WASHINGTON — For many, the lighting of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Dec. 3 marked the unofficial start to Christmas around the capital.
Here are several places around Washington to check out if you’re looking for holiday decorations to get into the spirit, from decorated Christmas trees to light shows.
National Christmas Tree
The U.S. National Christmas Tree stands in the center of President’s Park, with the South Lawn of the White House as its backdrop. The tree is decorated this year with gold and white LED lights, which according to the National Park Service was done to celebrate the milestone of its 100th year anniversary. There will be three weeks of musical performances at the tree, which will be lit until Jan. 1 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree
The Capitol Christmas Tree lighting took place Dec. 2, with House Speaker Paul Ryan lighting the tree for his first time as speaker. The tree traveled 4,000 miles from Alaska, and is decorated with 4,000 handmade ornaments. It will be lit until January 2.
The White House
This year’s White House holiday decoration theme is “A Timeless Tradition,” and the official Christmas tree is decorated in red, white and blue to honor the sacrifices of American service members. Those who want to see the decorations in person need to arrange a tour through a member of Congress.
Woodley Park Zoo Lights
The ZooLights at the National Zoo in Woodley Park will be free and open to the public until January 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. The walk-through exhibit features 500,000 LED lights and has shopping and food vendors, along with musical performances.
On New York Avenue and 11th Street NW is a hidden oasis of Christmas lights, featuring a large tree decked with gold ornaments behind a dancing water fountain. Many people stop by to take photos and enjoy the fountain while shopping in nearby.
Do it yourself
While it’s always nice to check out national Christmas trees or take a walk through a light show, it’s just as satisfying to put up your own lights. According to the The American Christmas Tree Association, 78 percent of U.S. households will have a Christmas tree on display. But with that comes safety hazards and responsibility.
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