It’s that time of year when the national capital area hosts spectacle light displays that truly capture the joy and wonder of the season. From enchanting displays at well-loved landmarks to twinkling neighborhood streets, there’s something to delight everyone. So, brace the winter chill, warm up with a delicious hot cocoa, and embark on a magical journey through the most captivating holiday light displays in the DMV area. Here’s our list of the absolute must-see illuminations to make your holiday season unforgettable.
Light Yards, now thru January 7, is an annual interactive light installation at The Yards. This year’s installation, Swinging Bells features five, 13-foot tall bells that play a jingle as you swing.
ZooLights, now thru December 30, transforms the National Zoo into a winter wonderland with thousands of environmentally-friendly LED lights.
Winter Lights Festival, now thru to December, illuminates Seneca Creek State Park with more than 450 enchanting light displays and beautifully lit trees.
Enchant DC, now thru December 31, is an immersive light experience at Nationals Park that features a Christmas market, ice skating trail, and dazzling light mazes.
LuminoCity Winter Light Festival, now thru January 15, at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds, offers a spectacular display of lights and installations across 12 acres.
Georgetown GLOW, now thru January 7, features outdoor public light art installations that turn DC’s historic neighborhood into a twinkling wonderland.
The District’s Holiday Boat Parade, taking place on December 2, is a parade of boats festively decorated with lights at The Wharf along the Washington Channel.
Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights, taking place on December, along the Old Town waterfront, includes dozens of brightly lit boats cruising along the Potomac River.
Winter Walk of Lights, now thru January 7, at Meadowlark Botanical Garden provides an animated light show along a half-mile walking path.
Bull Run Festival of Lights, now thru January 7, is a 2.5-mile drive-through display of lights that includes a Holiday Village and Carnival.
Ice and Lights Winter Village, now thru January 1, the winter wonderland at Cameron Run, features a skating rink, photo stations, and a holiday market.
Spectacular Factory, now thru to January 3, is an immersive indoor art experience with interactive light displays at ARTECHOUSE DC.
Winter Lantern Festival, now thru February 18, is at Lerner Town Square at Tysons II and offers an over-the-top display of lanterns in various shapes and sizes.