Whether a holiday display, free activity or a market, DC offers plenty of ventures that will cost you absolutely nothing. Check out some of our favorite freebies to experience in the DC area this winter.
The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree
Every year, a tree from a National Forest in the United States decorates the West Lawn of the Capitol. This year the tree will come from Northern California’s Six Rivers National Forest.
Lay a Wreath at Arlington National Cemetery
Arlington National Cemetery is the largest military cemetery in the United States. More than 400,000 military veterans and their immediate family members rest here. Each year the cemetery partakes in National Wreaths Across America Day where wreaths are laid across every headstone (this year it will be held on December 18, 2021). If you can attend in person, you are able to volunteer to assist in placing wreaths on the graves of our soldiers.
ZooLights Express is the Smithsonian National Zoo’s beloved holiday installation and they are now bringing the festive lights to the DC community! This year, there will be a 24-foot Zoolights Express truck merrily decorated with holiday light displays and it’s very own “Panda Claws”. It runs from November 27 until December 19 and visits one Washington DC ward each Friday and Saturday night from 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. For a full schedule click here.
Visit the National Christmas Tree
The National Christmas Tree is a large Evergreen located in the northeast quadrant of The Ellipse park near the White House. A tree has been decorated every year since 1923 and put on display for all to enjoy. It is traditionally lit by the President of the United States. The tree is adorned with handcrafted ornaments from 56 U.S. states and territories. The site is free to visit from 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. every day during the holiday season.
The Downtown Holiday Market
The Downtown Holiday Market will make its 17th appearance this year beginning on November 19 and running through December 23. It is open from 12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. daily in Downtown DC. Stroll through dozens pop-up shops, enjoy the tastes of DC through food vendors, live music and the overall holiday atmosphere.