11 Must-See Winter Events In Dc: Buy Your Tickets Now!

things to do in dc in the winter tickets

As the air turns crisp and the first snowflakes begin to fall, Washington, D.C. transforms into a winter wonderland filled with exciting events. Whether you're a local or just visiting, you won't want to miss out on the 11 must-see winter events happening throughout the city. From festive holiday markets to ice skating and everything in between, grab your winter coat and get ready to experience D.C. like never before. But don't wait too long to buy your tickets, these events are sure to sell out fast!

Activity Ticket Price
Ice skating at National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden $9-13
Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Butterfly Pavilion $7.50
National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony Free
Georgetown Glow Light Art Festival Free
Washington Capitals Hockey Game $70-500
National Symphony Orchestra Winter Concert $24-99
Christmas Day Sightseeing Tour of Washington DC $59
New Year's Eve Fireworks Display at National Harbor Free
Washington Monument Tour Free
White House Christmas Tour Free


National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

Source: thenationaltree.org

As the temperatures begin to drop and the holidays approach, Washington D.C. prepares for one of its most exciting festivities of the year - the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The event, which is held in the heart of the city, is a must-see for anyone visiting D.C. during the winter season. Here’s everything you need to know about getting tickets to this illuminating celebration!

Firstly, it’s important to understand that the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a ticketed event, which means that you must have a ticket in order to attend. Tickets are released on a first-come, first-served basis, and there is always a high demand. The National Park Service, which organizes the event, usually releases tickets at the end of October, and it's recommended that you keep an eye on their website and social media accounts to stay up-to-date on release dates and times.

If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a ticket, you're in for a treat. The National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony brings together people from all over the country to celebrate the holiday season with live music, festive performances, and a spectacular display of lights. The ceremony usually takes place in early December, and the tree is illuminated every night through the end of the year, staying open to the public until 10 pm.

It’s worth noting that there is a security screening process before entering the event, so it’s important to arrive early and be prepared for a bit of a wait. Also, as the event takes place outside, it can get quite chilly during the winter evenings in D.C, so dress appropriately, and bring along blankets and warm beverages.

In conclusion, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is a much-loved tradition in Washington D.C, and getting tickets to the event is a dream come true for many visitors. While it does require some planning and effort to secure a ticket, the magical experience is definitely worth it. So dust off your winter coat, and get ready to join in this festive celebration of lights, music, and holiday cheer!


Source: National Gallery of Art
Characteristic Description
NameNational Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink
TypeIce skating rink in Washington, D.C.
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3.7 / 19
AddressConstitution Ave NW &, 7th St NW, Washington, DC 20408
Phone(202) 216-9397
HoursWednesday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 9 PM
Thursday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 9 PM
Friday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 11 PM
Saturday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 11 PM
Sunday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 9 PM
Monday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 9 PM
Tuesday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 9 PM

DC in the Winter Tickets: Ice Skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink

One of the most popular winter activities in the nation’s capital is ice skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. This seasonal rink is a classic winter experience that has been enjoyed by both locals and tourists for many years. If you’re planning to visit DC during the winter season, you should definitely consider purchasing DC in the Winter tickets to enjoy this iconic activity.

Located on the National Mall, the Sculpture Garden Ice Rink is a stunning winter wonderland that features breathtaking views of the Capitol Building and the Washington Monument. This scenic setting makes for a memorable skating experience that is perfect for couples, families, and friends alike.

During your skating session, you will glide through the frozen garden while listening to festive music. The rink offers both daytime and nighttime skating sessions, so you can choose a time that suits your schedule and preferences. There are also groups and private skating lessons available for those who want to take their skating skills to the next level.

The Sculpture Garden Ice Rink is open from mid-November to mid-March, so you have plenty of time to enjoy this winter activity. However, it’s important to note that the rink is closed on Christmas Day, so make sure to plan accordingly.

To purchase DC in the Winter tickets for the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink, you can visit the official website of the National Gallery of Art or purchase your tickets on-site. The prices for skating admission, skate rental, and lessons are very reasonable, so you won’t have to break the bank to enjoy this winter activity.

In conclusion, ice skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink is a must-do winter activity in DC. With its beautiful setting, festive atmosphere, and affordable prices, it’s perfect for anyone looking for some winter fun. So, add this to your winter bucket list and purchase your DC in the Winter tickets today!


Georgetown GLOW: Light Art Exhibition

Source: Georgetown

If you're looking for a truly unique winter experience in the nation's capital, you won't want to miss Georgetown GLOW: Light Art Exhibition. This enchanting event is an annual tradition that takes place in the heart of Georgetown, featuring dozens of stunning light installations from local and international artists.

From December to January, the streets and storefronts of Georgetown come to life with mesmerizing displays of color, movement, and texture. Visitors are invited to stroll along the illuminated pathways and take in the beauty of the artwork, from glowing orbs and twinkling trees to mesmerizing projections and interactive installations.

One of the most popular exhibits at Georgetown GLOW is the "Glacial Shifts, Changing Perspectives" display by Nicole Berry, which uses projected images and music to transform the interior of a historic canal barge into an otherworldly frozen landscape. Other highlights include "The Predator and The Prey" by Robin Bell, which features dynamic animal-inspired sculptures made from recycled materials, and "Will-o'-the-Wisp" by Panoply Performance Laboratory, which challenges viewers to question their perceptions of light and shadow.

In addition to the stunning artwork, Georgetown GLOW also features a variety of special events throughout the season, including guided tours, artist talks, and interactive workshops. You can even warm up with a cup of hot cocoa and watch the light show from the comfort of a cozy outdoor lounge.

If you're planning to visit Georgetown GLOW this winter, be sure to purchase your tickets in advance, as they can sell out quickly. You can find more information about the event and buy tickets online through the official website. With its magical atmosphere and dazzling displays, Georgetown GLOW is the perfect way to brighten up your winter nights and create unforgettable memories.

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Downtown Holiday Market

Source: • DC Travel Magazine

The Downtown Holiday Market is one of the most popular attractions in Washington, D.C., during the winter season. This market offers a wide variety of unique gifts and festive decorum that can add that extra holiday cheer to any home. If you're looking to purchase tickets for the Downtown Holiday Market, you're in luck!

The market is a free event and open to the public from November through December, so no tickets are required for entry. However, if you are interested in purchasing any of the products or services offered at the market, you will need to have cash or a credit/debit card.

The Downtown Holiday Market is located at 701 Pennsylvania Ave NW in the heart of Washington, D.C. This location provides easy access for visitors traveling on foot, taking the metro, or driving. It is also within close proximity to some of the most famous monuments and landmarks in the city, making it an ideal destination for anyone looking to take in the sights and sounds of D.C. during the holiday season.

At the market, you will find a wide variety of vendors selling everything from handmade crafts, clothing, jewelry, and artwork to food and drink. The market is open seven days a week, giving you plenty of opportunities to explore the various booths and find the perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones.

Overall, the Downtown Holiday Market is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting Washington, D.C., during the winter season. Whether you're looking to shop for unique gifts or simply taking in the festive atmosphere, this market won't disappoint. So, gather your friends and family, grab your wallets, and head over to the Downtown Holiday Market for an unforgettable holiday experience.

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Holiday Tea at the Willard InterContinental

Source: Washingtonian

Looking for a cozy and festive way to spend your winter days in Washington D.C.? Look no further than the Willard InterContinental's Holiday Tea!

From November through January, the Willard InterContinental transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with beautifully decorated Christmas trees, twinkling lights, and, of course, delicious tea and treats. But this isn't your average tea time - at the Willard, you'll be treated to an experience fit for royalty.

Upon entering the historic hotel's elegant tea room, you'll be greeted with a selection of loose leaf teas and champagne to begin your experience. From there, a multi-tiered tray will be presented to you, adorned with delicious pastries, finger sandwiches, and scones with clotted cream and jam. You'll feel like a queen (or king!) as you nibble on treats and sip on hot tea, all while surrounded by the warmth and charm of the Willard's holiday decor.

But the experience doesn't stop there. Throughout the holiday season, the Willard also offers special events like a Gingerbread Decorating Workshop, Holiday Ornament Decorating, and a Classic Christmas Movie Night. While tickets for the Holiday Tea can be a bit pricey, starting at $85 per adult, these additional events can make your winter vacation unforgettable.

So if you're looking for an extra special way to celebrate the holidays in Washington D.C., book your tickets for the Holiday Tea at the Willard InterContinental and prepare for a delightful, festive experience you won't forget!


Washington Ballet's The Nutcracker

Source: Ticketmaster

As the winter season approaches, many people in the DC area are eagerly looking forward to the Washington Ballet's annual performance of The Nutcracker. This beloved holiday classic, with its stunning choreography and iconic score by Tchaikovsky, has been a favorite among audiences for generations. But how can you get your hands on tickets to see this magical production?

First of all, it's important to note that The Nutcracker is a highly anticipated event, and tickets can sell out quickly. You'll want to plan ahead and book your seats as early as possible to avoid disappointment.

One option for purchasing tickets is to visit the Washington Ballet's website, where you can find information on show dates, times, and pricing. Tickets can be purchased online, or you can call the box office to make a reservation.

Another option is to visit one of the many ticketing websites that partner with the Washington Ballet, such as Ticketmaster or StubHub. These sites can offer a wider selection of seats and often have special deals or discounts available.

If you're on a tight budget, you may want to consider purchasing tickets for a weekday performance, which can be less expensive than weekend shows. Additionally, some performances may offer rush or standing room tickets, which can save you even more money.

Finally, if you're really hoping to get the best seats in the house, you may want to consider becoming a member of the Washington Ballet. Members receive special perks such as priority seating and discounted tickets, as well as access to exclusive events and behind-the-scenes experiences.

No matter how you choose to purchase your tickets, seeing The Nutcracker performed by the Washington Ballet is sure to be an unforgettable experience. With its breathtaking dancing, stunning set design, and dazzling costumes, this is a holiday tradition that you won't want to miss. So start planning now, and get ready to be transported to the magical world of The Nutcracker!


ZooLights at the Smithsonian National Zoo

Source: WTOP

The tickets for ZooLights are available for purchase online or at the zoo's entrance. It's recommended that you buy your tickets in advance, as this event can get very crowded during peak season. The ticket prices vary depending on the day and time of the visit. Generally, tickets cost around $20 for adults and $16 for children. However, if you're a zoo member, you can get discounted tickets.

Once you arrive at the zoo, you'll be greeted with stunning light displays and festive decorations. There's a variety of activities available for visitors of all ages, including animal encounters, holiday shopping, and a train ride around the zoo. You can also enjoy live musical performances and watch ice sculpting demos, while sipping on warm beverages and indulging in winter snacks at the various food stalls around the park.

One of the highlights of the ZooLights experience is seeing the animals at night. Many of the animals have adjusted to the colder temperatures and are more active during the winter months. You can observe the night-time habits of some of the zoo's most popular residents, including the giant pandas and the big cats. The festive spirit of the event makes for a unique and magical atmosphere.

If you plan on seeing ZooLights during the winter season, make sure to dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes. The event is open from late November until early January, with varying hours depending on the day of the week. The Smithsonian National Zoo is located in the heart of Washington, DC and is easily accessible via public transportation or by car.

In conclusion, ZooLights at the Smithsonian National Zoo is a breathtaking event that captures the joy and magic of the winter season. From the dazzling light displays to the live entertainment and animal encounters, there's something for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to get your tickets in advance and experience the holiday magic that only this event can offer.

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Holiday Jazz at the Kennedy Center

Source: NPR

The winter season is always an exciting time in Washington DC, with many events and activities taking place to celebrate the holidays. One of the highlights of the season is the Holiday Jazz at the Kennedy Center, a spectacular musical event that has become a tradition for many locals and visitors. If you are looking for a great way to get into the holiday spirit and enjoy some amazing jazz music, then you should definitely consider getting tickets to this fabulous event.

The Holiday Jazz at the Kennedy Center takes place every year during the winter season, typically from December through January. It is a series of concerts that features some of the most talented jazz musicians from around the world, performing their own interpretations of classic holiday songs as well as some original compositions. The concerts are held in various venues within the Kennedy Center, including the Concert Hall, the Eisenhower Theater, and the Terrace Theater, offering guests a chance to explore the magnificent facilities of the performing arts center.

Whether you are a jazz aficionado or simply a lover of good music, you are sure to enjoy the incredible performances offered at the Holiday Jazz at the Kennedy Center. This year's lineup features an impressive list of artists, including Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti, acclaimed pianist Aaron Diehl, and talented vocalist Cyrille Aimee. Each concert promises to be a unique and unforgettable experience, with a mixture of holiday classics and jazz favorites that will appeal to audiences of all ages and tastes.

To get tickets to the Holiday Jazz at the Kennedy Center, you can visit the official website of the Kennedy Center or call the box office. Prices vary depending on the concert and the seating location, but there are often discounts available for seniors, students, and groups. You should plan to purchase your tickets well in advance, as these concerts tend to sell out quickly and it can be difficult to find last-minute availability.

In addition to the Holiday Jazz series, the Kennedy Center also hosts a number of other events and activities during the winter season, including ballets, operas, plays, and other cultural performances. Visitors can also enjoy the stunning views of the Potomac River from the rooftop terrace, explore the many art exhibits on display, or indulge in some delicious food and drinks at the Kennedy Center's restaurants and bars.

Overall, the Holiday Jazz at the Kennedy Center is an incredible experience that should not be missed by anyone who loves music, culture, and the holiday season. So why not make it a part of your winter plans and join in the festivities at one of DC's most iconic cultural institutions? Whether you come alone, with family, or with friends, you are sure to have a magical time at the Kennedy Center.


Ugly Sweater Run

Source: the atlanta project

If you're looking for a fun and unique way to stay active this winter, look no further than the Ugly Sweater Run in DC! This annual event, held in the month of December, is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit while enjoying a 5K run/walk through the city.

To participate in the Ugly Sweater Run, you'll need to purchase tickets in advance. Fortunately, tickets are easy to find and can be purchased online or in-person at various retail locations throughout the city. Be sure to keep an eye out for early bird discounts or group rates if you're planning on running with friends or family.

As the name suggests, the Ugly Sweater Run is all about embracing the holiday spirit. Participants are encouraged to don their most festive and outrageous holiday sweaters for the run, making for a colorful and lively atmosphere throughout the course. There will even be awards given out for the best and most creative sweaters!

But don't worry if you don't have an ugly sweater – there will be plenty of opportunities to purchase one on-site, along with other holiday-themed merchandise and refreshments. And if you're worried about the cold weather, rest assured that running in your sweater will keep you nice and toasty throughout the race.

Whether you're an experienced runner or just looking for a fun way to get some exercise this winter, the Ugly Sweater Run is a can't-miss event. So grab your friends, put on your ugliest holiday sweater, and join in on the festive fun!


New Year's Eve Fireworks on the National Mall

Source: TripSavvy

As winter approaches, the excitement for the holiday season starts to build up. One of the most highly anticipated events in Washington D.C. during this season is the New Year's Eve Fireworks on the National Mall, which attracts a large crowd every year.

The National Mall is a public park located at the heart of Washington D.C., which features iconic monuments such as the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. On New Year's Eve, the National Mall transforms into a magical wonderland of lights, music, and fireworks, providing an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages.

To attend the New Year's Eve Fireworks on the National Mall, tickets are not required. The event is free and open to the public, so visitors can enjoy the festivities without any cost. However, it is crucial to arrive early to secure a good spot, as crowds can become overwhelming as the night goes on.

The celebrations usually kick-off at 9 pm with live music performances by various artists, local bands, and DJs, which set the mood for the spectacular fireworks show. The fireworks are launched from the Reflecting Pool, creating a mesmerizing display of lights and colors that illuminate the entire National Mall.

While attending the event, visitors are advised to dress warm and bring along some snacks and beverages as the temperature can drop below freezing point. Additionally, it is essential to keep in mind the security protocols put in place, such as the prohibition of alcohol, weapons, and pets.

The New Year's Eve Fireworks on the National Mall is undoubtedly a must-see event, offering a unique opportunity to celebrate the beginning of a new year in one of the most iconic landmarks in the United States. So, whether you're a local or a tourist, make sure to add this event to your winter itinerary and experience the magic firsthand.


ICE! at Gaylord National Resort (in nearby MD)

Source: WTOP
Characteristic Description
NameICE At Gaylord National Resort
TypeExhibit in Fort Washington, Maryland
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count3.8 / 243
Address201 Waterfront St, Oxon Hill, MD 20745
HoursWednesday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:30 PM
Thursday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:30 PM
Friday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 8 PM
Saturday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 8 PM
Sunday - opens at 11 AM and closes at 8 PM
Monday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:30 PM
Tuesday - opens at 10 AM and closes at 5:30 PM

As the cold winter months set in, it's time to explore the classic icy attractions that pop up across the city. One such attraction that has been gaining immense popularity over the years is ICE! at Gaylord National Resort.

Located in nearby Maryland, a short drive from DC, ICE! at Gaylord National Resort is a winter wonderland that attracts visitors of all ages. The attraction features more than 2 million pounds of ice sculptures that are carved by a team of skilled artisans. Each year, the theme of ICE! changes, making it an exciting experience for visitors to enjoy.

During the festive season, the Gaylord National Resort is transformed into a magical winter wonderland. With twinkling lights, festive decorations, and the snow-filled landscape, you'll feel like you've been transported to an enchanted frozen kingdom. The highlight of the resort's winter transformation, though, is the ICE! attraction.

Guests can explore the ICE! exhibit that features different winter scenes, such as Santa's North Pole workshop, Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and The Nutcracker. The sculptures are created with great detail and precision, some as tall as two-story buildings! As you walk through the exhibit, you'll be mesmerized by the intricate ice sculptures and marvel at the skilled craftsmanship.

In addition to the ICE! attraction, guests can also enjoy other winter activities at the resort. There's ice skating, gingerbread decorating, and even a Christmas Village with a Christmas carousel. Younger visitors can also visit Santa's Workshop, where they can meet Santa himself and take a picture with him.

Tickets for ICE! at Gaylord National Resort typically vary depending on the day, but you can purchase tickets in advance online to save money. A standard adult ticket costs around $30, while kids under 4 can get in for free. With so much to see and do, it’s easy to see why ICE! at Gaylord National Resort has become a popular winter attraction in the DC area.

So, if you're looking for a fun family-friendly winter activity, then head to ICE! at Gaylord National Resort and experience an unforgettable winter wonderland adventure.

Frequently asked questions

Some popular winter activities in DC include ice skating on the National Mall, visiting the Smithsonian museums, attending a performance at the Kennedy Center, and exploring the various holiday markets throughout the city.

Tickets for winter activities in DC can be purchased through various channels, including online ticketing websites such as Ticketmaster, or directly through the venue or activity provider.

It is recommended to buy tickets in advance for popular winter activities in DC, such as ice skating on the National Mall or attending a performance at the Kennedy Center, as they may sell out quickly during peak times.

There may be discounts or promotions available for tickets to winter activities in DC, such as special offers for students or military personnel. It is recommended to check with the venue or activity provider for any available discounts or promotions.

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Katrina Elliott

I recently visited DC in the winter and had an amazing time exploring all the things to do. One of my favorite activities was visiting the Smithsonian museums. The best part? It's free! I was able to see incredible exhibits and learn so much about history and culture. Another highlight was ice skating at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. The beautiful setting and the twinkling lights made it a truly magical experience. If you're planning a trip to DC in the winter, make sure to check out these attractions and make the most of your visit!

Hannah Diaz

I had the opportunity to visit DC during the winter and I highly recommend checking out the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony. It was such a festive and joyful event, with live performances and beautiful decorations. The tree itself was stunning, with thousands of twinkling lights. If you're into outdoor activities, definitely make time to visit the Winter Igloo Village at the Wharf. You can cozy up in one of their heated igloos and enjoy delicious food and drinks while taking in the scenic views of the waterfront. DC is truly a wonderful destination in the winter, with plenty of things to do and see!
Thank you so much for sharing your experience of visiting DC during the winter! The National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony sounds absolutely magical, and I would love to witness the festive atmosphere and enjoy the live performances. The description of the tree with thousands of twinkling lights is simply breathtaking. The Winter Igloo Village at the Wharf sounds like a cozy and unique experience, and I am always up for enjoying delicious food while taking in scenic views. Your recommendation has definitely convinced me that DC is a must-visit destination in the winter, and I can't wait to explore all the wonderful things to do and see!

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