Taking in the colorful lights of the holidays is a popular pastime for families everywhere. Many of us have our favorite streets or neighborhoods that seem to produce dazzling displays of holiday cheer and mirth for us alone. This year, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most magical holiday light shows around the DMV for your family’s enjoyment. So buckle up, hold on to your hot cocoas and enjoy the ride!
Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park The magical World of Enchant is filled with dazzling displays that feel like they come right out of a childhood Christmas dream. Marvel at the 100 ft. animated tree, glide across the glistening Ice Skating Trail, pose for photos with Santa himself, and sip and savor delicious festive holiday treats every step of the way.
Advanced ticket purchase is required, starting at $29 enchantchristmas.com/washington-dc 1500 South Capitol Street, SE Washington, DC 20003-1507
DC Holiday Lights Across the District DC’s Main Streets and commercial corridors have joined together to bring you a spectacular holiday experience. Between November 19th and January 6th, take a stroll down each of the participating corridors, such as Chevy Chase, Cleveland Park, Columbia Heights, DuPont Circle, and more, to experience a dazzling array of lights and decorations. Afterward, cast your vote for the best-decorated corridor!
No tickets required, free to visit dcholidaylights.org Please refer to the link above
The National Christmas Tree at President’s Park In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white, and green, as a local choir and a “quartet” from the U.S. Marine Band performed. 96 years later, this American holiday tradition continues to bring citizens together to share in a message of hope and peace.
No tickets required, free to visit thenationaltree.org 1450 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20230
Light Yards at the Yard’s Sun Deck This larger-than-life light installation features illuminated, 22 feet tall trees trimmed from top to bottom in holiday decor and beautiful, colored patterns. This light-filled wonderland is the perfect place for the whole family to get in the holiday spirit and snap some Instagram-worthy pics, or wander before or after drinks and dinner at one of The Yards’ 20+ eateries.
No tickets required, free to visit theyardsdc.com/event/2021/12/light-yards-2021 1300 First St SE, Washington, DC 20003
Winter Lights Festival at Seneca Creek State Park The City of Gaithersburg’s Winter Lights Festival is getting ready to welcome visitors for another spectacular season. This wondrous display of lights at Seneca Creek State Park will be open nightly from November 26th through December 31 (the festival will be closed on December 25th). The 3.5 miles drive through the enchanted setting of Seneca Creek State Park takes you past more than 450 illuminated displays and beautifully lit trees that light up the night!
Advanced ticket purchase is required, starting at $15 per vehicle gaithersburgmd.gov/recreation/special-events/winter-lights-festival 11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Festival of Lights at Watkins Regional Park The Winter Festival of Lights will shine bright this holiday season with three miles of drive-through whimsical lights! Experience dazzling scenes that celebrate the magic of the holiday season from the comfort of your own car. Save time and money when you buy your tickets online.
Tickets starting at $8 per car pgparks.com/742/Festival-of-Lights 1130 Largo Rd, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
Garden in Lights at Annmarie Sculpture Garden Join us for the most magical time of year as the grounds of Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Arts Center are transformed into an outdoor twinkling wonderland! Annmarie’s Garden In Lights will transport you and your family to an enchanted world full of glowing “light sculptures” and wondrous light installations. Discover magical creatures, wintery wonderlands, musical holiday scenes, deep-sea treasures, sparkling trees, and so much more!
Advanced ticket purchase is required, starting at $10 annmariegarden.org/annmarie2/content/garden-lights-magical-light-show 13470 Dowell Road, Solomons, MD 20688
Symphony of Lights at Merriweather Post Pavillion The Symphony of Lights has been a time-honored Howard County holiday tradition enjoyed by thousands for over 25 years. Set in historic Merriweather Post Pavilion and made up of more than 300,000 bulbs, this family-oriented spectacular is a dazzling display of larger-than-life animated and stationary holiday light creations.
Advanced ticket purchase is required, starting at $20 per vehicle merriweatherlights.com 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Maryland 21044
Lights on the Bay at Sandy Point State Park Driving through “Lights on the Bay” at Sandy Point State Park has become a tradition for many families for the past decade. The Lights on the Bay display is a scenic drive along the shore of the Chesapeake Bay with more than 60 spectacular animated and stationary displays illuminating the roadway. This event is sponsored by SPCA of Anne Arundel County.
Tickets starting at $20 per car, $5 for 3D glasses lightsonthebay.org 1100 E College Pkwy, Annapolis, MD 21409
Tinsel! at Holiday Inn Dulles Tinsel! is Loudoun County’s newest winter festival featuring a unique collection of fully interactive light displays, local food trucks, wineries and breweries, and fun-loving entertainment for all ages! Immerse yourself in one of many Washington Capitals experiences including photo ops, alumni and mascot appearances, Caps swag, and more.
Tickets starting at $22 visitloudoun.org/event/tinsel/28644 45425 Holiday Drive, Sterling, VA 20166
Holiday Road in Northern Virginia Holiday Road is the newest and most exciting holiday experience in the country with events being held in Los Angeles, Atlanta, and Northern Virginia. You can expect to see larger-than-life holiday installations, thousands of Christmas lights, Santa, Mrs. Claus, Elves, countless candy canes, and all your favorite holiday cheer!
Advanced ticket purchase is required, starting at $29.99 holidayroadusa.com 17195 Southern Planter Ln, Leesburg, VA 20176
Ice and Lights: The Winter Village at Cameron Run NOVA Park’s newest winter event returns this year until January 2nd, 2022. Walk around the Winter Village or ice skate your way past colorful light displays like the Reindeer Family, Elf Scavenger Hunt, 3D Sleigh, and much more!
Advanced ticket purchase is required, starting at $9.19 novaparks.com/events/ice-lights 4001 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria VA 22304
LuminoCity Festival at Roer’s Zoofari Be ready to enter a world straight out of your wildest imaginations as you step into our unforgettably spectacular night of lights in Roer’s Zoofari. This immersive outdoor event will be a festive, and timed-entry experience for guests of all ages! Come with your friends, family, and loved ones, and make sure you have your camera ready to take photos with Lumi and the gang!
Advanced ticket purchase is required, starting at $22 luminocityfestival.com 1228 Hunter Mill Road, Vienna, VA 22182
Festival of Lights at Bull Run Park Every year from November until just after New Year’s Day, you can experience the Bull Run Festival of Lights, 2.5 miles illuminated by holiday light displays. Drive the festival route from the comfort of your car; turn off your headlights and just follow the magical glow!
Ticket purchase is required, starting at $30 per vehicle novaparks.com/events/bull-run-festival-of-lights 7700 Bull Run Dr, Centreville VA 20121