Table of Contents:
- Dates and Hours
- Where is the National Tree
- The First National Tree
- What to Do at the Tree
- Nearby activities
National Christmas Tree DC Hours
The National Christmas Tree DC Hours are easy to remember: Open daily Sunset to 11 PM on Friday and Saturday and 10 PM Sunday - Thursday. It is open December 2, 2023 - January 1, 2024. Keep reading for our family's experience!
The National Christmas Tree Lighting Dates
The actual lighting ceremony with the President and his family will be on November 30, 2023, and airing on CBS on December 15, 2023.
- Lottery Opens: on November 1 (10 AM EST) - here is Recreation.gov's link.
- Lottery Closes: November 8 (3 PM EST).
- Lottery Results Announced: November 15, 2023.
- Event Date: November 30, 2022will be lit on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, but will be aired on CBS on Sunday, December 11th, 2022 at 8 PM ET.
- The tree is open to the public on Saturday, December 2, 2023.
Until When is the National Christmas Tree in DC
The Christmas Tree will be open to the public from Saturday, December 2, 2023 until January 1st, 2024.
Where is the National Christmas Tree DC
The National Christmas Tree is located on the Ellipse on the South lawn of the White House at 15th St NW &, E St NW DC. It’s equally distant from 15th and 17th Streets.
There are 3 ways to get to the National Christmas Tree:
- Parking: I like to use the SpotHero App to find parking downtown (not sponsored!)
- Metro: Federal Triangle Metro Station is closest to the National Christmas Tree and Ellipse
- Guided Tour: We went on the USA Guided Tours Holiday Lights Tour which made parking a breeze since they dropped us off on 15th Street and Penn and then picked us up on 17th and Penn. More about their tour here. (Gifted tickets)
MOM TIP: I highly recommend bringing your stroller or a wagon for little kids. You will probably walk from your car or metro and it's all very accessible.
When Was the First National Christmas Tree Lit?
The first National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., was lit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1923, by President Calvin Coolidge. This event marked the beginning of the annual tradition now known as the National Christmas Tree Lighting. The tree, a 48-foot Balsam fir from the Coolidge family's home state of Vermont, was erected in The Ellipse, south of the White House. Now in present times, the tree can come from all around the United States.
What to Do at the National Christmas Tree DC
- Walk around the Pathway to Peace and find your state or territory
- Take selfies!
- Take photos of the White House in the background or the Washington Monument
- Visit the White House Visitors Center Shop (they have the yearly White House ornament)
- Walk around the monuments at night.
- Take a picture at Old Ebbitt Grill's famous nutcrackers across the street (and maybe grab a bite to eat!)
Nearby Attractions to DC's National Christmas
- The National Menorah is located a close walk from the Tree and will be lit
- Old Ebbitt Grill with its 15+ foot Nutcrackers is across the street for an iconic brunch or dinner location.
- City Center DC and its stunning tree and holiday decorations is only a couple blocks. Mentioned in my 50 Free Holiday Events in the DMV.
- DC's Downtown Holiday Market is not far as well! All these locations can be found in my Top 10 Best Holiday Spots in DC blog post below!
And check out my Top 10 Best Holiday DC Spots