Christmas trees galore!
The Christmas trees, the lights and ornaments, and holiday cheer -- this is the most magical time of the year! If you're like us and can't get enough of the wonder of dazzling, decorated trees, you're in luck.
From the National Christmas tree to the Willard hotel, we've scouted 11 of the best Christmas trees in DC to enjoy a bit of seasonal razzle dazzle!
What is your favorite Christmas tree is DC? Let us know in the comments!
To really get in the holiday spirit, make a night of it. Some of the Christmas trees are within walking distance of each other, so bundle up, take a stroll along the city's festive streets, and pair your evening with a mug of hot cocoa or mulled wine (or both!) at a local restaurant.
Check out the variety of DC trees and experience the holiday glow!
1. National Christmas Tree
The tradition of lighting the National Christmas Tree has persisted since 1923. Every year, the decorations are unique, sponsored by a different organization from each state. Students from 56 schools across the country have designed one-of-a-kind ornaments for the 56 smaller trees that surround the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse in President’s Park. The trees represent each U.S. state, territory and the District of Columbia as part of the America Celebrates ornament display.
2. Capitol Christmas Tree
At the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, everyone will be able to visit the Christmas tree from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests in Colorado. The ceremony for the Capitol Christmas Tree, otherwise known as "The People's Tree," has been hosted since 1964. Every year, a different national forest provides a tree for the ceremony.
3. Canadian Embassy Christmas Tree
A highlight of every holiday season is the lighting of the Christmas tree in the Embassy of Canada’s Rotunda of the Provinces & Territories. The impressive Christmas trees, wreaths and garlands decorating the Embassy have been generously donated by the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia (CTCNS) and the Delong Family Farm in New Germany, NS. This annual tradition, which has continued for over 25 years, infusing their corner of Pennsylvania Avenue with a little north-of-the-border holiday spirit.
4. CityCenterDC Christmas Tree
If your idea of a good tree is a tall tree, behold CityCenter’s 75-foot conifer — one of the tallest in the District. It’s adorned with more than 150,000 lights and 4,500 ornaments, and you’ll want to crane your neck to see the glowing tree topper. Nearby, there are two 25-foot reindeer crafted out of 37,000 manzanita twigs. On your way to one of the plaza’s various restaurants and stores, stroll through the Instagram-friendly “Dream Closet,” an installation by artist Maggie O’Neill that features a canopy of 400 ornaments cut from sheets of metal, over Palmer Alley.
5. Wharf DC Christmas Tree
Transit Pier at the Wharf hosts a 45-foot pine tree to get you in the holiday spirit. Plus, you'll feel like you're walking in a winter wonderland as you cap the night with toasty s'mores at Camp Wharf.
6. Capitol Riverfront Christmas Trees
Celebrate as Canal Park DC becomes merry and bright for another holiday season in Capitol Riverfront with a twinkling row of illuminated holiday trees!
7. Capitol Hill Christmas Tree
Feel the spirit of community with the Capitol Hill Business Improvement District (BID) as they illuminate a 20-foot evergreen tree (species Cedrus deodara) to honor their founding President George Didden III. The tree is beautifully decorated by the BID’s “men in blue” every December to kick off the holiday season in the newly renovated Parcel One of Eastern Market Metro Plaza (Pennsylvania Ave SE and 8th St SE). This year, the lighting ceremony will be virtual, but the public is invited to see the tree safely and socially distanced on their own time.
8. Georgetown Washington Harbor Christmas Tree
There's no ice skating rink at Georgetown's Washington Harbor this year, but you can still get the feeling it's Christmas gazing at the towering tree with the riverfront framed behind it.
9. Willard Hotel Christmas Tree
This December view the Willard hotel's iconic Christmas tree adorned exclusively with the White House Ornament Collection. A beloved holiday tradition, started by the White House Historical Association in 1981, the ornaments chronologically honor a different president or special White House event each year.
10. National Harbor Christmas Tree
Every half an hour starting at sunset, National Harbor’s 54-foot Christmas tree puts on a four-minute light show. As “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” plays, 46,000 lights flash and whirl. The tree becomes red, then purple; green fades to gold before the whole thing darkens, save for bright snowflakes that pulse to the music. The tree light show takes place nightly, every half hour from sundown to 9 p.m. On weekends (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) there will be snowfall over the tree during the light show.
11. Union Station Christmas Tree
“God jul, Washington!” is the way they say “Merry Christmas!” in Norway. The 32-foot tree in Union Station is decorated with U.S. and Norwegian flags and 20,000 lights. It symbolizes Norway’s gratitude for the United States’ assistance during and after World War II.
Curious? There's more!
Look up, down, and all around. Adventures can be found everywhere -- if you're curious enough to look. k for it