Enchant Christmas DC has returned! The pandemic pause of the annual family friendly Christmas experience brought some changes that we are excited to share with you.
Just like before, Enchant Christmas DC transformed Nationals Park into a winter wonderland with the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze, a locally curated Christmas Market, pictures with Santa, ice skating, carolers and more!
If you don’t live near Washington, DC, Enchant Christmas is also in St. Petersburg, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Dallas, Texas.
We love finding new holiday traditions that focus on time together as a family. The 100 foot Christmas tree is the focal point of the light maze. The light maze also incorporates a fun activity called The Mischievous Elf.
Your quest, should you choose to accept it, is to find the eight gifts taken from Santa’s workshop by a mysterious and very mischievous elf. Be ready for anything because the fate of Christmas is in your hands.
It is very easy to show up and wander around without really experiencing the magic. If you have small children, how you frame this will determine how much fun you have. We hyped it up!
We took our quest seriously and we acted like the fate of Christmas was really in our hands, blowing through the market to get down the the maze and help Santa! (Don’t worry, we had plenty of time to wander the market and shop for gifts after!)
At the entrance to the maze, you receive a scratch off card. As you get lost in the light maze, along the way you will find the missing toys with special scratch off stations.
Scratch the matching toy on your card and once you find all the missing toys you can enter to win a prize by scanning the code on the back of the card. Anything that creates an interactive experience for families is a plus in my book.
There are also a ton of grammable photo opportunities. If you don’t want to wait in line for some of the more popular spots, don’t despair. The lights everywhere make finding photo ops easy.
Also new this year, there are elves (professional photographers) stationed around the maze at some of the most spectacular photo opportunities to take capture your enchanted family memories. These photos are uploaded to a website that offers you unlimited access to all images taken of you on the night.
The Photo Pass Program offers families a no hassle way to get some amazing family pictures that would be perfect for grandparent gifts or holiday cards. If you have ever tried to do family photos with really little kids you know how stressful it can be.
This takes away all the pressure and time constraints. You can capture when the time is right with no initial investment in hiring a photographer. Remember that many others are doing the same so catching a photographer to take pictures may require some patience.
Enchant Christmas DC does get busy, so if getting professional pictures during your visit is a priority you can hire a professional photographer for a private 45-minute session.
After the maze, we had a chance to glide beneath the glimmering lights of the Ice Skating Trail. The rink is essentially a large loop which offers railings for support or rest on both sides all the way around.
If you are not sure if your kids can skate, you will appreciate these railings. There are no skate assists for people still learning, but there is an area to sit and order drinks next to the skate trail for those who prefer to watch and enjoy the lights.
It was our first time skating this season and once we got the hang of it again we couldn’t get the kids off the rink. Luckily the zamboni had to come through so they cleared the ice which gave us an opening to suggest a visit with Santa.
The Jolly Saint Nick is on the concourse for visits and photos. Photos should be reserved online ahead of time. Santa’s elves will scan your ticket QR code, take pictures of your family with him and you will receive a text message with a link to preview and buy photos.
I LOVE that Enchant Christmas DC offers fun under the stars and also under cover. With winter weather as unpredictable as kids moods, having the flexibility to go from the cold to a place to warm up is great.
There are no real indoor places, but the cover of the stadium concourse provides enough shelter to fuel up and regroup when necessary. Between the maze, skating and market, Enchant Christmas DC offers an experience that is fun for all ages. It is a great option for getting together with family and friends over the holidays.
We have tried a bunch of holiday activities over the years and through our travels and Enchant Christmas is one of our favorites. Enchant Christmas checks all the boxes for us. It is something we can come back to every year (because traditions are important to us) without getting bored.
It is important to us that we celebrate the magic and love of the holiday season with quality time. For us that means spending time doing something together, preferably outside. There are many activities to keep us busy and very little sitting is required. This all goes over well with our active bunch.
We also love that there is something for all ages and preferences so it is a great opportunity for getting together with extended family. There are activities for everyone including toddlers and teenagers who are notoriously difficult to please simultaneously.
Our first visit to Enchant Christmas DC included Grandparents, Cousins and Aunts & Uncles. We didn’t stay together the entire time, but it was a natural flow of congregating, separating and congregating over hours.
Let’s just say it was preferred to sitting around someone’s house trying to keep the kids from getting too wild after they had copious treats and were up past their bedtime.
We are already planning a secret santa gift exchange for next year at Enchant Christmas DC. The Village is a nordic-inspired Christmas market with local vendors perfect for a speedy shopping mission.
We can easily pick names, go shopping and meet back for some treats to exchange gifts all at Enchant Christmas. Shopping and gifting under the twinkling lights is about more than just the transaction of gifts, it’s about making memories together.
Enchant Christmas DC is open Thursday through Sunday from 4:30-10:30. Please note that Enchant Christmas DC does close at 10:30 on some Thursdays & Sundays and will be open until 1:30 on December 31, 2021.
Tips for maximizing Enchant Christmas DC fun:
- Book the earliest tickets you can for the day. Your ticket time is the earliest you can arrive and since everyone can stay as long as they want, it is more crowded the later it gets. Weeknights and early evening (4:30 pm) tickets are the best bet for families. It’s open till 11:30 pm so it’s also a great option for a date night or girls night. (Notice: tickets are $28 after 9:30pm)
- Kids 2 or younger are free! Child Tickets for ages 3-17 start at $29, Adult Tickets for ages 18-64 start at $29, and Senior Tickets for over 65 start at $29. Tickets for Nights of Wonder are $39.
- No backpacks! Make sure you pack light because they don’t allow backpacks of any kind. They also won’t allow any bags larger than 16” x 16” x 8”.
- Strollers are allowed in the event, but not in the maze so plan accordingly. A baby carrier is perfect for this event. There is a Stroller Parking Valet outside the maze entrance. Adaptive strollers and wheelchairs will be welcome into the Light Maze.
- Reusable water bottles are not allowed through security so make sure you leave them at home. The only exceptions are for clear, factory-sealed or empty plastic water bottles no larger than one litre, juice boxes, insulin containers and baby food). Only one sealed water bottle per person will be permitted.
- Holiday-themed food and drinks are for sale throughout the Concourse and a special bar experience on the field in the maze. The food is basically stadium food with a holiday twist so plan accordingly. There are several adult beverages made with the local Founding Spirits including the Light Bulb Cocktail.
- Bathrooms are found on the concourse as well as porta potties by the Ice-Skating Trail.
- The Christmas Light Maze and The Mischievous Elf takes a while. If you are budgeting time for kids schedules or weather this is a great place to start. The maze takes about 45 mins to an hour depending on how many stops you make. Since there are no strollers allowed smaller legs may take more time.
- The magical Ice Skating Trail next to the maze is adorned with spectacular light displays making it great for pictures. You can rent a pair of skates and reserve your time to skate for $10 when you book tickets or at the event. To save time sign your waiver online ahead of your visit. There are railings to hold along the trail, but no skate assists for kids still learning to skate.
- The Christmas Market has some seasonal delights if you are looking for a snack and holiday gifts from dozens of local vendors showcasing home decor, jewelry, gourmet foods, and more. The Market is a great way to keep kids entertained while someone waits in the line to take pictures with Santa. It is also a great way to check things off your holiday shopping list.
- Visit with Santa and take photos with him. You can take your own pictures for free or purchase a package through the professional photographer online. Stop by story time with Mrs. Claus for a nice break.
- Don’t miss the Kid Zone on the concourse next to Mrs. Claus. There are some mats and foam blocks perfect for toddlers to take a break.
- With big crowds at night, safety for kids is key. There are security and employees around to help in the event you get separated. It’s also a good idea to pick a meeting place, like the huge Christmas tree, if your kids are old enough to do that.
- If you are planning to go with a large group as holiday party or special event, reserve a Private Suite or Club Space. An exclusive room for a holiday party or special event offers full service catering and private area to visit.
- Parking is available at the GEICO Garage or Parking Garage C starting at $25 when you book online, or you can park in the Yards lot on the corner of Nst SE and 1st ST SE. Metro and ride sharing are also great options since street parking is very limited.
Enchant Christmas is in Washington, DC at Nationals Park through January 2, 2022. Grab your tickets to see the outfield transformed into a twinkling maze of stunning light displays. For ticket information visit EnchantChristmas.com