Christmas Tree Lightings Guide 2020: Live and Online Events

Photo credit @xninjason

It seems like it was yesterday when I was updating this Christmas Tree Lightings guide. Making plans to attend as many of my favorite Christmas events as possible. We have been doing things very differently this year. Tree lightings will definitely be on that same list.

Although most of the tree lighting events are outdoors, the CDC still recommends to limit exposure lo large crowds, wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart from others. All of this will of course make these events challenging and many of us will not venture out to them. But in the spirit of the season, we still want to give you the different options for in person and online tree lightings across the DMV.  As with anything 2020, check websites for updates as some events might be cancelled.

For other ideas to do with your family during this very different year, check out our guide to Holiday lights and Tree Farm List.

Tree lightings in Washington, DC

National Christmas Tree
Thursday, December 3rd
8:00 pm
The National Park Service and National Park Foundation will not host a live audience for this year’s event, but the online show promises to bring lots of joy to your home and is available on demand throughout the holiday season. The show will be available to stream on-demand throughout the holiday season. 

Capitol Hill
Friday, December 4th  
The 14th Annual Tree Lighting and 7th Annual Menorah Lighting will happen without a live audience. The virtual Tree Lighting will be available online Friday, December 4th and the Menorah Lighting will be available the first night of Hanukkah, Thursday, December 10th. The public is asked to come visit safely and socially distanced on their own time.

Tree Lightings in Virginia

Nokesville Community Christmas Tree Lighting
Friday, November 27
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Event will be hosted in person and virtually. For more details visit the events page.

City of Fairfax
Saturday, December 5
12:00-6:00 pm
Listen to live holiday music and enjoy s’mores and hot cider! Enjoy caroling and lighting of the Christmas Tree at Old Town Square at 5:30 pm.

Mount Vernon
December 18 and 19
5:30 – 8:45pm
Fireworks, the Potomac River, and a history lesson. Tickets start at $30 for adults and $20 for kids under 12.

Tree Lightings in Maryland

City of Bowie
Sunday, December 6
7:00 pm
For over 50 years, the Bowie community has come together in early December to sing holiday songs and celebrate the lighting of Bowie’s Christmas tree. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus will make a special visit, courtesy of the Bowie Volunteer Fire Department.

City of Gaithersburg
Saturday, December 5
5:00 pm
Join the City of Gaithersburg for a re-imagined Jingle Jubilee, our annual Tree Lighting & holiday celebration. Students from the Gaithersburg High School Band will perform selections for Christmas, Hanukah & Kwanzaa. Enjoy holiday greetings from the Gaithersburg Mayor & City Council, and peek in on a Zoom chat between our Junior Mayor, Hayden Sandlin, and Santa Claus himself. They have a special tree lighting treat in store. The pre-recorded program will be available on the City’s social media sites starting the evening of December 5.

If we happened to miss any Christmas Tree lightings, please leave them in the comments below. Thank you!

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Tatiana was born in Bogota, Colombia and moved to the United States at age 15. She moved from Houston to DC in 2007 to work for an international organization. She met her husband at work and married in 2011. She has two children: Santiago (2013) and Antonio (2015) and a Masters degree in Conflict Resoliution. After the birth of her second child, she decided to take time off to stay home and focus on the kids. She is passionate about nutrition, self-led weaning and homemade food. The Story of My Table is her Instagram account and blog where she shares her adventures in the kitchen. She strongly believes that a wine a day keeps the doctor away and that the key to parenting two boys is to keep in good shape. She is not a fan of baking, but would occasionally do it to avoid highly processed food. She is an advocate for natural foods, Montessori education and allowing children to get bored. One day she dreams of building an organization where she can combine her passion for food with peacebuilding.