There are so many fun things to do in the Greater Washington D.C. area during the holiday season.
Here's a list of my personal favorites.
- ZooLights at the National Zoo - Thousands of Washingtonians take advantage of the free event featuring lights, a winter wonderland theme, and live music. The reptile house is an active place at night and I highly recommend going to see the snakes and other creatures when they're awake and on the move! The gift shop is open and you can buy food and drinks at the concession stands. The military night is December 19th and all military personnel receives a 15% discount at the gift shop and 30% discount at the concessions.
- Downtown Holiday Market - The 13th Annual Downtown Holiday Market happens in the heart of Washington D.C. The closest metro is Gallery Place Chinatown and the outdoor market runs everyday Noon - 8 p.m. through Saturday, December 23rd. Local exhibitors from Northern Virginia, Maryland and the District sell their wares. I always find unique gifts for my family and friends.
- Seasons Greetings at Botanic Gardens - The Botanic Gardens are on the National Mall not too far from the U.S. Capitol. The Conservatory is open all year round and features beautiful plants. The holiday theme includes trains and miniature houses decked out for the holidays. This free event is fun for families and first dates! You can take your time strolling through the indoor gardens and jungle.
- The National Christmas Tree - It was in 1923 that First Lady Grace Coolidge agreed to allow the District Public Schools to erect a Christmas tree on the Ellipse south of the White House. Every year since a large National tree has graced the lawn. Each State, U.S. territory and the District of Columbia has a tree. There's live music every night and a Yule log that burns until the New Year. Another free event that you don't want to miss!
- Gaylord's National Harbor Ice - This is a relatively new holiday event in Washington D.C. but it's a local favorite. Marriott brings in more than 2 million pounds of ice to create an ice palace. There are ice sculptures and a huge ice slide. This year's theme is Rudolph. Tickets need to be purchased for these activities but it's worth every penny!