18 Photos That Prove Washington, DC is a Winter Wonderland

Photo of Nicole Hampton
8 December 2017

The cherry blossoms and Potomac River in spring always seem to steal the show in Washington, DC, but there’s a lot of beauty in the winter, too. We might not appreciate it as much because we’re layered from head to toe, waiting impatiently to get out of the snowy weather. But not before snapping a few pictures to remember the beauty of the day around a warm fire sipping cocoa. Here are 18 photos that show DC as a winter wonderland.

The National Christmas Tree

The lighting of this tree is a huge event in DC that marks the beginning of the holidays. Ornaments come from all over the country, in line with the idea of the Pathway of Peace, a walkway of 56 smaller trees adjacent to the National Christmas Tree that represent all the states and territories.

National Christmas Tree | © US Department of Agriculture/Flickr

Festival of Lights at The Church of Latter-Day Saints

The Church of Latter-Day Saints and the surrounding land is decorated in more than 450,000 Christmas lights each year. They also have free local music concerts every night in their beautiful theater.

Festival of Lights | © www.GlynLowe.com/Flickr

Arlington Cemetery

Each year, people lay wreaths on the tombstones in Arlington Cemetery during the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony.

Arlington Cemetery Wreaths | © Civil Air Patrol/Flickr


During this free event, the Smithsonian National Zoo is turned into a winter wonderland with more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights, delectable winter treats, live music performances, and small venues for holiday shopping.

ZooLights | © Amul Madan/Flickr

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Skating Rink

On the National Mall, between 9th and 7th Street, and Madison St and Constitution Ave, the National Gallery of Art turns the Sculpture Garden into a fun ice skating rink.

Sculpture Garden Ice Skating Rink | © Elvert Barnes/Flickr

Pathway of Peace

The Pathway of Peace is made up of 56 small trees set around the National Christmas Tree. The path represents each the states and territory that make up the United States.

Pathway of Peace | © Ted Eytan/Flickr

National Menorah

Every year, on December 12th, there is a free lighting ceremony of the massive Hanukkah menorah on The White House Ellipse.

National Menorah | © Ted Eytan/Flickr

The Supreme Court Christmas Tree

Some people see politics as dry and dull, but no one can resist the holiday cheer. Many political buildings are decorated, including the Supreme Court, which sets up a gorgeous Christmas tree.

The Supreme Court Christmas tree | © www.GlynLowe.com/Flickr

Santarchy DC

Santarchy is an annual event, this year on December 9th, where people in major cities all over the world dress up in Santa suits just for the fun of it.

Santarchy DC | © S Pakhrin/Flickr

Union Station Wreath

Even the bustling transportation building in DC is dressed up nicely for the holidays. Among old brick and high arches, you’ll find decorations, including this impressive wreath.

Christmas Wreath Union Station | © Elvert Barnes/Flickr

Sledding on Capital Hill

2016 was the first time in 141 years that sledding on Capitol Hill was legal. No fear of imprisonment this winter; feel free to sled to your heart’s content.

Sledding on Capitol Hill | © Valerie Hinojosa/Flickr

Washington Memorial in Winter

The white-stone historical monuments are particularly enchanting in a snowy setting.

Washington Memorial Winter | © thisisbossi/Flickr

The White House Front View

There’s just something magical about white on white on white. The snowy White House is a gorgeous site that people travel from all over to see, and locals love to pass by each day.

White House in Winter | © Matt Popovich/Flickr

White House Side View

Here is a side view of the most famous house in America, just to get a better perspective of how truly beautiful it is.

White House in winter | © Obama White House/Flickr

Blizzard on 19th Street

The White House isn’t the only home that looks charming with a dusting of snow. Every snowy street in DC holds beauty, especially the colorful row houses on 19th.

DC snow | © Wikimedia Commons

Korean War Veterans Memorial

This memorial of stainless steel soldiers is dedicated to those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during the Korean War. It’s a unique memorial any time of year, but there is a special solemnity to it in winter.

Korean War Memorial | © National Park Service

The National Mall

What’s a winter wonderland in DC without a gorgeous scape of the National Mall? It’s an open public space, where people stumble upon little snowy treasures like snow fights, snow angels, snowmen, and snowwomen, all winter long.

National Mall | © thisisbossi/Flickr

Capitol Building

DC has the perfect blend of spacious sidewalks that are adjacent to all sorts of trees and national buildings with distinct architecture. The way the snow falls on both is a beautiful and unique site.

Capitol Building in winter | © USCapitol/Flickr

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