Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights 2023

November 30 – January 1

Visitors’ Center Hours: 10:00 AM – 9:00 PM

Christmas Lights Hours: 4:45 PM – 9:00 PM

9900 Stoneybrook Dr, Kensington, MD 20895

The Festival of Lights features over 400,000 Christmas lights, Nativity créches and Christmas tree decorations from around the world, and daily holiday performances. Tickets will NOT be issued this year. Entrance and parking are free. Please invite your friends and family to attend with you!

Christmas Lights

Over 400,000 lights illuminate the temple grounds to ring in the season and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. The lights will turn on each night at 4:45 P.M. and go off at 9:00 P.M. The visitors’ center will open daily at 10:00 A.M. and close at 9:00 P.M. every evening. The Festival of Lights will be held from November 30 to January 1, 2023.

Upcoming Performances

Select an event for more details.

Select here for a downloadable list of the 2023 performances.

Subscribe to our newsletter and social media so you don’t miss out!

A live broadcast of some performances will be streamed on Facebook Live. Please refer back to our Facebook page often.

Receive Updates About the Festival of Lights

Performances

Ranging from vocal performances to brass and string orchestras, the lineup for the 2023 Festival of Lights is sure to be spectacular. Each performance will be held in the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center.

Select here for a downloadable list of the 2023 performances.

Entrance and parking are free. Tickets will NOT be issued this year.

Doors will open 45 minutes prior to performances.

Crèche Displays

The French word crèche is used to describe a distinctive nativity scene displayed during the Christmas season. These scenes, depicting the birth of Jesus Christ became popular in communities throughout the Christian world beginning in the 13th century. This exhibit features 87 crèches representing 64 countries.

Christmas Trees

Ring in the season and come and see the gorgeous Christmas Trees at the 2023 Festival of Lights. Come and learn more about how other cultures celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ and find ornaments and decorations from all over the world!

Please, select here to see a video of the Christmas trees in the visitors’ center that have been decorated by members from nearby stakes (groups of local Church congregations).

Hours and Parking

Visitors’ Center Hours: Everyday, 10 A.M. – 9:00 P.M.

Christmas lights turn on at 4:45 P.M. and off at 9:00 P.M.

Free parking is available at the temple, visitors’ center, and nearby stake center. Please see the parking options on the map below.

Please refer to those who will direct your vehicle to help you find a good parking place.

All buses must park in the North Parking lot of the stake center.

Clean restrooms are available at the visitors’ center.

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History

The Festival of Lights has been a Christmas tradition of the Washington DC Temple for over 40 years. Last year, Elder Quentin L. Cook and Singapore Ambassador Ashok Mirpuri ceremoniously lit the grounds together, beginning the Festival of Lights at the temple.

On November 28, 2023, for the 46th Annual Festival of Lights, three representatives of different organizations illuminated the temple grounds together. Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Mr. Jaime Ramon T. Ascalon, Jr., the Philippines Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, and Mrs. Maria Lourdes M. Romualdez, wife of Jose Manuel G. Romauldez, Philippine ambassador to the United States, joined together and ceremoniously pushed a button, lighting the temple grounds from inside the visitors’ center. At the lighting ceremony, they were also joined by David Marriot, and his parents, J.W. and Donna Marriot. 

Read the full story from this year’s lighting ceremony here.

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Frequently Asked Questions

All of the Festival of Lights events and displays at the Washington D.C. Temple are free of charge. Tickets will NOT be issued this year.  

Absolutely! Everyone is welcome to attend our events and our worship services (learn more about our worship services). We only request that all attendees dress modestly, use clean language, and treat everyone with respect. We are Christians who do our best to follow the commandments and teachings of Jesus Christ. Whatever your background, you’re invited to join us!

The dress depends on the type of event. Business casual is a good rule of thumb for auditorium events. You’re welcome to wear any modest clothes that you feel comfortable in.

If you will be walking around to see the lights, we recommend wearing something warm and a pair of comfortable shoes.

All of the Festival of Lights events are family-friendly and children are welcome! However, out of respect for the performers and other audience members, we suggest that the children in attendance be old enough to remain seated and attentive throughout the performance and that any disruptive children be calmed in the lobby.

We recommend following the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center on Facebook or Instagram for general Christmas updates and helpful tips and reminders on upcoming events, parking, dress, etc. We also invite you to subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on everything happening at the Washington D.C. Temple.

Parking for the Festival of Lights is free and no pass is needed. Three parking lots are available, all within walking distance of the displays and the Christmas lights. There will be parking attendants at each entrance to direct you to available parking.

Visitors’ Center – 9900 Stoneybrook Dr.
Temple – 9900 Stoneybrook Dr.
Stake Center (overflow) – 10000 Stoneybrook Dr. 

(If you are driving north on Stoneybrook, the first entrance on the left is the visitors’ center, the second is the temple, and the third is the chapel.)

The theater doors usually open about 30 minutes prior to performances, (sometimes earlier), but the line to enter for large events will begin earlier than that. We recommend arriving early enough to enjoy the Nativity displays and other seasonal favorites, as well as the regular visitors’ center exhibits.

It depends on the event, so check individual event listings, and listen for any announcements made prior to the performance. Visitors are always encouraged to take pictures and videos before and after the performance, or outside on the temple grounds. We’d love to see your pictures! Make sure to TAG us, @dctemplevisitorscenter.

Please dress for the weather, wear good walking shoes, and leave pets at home. Service animals are permitted as long as you bring your certificate.

Smoking, drugs, and alcohol are prohibited on temple property.

It depends on how much you like crowds. Our smallest crowds are on weekdays in the first half of December, then weekends in the first half of December. After December 20 last year, we have as many as 8,000 – 10,000 guests each evening.

If you have additional questions, please write us at wdcvisitorscenter@gmail.com. We will respond as quickly as possible and within 24 hours. 

Feel free to call the visitors’ center at +1 (301) 587-0144 for answers to your questions.

Please note that tickets will NOT be issued this year. Entrance and parking are free.

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