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Top 10 Holiday Events around Washington D.C.! (2021)

Unfortunately, some things are cancelled this year such as the DC temple lights and the National Zoolights, but the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is still doing their Zoolights. So, let’s start with that!

1- Zoolights in Baltimore, MD

Drive or walk through a festival of lights shaped like wildlife and your face might just light up too. Plus, get that warm glowing feeling inside knowing you are supporting the Zoo’s animal care and conservation work. They’ve  also expanded the walking path this year—now including Schaefer Plaza, the Farm Yard, and the train station! Every dollar raised goes directly towards advancing the Zoo’s mission. https://www.marylandzoo.org/special_events/zoo-lights/

2- Enchant DC

The magical World of Enchant is filled with dazzling displays that feel like they come right out of a childhood Christmas dream. Marvel at the 100 ft. animated tree, glide across the glistening Ice Skating Trail, pose for photos with Santa himself, and sip and savor delicious festive holiday treats every step of the way. 

3- US Botanic Garden -DC, Meadowlark Botanical Gardens – scavenger hunt! VA

Festive adornments, winterberries, lighted trees and shrubs, and conifers and greenery will be placed throughout the Garden from Nov. 24, 2021, through Jan. 2, 2022, closed on Dec. 25. An outdoor train display can be visited in the gated outdoor gardens during these dates between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Tickets are not required. 

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens – scavenger hunt! VA

The Winter Walk is more than a half-mile long, one-way route- providing an enchanting and safe evening activity. It is self-guided with a designated, one-way asphalt trail.  Guests may move along the pathways at their own pace. https://www.novaparks.com/events/winter-walk-of-lights

4- Color on the Creek – Frederick

Annually, Sailing Through The Winter Solstice begins in November, when a number of boats, transformed through the creative minds of many Frederick friends, set sail on the Creek. Our fleet has grown from one boat the first year to 22 sailing boats and 3 land-locked boats in the 2021-22 season. The boats are anchored in Carroll Creek, between Market Street and Carrol Street.

The fleet includes gaff-rigged ketches, yawls, three-masted schooners, and pirate ships, moored with their sail outlines, rigging and decks lit up from dusk till dawn. If you can’t imagine it make sure to come by and take a look at the amazing flotilla! https://coloronthecreek.com/

5-National Christmas Tree/Capitol Christmas tree

National Christmas Tree: GE Lighting, a Savant company is honored to provide the lighting and design for the 2021 National Christmas Tree for the second straight year. https://www.thenationaltree.org/

This year’s design includes a background of warm white lights with a delicate sprinkling of sparkling red and warm white sphere ornaments placed in a cascading pattern from the top all the way down the newly planted White Fir tree, with a cluster of sparkling red and white spheres on the lower branches. A simple, yet elegant star topper finishes off the design. 

Capitol Christmas Tree: https://www.uscapitolchristmastree.com/

The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or “The People’s Tree,” began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack (D-MA) placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. This tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage.

In 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has been chosen each year to provide “The People’s Tree”, which includes a public engagement campaign to create connections to and celebrate our national forests. The initiative brings together USDA Forest Service staff, communities throughout the respective state and across the country, and local and national partners to celebrate the spirit of the season and our great outdoors.

The Six Rivers National Forest in California will provide the 2021 tree.

6- Ice skating! National Gallery of Art.  Ice skate amongst art sculptures in the National Mall in DC! Or visit Rockville Town Center, DC Wharf or Georgetown Waterfront and ice skate there!



7- The Willard Hotel in DC https://washington.intercontinental.com/food-drink/peacock-alley-tea/

The Grand Hotel lobby is decorated elegantly, with it’s 20 foot tree as it’s centerpiece and it’s absolutely beautiful!

  • For the perfect holiday experience in DC, make sure to reserve a spot for some Holiday Afternoon Tea at the Willard.
  • This is one of the hotels annual holiday tradition, where you can enjoy an array of festive teas, sandwiches and seasonally inspired pastries.
  • Don’t forget to admire the gingerbread display, last years theme was the Ronald Reagan Airport and it was pretty cool.

8- Gaylord National Resort- MD https://christmasatgaylordnational.marriott.com/

Explore acres of twinkling lights and decorations and hours of exciting holiday activities, shows, and events, including our Gaylord Hotels Original Experience, I Love Christmas Movies™ featuring five beloved films.

9- Winter Lights Festival – Gaithersburg MD https://www.gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/winter-lights-festival

The City’s Winter Lights Festival is getting ready to welcome visitors for another spectacular season. The wondrous display of lights at Seneca Creek State Park will be open nightly November 26 through December 31. The festival is closed on December 25.

The 3.5 mile drive through the enchanted setting of Seneca Creek State Park takes you past more than 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees that light up the night. The park is located at 11950 Clopper Road, conveniently accessible from I-270.

10-Full Moon Luminary Hike- Bethesda MD https://bit.ly/31Jb7qL

Light up the longest night of the year with a candlelit walk through the woods at Locust Grove Nature Center. Families can mark the winter solstice in the tradition of ancient cultures with a reflection on darkness and light as they walk through the woods with candles and enjoy a campfire at the end of the hike!


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