Whether you want to cut your own, pick it up from a stand, or just check it out in the nearest town square. There are trees everywhere.
Maybe I'm a little biased, but the Capitol Christmas Tree is usually my favorite each year. It's taller and I think it typically has more character than the National Christmas Tree at the White House.
The National Christmas Tree outside the White House seems to be the crown jewel in DC– surrounded by 56 smaller trees– representing each state, district and territory. And if you ever get the opportunity to check out the trees inside the White House during the holidays, they are nothing short of spectacular.
Getting a tour of the East Wing of the White House can be tricky during the holidays (we were denied this year for the first time. Boo.), and it isn’t exactly the easiest place to get to driving or walking on a weekday. The ellipse site is usually very crowded on weekends, but despite all of this, it continues to be a tradition for our family each year.
But there are quite a few other trees out there if fighting the traffic and crowds will give you a headache. Some are taller, skinnier, brighter, beautiful… and definitely easier to get to. They may not have a Santa’s Workshop right next door like the National Tree does, but they will help add some excitement to the holidays for sure.
Local Holiday Trees to Check Out in the DC Metro Area
- National Christmas Tree– Located on the Ellipse near the White House, the 30-foot -tall National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace are lit nightly during the holiday season from dusk to 11 p.m. The area also features a Santa’s Workshop where children can meet the big man himself. Musical performances are held on weeknights and all day on weekends, a list of performances is available here. Nearest Metro: Metro Center and McPherson Square
- Capitol Christmas Tree– Themed this year “Celebrating the Great Outdoors,” the 73-foot-tall tree is decorated with more than 5,000 ornaments created by children in Colorado. The tree is located on the U.S. Capitol lawn, and lit from dusk to 11 p.m. nightly throughout the holiday season. I always love how bright and eclectic this tree is. I also love visiting it just after a trip to the nearby U.S. Botanic Gardens holiday display. Nearest Metro: South Capitol, Smithsonian.
- Silver Spring- Unlike anything you’ve probably ever seen, this tree is created out of 1,658 plastic bottles collected, colored and strung by artist Julia Vogl. The tree stands in downtown Silver Spring at the fountain plaza. Nearest Metro: Silver Spring.
- National Harbor– Located on Waterfront Plaza, the 65-foot-tree is lit each night with 200,000 lights. This is perhaps the easiest tree to check out with children. The nearby ICE! at Gaylord National featuring Dreamworks’ “Shrek the Halls” this year.
- Alexandria– Located in the Market Square in front of City Hall, the tree will be lit each evening throughout the holidays. While there, make sure to check out the nearby outdoor Christmas Advent at the Christmas Attic.
- Shirlington- Located in Shirlington Village, the tree sparkles each evening. Make a whole night out, and pick up dinner at the Carlyle or a drink at Busboys & Poets.