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Top 8 Holidays at Events in the D.C. Area

The D.C. area is beautiful and bright during the holiday season!  Attend any of these holiday events to get into the holiday spirit.

Gaithersburg’s Christmas Light Display - November 24 through December 31, 2017 (closed December 25).  With more than 350 illuminated displays, there’s nothing that evokes holiday spirit quite like Gaithersburg’s Light display. Seasonal themes found along the 3.5 mile stretch include Winter Woods, the North Pole and more. $12 per car Monday-Thursday, $15 per car Friday - Sunday. Cash or credit accepted.

National Hanukkah Menorah - Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 4 p.m. A National Hanukkah Menorah is lit on the White House grounds, at the Ellipse each December during the eight-day Jewish holiday. Festivities at the lighting ceremony include musical performances and hot latkes and donuts. This year's celebration will feature the US Air Force Band. Free tickets are required for reserved seats. Standing room is available to all. (202) 332-5600.

National Christmass Tree - Lit during the official lighting ceremony on November 30th, the National Christmas Tree and the Pathway of Peace is illuminated daily at dusk until 10 p.m. Each night in December, musical groups from the Washington, DC area entertain visitors on the Ellipse, in front of the White House. Nightly events following are open to the general public.

CityCenterDC is a one-stop shop for everything holidays. Walk under Palmer Alley’s signature stringed lights and shop to your heart’s content. Shoppers: Mark your calendar for Dec. 10, when fashion-themed ice sculptures, live music, and warm drinks can be found throughout CityCenterDC. 

Downtown Holiday Market -  Located at 8th and F Streets NW, the Downtown Holiday Market is located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Find thoughtful and unique gifts at more than 180 exhibitors. Each vendor is tucked into its own customized tent, selling a slate of unique wares. The Downtown Holiday Market is open daily 12-8 p.m. from Nov. 24 – Dec. 23. 

Christmas on the Potomac -  Through Jan. 1st.  At the Gaylord National Resort at National Harbor, visitors step inside a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 blocks of ice weighing two million pounds.  This “indoor winter wonderland” at the resort, featuring ice slides and sculptures that show the story of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and scene of the Nativity. Bring your coats, gloves, and scarves as you might feel the freeze from the attraction, which is kept at nine degrees. Address: 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor, Maryland

Zoo Lights at the National Zoo-  Nov. 24 through Jan. 1, except for Dec. 24, 25 and 31st. The Smithsonian's National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.)
Step into the Smithsonian’s winter wonderland with more than half a million LED lights sparkling through the zoo. Along with the light show, the zoo will include live music and winter-inspired snacks.

U.S. Botanic Garden - This annual exhibit features a model train exhibit running through 45 plant-based models of iconic roadside attractions like South Dakota's Corn Palace, New Jersey's Lucy the Elephant and many more. Inside the Conservatory, you'll also find the garden's collection of DC's iconic landmarks, including a new model of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and a showcase of poinsettias. This year's edition is open from Nov. 23 – Jan. 1 (10 a.m. – 5 p.m.), and will stay open until 8 p.m. with holiday concerts most Tuesday and Thursday evenings in December.

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