HomeOutdoorsNewsThe National Park Service Has a National Christmas Tree and You Can Visit It For Free This Holiday Season

The National Park Service Has a National Christmas Tree and You Can Visit It For Free This Holiday Season

by Jon D. B.
theres-national-christmas-tree-you-can-visit-free-holiday-season
2022 National National Christmas Tree Lighting. (Photo credit: National Park Service / NPS / Kelsey Graczyk, media release)

Did you know the National Park Service (NPS) has a National Christmas Tree for the United States? Now you do, and here’s how you can visit it for free this holiday season.

“First lit in 1923 by President Calvin Coolidge, the National Christmas Tree continues to inspire people to enjoy cherished traditions and memories made with family and friends in national parks during the holiday season,” says the National Park Service in their Christmas media release.

Located within President’s Park of the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C, the National Christmas Tree becomes the central feature of the NPS park’s Pathway of Peace. The full display features 58 small trees decorated with one-of-a-kind ornaments during the holiday season. Each ornament is made by students, bringing an extra layer of Christmas spirit to the pathway. And those 58 trees represent the U.S. states, territories, and schools managed by the Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense Education Activity in America.

Each year, visitors to the Pathway of Peace can celebrate the holidays with a nightly lighting of the National Christmas Tree. While there, the National Park Service encourages all to “take a stroll” along the pathway in President’s Park. And as of December 2, the National Christmas Tree site is now open to visitors through the end of 2022. Visitation to this and all surrounding National Park Service sites is free; no ticket or purchase is required.

Details: Visit the National Park Service’s National Christmas Tree

  • Location: President’s Park (The White House), Washington, D.C.
  • Feature: Lighting of the National Christmas Tree at Sunset, daily
  • Hours: 10 AM to 10 PM Sunday – Thursday
    • 10 AM to 11 PM Friday – Saturday
  • Open: December 2022 through January 1, 2023
  • Entry: Free, no ticket or purchase required

According to NPS, The National Christmas Tree display is open 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday. The park will stay open an hour later until 11 p.m. for Friday and Saturday visitation.

Each day, the National Park Service will light the National Christmas Tree at sunset, creating a spectacular display:

theres-national-christmas-tree-you-can-visit-for-free-holiday-season
2022 National National Christmas Tree Lighting. (Photo credit: National Park Service / NPS / Kelsey Graczyk, media release)

December 24, 1913, hosted the first community Christmas celebration in Washington, D.C. But it wouldn’t be until 1923 that the National Park Service would designate a National Christmas Tree. That year, at 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, President Calvin Coolidge lit the tree’s inauguration. Paul D. Moody, the President of Middlebury College in Coolidge’s home state of Vermont, would donate the 48-foot Vermont balsam fir.

Astride the tree were 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white and green – a rarity for the time. The Electric League of Washington would donate these lights for use, National Park Service cites. Once the tree was lit, the Epiphany Church choir led caroling for the community. The U.S. Marine Band quartette accompanied, before the full U.S. Marine Band performed a one-hour concert at 7:00 p.m.

If you can’t make this year’s ceremony in person, be sure to visit President’s Park Facebook page for photos and information. Happy Holidays, Outsiders!

Outsider.com