Christmas in DC is a wonderful time of year to experience in the nation's capital. For starters, there's just something magical about seeing the city's many great monuments decked out in Christmas decorations. Seeing the National Christmas Tree is also a special experience, and you never know what might be going on in terms of fun events. Most of the 2016 Washington DC Christmas events cater to people of all ages, and there are also events and holiday displays in surrounding cities such as Bethesda that are also worth keeping in mind. During the holiday season, the holiday season events in Bethesda include free winter concerts, chances to meet Santa Claus, and a live ice sculpting presentation.
The main Washington DC Christmas tree is a large Colorado blue spruce from York Pennsylvania that was transplanted in 1978. You can find it at the Ellipse area near the White House. Every year in early December, this tree, which is known as the National Christmas Tree, is illuminated in grand fashion. During the lighting ceremony, the President makes a speech that revolves around world peace. There are also music performances by big name artists and a military band.
The National Christmas Tree isn't the only tree worth checking out at the Ellipse, and you don't have to show up for the lighting ceremony to enjoy it all. Surrounding the main Washington DC Christmas tree are more than 50 smaller Christmas trees, which celebrate the US states and territories. The National Christmas Tree remains decorated until January 1, and during that period, it is illuminated on an evening to evening basis. As for the lighting ceremony, it sells out well in advance, so anyone who is interested in securing tickets through the lottery system are encouraged to act fast.
When you're not checking out the famed Washington DC Christmas tree near the White House, your holiday season visit to the nation's capital can include any other number of activities. Many of the area museums, such as the Smithsonian, put on various holiday season events. The same can be said about some of the area landmarks. The shopping, dining, and all around entertainment hotspot that is Union Station, for example, hosts its own tree lighting ceremony, or you can hope to catch the annual Christmas concert at the National Gallery of Art.
Concerts and shows of various kinds are held at numerous DC area venues, so checking the schedule can be a good idea. Among the most popular shows are The Nutcracker performances that are held at the Warner Theatre. This theater can be found downtown at 13th and E Streets. As for another show that you might try to add to your 2016 Christmas in DC itinerary, the Wolf Trap's Holiday Sing-A-Long is a family favorite. Members of the United States Marine Band perform during this single evening event, as do other vocal groups from the area, and admission is free. Early December is when the Wolf Trap's Holiday Sing-A-Long takes place, and the Filene Center at America's National Park for the Performing Arts serves as the venue of choice.
There is never a bad time to take a Washington DC vacation. That being said, the holiday season has a certain appeal that is hard to deny. The area is alive with festive fervor during the Christmas season, with things like craft workshops and parades only adding to the fun. Rooms at the DC hotels can go fast during Christmas time, so securing accommodations in advance is recommended. Bringing warm clothes along for the trip is also encouraged. The winters in DC are relatively mild when compared to more northerly cities, though it can get very cold and icy. If you arrive in the city unprepared, you can always do some shopping and get what you need. Shopping in Washington DC can be a blast, especially during the holiday season.