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December in Washington, DC


Washington, DC Decembers range from nippy to downright cold. But the holiday spirit and the fun-filled festivities make this the warmest city around. To follow is information to help you plan what to pack and what to expect in the way of events that will be occurring in the District during the month of December.


  • Average high: 47 degrees
  • Average low: 32 degrees
  • Record High: 79 degrees (1998)
  • Record Low: 3 degrees (1955)

What to Pack:

  • Think Layers
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sweaters, rugby and sweat shirts
  • Long Pants
  • Winter Coat
  • Gloves & Hat for the evenings
  • Rain and/or snow shoes in case it snows

December Happenings

  • Saturday, December 1st to Monday, December 31st the National Christmas Tree Lighting & Pageant of Peace at the Ellipse. Every night, visitors are treated to music from various choirs and groups who gather around the tree and perform.
  • A Nation’s Capital Christmas Walking Tour Saturday, December 8th, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., Lafayette Square. This holiday walking tour will give you a glimpse into Christmas at the White House. The walk's guide is brimming with presidential holiday trivia and will even take you to the Church of the Presidents to see a Christmas pageant. And don't forget to bring along a little spending money to pick-up a White House Christmas ornament at the Decatur House.
  • The Jewish Film Festival runs from November 29thto December 9 thWashington Jewish Film Festival Venues

Things to Consider

  • The crowds aren't as thick in the winter months except around big events like the National Tree Lighting Ceremony.
  • Airports will be busy with holiday travelers coming and going.
  • The weather in DC in December is unpredictable so plan for delays at the airports.
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