Enjoying the Christmas Season in Washington, DC

Washington DC’s Upcoming Exciting Christmas Season

All year round, visitors from around the world flock to Washington, DC, to take in its wide selection of wonderful sites. But the Christmas season brings many spectacular seasonal additions that make a Christmastime visit to the nation’s capital that much more fun and exciting.

Following are just a few examples of unique events and celebrations that will be upcoming in this year of 2019:

National Christmas Tree

The gorgeous 30-foot Colorado blue spruce brought in from Palmyra, PA, will be surrounded by 56 smaller trees, all decorated with one-of-a-kind handmade ornaments that represent each state and territory as well as the District of Columbia. The beloved tradition will be free to visit throughout December in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse from 10 AM to 10 PM. The National Christmas Tree itself will be lit from 4:30 PM to 10 PM each day. There will also be nightly musical performances during the holiday season. The official lighting ceremony will take place on December 5.


Another free event, ZooLights, powered by Pepco, will be held from Friday, November 29, 2019, to Wednesday, January 1, 2020, from 5 PM to 9 PM. Over 500,000 environment-friendly LED lights will transform the Smithsonian’s National Zoo into a marvelous winter wonderland! 

New this year are dozens of glowing animal lanterns crafted in China. Visitors can stroll among thousands of lights in the interactive award-winning art exhibit named “Entre Les Rangs,” a Luminous Field of Lights. There will also be performances with live music, laser light shows, plenty of holiday shopping, and tasty winter treats. ZooTubes will be a favorite return where participants hop into a tube and slide down a hill. Take a ride on the National Zoo Choo-Choo through the area and see the light displays. Make a choice from 50 animal figures to ride on the Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel. 

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade

This beloved boat parade ships out on December 7, 2019, from 6 PM to 9 PM. You can get a great view of the whole parade as it passes by The Wharf on the Potomac River from Alexandria, VA. There will be holiday festivities, live music, a fire pit, ice skating, a Fireworks Salute at 8:00 pm, and more. Prizes will be awarded to the most beautiful boats. 

George Washington Christmas

A George Washington-inspired Christmas will take place at his Mount Vernon estate from November 29 through December 31. Walk through the mansion and visit Aladdin the Christmas camel, which Washington bought in 1787 for 18 shillings to entertain his guests. See Mount Vernon By Candlelight on November 29 and 30, December 6-7, 13-14 and 22 between 5 PM and 8 PM. You will enjoy a guided tour and a lantern-lit walk, fireside caroling, live music, and dancing along with cookies and cider, and hear stories of past Christmases and history from 18th-century Virginia.

Where to Stay

If you’re coming in from out of town to celebrate the holiday season in Washington, you’ve got plenty of options. There are many great hotels near The National Mall, a good location from which to base your trip. The Grand Hyatt Washington at 1000 H Street NW in the center of downtown Washington would be an excellent choice. In addition to having many upscale amenities, it is conveniently located near the Metro Center train station so that you could easily travel to many of the city’s highlights. 

Another popular choice is the Hamilton Hotel Washington DC. This hotel is set in an iconic landmark building in the heart of the city. It prides itself on excellent service, elegant rooms, and providing a truly pampering experience.

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