Holiday photo collage

Ruby Mason and Isabelle Pala

Zoo lights is one of the most well-known holiday traditions in DC, taking place at an iconic landmark–the Smithsonian Zoo. The luminous and colorful lights brighten up the long nights of December and guests range from children to adults. Overall, it’s a great way to spend time with your friends or family, just make sure you bundle up.


 Union Station begins the holiday season with a meet and greet with Santa and Mrs. Claus and the opening of the annual Christmas tree. Plus, the station doesn’t hesitate to add the usual 20-foot wreaths hanging between the arches. These additions greet visitors as they come from other states and locals taking the metro home.


Every year Tenleytown hosts the Winterfest at Janney Elementary School. The Winterfest is full of handmade goods, crafts, and treats to enjoy with your friends and family. It is a great place to engage in winter themed activities, try new foods, and enjoy performances put on by the students of Tenleytown.

The Botanical Gardens always have a beautiful holiday display, including their huge Christmas tree in the main section and the annual train exhibit around the holidays. The Botanical Gardens are known for their stunning selection of plants and flowers and showcase rows of poinsettias as it draws closer to the holiday season.