Top 5 Christmas Light Shows in the DC Metro Area

Jessica Richardson Our Areas , Real Estate

Christmas Light Show

Christmas Light Show

There are several beautiful, sparkling Christmas Light Shows in the DC Metro area but listed below are the Top 5 most popular displays:

Zoo Lights at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

This is a favorite for families with young children. In addition to the animated light displays, there are winter-themed crafts & ice sculpting demonstrations, choral groups and storytellers. The zoo is located at 3001 Connecticut Ave, Washington DC. The light show will be presented each evening from 5:00 to 9:00 pm until January 1, 2017 (closed on Dec 24 & 25).  It’s free except for parking: Zoo members pay $9 for parking and non-members pay $16. The closest metro stop is Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan.

Bull Run Festival of Lights

Drive through 2.5 miles of more than 40,000 animated lights set to music. Featured are: Santa’s Workshop, penguins, Tin Soldiers, Frosty the Snowman, and many more. After driving through,  you can stop at the Winter Wonderland Holiday Village for ice skating, amusement rides, shopping, entertainment and food. Hours and fees depend on which evening you go. Please check their website for details. The light show is located at 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, VA and will be on display until January 8, 2017.

Symphony of Lights at Merriweather Post Pavilion

All proceeds from Symphony of Lights will be donated to Howard County General Hospital services. They’ve enhanced their Christmas light exhibition this year and visitors will see a laser light show, 3-D video and be able to ice skate after driving through the display. The fee is $20 per car and you can visit now until January 1, 2017 (closed on December 31). The hours are 5 pm to 10 pm. It’s also closed to Drive-through traffic on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights

Meadowlark Botanical Gardens will be illuminated with over 500,000 lights  including a flowing stream of lights, a two-story animated fountain and a Gingerbread Village. There are refreshments available at the Fire Pit. Important note: To enjoy this Christmas Light Show, you’ll need to purchase entrance-timed admissions tickets prior to arriving. Tickets are limited. Located at 9750 Meadowlark Gardens Court, Vienna, VA. Hours are 5:30 pm – 10pm until January 3, 2017.  Prices vary by day and age, please check their website for details.

ICE! at Gaylord National Resort 

Bundle up! The Gaylord National Resort has created a winter wonderland hand-sculpted out of over two million pounds of ICE. The display is kept at a chilly 9 °F. This year’s theme is Christmas Around the World and visitors will see how different countries celebrate Christmas. The Gaylord Resort is located at 201 Waterfront Street, National Harbor, MD. Prices differ depending on the day. Please check their website for additional information.

Although they didn’t make the top 5, there are two additional options if you’re looking for additional Christmas Lights:

  • In Washington DC, the Christmas Pageant of Peace on the Ellipse (south side of the White House) is free. The National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace will be illuminated each evening until January 1, 2017. Singers, Musicians and Dancers perform nightly from 6-8:30 pm (Mon-Fri) and from 4-8:30 pm (Sat & Sun).  To better plan your visit, click here for more information.
  • In Old Town, there isn’t a formal show of Christmas Lights but they are definitely on display. King Street is lit up from the Waterfront to the Metro Station. If you’re at the Torpedo Factory (Waterfront), take a stroll up either Cameron, Prince, or Duke streets, you won’t be disappointed! Many of the residents and shop owners have turned the outside of their historic homes/stores into a beautiful sight. And several leave their windows open so you can peek in for a glimpse of the sparkling decorations on the inside too.
Lights Along King Street

Lights Along King Street



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Jessica Richardson