National Christmas Tree

We have had such a warm, beautiful fall.  Back home in Washington state, they have already had multiple snow storms come through.  Here, I don’t think we have had one day with freezing weather yet.  Eilam rode his bike with no jacket on Thanksgiving day.  This weekend it was in the mid-fifties and sunny.  We decided to take the opportunity to visit the National Christmas Tree.  Eilam is very excited for Christmas trees.  When asked what he wanted for Christmas, his response was always a Christmas tree.  So after getting our tiny tree for our apartment, I started talking about visiting a very big tree.  Visiting a big tree while getting to ride the train (metro) to see it, was an easy sell to my two year old.

The tree is located on the White House Ellipse.  It is free to visit.  They have one large Christmas Tree decorated with LED lights.  You can walk all the way around the tree.  Next to the tree there are toy trains running on their tracks.  Eilam was excited to see Thomas and his friends pulling their cargo and coaches.  There is also a Christmas tree for each state in the Union that you can see as you walk around the National Tree.

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So being honest, the tree was beautiful but you probably aren’t missing anything if you never see it or visit.  We did visit on a Saturday, so the crowds were probably more dense than on a weeknight.  It was difficult to maneuver the crowd around the tree and to get any kind of family picture.  I was expecting something nicer but the setting seemed rather sparse even with the trains and the other trees.  I am also a Christmas tree traditionalist.  I like the lights strung around in the branches, and ornaments, balls and bows in the actual tree.  This tree was like a net of lights draped over the tree but not actually in it.  You didn’t even need a tree underneath the net to get the same effect.  While many may disagree, I found the whole experience “meh.”   From December 9 though the 22nd there are free music programs in the evenings.

National Christmas Tree

Where:  1450 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

How to Get There:

Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange/Silver Line) 0.11 mile; Walk approximately one block NORTH on 12th Street, turn left/WEST on Pennsylvania Avenue and walk approximately 3 blocks toward 15th Street.

Metro Center (Blue/Orange/Red/Silver Line) 0.13 mile; Walk approximately one block WEST on G Street, turn left/SOUTH on 14th Street, turn right/WEST on Pennsylvania Avenue South, continue to the intersection of 15th and Pennsylvania, NW.

Cost:  FREE

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