The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

The student news site of Potomac Falls High School

The Roar

Six Festive Places to Visit over the Holidays 

Photo by: Scott R. Smith [email protected]

Feeling bored over the holidays? Well, here are six places local to Virginia to visit this holiday season. 

National Christmas Tree 

A national holiday tradition was started in 1923 that still remains today: the National Christmas Tree in front of the White House. The tree is put up on Dec. 2 and stays up until Jan. 1. Visiting the tree is completely free and no ticket is required to see it. Driving to see the tree is manageable and only takes around 40 minutes. The Christmas tree lights look beautiful at night, so making plans to get dinner and then see the tree can serve as a fun night out for friends and family during the holiday season. Additionally, 58 smaller trees are set up around The National Christmas tree that represent the 50 states and territories. These tree’s ornaments were decorated by children from each state and/ or territory from all across the country. It’s important to note, however, the lights on the tree turn on after sunset and turn off at 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 11pm on Friday and Saturday. If interested, The National Park Service website has more information. 


The Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens 

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In Wheaton, Maryland, the Brookside Gardens are beautifully decorated with lights for the holiday season. The gardens are open until Dec. 31 except for on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The exhibit is only an hour drive away and tickets are available for purchase on The Brookside Gardens website. Tickets for the half mile long exhibit cost $10 per person and are timed entry. The Gardens have a gift shop with seasonal items plus hot chocolate and snacks available as well. The light exhibit is described as a “magical winter wonderland” and is perfect for visiting this holiday season. 


Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights 

Located in Vienna, Virginia, Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights runs from Dec. 8 to Jan. 7 from 5-10 pm. This wheelchair accessible half a mile trail is timed entry and tickets are available on the eventbrite website. The tickets cost $18, but children under two get free admission. The exhibit is a fun experience for all ages but especially for children because light up necklaces, wands, and other sparkly goods are available for groups with children. For teenagers especially, the walk of lights includes many cute photo opportunities and serves as a great place to take pictures with friends or with a significant other. Become one of the 110,000 visitors Meadowlark receives each year and read more about the winter walk on their website. 


Busch Gardens, during the holiday season

With over 10 million sparkling lights shining throughout the southern amusement park in Virginia, Busch Gardens welcomes visitors for their festive Christmas town. Visitors can enjoy the festively decorated towns in busch gardens, enjoy the Christmas Town Express, and ride around the park and look at the fun bright lights. The park offers more than 25 amusement rides and many attractions including the Polar Pathway, where visitors can see dancing lights choreographed to our favorite christmas music. Visitors can also see special Christmas shows like “Gloria!” a joyous retelling of the first Christmas, along with a fan favorite “Scrooge No More!” Not only can visitors enjoy shows and amusement rides, even walking around towns can bring joy and smile on visitors faces! One ride in particular, the Aeronaut Skyride, gives visitors a bird’s eye view of the entire park.especially at night, or when it gets dark, visitors can see the entire park glow with different colored lights. More information can be found on the park’s website.


Ice and lights at Cameron Run

Located not too far from Sterling, Ice and Lights, is an event hosted by NOVA parks, in Cameron Run, Fairfax. Explore a village, with your family and friends, that is filled with brightly colored lights. However, there’s also an ice skating rink available. A perfect way to spend the night ice skating while looking at the stars and admiring the colored lights. The ice skating rink is also open during the day times as well. Ice and Lights is available for a month from Dec. 1 to Jan 1. Tickets just for the village are $8, and for the village and ice skating is $10. Visitors can experience a tunnel of lights that stretches out for 100 feet. More information is available on their website


Bull Run festival of lights drive thru  

A cozy and welcoming two and a half mile drive through sparkly lights and with a fun village at the end. Bull Run’s Festival of Lights includes a trail in which visitors can drive and take pictures of the colorful winter wonderland experience. If standing in the cold is not appealing to visitors, this might be a good activity since visitors can enjoy the lights without getting into the freezing cold and driving in the warmth of their car. After the trail ends, visitors are greeted with an even more colorful village and a small but fun carnival. This event is ongoing from Nov.10 to Jan. 7. Their website has more information.