Visit the National Christmas Tree

Photographer: Nathan King, National Park Service

Have you seen the National Christmas Tree up close and in person yet? If no, there’s still time.

This year, the tree is a white fir tree with warm white lights and sparkling red and white ball decorations. The tree is crowned with a Christmas star.

The lights on the nation’s 99th National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC turn on around sunset each evening and turn off promptly at 10:00 pm Sunday-Thursday and 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. The Pathway of Peace on the Ellipse (in back of the White House) is open through January 1. Hours are 10:00 am-10:00 pm Sunday-Thursday, and 10:00 am-11:00 pm Friday and Saturday.

In addition to the National Tree, there are 58 state and territory trees to see.

Transporation and Comfort

The Farragut West Metro station is the closet metro stop. If you drive, please note the parking spaces — I got a parking ticket on Christmas Eve once! There is a Potbelly sandwich shop nearby (1701 Pennsylvania Avenue) if you are hungry or thirsty. It is the most convenient and economical food place in the area and the food is pretty good. It is open 8 a.m. – 7 pm. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and of course, it has a restroom. Another quick place to use the restroom is the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery (which is almost directly across from the White House) when it is open. There is typically a National Park Service concession stand but it’s not very good, it’s expensive and the lines are long. Another option is to bring a water bottle or cocoa thermos with you.


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