VISIT The Tree

The National Christmas Tree site is free to visit and will be open to the public after the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony. The National Christmas Tree area opens to the public on December 2, 2022.

Celebrating 100 Years:
An American Tradition
VISIT THE TREE - History Timeline

In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse to light a 48-foot fir tree decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in red, white and green, as a local choir and a “quartet” from the U.S. Marine Band performed. Decades later, this American holiday tradition continues to bring citizens together to share in a message of hope and peace.

  • 2020

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic public health concerns, the 2020 National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony did not host a live audience. Instead, a festival compilation of Christmas lights and music, national parks, and holiday cheer brought joy into homes across the country in a virtual celebration. The patriotic lighting design for the 2020 tree included red, white, and blue opaque lights in a larger traditional style LED light bulb.
  • 2015

    Helping kick off the National Park Service Centennial in 2016, the theme of the 2015 National Christmas Tree paid ode to this momentous occasion, trimmed with sparkling gold ribbon and silvery white stars and lights, colors and trappings that are traditionally used for milestone celebrations. The Lighting Ceremony itself interwove the Centennial theme. Everyone that took to the stage that evening – from President Obama to musical talent – had the opportunity to shine a spotlight on their personal connection to national parks.
  • 2008

    Powered almost entirely by light-emitting computer chips called LEDs, the 2008 National Christmas Tree display was 50 percent more energy efficient than the 2007 display. This is also the first time Santa’s Workshop was found along the Christmas Pathway of Peace, sharing holiday cheer and safety tips with all families this December.
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Ornaments Across the USA

Each year artists give their time and talents to design and create ornaments that symbolize the history, heritage, and culture of their homelands. Explore ornaments created for the 2021 America Celebrates display.

Ornament depicting an American Robin on a tree branch
Ornament depicting a river, a forest, a lakeside, and an American flag
Ornament depicting a cypress swamp with a canoe
Ornament depicting a tropical fish underwater

Plan Your Visit

Need help planning your visit to President’s Park? Check out the park’s website for operating hoursthings to do, and contact information.