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Holiday Events in DC: Guided by Clockout DC

As students return back to campus, there are some important winter events going on in Washington, D.C. Most of the following events can be found on the Instagram account Clockout D.C., which has curated a holiday guide. With some searching through the page, there’s many key events to attend. 

  1. Tenleytown WinterFest – The Yeti Scavenger Hunt

This event is close to campus and runs from Nov. 26 until Dec. 3, so there’s still time to create a team and compete. Throughout Tenleytown, there are many participating small businesses that this festival is made to support. You can form a team with your friends and compete when you have time. There are many challenges – like purchasing something from a small business or completing a silly task – to try out. 

  1. U.S. Botanical Gardens’ Seasons Greetings

The Botanical Gardens are completely decked out for the holiday season. The Botanical Gardens are open with these holiday festivities from Nov. 24 until Jan. 2, with the exception of Dec. 25. In addition, the train display and Conservatory will be open until 8 p.m. on Tuesdays in December. This is a great free option. Take note that the weekends may be rather busy.. 

  1. Smithsonian’s National Zoo Lights

The Zoo is now bright with lots of winter lights. The Zoo Lights is open for Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2-4, Dec. 9-11, Dec. 16-23 and Dec. 26-30.

The Zoo features more than just lights; there’s live music, snacks and places to shop for the holidays! More information can be found here.

  1. Georgetown Glow

Georgetown Glow runs from Nov. 26 until Jan. 22, featuring many different light exhibits from artists all over the District. The hours are 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Again, this can get crowded on the weekend, so try to attend on the weekdays.

  1. The Christmas Trees at the White House and Capitol

Although these trees have already had their lighting ceremony, you can still visit them whenever you’d like. The trees are extremely tall, at about 27 feet tall at the White House and 78 feet at the Capitol. The White House Christmas Tree is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with the exception of Fridays and Saturdays, when it closes at 11 p.m. The Capitol Christmas Tree can be seen from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

  1. Ice Skate at the National Gallery of Art

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Skating will cost you $18 (with skate rental) but this is definitely a memory maker. The ice skating rink is found in the National Mall, right in front of the National Gallery of Art in the sculpture garden. Sunday through Thursday, the rink is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, the rink is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. 

Even in the midst of finals, make sure to have some fun and enjoy the holidays here in the District! There are some amazing free events that you can attend around the city. ClockoutDC is a great account to follow to keep up to date with for many celebrations that go on in the area.

Callie Whicker

American '26

I'm a political science and computer science student at AU, interested in writing!