Christmas in Washington, DC | Adventures with Shelby
Holidays,  Washington DC

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

National Christmas Tree | Adventures with Shelby

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

Capitol Christmas Tree | Adventures with Shelby

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

Botanic Garden Train Display | Adventures with Shelby

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

Downtown Holiday Market | Adventures with Shelby

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

Enchant Christmas at Nats Park | Adventures with Shelby

Light Displays

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!

Union Station | Adventures with Shelby


What are your favorite things to do during the holidays?

Christmas in Washington, DC | Adventures with Shelby


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