Possibly the prettiest FREE D.C. holiday event is “Zoolights” at the Smithsonian National Zoo. The zoo is open after dark and lit by over 500,000 multicolor lights, including some fun animal displays.
Grab a hot chocolate or an eggnog (spiked is an option, as is a side of Christmas cookies!!!) and enjoy a self-guided tour of the lights, plus live music and activities for kids. Most of the indoor exhibits are still open too. My boyfriend and I really enjoyed watching a sloth move slowly under a heat lamp (relatable…)
My favorite light display was this flock of flamingos. It really got me excited to head back south for Christmas!
If you’re anywhere near DC, Zoolights will be going through December and admission is always free. Some activities are ticketed but very inexpensive, and the refreshments are reasonable. I’m sure I’ll be back before the end of the year.