Best Holiday Lights Drive-Thrus and Christmas Light Shows in DC: Where to See Dazzling Christmas Lights

The District's Holiday Boat Parade lights up the Potomac River. Photo courtesy of The Wharf DC
The District's Holiday Boat Parade lights up the Potomac River. Photo courtesy of The Wharf DC

When you've gotta glow, DC is merry, bright, and lit up like—well—a Christmas tree. In fact, there are so many dazzling Christmas light shows, holiday lights drive-thrus, and other Christmas lights displays in the DC area in 2022 that your only problem will be fitting them all in!

There are Christmas light displays that you can walk through, such as Georgetown GLOW and Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens. There are holiday lights drive-thrus like the Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival and the Bull Run Festival of Lights. And there are tree and menorah lightings, boat parades, and other Christmas lights displays throughout the area. Plus, don't miss the return of the popular ZooLights at the National Zoo.

While you're in a festive mood, check out our list of the best holiday activities and Christmas events near DC this year, and keep an eye on our Washington, DC event calendar for up-to-the-minute access to all the great events happening for DC families.

Places featured in this article:


Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center

Lerner Town Square at Tysons II
Jurassic Quest
Dulles Expo & Conference Center - 9:00 AM Pick
XOXO: An Exhibit about Love & Forgiveness
National Children's Museum - 9:30 AM Pick
Winter Blast: A Weekend of Native Games
National Museum of the American Indian National Mall - 10:00 AM Pick
Lunar New Year Family Celebration
Smithsonian American Art Museum - 11:30 AM Pick
Neighborhood Guides
Activity Guides