The Holidays in DC Mean...

Leticia Barr - Washington Dc
November 28, 2011

From the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, historic homes being decked out spectacular light displays, special holiday performances, landmarks constructed out of all natural materials, to area light displays, Washington D.C. is an amazing place to celebrate the holidays. With a chill in the air and the hope of snow for a White Christmas, D.C. dazzles for residents as well as visiting friends and family. Don hats, scarves, and gloves and go on an excursion to see all that our city has to offer.

Enjoying the beauty of the season

U.S. Botanic Garden's "Season's Greenings" Exhibit is a beautiful display that uses the beauty of plants to instill the holiday spirit.  View model presidential homes and landmarks in our Nation's Capital constructed from plant materials, watch the Garden Railway located in the East Gallery as the trains wind their way around the exhibit, and enjoy one of the largest decorated indoor trees in Washington, D.C., and a spectacular display of poinsettias. Season's Greenings is open until January 2. Take the Metro or drive on Sunday when the meters aren't running.

Watching our very own version of The Nutcracker

The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker at The Warner Theater is a way to enjoy the beauty of the Washington Ballet in the classic Christmas tale.  With special holiday performances until December 24, this version is a wonderfully unique version of the original since it is set in Georgetown. It includes the heroic George Washington as the Nutcracker, King George III as the Rat King, shimmering cherry blossoms on the Potomac, famous monuments as part of the scenery, and journey to The Land of Snow with an amazing sparkling snow scene. Whether this is your first time or a family tradition, this special performance is one not to miss! 

Being amazed by the ice!

ICE featuring DreamWorks' Merry Madagascar at The National Harbor- Imagine two million pounds of ice carved into intricately detailed ice sculptures that tell the story of how Santa and his reindeer crash-landed on Madagascar housed in a 15,000 square foot tent that stays at 9 degrees.  It's the kind of sight that you simply need to experience to believe! If you're worried you'll be cold, don't worry! The price of admission includes a coat to borrow during your visit. For more information and tickets to ICE, click here.

Having a merry good time

There are plenty of light displays in the DC area and beyond, making it easy to stop for a dose of merriment wherever you may be traveling.  Here are some holiday picks that are always fabulous to see:

For the second year in a row, ZooLights at The National Zoo is free. Additional activities like ice skating ($5 for a 30 minute rental), train rides ($3 per person), and a full menu along with seasonal treats are available at The Mane Restaurant, making this a holiday destination and a place where you can spend the afternoon and evening before heading home and tucking everyone into cozy beds. Metro to Cleveland Park and enter from Connecticut Avenue, stopping at Starbucks across the street for a hot drink to sip along the way.  Parking is available in the zoo's lots (members pay a reduced rate) that makes for easy access for your night time stroll along Olmstead Walk.  For more information and dates that ZooLights is open, please click here.

Follow 16th Street just over the D.C. border to the north, take a loop around the traffic circle, and idle among the tour buses and other cars for a glimpse at The Bishop's House on Portal Drive. Each year the house adds something new making it always worth a drive by when you are in the neighborhood.

Baltimore's Miracle on 34th Street in Hampden is a treat. It is an entire block dedicated to Christmas lights. If you haven't ever been, you have until January to behold the spectacle. 

What is your favorite way to celebrate the holidays in and around Washington, D.C.?




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