It’s the most wonderful time of the year – and it’s also time to flex those Instagram skills and see light shows in and around D.C.

Here’s where to get your light show fix and maybe get some good photos in the process:


From now through January 1, you can see the National Zoo in a new light – literally. Every night, the entire zoo is illuminated with colorful light displays using 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights. The event is completely free and you can sip hot cocoa as you and the kids enjoy music-coordinated light shows. You can even go on a train ride around the zoo aboard the National Zoo Choo-Choo. Once you get your best Insta (we’d recommend with one of the colorful panda lights or right at the entrance under the illuminated ZOOLIGHTS sign), be sure to hashtag it with #DCZooLights.

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Let the holiday season begin! 🎈Enjoying the first day of ZooLights with a red velvet cake pop 🍭 #DCZooLights

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Georgetown GLOW

Embrace public art from December 1 through January 6 in historic Georgetown. For the fifth year, artists from all over the world will be bringing public art displays full of color and light to Georgetown. Support local artist Robin Bell whose “Faces and Places” exhibit will be located at the BB&T building and will feature people and places around Georgetown. GLOW offers several different walking doors, from a history-focused pay-what-you-want tour to a photography-focused “photo safari” tour, if you’re willing to cough up $79 to take that perfect nighttime photograph along Washington Photo Safari Director E. David Luria. Don’t forget to hashtag #GeorgetownGlow.

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light speed #georgetownglow

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Baltimore’s Miracle on 34th Street

In the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore, 34th Street will be lit up from now through January 1. Take a stroll down the brightly-lit street, where each and every home embraces the 72-year-old tradition, which began the same year as the release of iconic movie Miracle on 34th Street. We recommend you pick a display that speaks to you the most and enjoy the colorful sights.

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Galaxy S8 pro mode 🔥#Christmas

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41st Annual Festival of Lights

If you’ve ever been curious about the magnificent-looking Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Kensington, Maryland, now is your chance to see it aglow from November 29 through January 1. The temple grounds will have 650,000 lights. In addition to the light show, there will be nightly performances, from international choirs to dancing.

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Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 all around the world 🌎 🌍 🗺. Feel free to share this photo with your lovely ones 🎄. Tags and repost are very welcome 🙏 . . . . . . . . . . . #agameoftones #ig_masterpiece #ig_exquisite #ig_shotz #global_hotshotz #superhubs #main_vision #master_shots #exclusive_shots #jaw_dropping_shotz #worldshotz #christmastree #pixel_ig #photographyislifee #photographyislife #photographysouls #photographyeveryday #photographylover #iglobal_photographers #ig_great_pics #christmaslights #christmas #maryland #washingtondc #chasinglight #dcadventureclub #longexposure #nightphotography #lighttrails

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District Holiday Boat Parade

During the holiday season, the Wharf comes alive: Ice skating, a fire pit, and the Waterfront Wine & Beer Garden can warm the whole family up. On December 1, settle in for a magnificent boat parade where people can show off their decorated boats. A fireworks show will follow.

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It's beginning to feel a lot like #districtholidayboatparade at @thewharfdc! . . #gangplankmarina #liveaboard #liveaboardlife #community #justaddwater #swdc #welcomehome #christmas #holiday #boatparade #imonaboat #washingtondc #washdc #dcfocused #lightedboatparade #dec2 #dc4l #washingtonchannel #potomac #potomacriver

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Winter Walk of Lights

Morph your love of plants and love of light displays into one and you’ve got the Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. The lights display is a half-mile of animated light displays running through now to January 6. Grab a hot cider or hot cocoa from the Garden Patio and hit up the Fountain of Lights for a picture. Don’t forget to pick up your own s’mores kit and roast some marshmallows while you’re there. Tickets can be purchased here.

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We had some fun testing out some of the lights this morning #WWOL #WWOL17 • • • #lightshow #teaser #lights #decoration #decorationideas #novaparks #nova #viennava #holidays

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Symphony of Lights Drive Through

Enjoy the light show without leaving the warmth of your car at the Symphony of Lights drive through at Howard County General Hospital. It’s $20 per car to drive through the display made up of 300,000 bulbs. All proceeds go to the hospital.

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Christmas came early ❄️🎅✨

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