It's a wonderful light

Dec. 12, 2006, midnight | By Iliya Smithka | 17 years, 6 months ago

Find holiday cheer at these local light displays

December's already here, and the countdown to the winter holidays has officially begun. With exams coming soon after Winter Break, everyone can use some holiday cheer at the end of the year. These five local holiday hot spots light up during the holiday season, with light displays, Christmas trees, live music and nativity scenes.

Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens
Web site: Garden of Lights
Phone Number: 301-962-4153
Address: 1800 Glenallan Ave. Wheaton, MD 20902
Open: Selected dates through Nov. 18 through Jan. 7; 5:30-9 p.m. (last car admitted at 8:30 p.m.)
Admission: $15 per car (cash only)
Features: The walk through Brookside Gardens features over 600,000 lights resembling animals, plants and fountains. The Conservatory is also open with plants and a model train running inside. The Visitors' Center sells hot chocolate and the gift shop is open for holiday shopping as well.

Festival of Lights at the Washington Mormon Temple
Phone Number: 301-587-0144
Address: 9900 Stoneybrook Dr. Kensington, MD 20895
Open: Dec. 1 – Jan. 1; dusk to 10:30 p.m.
Admission: free
Features: The Festival of Lights boasts 300,000 lights, a live outdoor nativity scene between 6 and 9 p.m. and musical performances at 7 and 8 p.m.

Winter Lights at Seneca Creek State Park
Web site: Winter Lights
Phone Number: 301-258-6310
Address: 11950 Clopper Road Gaithersburg, MD 20878
Open: Nov. 24 – Dec. 31 (closed Dec. 25); 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Admission: $10 per car Sunday-Thursday; $15 per car Friday and Saturday
Features: The 3.5-mile drive through Seneca Creek State Park features more than 380 illuminated and 65 animated displays including scenes from the North Pole and Toyland.

Christmas Pageant of Peace on the Ellipse
Phone Number: 202-208-1631
Address: 1100 Ohio Drive, SW Washington, DC 20242
Open: lights Dec. 6 – Jan. 1; dusk until 11 p.m.; entertainment Dec. 9 – Dec. 23, 6-8:30 p.m. weeknights, 4-8:30 p.m. weekends
Admission: free
Features: The annual National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony this year was on Dec. 7. From Dec. 9 to Dec. 23, there will be musical entertainment from choirs and dancers on the Ellipse stage.

Symphony of Lights at Merriweather Post Pavilion
Web site: Howard Hospital Foundation: Symphony of Lights
Phone Number: 410-740-7570
Address: Symphony Woods, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
Open: Nov. 20 – Jan. 7: 6-10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 6-11 p.m. Friday, Saturday and holidays
Admission: $15 per car
Features: The Symphony of Lights features a 1.5-mile drive passing over 75 animated and stationary light displays.

Iliya Smithka. Iliya Smithka will graduate from neither the CAP nor the Magnet Program. However, she somehow managed to get a decent education. While representing no particular program during her stint on Silver Chips Online, Iliya was a spectacular staff writer, although she never really mastered the … More »

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