
CityCenterDC Annual Holiday Tree Lighting Celebration will be on Saturday, November 26 at 6:00 PM. This 75-foot tree is one of the largest in the city surrounded by great retail. Go ahead and knock out some of that holiday shopping.
Georgetown Glow is an outdoor light art experience set in DC's oldest neighborhood, Georgetown. This year Glow will feature 5 commissioned works of art by artists from around the world.
You can join a Glow Walking Tour or visit each of these sites on your own.
Light Falls - 2918 M Street NW
Picto Sender Machine - Washington Harbor 3000 K Street NW
All the Light You See - Georgetown Waterfront Park Near the Intersection of Wisconsin Ave & K Street NW
Butterfly Effect - Grace Church 1041 Wisconsin Ave NW
The Cloud Swing - East Market Lane 3276 M Street NW
Glow runs November 26th - January 22nd
5:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Admission is free
The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
District Pier at The Wharf
101 District Square SW
Celebrate the holidays with this iconic DC event's 30th Anniversary. The District Holiday Boat Parade will feature over sixty beautifully decorated boats.
The Wharf will host different activities including visits from Santa, s'mores, ornament decorating, ice skating, and live music by the Royals.
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Fireworks at 8:00 PM
This event is free and open to the public; no registration is required to view the parade or enjoy the live music and activities
ENCHANT AT NATIONALS PARK
1500 S Capitol St SE
Enchant features a ton of activities that the whole family will love. While you are there you can even knock out some holiday shopping and pick up some holiday treats in the Christmas Village.
The main attraction is a story-themed maze made up of tunnels filled with lights. It ends at a 100-foot-tall Christmas tree that would even put a smile on Scrooge's face.
Visit Santa and either take your own photos or have professional photographers capture that special moment of the little ones telling Santa if they have been good or bad this year.
Kids love the Little Elves Play Place. They can join in some reindeer games, make ornaments, and join Mrs. Claus for story time.
It also features an add-on ticket option for Ice Skating. Skates are provided for free OR you can bring your own. Each skater or legal guardian will need to sign a waiver to participate. Tickets are $18 per person, for all ages.
Enchant will be here from November 25th - January 1st.
Tickets Start at $35 for Adults and $23 for children.
The National Christmas Tree
15th St NW &, E St NW
This year is the 100 of the lighting of the National Christmas Tree! The ceremony of the Tree Lighting takes place on the grounds of President's Park (Basically the White House's backyard) on November 30th.
The walkway surrounding the National Christmas Tree is called the Walkway to Peace. This year it will display 58 smaller trees representing the 56 states and territories, and schools managed by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Education and Department of Defense Education Activity. Each tree is decorated by students from each state, territory, and school system.
The National Christmas Tree site will be open to the public December 2nd - January 1st 10:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Admission is free