It’s that wonderful time of the year in DC! The streets light up, the cocoa warms up, and the whole district feels just a little bit magical. Yes, winter in DC is here and in full force. If you haven’t quite gotten into the seasonal spirit yet (or if you can’t get enough of it), then we have some spots for you! DC doesn’t have a lot of snow or reindeer, but these amazing spots will make you feel like you’re at the North Pole:

If you prefer more natural-feeling beauty in the winter, then try these 9 best winter hikes near DC!

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Winter Hikes in DC

Where can I go cold weather hiking in DC?  

Washington, DC is an amazing little place whose natural beauty is vastly underrated. Many of them are open even when there’s snow on the ground, and honestly, some trails are at their best under a blanket of snow. There are lots to choose from, but some of our favorites include Sky Meadow State Park, which offers up a variety of winter hike options that are truly memorable. Should you find yourself near Rocks State Park, take Falling Branch Trail to Kilgore Falls, which are truly amazing during winter (amazing year-round, really, but especially when partially to totally frozen in winter). Other state parks offer up other options, too, like Mason Neck State Park and Great Falls Park. For more information on each of these hikes and then some, check out this list of some of our favorite cold weather hiking in DC 

What are some fun things to do in the winter in DC?  

Washington DC is a veritable winter wonderland – just ask the locals! During the winter, everything becomes just a little bit more magical, and there are plenty of winter-themed activities and events to enjoy. For example, there’s the National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace, held in early December. It’s a delightful tradition that goes back as far as 1923! The National Zoo lights up year after year for some of the best ZooLights display in the nation, and we also really love shopping around the downtown holiday markets, which are typically located in front of the Smithsonian Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Head to Union Station for some shopping that will make you feel like you’ve landed in a Hallmark holiday movie. You should also check out the holiday boat parade on the Potomac River!