Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Holiday Lights & Displays - Part 3

In Holiday Lights & Displays - Part 1 and Part 2, I've told you about some of the great Christmas decorations in the DC area (and ideas on where to look for displays in your town). Today I will tell you about 2 more of my favorites -- both of which are on Capitol Hill and are free to visit!

Michael and I made a great holiday find at the U.S. Botanic Garden two years ago. Outside, they have an amazing model train garden. The website claims that it will be "bigger and more dazzling this year." I thought it was exceptional the past two years, so this really is going to be a "must-see." Inside, they have seasonal plants and displays. The best part of the indoor decorations is the miniature National Mall made from all things natural. It's so incredible that the landscape architects are able to make models out of twigs and leaves to look like the monuments and memorials. I favor Christmas displays at night, so I recommend you visit on one of the evenings that the U.S. Botanic Garden is open until 8 PM. I also recommend that you choose a night when they have live music. It makes it all the more festive. A bonus to this one for me is that it's nice and warm inside the conservatory!

While you are visiting the botanic garden which is right next to the U.S. Capitol, go take a look at the Capitol Christmas Tree. This year it will be lit on December 5. This tree, unlike the planted National Christmas Tree, is brought in from somewhere in the United States each year. This year, it comes from Vermont and is decorated with ornaments hand-crafted by the people of Vermont. I'm hoping that it has really bright lights like the one in 2005 did because it makes for a great picture when it is really glowing.

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