One of the most popular locations to travel to in the country is its capital, Washington DC. The gorgeous city is home to an amazing combination of history, politics, culture, arts, dining, entertainment, nightlife, and more. Those who visit the capital throughout the year can stroll the picturesque streets of Georgetown, take in the impressive exterior of the White House, stroll through countless Smithsonian Museums, and enjoy world-class cuisine, however there is one time of the year that is even more special than others. The Christmas season brings Washington DC to life with special holiday events, decorations, experiences, and more that families can enjoy together. The spirit of the season can be found throughout the entire city, yet there are some experiences that are even more special than others. From massive Christmas trees to a historical tour by candlelight, families are sure to love each and every experience. Here are the top seven sights to see in the capital during each Christmas season.
Downtown Holiday Market
It wouldn’t be Christmastime if people weren’t shopping for gifts for their loved ones, and one location in the capital becomes a bustling holiday market each season. The Downtown Holiday Market can be found at the intersection of 8th and F Streets and is open each year from late November to just before Christmas. The vendors at the market sell an amazing combination of art, crafts, jewelry, and specialty items and shoppers can also enjoy food, beverages, and live entertainment. This festive marketplace is the perfect location to stroll for special Christmas gifts for loved ones.
National Christmas Tree
Another wonderful experience to enjoy in Washington DC during the Christmas season is visiting the National Christmas Tree. The first National Christmas Tree was lit by Calvin Coolidge in 1923, and each year the tradition continues. The massive tree can be found in President’s Park just outside of the White House and each year features a unique theme that is brought to life through the ornament and lighting. While attending the official lighting ceremony would be wonderful, just getting to enjoy the beauty of the tree on a visit is a great experience.
Season’s Greetings at the United States Botanic Garden
A popular location that visitors love to enjoy year-round in Washington DC is the splendid United States Botanic Garden. While spring is beautiful with everything in bloom, Christmas brings the wonderful Season’s Greetings experience. Each year the event features a unique theme and guests can enjoy beautiful creations made from plants and flowers that are so lifelike it is unbelievable. In addition, there are also live music performances and holiday music for guests to enjoy while exploring the wonderful attraction.
Christmas on the Potomac
Located just outside of Washington DC is the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center which offers amazing accommodations and amenities for anyone staying in the area. Each Christmas season, the resort hosts Christmas on the Potomac which features lots of family fun including gingerbread decorating, ice skating, and an unforgettable experience. ICE! is a massive structure created entirely out of ice that allows families to explore, climb, and even slide down a massive slope of ice. The 2018 Christmas season will feature a Charlie Brown Christmas theme and is sure to be popular.
Mount Vernon Candlelit Tour
One of the most recognizable homes in all of the country is that of George Washington at Mount Vernon. The stately home is open to the public for tours and special events, and the holiday season brings an exclusive experience that will transport visitors back to the eighteenth century. Mount Vernon by Candlelight is a special guided tour that brings visitors through the house and property as they learn more about the holiday traditions that were upheld in the home while Washington lived there. The tour only occurs on special nights during the holiday season, so tickets should be ordered in advance.
Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
A favorite holiday experience of many people is ice skating, and those who spend time in Washington for the holidays can enjoy a beautiful outdoor rink with splendid views. The National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden features an outdoor ice skating rink centered in front of its main entrance. With beautiful views of the classical architecture of nearby buildings, this massive ice skating rink is a great opportunity to take in the Christmas sights of the capital from a unique vantage point.
Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
A great traditional holiday experience that occurs each season can be found in the town of Alexandria right outside of the capital. The Holiday Boat Parade of Lights lights up the Potomac River and its historic waterfront with boats brightly decorated with all sorts of holiday lights and cheer. Before the parade kicks off, visitors can enjoy entertainment like meeting Santa and a street festival before the sunsets and the boats sail. Special awards are given to the best boats, and the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights is a wonderful experience to enjoy around the holidays in Washington DC.