More than just the nexus of American politics, Washington, D.C. is one of the nation’s best holiday destinations

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, the United States comes alive with holiday spirit. 

From the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in New York City to ice skating in San Francisco’s Union Square to the hundreds of celebrations in-between, each region puts its own spin on the country’s favorite time of year. One place, however, captures the collective national holiday spirit better than anywhere else—Washington, D.C. 

Each December, the nation’s capital is aglow with lights and tinsel, ready to share its festive mood. Whether you’re a resident or a visitor, here are four of the best ways to spend the holidays in D.C.

Christmas on the Potomac at the Gaylord National Hotel

November 15th to December 30th, 2019

Individual event or group or package tickets available.

There’s nothing small or understated about the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland, and that includes their annual, month-and-a-half-long celebration of Christmas on the Potomac. Activities include the interactive experience ICE!: featuring Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas!, Cirque Dreams Unwrapped, Reindeer Rush Ice Tubing Hill, ice skating, seasonal concert series, and special events for overnight guests of the hotel.

Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens

November 22nd to December 31st, 2019

$25 per car/van Sunday – Thursday; $30 per car/van Friday and Saturday and 12/20 to 12/31

If you’re curious about what over a million lights shaped into nature’s most beautiful forms look like, then Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland will provide an illuminating experience. The lighted displays include plants, animals, and artful winter scenes, all intricately formed with lights. The month-long display also features model trains in the conservatory and nightly musical performances.

ZooLights at the National Zoo 

November 29th to January 1st, 2020 (except for 12/24, 12/25, and 12/31)

Free event with rides on ZooTubes, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo Choo-Choo, or the Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel for $3.50 each.

Every night from the day after Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, the National Zoo hosts ZooLights. This environmentally-friendly experience features more than 500,000 LED lights and special exhibits, including animal lanterns, a field of lights, a virtual interactive display, and a laser light show. There is also the Grump Holiday Market during the first weekend of December.

National Christmas Tree and National Menorah Lightings

December 5th and December 22nd, 2019

Both lighting events and daily visits to the respective displays are free.

December is a significant month for the two largest faiths in the U.S.—Christianity and Judaism. Washington, D.C. celebrates both during separate lighting ceremonies. The National Christmas Tree lighting is on December 5th, 2019, at President’s Park at the White House. The tree will be illuminated each day at 4:30PM throughout the Christmas season. 

The National Menorah celebrates Jewish Chanukah—The Festival of Lights—with a Grand Lighting Ceremony on December 22nd, 2019, on the Ellipse across from the White House.

Are you ready to experience the best of Washington, D.C. year-round? Contact McFadden Partners and let us be your guide to the best of luxury Washington, D.C. real estate.

*Image: Marriott, Gaylord National

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