Things to Do

Where to See Holiday Light Displays Around Washington

'Tis the season for colorful bulbs, giant trees, holiday decorations, and more.

The annual Holiday Boat Parade December 7 at the Wharf will feature s'mores at a fire pit, Santa, and a waterfront beer and wine garden. Photo courtesy of the District Wharf.

Christmas bulbs strung around the city are shining a light on the holiday season. These creative displays will get you in the caroling-and-eggnog mood.

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
760 Maine Ave., SW 
Head to the Wharf to watch 60 boats float through the Washington Channel, decked out in their Christmas best. Illuminated by fireworks, the holiday light show runs from 6 to 9 PM. Details: December 7; Free.

Enchant Christmas 
1500 S. Capitol St., SE 
After a Cinderella story of a baseball season, it’s only fitting that Nats Park would transform into a fairytale winter wonderland, complete with a giant ice rink and a 90,000-square-foot maze of lights. Details: November 22 through December 29; $19.99-$33.99.

Zoo Lights
3001 Connecticut Ave., NW 
Walk on the wild side at the zoo’s annual light display. This year, the animal-themed decor is joined by a new field of lights called Entre Les Rangs, and animal lanterns crafted in China. Details: November 29 through January 1, except December 24-25 and December 31; Free.

National Christmas Tree
15th St., NW & E St., NW
The massive, glittering tree at the Ellipse is lit from 4:30 PM to midnight. Revel in the holiday spirit with Christmas singers, brass bands, and other musical performances on select datesDetails: December 5 through January 1; Free.

Winter Lights Festival
11950 Clopper Rd., Gaithersburg 
Stay in the warmth of your car and drive through three-and-a-half miles of Christmas lights at Seneca Creek State Park. Lights are shaped into symbols of the season such as igloos, ice skaters, snowmen, and penguins. Details: November 29 through December 31, except December 25; Price varies by vehicle.

Georgetown Glow
Multiple locations in Georgetown
These lights break away from the traditional holiday bulbs, with eleven glowing installations spread across the neighborhood. The ultra-Instagrammable luminaries include an interactive swing set and vibrant neon lights. Details: December 6 through January 5; Free.

Winter Walk of Lights
9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct., Vienna
Stroll through the illuminated Meadowlark Botanical Gardens at this sixth annual light show. You can cozy up with a hot chocolate and roast s’mores over the fire at the S’more Snack Shop. Details: November 8 through January 5; $14.50-$17.

 

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Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture. Originally from Rockville, she lives in Logan Circle.

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