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The Best of D.C. in Winter

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With winter, it's hard to get excited about less daylight and impending snow and freezing temperatures, but between winter festivals, holiday lights, indoor activities, and seasonal events, there is much to warm up to in DC this time of year. Dating back to 1923, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony by the President and First Family outside of the White House is the signature event. However, DC's festivities don't end with the holiday season and can continue well into the New Year.
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Washington, DC 20502, USA
Since 1923 during the presidency of Calvin Coolidge, the tradition of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony has taken place on the Ellipse on the first week of December. Nationally known entertainers and artists and a military band perform...
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6th & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565, USA
A bronze thinking rabbit, a stainless steel tree, and a cherry-red abstract horse—these may sound like characters from a modern-day version of Alice in Wonderland, but are actually highlights from the National Gallery of Art Sculpture...
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201 Waterfront St, National Harbor, MD 20745, USA
Taking a picture of a couple of my cousins and their friends as we navigated through this winter wonderland of Christmas holiday-themed scenes made up of over 5,000 blocks of ice at a combined weight of two million pounds! Hosted by the Gaylord...
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3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
The 163-acre National Zoo is cradled by D.C.’s wooded Rock Creek Park, providing a protected, dynamic habitat for more than 1,500 animals. From the micro-world of insects to the larger-than-life world of elephants, the exhibits are engaging...
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100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20001, USA
A Christmastime treat for adults and children, the US Botanic Garden's "Season's Greetings" showcases Washington signature buildings and monuments and model trains set amid pathways and pools of poinsettias and other holiday plants. Each year, the...
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1640 Portal Dr NW, Washington, DC 20012, USA
Since the 1960s, the magnificent Christmas display on the property of the Bishop of the United House of Prayer of All People (aka "The Bishop's House"), has attracted thousands of local area residents and church members from United House of Prayer...
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400 8th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
From the hilltop of the U.S. Capitol to the riverfront behind the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall is “America’s Front Yard.” Lined with museums and accented by monuments and memorials, the 1.9-mile stretch of green space is...
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513 13th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
One of D.C.'s most beloved Christmas holiday traditions. Places like the Kennedy Center and Strathmore Theatre put on traditional versions of Tchaikovsky's timeless ballet, whereas the Warner Theatre offers a unique American twist done by the...
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Every December, a charming holiday market pops up on F Street in the heart of Washington, D.C. There's a stage for live music, warm drinks, and dozens of booths brimming with local art and food. The Penn Quarter Holiday Market is usually open...
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511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, USA
No theater in America has had a more tragic history than Ford's. During an April 14, 1865, performance, 26-year-old stage actor John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln as he sat in the flag-draped presidential box. Shuttered for nearly a...