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Winter Festivals & Celebrations

Winter in Washington D.C. means dozens of winter festivals and holiday celebrations – plus New Year’s Eve bashes galore.

Kick off your winter celebrations with Gaylord National Resort’s ICE! – part of the Christmas on the Potomac event featuring more than two millions pounds of ice.

Located at National Harbor, Maryland, this interactive amusement park offers costumed characters, games, and tours of Gaylord’s Atrium – all in nine-degree temperatures.

Free entertainment includes the Kick-Off Celebration of Christmas on the Potomac, plus the Tree Lighting Show, Brightest Star Fountain Show, and Northern Lights.

Staying in central Washington? Don’t miss the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. Held in early December, the ceremony presents live entertainment, military band performances, and the beautifully illuminated Pathway of Peace – all at the Ellipse neighboring the White House.

A free D.C. holiday event, ZooLights takes place at the National Zoo come December – featuring thousands of lights throughout Rock Creek Park.

More holiday celebrations are held throughout the Capitol, including the National Hanukkah Menorah Lighting Ceremony also at the Ellipse, and Christmas in Old Town Alexandria in downtown Alexandria.

Looking to end your year in the D.C. area? Check out First Night Alexandria, New Year's Annapolis, First Night Leesburg, Fairfax Four Miler, and Watch Night in Falls Church. These events are usually family friendly, and incredible ways to ring in the New Year.