National Christmas Tree

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Washington, District of Columbia

National Christmas Tree Washington Reviews

Zagnut66 Zagnut66
112 reviews
National Christmas Tree Dec 12, 2013
The National Christmas Tree set up south of the White House (technically President's Park, though everyone calls it the Ellipse) hosts the Pageant of Peace in the weeks prior to Christmas. It basically consists of youth choirs singing Christmas carols on a small stage with happy parents snapping photographs. Santa Claus sits in his workshop nearby to figure out who's been naughty or nice. Various toy train configurations run under the tree with holiday music pumped out through speakers.

Rest rooms and hot coffee are found at the nearby Ellipse Visitor Center which stays open late for the nightly pageant. Dress appropriately for once the sun goes down it gets quite cold. If you're visiting Washington in December, it's a good spot for photographs, people watching, and getting in the Christmas spirit with the the lights, the music, and the children running all about.
National Christmas Tree
Toy train setup
Miniature village
White House in the distance
11 / 11 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
alyssa_ob says:
Nice photos! I had no idea this was something you could visit - or that it had a train set!
Posted on: Dec 20, 2013
christine4321 says:
Nice review and great pics! I bet kids love coming here.
Posted on: Dec 15, 2013
spocklogic says:
Always good to see at Christmas time! Hope you appreciate my humor here in photo comments - all in good fun, and with a touch of truth maybe too...
Posted on: Dec 13, 2013
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Andy99 Andy99
623 reviews
The National Christmas Tree and Pageant of Peace Dec 28, 2008
The illuminated National Christmas Tree has been a Washington, DC, tradition since 1923. Since 1978 the same live tree, a Colorado Blue Spruce planted on the Ellipse, has served as the official National Christmas Tree. The President switches on the tree lights in a ceremony held in early December. The illuminated tree and accompanying Pageant of Peace remain on display until New Years Day. Visiting the illuminated tree at night is a popular holiday activity for area residents.

Around the national Christmas Tree are 56 smaller decorated trees representing the 50 states, the US territories, and the District of Columbia. Decorations are made by volunteer organizations in each location and sent to be placed on the trees. Nearby are Santa’s Workshop, a Nativity Scene, and Ye Olde Yule Log. (The burning Yule Log, consisting of wood from hazardous trees cut on national park land is always popular. On a cold December night it’s a place to warm up after a stroll around the trees!) A variety of music and dance groups perform every night until Christmas.

Nearby is the National Menorah, illuminated during the Chanukah holiday.

When visiting Washington, DC, during December, a visit to President’s Park to see the illuminated displays is an enjoyable way to celebrate the season. The trees are illuminated until 11:00 p.m. each evening. (You can also visit during the daytime for a pleasant walk among the trees.) In 2009, new cooler LED lights were added to the living Christmas Tree, giving it a brighter (and greener) appearance. In 2010, National Christmas Tree seemed to have a brighter appearance and the state trees were decorated in colored lights instead of white lights.
National Christmas Tree 2008
Star atop the National Christmas T…
State trees at the Pageant of Peace
Virginia state tree
6 / 6 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
Vipin says:
nicely done!
Posted on: Dec 26, 2010
rotorhead85 says:
I always reckoned they had a different tree every year. Nice review Andy, thanks! And congrats for the Feature!
Posted on: Dec 26, 2010
1morespicy says:
Congrats on the feature. I saw the tree at the beginning of the month in the day time and I must say, it looks even better at night.
Posted on: Dec 30, 2009
diisha392 diisha392
116 reviews
Christmas Tree at the Capitol Dec 20, 2008
Every year for nearly the past four decades Congress has invited one of the national forests to provide the Christmas tree on the lawn of the Capitol building.

This year the 78-foot tree came from the Bitterroot National Forest in Montana. It is a subalpine fir.

The ornaments covering the tree are handmade and reflect the spirit of Montana (the beauty of nature, the richness of culture, the generousity of her people). I especially liked a little snowman hanging near the bottom.

The tree is easy to access even with some of the lawn blocked off for construction related to the upcoming inaugaration. In fact the hard part is not getting near the tree but rather getting a clear picture of just the tree and no tourists!
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy

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