We know, we feel the same. It’s been a rough year. Thankfully, it’s coming to an end. With the Holidays fast approaching, we suggest you join us and shake off the 2020 blues and work up a little Holiday spirit. Grab your scarves and mittens and check out five of our favorite outdoor holiday events.
ZooLights Express – Nov. 27 – Dec. 19
Smithsonian’s National Zoo is taking its popular holiday installation on the road this year. ZooLights Express features a 24-foot truck, festively decorated with light displays and “Panda Claws”, that travels all over the District through Dec. 19. The Express will visit one ward in DC each Friday and Saturday from 6-8 p.m. For a full schedule and routes through each ward, visit the Zoo’s website.
DC Holiday Lights – Dec. 1-31
Neighborhoods throughout the nation’s capital are adorning their “main streets” with colorful lights this December. Additionally, vendors in each neighborhood are offering holiday specials and promotions throughout the month to encourage shopping locally. You can enjoy this holiday cheer in Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street and Woodley Park, among other locales. Votes can be cast for the best decorated corridor!
The National Christmas Tree Lighting – Dec. 3
This year, the National Christmas Tree Lighting will take place online, with holiday performances accompanying the ceremony. The site can be visited for free from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily throughout the holiday season; the tree itself is lit from 4:30-10 p.m. each day. The National Christmas Tree is DC’s claim to fame during the holidays, and for good reason. The gorgeous conifer lives in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse, where it’s surrounded by trees decorated with handmade ornaments from 56 U.S. states and territories.
10 a.m. – 10 p.m., tree lit from 4:30-10 p.m. | Free admission
The Ellipse, 15th & E Streets NW, Washington, DC 20500
The National Menorah – Dec. 10
Chanukah kicks off with this lighting ceremony of the world’s largest menorah on the White House Ellipse, which greets all with latkes, doughnuts, menorah kits and dreidels. Music from the United States Navy Band will add a soundtrack to the scene. As is the custom, a new candle is illuminated on each of the eight days of Chanukah. Special measures will be in effect due to COVID-19, with limited seating available. Please wear a mask if you plan to attend.
4 p.m. (gates at 3 p.m.) | Free admission | Tickets required
White House Ellipse, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500