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Washington DC Winter Travel Tips

By Viator, December 2014

3.5 4 Reviews | Add your review

Winter is an excellent time to visit Washington, DC. Compared to other states in the U.S. the weather is mild, with the occasional snowstorm and temperatures fluctuating between 24 and 48 degrees Fahrenheit (-4.4 to 8.9 degrees Celsius). Between winter festivals, indoor activities and seasonal events there’s much experience in Washington during this time. Just make sure to pack layers and warm clothing.

As it’s the holiday season, light shows and enormous decorated trees abound. While the National Zoo hosts an annual ZooLights event with thousands of twinkling lights depicting cheerful scenes, the Mormon Temple welcomes all to see its 450,000 sparkling lights, hear live music and see a live outdoor nativity scene. There are also a number of outdoor skating rinks offering active outdoor fun, some of which include the Canal Park Ice Rink, Washington Harbour Ice Rink, and the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. And located about an hour and a half outside of Washington DC, you’ll find Whitetail Mountain Resort where you can ski, snowboard and snow tube.

For those who want to stay indoors, there are many fun places to seek shelter during the winter. Head to one of the capital’s many museums, some of which include the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the International Spy Museum and the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. Another important indoor attraction in DC is the White House, which you can tour in a self-guided fashion to learn more about our nation’s government. The Washington National Cathedral -- the world’s sixth largest cathedral -- is another warm stop, open to all denominations and crafted in a beautiful English Gothic style.

With winter comes a slew of fun festivals. The Washington DC International Food and Wine Festival allows visitors to sample celebrity-chef meals and over 1,700 wines from around the world, while the Winter Arts Festival features local products, art, music and food. Scottish Walk Weekend, Christmas on the Potomac, the Downtown Holiday Festival, First Night Alexandria, the Washington Jewish Film Festival, NatsFest, the DC Independent Film Festival and the Chocolate Lovers Festival are a few of the many other Washington DC events one can attend during winter.

Tours & Tickets

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Washington DC Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 822 Reviews

Discover Washington DC at your leisure with a one-day ticket on the Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour. Create your own itinerary to see the most popular sights of ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 1 day (approx.)

From USD $39.00

Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 352 Reviews

Explore Washington DC at your own pace on an extensive hop-on hop-off itinerary through the heart of the nation's capital. The buses are open top which ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: Varies

From USD $47.99

Washington DC in a Day Tour

4 star rating: Recommended 183 Reviews

Soak up the best of Washington DC on this full-day tour that combines informative narration with free time to explore popular sights. Step off your coach to ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: 8 hours (approx.)

From USD $45.00

International Spy Museum

4.5 star rating: Recommended 86 Reviews

At Washington DC’s International Spy Museum, enter a world of gadgets, weapons, cameras, vehicles and technologies used for espionage throughout the world. ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration:

Varies

From USD $21.99

National Museum of Crime and Punishment Admission Ticket

4.5 star rating: Recommended 24 Reviews

From medieval knights and greed-driven pirates to today's white collar criminals, the National Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington DC allows you to ...  Read more

Location: Washington D.C., District of Columbia
Duration: Varies

From USD $20.99

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