After you’ve recovered from your Turkey Day feasting, go for a stroll and check out these 10 holiday light displays in the nation’s capital. You won’t regret seeing all the different colors and shapes decorating the District, or getting some fresh air in the process. Happy holidays!Read More
Where to admire holiday lights in Washington, D.C. this season
Deck the District with boughs of holly
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
The National Zoo’s annual holiday lights extravaganza, ZooLights, returns November 29 and lasts until January 1. The lights will be on from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. every night, except for December 24, 25, and 31. Admission is free, and more than 500,000 LED lights will be featured. Live music and “dozens of large, glowing animal lanterns”—a new addition this year, according to the zoo—will also be part of the event.
From December 6 to January 5, between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. daily, 11 art installations will be on display across Georgetown. This is the sixth time GLOW is taking over some of the neighborhood’s outdoor spaces, and there will be walking tours centered on the displays.
Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park
Just weeks ago, Nationals Park hosted the World Series for the first time ever—and now it’s home to “Enchant Christmas,” a light-filled maze and market. The event runs until December 29. The maze is 90,000 square feet and includes a 100-foot pine tree. There is also an ice skating trail on site, plus a certain jolly, red-suited guest.
Upshur Street NW
The 800 block of Upshur Street NW, a main commercial strip in Petworth, will be decorated in holiday lights for all of December. A street craft fair is also scheduled for December 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. More than 50 vendors and a pop-up holiday lounge are expected.
Lower Georgia Avenue NW
Also for all of December, Georgia Avenue NW between Upshur Street NW and Barry Place NW will be lit up with holiday lights from small businesses. The event is being organized by nonprofit District Bridges, and a holiday lights award ceremony is planned for December 14 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The Parks Historic Walter Reed
A holiday tree and menorah lighting at the Walter Reed development in Northwest is set for December 14 from 5 p.m. 6:30 p.m. A choir of local musicians led by Imani Grace, the lead vocalist for the Washington National Cathedral’s jazz band, will provide music. The tree will be 20 feet and the menorah 12 feet.
Palmer Alley NW at the CityCenterDC development downtown is decorated with bright snowflakes for an installation called “Dream Closet.” The development also has a huge holiday tree along New York Avenue NW.
Near the White House, the National Christmas Tree and the National Menorah will light up in December at the Ellipse. The conifer tree, which is surrounded by smaller trees decorated with ornaments shipped in from each U.S. state, will be lit December 5. The menorah ceremony is scheduled for December 22 at 4 p.m.
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On November 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Wharf development will light up its holiday tree and kick off the season with thousands of waterfront lights. (Ice skating will be available.) A holiday boat parade is set for December 7 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sixty lit-up boats and fireworks are anticipated.
Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
The iconic Brookland basilica—the largest Catholic church in North America—will feature over 50 trees, 65,000 lights, and 500 poinsettias during the Christmas season. The church is open between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. daily.