Christmas in DC: Top Festive Ways to Celebrate the Holidays
I can’t believe it is already about to be Christmas already – this year has flown by! There are lots of fun things to do in DC to celebrate Christmas and the holiday season. Here is my list of festive ways to celebrate the holidays!
National Christmas Tree
Although I still claim this is the ugliest Christmas tree I have ever seen – the National Christmas Tree is kind of a must see. The cone of netted lights is surely an eye sore, but there are smaller trees surrounding it for each state decorated with ornaments created by local students. Sunday, December 5th will be the 99th Lighting Ceremony!
Closest Metro Stop: Metro Center
Capitol Christmas Tree
My personal preference to the National Christmas Tree is the Capitol Christmas Tree – also referred to as “The People’s Tree.” Each year, a tree is shipped from a national forest in the US. This year, our tree is named “Sugar Bear” and came from Six Rivers National Forest in California. Learn more about the park here.
Closest Metro Stop: Federal Center SW
Botanic Garden Train Display
The US Botanic Garden has an outdoor train display during the holidays! It is open Thanskgiving through January 2nd (daytime only 10am-5pm). This display is on the right side of the Botanic Garden in the fenced outdoor gardens – there are signs leading the way so you can’t miss it. The intricate display features trains winding through different agricultural scenes.
Closest Metro Stop: Federal Center SW
Pro Tip: the Botanic Garden is right next to the Capitol making it easy to visit the tree and the train display in one stop!
Downtown Holiday Market
I love a good outdoor holiday market and DC’s Downtown Holiday Market does not disappoint!! Located on F Street NW just next to the Capital One Arena, the market features local small businesses and vendors.
Closest Metro Stop: Gallery Place-Chinatown
Christkindlmarkt at Heurich House Museum
Speaking of Christmas Markets – Heurich House Museum has an outdoor German-style Christmas Market! Note: this is only open for one weekend (December 3-5) and requires tickets.
Closest Metro Stop: Dupont Circle
Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
The ice skating rink in the National Gallery Sculpture Garden is returning this year! Masks aren’t required for the outdoor skating rink but make sure to bring one in case you decide to stop in the pavillion cafe or the museums.
Closest Metro Stop: Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter
Enchant Christmas at Nats Park
Enchant Christmas is back again this year at Nationals Park! We went two years ago and it was a blast. There’s a light maze, skating rink, and lots of fun vendors to shop.
Closest Metro Stop: Navy Yard-Ballpark
My favorite part of the holidays to check out all the decorations around the city. Union Station is always a gorgeous spot with its wreaths but even exploring the decorated neighborhoods can be a beautiful sight!
What are your favorite things to do during the holidays?
I have a friend that recently moved to DC and I’m super excited to visit it during the holidays! This list is super helpful, thanks for sharing!
Great article and beautiful photos!
Wow! the lights are everywhere in DC at Christmas! Gotta see that “ugly” national tree- the photo is pretty, guess it is uglier in person, LOL!
What an amazing display of lights and Christmas 🎄 in DC, the whole city is glowing.We love to see Christmas decorations and every city has its unique style.
DC always looks so beautiful, can’t wait to go one day!
Still chuckling at your description of the National Christmas Tree – fun read!
David N Brace
Great list! The sculpture garden would be an awesome and intimate evening.
A Christmas light maze sounds like a fun idea! Adding to my bucket list.
Oh my gosh, this has got to go on my list, I love Christmas!
Wow everything is so pretty and lit up, some lovely places to visit…
What a beautiful pictures in this article! Great read