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10 Enchanting Christmas Day Trips in Washington, D.C.

10 Enchanting Christmas Day Trips in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, comes alive with holiday cheer during the Christmas season. From festive lights and decorations to special events and activities, the city offers many opportunities to make your Christmas memorable. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, here are 10 Christmas day trips in Washington, D.C., that will fill your heart with the holiday spirit.

1. National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony:

Start your Christmas day trip by attending the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on the White House Ellipse. This beloved tradition features a stunningly decorated tree and performances by renowned artists, all against the backdrop of the Washington Monument. It’s a truly magical way to kick off the holiday season.

2. National Gallery of Art’s Ice Rink:

After the ceremony, head to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Here, you can glide across the ice on their seasonal ice rink. Surrounded by beautiful sculptures, it’s a perfect spot for a picturesque winter experience.

3. Seasonal Treats at the Wharf:

For a taste of Christmas delight, visit The Wharf. This waterfront district transforms into a winter wonderland with festive lights, holiday markets, and various seasonal treats. Sip on hot cocoa, munch on gingerbread cookies, and enjoy the enchanting atmosphere along the Potomac River.

4. Enchanted Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens:

If you want a more serene Christmas experience, visit Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. The Enchanted Garden of Lights is a mesmerizing display of colorful lights and garden-themed decorations, turning the gardens into a magical holiday destination.

5. Christmas at Mount Vernon:

Take a short drive to Mount Vernon, the historic estate of George Washington, where you can experience an 18th-century Christmas. Stroll through the decorated mansion and watch historical reenactments to glimpse how the founding fathers celebrated the holiday season.

6. ZooLights at the National Zoo:

For a family-friendly Christmas day trip, make your way to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. During the holiday season, the zoo transforms into a dazzling wonderland with thousands of colorful lights. You can also see the animals, including the famous giant pandas, enjoying the festivities on their way.

7. Holiday Market at Union Station:

Union Station becomes a hub of holiday cheer during Christmas. The annual Holiday Market features an array of artisanal crafts, unique gifts, and delicious food stalls. It’s the perfect place to find that unique Christmas present for your loved ones.

8. Candlelight Tours of Historic Homes:

Discover the history of the nation’s capital with Candlelight Tours of Historic Homes. Various historic sites in the city offer special candlelight tours during the holiday season. You can step back in time and learn about the city’s past while enjoying the warm glow of Christmas lights.

9. Christmas Caroling at the National Harbor:

Head to the National Harbor on the banks of the Potomac River for an evening of Christmas caroling. Join in the festivities as carolers sing classic holiday tunes. The picturesque harbor and the twinkling lights create a delightful ambiance for a memorable night.

10. Capitol Christmas Tree:

Before ending your Christmas day trip, visit the Capitol Christmas Tree on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. A forest of smaller trees surrounds this beautifully adorned tree, each representing a different U.S. state or territory. It’s a heartwarming symbol of unity during the holiday season.

Washington, D.C. offers a diverse range of Christmas day trips to suit every taste, from grand ceremonies to serene garden walks and historic explorations. So, whether you’re a local looking for something new or a visitor experiencing the city’s holiday charm, these 10 Christmas day trips in the nation’s capital will undoubtedly fill your day with warmth and cheer. Make your Christmas in Washington, D.C., a memory to cherish for years.