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A light display with red and green threads in a mesh structure.
Georgetown GLOW
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Where to admire holiday lights in Washington, D.C. this season

Deck the District with boughs of holly

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Georgetown GLOW
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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!

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1. Smithsonian National Zoological Park

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3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 633-4888
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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.

People visit a zoo decorated with holiday lights. The Washington Post via Getty Im

2. Georgetown GLOW

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Georgetown
Washington, DC 20007

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.

Lit-up flower displays outside a church. The Washington Post via Getty Im

3. Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park

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1500 S Capitol St SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 675-6287
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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.

4. Upshur Street NW

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800 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011

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.

A commercial and residential street in a city. There are a few storefronts and cars parked on the road. The Washington Post via Getty Im

5. Lower Georgia Avenue NW

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Georgia Ave NW & Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20001

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.

6. The Parks Historic Walter Reed

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1010 Butternut St NW
Washington, DC 20012
(202) 568-6363
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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.

7. CityCenterDC

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825 10th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 289-9000
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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.

8. The Ellipse

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(202) 208-1631
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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.

Workers on a crane install a star on top of a holiday tree near a federal building. Shutterstock

9. The Wharf

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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.

A waterfront development with modern mixed-use buildings. A holiday tree is seen on a pier. Shutterstock

10. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

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400 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20017
(202) 526-8300
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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.

1. Smithsonian National Zoological Park

3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
People visit a zoo decorated with holiday lights. The Washington Post via Getty Im

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.

3001 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

2. Georgetown GLOW

Georgetown, Washington, DC 20007
Lit-up flower displays outside a church. The Washington Post via Getty Im

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.

Georgetown
Washington, DC 20007

3. Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park

1500 S Capitol St SE, Washington, DC 20003

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.

1500 S Capitol St SE
Washington, DC 20003

4. Upshur Street NW

800 Upshur St NW, Washington, DC 20011
A commercial and residential street in a city. There are a few storefronts and cars parked on the road. The Washington Post via Getty Im

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.

800 Upshur St NW
Washington, DC 20011

5. Lower Georgia Avenue NW

Georgia Ave NW & Columbia Rd NW, Washington, DC 20001

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.

Georgia Ave NW & Columbia Rd NW
Washington, DC 20001

6. The Parks Historic Walter Reed

1010 Butternut St NW, Washington, DC 20012

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.

1010 Butternut St NW
Washington, DC 20012

7. CityCenterDC

825 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20001

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.

825 10th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

8. The Ellipse

Washington, DC 20502
Workers on a crane install a star on top of a holiday tree near a federal building. Shutterstock

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.

9. The Wharf

Washington, DC 20024
A waterfront development with modern mixed-use buildings. A holiday tree is seen on a pier. Shutterstock

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.

10. Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

400 Michigan Ave NE, Washington, DC 20017

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.

400 Michigan Ave NE
Washington, DC 20017

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