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MAIN Arrow to Christmas Christmas Arrow to Christmas in the USA USA Arrow to Christmas in Washington, DC Christmas in Washington, DC

Christmas in Washington, DCA tourist magnet for millions of visitors a year, Washington DC really pulls out all the stops during the holiday season.

As usual, a traditional DC Christmas kicks off with the annual lighting ceremony of the National Christmas Tree.

The official national Christmas tree lighting at the White House usually takes place on the last Thursday in November, which translates this year to Thursday, November 29, 2018. Thereafter, the Capitol Christmas tree is lit from dusk until 11 p.m. every evening through January 1.

Meanwhile, check back for updates for the official announcement.

Ouray CO Christmas
The annual display at the National Cathedral
has nativity scenes from around the world

DID YOU KNOW? Washington DC Christmas fun facts

• One of the hottest tickets during the holidays in Washington DC is The National Cathedral’s crèche exhibit featuring about 80 nativity scenes depicting the story of Jesus’ birth from around the world.

• Although December at the Smithsonian Museums and ZooLights at the National Zoo are among the city's seasonal highlights, both DC attractions are open 364 days a year except for (you guessed it) Christmas Day.

• Head for the US Botanic Garden for a 3,000+ plant poinsettia display, plus one of the largest decorated indoor Christmas trees in Washington DC, together with a model train exhibit for kids of all ages.

More information about Christmas in Washington DC around the Web:

Find out what else is going on in around the nation's capital -- at the National Cathedral as well as the Smithsonian, and other museums around The Mall with additional must-sees further afield during Christmas in Maryland and Christmas in Virginia.

National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony - This year's official holiday kickoff with date and time, entertainment performers, chorale schedule, and a history of the National Christmas Tree.

Smithsonian Institution Event Calendar- Discover what's happening in the "nation's attic" with annual festivities centering around the Castle.

Washington National Cathedral - A hot ticket during the holidays with a full schedule of Christmas services, concerts and craft workshops. Check out the entire schedule on the home page as the holidays draw near.

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - Check out what's happening at the largest Catholic church in the USA, festively decorated and lit up like a Christmas tree for the holidays.

Union Station - The halls are decked out for Christmas at the annual Norwegian Christmas celebration featuring a tree lighting ceremony, ice sculptures and food and crafts fair.

Wolf Trap Holiday Sing-A-Long - Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs performed by the United States Marine Band and vocal groups from the DC area, at the Filine Center.

The Washington Ballet - The Nutcracker - Dates, times, ticket prices and online ordering for the annual holiday performance.

Bethesda's Winter Wonderland - Times & dates for this year's festivities centering around Veterans Park with a winter concert, ice sculpting demonstrations, and a visit from St. Nick.


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