The holiday season is in full swing, which means that masters of interior and exterior illumination have already been hard at work decking the halls and stringing up lights on any available surface — all roofs, trees, windows and shrubs must be covered! Here are some great local places to take in spectacular lights and participate in festively fun activities with your little ones.
Bull Run Festival of Lights: 2.5 miles of holiday lights, penguins, snowmen, and more in Centreville, VA. After the driving segment, there's a holiday village with shops, ice skating, and rides. Through Jan 3.
Meadowlarks Winter Walk of Lights: Illuminated botanical gardens with fountains, a gingerbread village, and plenty of special events for kids. Through Jan 3.
National Christmas Tree Lighting: The ceremonial lighting of the tree is on Dec 3, but there are musicians and performers nightly at the tree through Dec 22.
Downtown Holiday Market: Arts, crafts, jewelry, holiday foods, and live entertainment in front of the Smithsonian. Through Dec 23.
Christmas at Mount Vernon: 12 Christmas trees on the illuminated grounds, as well as chocolate-making demonstrations, and Aladdin, the Christmas camel. Through Jan 6.
Zoo Lights: 500,00 LED lights bedeck the grounds of The National Zoo. You can visit the nocturnal animals, go "zoo tubing" on snow, or take a wintry train-ride for optimal light-viewing. Through Jan 2.
Christmas Tour of Washington and Old Town Alexandria: Guided bus tour for groups that highlights colonial decorations in Alexandria and moves on to holiday landmarks of note in our nation's capitol. Through Dec 22.