Winter City Lights is a magical, immersive Christmas lights experience. One million twinkling lights and 200,000 square feet of displays span 18 beautiful acres. Winter City Lights boasts the largest, most sophisticated Christmas lights and canopy show in the greater DC area.
We attended this new family friendly holiday attraction so we could share the details with you. Enjoy this outdoor winter wonderland through December 30, 2023.
Is there a new holiday activity in the DMV?
Winter City Lights is an enchanting holiday evening that debuted in the DMV last winter. This family friendly holiday activity features a wintertime wonderland with over 1 million Christmas lights across 18 acres.
Tickets are available for nights in November and December for a Winter City Lights experience — one of the largest light shows in the country.
What is at Winter City Lights?
Walk a magical 1.5-mile long Holiday Lights Trail filled with holiday lights, displays, and holiday music through breathtaking woods along a mulched trail. As you hike, you will see Christmas lights displays, structures and stations, along with hundreds of lighted trees.
How long does the Winter City Lights take?
You can easily spend 3 hours at Winter City Lights. The activities in the compound can fill more than an hour alone depending on what you chose to do.
The Holiday Lights Trail took us about an hour to walk. We stopped to take pictures, enjoy the ambiance and be silly. There is an early ending to the trail if you want to cut your walk short for any reason.
Please note that there is no access to all activities in the compound once you start the Holiday Lights Trail. So, be sure to enjoy all the activities, eat all the food and take all the pictures in the compound before you start the trail.
Are all the lights along the trail at Winter City Lights?
In the center of all the holiday merriment, there is an enchanted 52-foot high Christmas tree with Christmas light shows coordinated with holiday music. The Christmas tree is enclosed in a Winter City snow storm every half hour.
Please note that this is not fake snow, it is actually bubbles. You do not want to catch any of these snowflakes on your tongue. We enjoyed sitting under the “snow” that blanketed us in Christmas magic.
A canopy of twinkling Christmas lights cascade down from the top of the Christmas tree. These lights create a canopy of lights overhead.
Both the canopy lights and tree lights coordinate with music creating one cohesive Christmas tree light show. We were not the only people who enjoyed laying down to enjoy this experience. Winter City Lights is unlike anything in the Washington DC area.
Are there activities at Winter City Lights?
Entry to the Winter City Lights only includes the trail of lights and Christmas tree light show. We also enjoyed free face painting near the Christmas tree and several photo ops around the compound. However, general admission doesn’t include the Penguin Plunge Snow Tubing Ride or the Lumberjack Axe Toss or Concessions.
The Penguin Plunge Snow Tubing Ride and Lumberjack Axe Toss can be purchased online at the same time as the entry ticket or onsite, if there is still availability.
Because the Penguin Plunge Snow Tubing Ride has limited tickets available it does sell out. Avoid the disappointment and buy your tickets with your entry ticket.
Winter City Lights also offers plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy the ambiance with 33 bonfires.
Is there snow tubing at Winter City Lights?
The Penguin Plunge Snow Tubing Ride is an 8-lane snow tubing ride down a 15-foot high ice-slick slide. It is a fast and exciting tube ride that is perfect for all ages.
You must be 42″ to ride a single tube and between 36″ to 48″ to ride a double tube. However, tickets are good for unlimited rides – all you can ride! The tickets are per person and cannot be shared with someone else in your party after use or be transferred.
Is there AxE throwing at Winter City Lights?
Adults can enjoy Axe Throwing at the fun Winter City Lights Games area. The line for Lumberjack Axe Toss moves quickly. It is a fun activity or couples or groups. Each Lumberjack gets 6 axes to throw. Do your best to inflict the most damage on the target.
do I need Advance tickets for Winter City Lights?
You can buy your tickets online on the Winter City Lights website. You need a ticket along with a Liability Release and Waiver to enter. Please note: you will have to show a confirmation email for everyone in your group before you enter Winter City Lights.
Are kids free at Winter City Lights?
Kids under 4 years of age are FREE for general admission. Kids under 4 years of age also get the Penguin Plunge Snow Tubing Ride FREE too as long as they meet the height requirements.
When is the best time to go to Winter City Lights?
The best time to arrive at Winter City Lights is between 5:30-6:30. Not only will parking be easier, but you can crowds at certain activities. Weekdays are less busy than weekends, but arriving early any day is a good plan.
Is there food at Winter City Lights?
There are concessions available near the Christmas tree. It features an assortment of freshly made pizza, hot barbecue sandwiches, burgers, fries, s’mores, funnel cakes, fried Twinkies and Oreos, hot chocolate and holiday drinks.
The lines for concession were long, but moved quickly when we attended. We were honestly too busy having fun to stop and eat.
Is there seating at Winter City Lights?
Settle in the festive 5-acre mulched compound for a break. You can rest at one of the 33 bonfires with hay bale seating, as well as tables and chairs and still enjoy the magical, immersive experience.
Is Winter City Lights worth it?
The short answer is yes. We find the admission price (plus free parking) to be comparable with other enchanting holiday experiences in the area. Like many family activities, the cost adds up with all the add ons. However, we love how spread out everything is. We appreciate the opportunities to chill because sometimes kids just need to take a seat.
If you have attended the Winter City Lights we would love to hear about your experience. Drop us a comment below or tag us on social @theadvfam.