Enchant DC is one of my kids' favorite Christmas light displays in the area! But it can be overwhelming (and expensive) in my opinion so I am sharing our money saving tips and the best Enchant DC hours to go to avoid the crowds.
Table of Contents:
- Ticket Prices
- Parking & Metro
- Is it Worth It? Our Family’s Review (2 visits in 2 years)
- 5 Ways to Save Money
- Alternative Light Displays
As an Amazon Associate and Partnerize Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases with some links below. This is at no extra cost to you. Thanks!
My kids and I enjoying Enchant DC!
Enchant DC Hours & Dates
When youbuy your tickets online for Enchant DC, you pick the time slot that you want. This is just your admission hour as you can stay as long as you like. The hours include:
- Admission between 5:30 - 6:30 PM
- Admission between 6:30 - 7:30 PM
- Admission between 7:30 - 8:30 PM
- Night Owl (slight reduction in price) beginning 8:30 PM
Dates for Enchant DC 2023
Friday November 24 - December 31, 2023
Best Hours to Go to Enchant DC
After visiting twice with my kids, I can definitely say going in the earliest time slot is best! Right at 5:30 it is very busy at the entrance and you might have a long line. So planning to arrive around 5:45 PM would be the best time to go. Once it hits 6 - 7 PM, the Nationals Park gets very busy.
The best time to visit is during the week, especially if you’re going with kids, as it’s generally less crowded and the ticket prices are lower. Budgeting 2-3 hours for your visit is recommended, with the longer duration if you plan to eat dinner and go ice skating, and a shorter time if you are not going ice skating.
Special Nights at Enchant DC 2023
- Paws n' Claus - December 3: For one very special night, your favorite four-legged dog friend is in for a treat! Sniff through the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze, snap a photo together with Santa, and so much more.
- Military Night - December 7: We invite you to honor all Military and Veterans at Enchant. This will be a night to honor, salute, and show our appreciation to all Military personnel for their service.
- Holiday Ungly Sweater Night - Decmeber 10: Secret Santa, Yankee Swap, Potlucks, and Ugly Christmas Sweater parties are the staples for all December get-togethers.
- Ladies Night - December 14 and 21
- College Night - December 15 and 28: Represent your college at Enchant by wearing your school swag, colors, jerseys, and more to win some cool prizes!
Tickets for Enchant Christmas DC
- Adult tickets start at $34
- Children's tickets start at $24
- Military Ticket $32.40
- They also have a Family Pack and tons of Add-On's including VIP Experiences like Express Entry and VIP Lounge Access. It is located in Nationals Park so they have Suites you can reserve etc.
- Ice Skating costs an additional $15 for Adults and $10 for Kids
View of the courtyard from Parking Garage.
Parking & Metro at Enchant Christmas DC
When our family went to Enchant DC, I pre-purchased my parking ticket at the GEICO Garage almost attached to the stadium. I am so glad we did because they were not taking anyone without a reservation! It costs $25 in 2023 and you purchase at checkout. They also have You can add on the parking during checkout. They also have pre-purchase parking available at Garage C for $25.
Metro at Enchant Christmas DC
The closest Metro Station to Enchant is Navy Yard-Ballpark and is only 1 block away if you exit from the metro station towards the Nationals Park exit. Check out WMATA's excellent Trip Planner for route times and costs.
Yes, Enchant is accessible. Last year I asked the staff about accessibility since I saw a "stroller parking" area and they showed me the elevator to use instead of the stairs.
Prices on a previous year.
Is Enchant DC Worth It? Our Family's Review
The answer to whether or not Enchant DC is worth it is truly subjective and based on your family. I can say after going twice that it was one of my kids top 3 favorite things we did all holiday season. They still bring it up!
With that said, it is a little like an amusement park where all the add-ons, trinkets for sale and food certainly add up. We went once a little later in the evening and it was honestly too crowded. The time we went at 5:30PM was great because there wasn't too many people in the Lights Maze.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Enchant DC for a special family event or for first timers, when do you get to be on an MLB field skating to great Christmas music?! Enchant DC transforms the Nationals Stadium into a winter wonderland with "the World's Largest Christmas Light Maze and Village," an illuminated ice skating trail, Little One's Play Place, Santa, and more.
At the same time, as a mom I prefer the botanical garden light displays more because of the single pathway and calmer atmosphere. Check out a reel of one of our visits here.
5 Ways to Save Money at Enchant DC
- Purchase Light-Up Headbands Ahead of Time: Instead of buying light-up toys at the event, where they can be pricey, consider purchasing them online (Holiday Themed or Flower Crowns on Amazon) or at stores like Dollar Tree for a fraction of the cost. You will see headbands and wands sold for 3 times the cost everywhere around the park!
- I belive they also had these Bunny Hats that Light Up & Ears that Move. On my list to buy for Christmas this year! Great price on Amazon.
- Leave your bags in the car: You can not bring large bags or backpacks into Enchant DC larger than 16” x 16” x 8' so leave them in your car so you don't have to run back or use one of their very expensive Purse Lockers. I made this mistake!
- Bring Plastic Bottle of Water (not in your own bottle): Another mistake I made was bringing my own water bottle which they made me take back to my car. From their website, "Water Guests will be allowed to bring one (1) factory-sealed, non-frozen 33.8 fl. oz. (1 liter) bottle of water (no soda, flavored water or soft drinks)." Water is around $5 in the park so much better to bring!
- Bring a Snack in the Car: You are definitely paying 'baseball park prices' for everything so the second time we went, I said no to the overpriced hot dog and had a big lunch box of snacks in the car waiting for the drive home.
- Check their Social Media for Giveaways: Unfortunatley they don't have the Kids Free Wednesdays in 2023 but their social media is having a lot of Giveaways.
Stroller Parking before you go down to the Lights Maze. (There is an elevator for medically necessary strollers and wheelchairs).
Alternatives to Enchant DC
I have a list of 30 of the best Holiday Light Displays in DC, Virginia and Maryland with 18 of them being free!
If you have little ones who are sensitive to large crowds and sights and sounds, I would highly recommend Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna Virginia or Brookside Botanical Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland. Both are one way paths that make crowds much easier. Enchant DC can be a bit of a zoo crowds wise as there is no "path" per se and kids are running all around.
For free displays, you can't beat the National Christmas Tree and the 50 state stress that surround it and I love City Center's free tree (pictured in the image below) and square all lit up. I believe it is the largest in the DC area! Check out 50 more free things to do during the holidays below!
And for another big splurge like event like Enchant DC, check outChristmas at Gaylord National Hotel with ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer including an Ice Slide, Ice Tubing, Reindeer Games Scavenger Hunt, Gingerbread Decorating Corner, Ice Skating, Mrs. Claus' Christmas Traditions, Snowball Build & Blast.
Indoor Ice Slide atICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!