While traditional light displays are still a classic must-see attraction during the holidays, it’s the unique displays that get bigger and brighter each year that bring out the inner child in everyone. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind holiday experience, check out one of these holiday light displays throughout the DMV.
Winter City Lights
November 19-December 31
Eighteen acres of holiday fun awaits at the inaugural Winter City Lights festival in Maryland. The winter wonderland includes a 1.5-mile light trail that is full of twinkling lights, larger-than-life holiday displays, and classic holiday songs playing throughout. If that wasn’t enough, a 52-foot-tall Christmas light tree, 32,000-square-foot canopy of lights, and guaranteed snow are at the center of the venue. 4501 Olney Laytonsville Rd., Olney
Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights
November 21-January 8, 2023
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the beautiful garden blooms – even if they are created by lights. This year’s theme, Seeds of Light, will feature over a half-million lights as they brighten the garden paths and trees under the night sky. 1800 Lakeside Ave., Richmond
Merriweather Symphony of Lights
November 24-January 1, 2023
The Maryland concert venue is getting in the holiday spirit once again. For over 25 years, Merriweather has strung over 300,000 bulbs, consisting of animated and stationary creations, throughout its drive-through experience. Walk-through tickets are available on select dates. Merriweather Post Pavilion: 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia, Maryland
Lighting of the Vines
Don’t miss out on the first night of the lights on the Bluemont Vineyard vines. Each holiday season, the vineyard illuminates its 10,000 vines, which creates a stunning view from both the top and bottom of the mountain. Bluemont Vineyard: 18755 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont
November 25-January 1, 2023
For the third time, DC’s Nationals Park will be transformed into a magical winter wonderland. With over 4 million lights, the world’s largest Christmas light maze will dazzle guests as they explore the seasonal scenes, ice skate through the village, and meet with Santa and Mrs. Claus. Nationals Park: 1500 S. Capitol St. SE, Washington, DC
November 25-December 30, 5-9 p.m.
After a two-year hiatus, ZooLights is back and ready to spread some holiday cheer. As guests walk through the zoo, they’ll notice plenty of LED lights, glowing animal lanterns, live music, and much more. While the event is free, tickets will be required to enter. Smithsonian’s National Zoo: 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW, Washington, DC
Rocking Around the Boardwalk
November 26-December 31, 5:30-9 p.m.
If you think the boardwalk at Neabsco Regional Park looks stunning during the day, just wait until you see it lit up at night. The park is transforming its picturesque path into a holiday trail with hand-crafted light displays just in time for the festive season. Neabsco Regional Park: 15125 Blackburn Rd., Woodbridge
The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
December 3, 6-9 p.m.
While traditional light displays are beautiful, catching a peak at light displays on the water is even better. Celebrating its 30th anniversary, the iconic DC boat parade will feature over 60 festive boats as they parade down the Washington Channel. The parade will also feature ornament decorating, live music, and a fireworks salute. District Pier: 101 District Sq. SW, Washington, DC
DC Winter Lantern Festival
December 16-February 12, 2023, 5-10 p.m.
Coming from New York is the first immersive DC Winter Lantern Festival. With over 1,000 handmade Chinese lanterns, guests can explore light designs that depict Chinese myths, legends, and zodiacs, in addition to displays featuring a world of ice. Lerner Town Square at Tysons II: 8025 Galleria Dr., Tysons
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon
December 16 & 17, 5:30-8:30 p.m.
There’s nothing like taking in the holiday season from the grounds of an 18th-century home, and Mount Vernon’s annual evening of Christmas Illuminations is ready to welcome guests to the historic grounds. With a combination of lantern-lit and blue and lavender winter patterns lighting up various buildings on the grounds, it will immediately put you in the holiday spirit. Plus, we can’t forget the fireworks show to close out the night. George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy., Mount Vernon
Feature image courtesy DC Winter Lantern Festival.
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