One of my family’s traditions every holiday season is going to see the Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights, aka the Mormon Temple. Located in Kensington, Maryland, the Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. LDS Temple is open to the public to walk around the grounds. The lights are gorgeous, and there are free performances inside the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors Center. This is a wonderful free family holiday activity in the D.C. area.
D.C. Mormon Temple Christmas Lights 2019
Although the actual Washington D.C. Temple is closed for refurbishment, the temple grounds are still open. Last year over 650,000 lights shone November 29 through January 1st in 2018. Information and dates are still pending for the 2019 Washington D.C. Mormon Temple Festival of Lights, but dates are usually similar every year, starting after Thanksgiving.
2019 Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights Schedule
I have yet to find a complete schedule for the 2019 Festival of Lights, however, if you visit the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors Center Facebook page, you can find many events that they have added, including performances like concerts, choirs, and dancers inside the Visitors Center. Most events during the week indicate a 7:30 p.m. start time with shows on the weekend starting at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
From the event schedule it appears the D.C. Mormon Temple Festival of Lights start on December 5th and end January 4th. For tickets, visit the Facebook Page, click on the event, and then you can request free tickets.
Here are some of the events added:
December 5 – Sforza Suzuki Strings (7:30 p.m.)
December 6 – Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, D.C. (7:30 p.m.)
December 7 – Suzuki Flute Ensemble (4:30 p.m.) and Glorystar Children’s Chorus (7:30 p.m.)
December 8 – Bells at Mount Vernon (6:30 p.m.)
December 9 – Capitol Accord Chorus (7:30 p.m.)
December 10 – Southern Virginia University Choirs (7:30 p.m.)
December 11 – Carla Ririe Dance Group (4:30 p.m.) and Rockville Brass Band (7:30 p.m.)
December 12 – Rockville Chorus (7:30 p.m.)
December 13 – Capital Carillon Bell Choir (7:30 p.m.)
December 14 – Northern Virginia Preludio Strings (4:30 p.m.) and Washington DC Temple Choir (7:30 p.m.)
December 15 – Suzuki Association for the Greater Washington Area Ensemble (4:30 p.m.) and Washington DC Temple Orchestra (7:30 p.m.)
December 16 – Greenbelt Community Band (7:30 p.m.)
December 17 – Melinda Baird and Shaundra Culatta (7:30 p.m.)
December 18 – Harbor City Music Company (7:30 p.m.)
December 19 – Olney Concert Band (7:30 p.m.)
December 20 – Lyons Sisters, Violin Extraordinaries (7:30 p.m.)
December 21 – Children’s Voices of Southern Maryland (4:30 p.m.) and Two Sopranos singing traditional and new Christmas songs (7:30 p.m.)
December 23 – Polynesians Celebrate the Christmas Season! (7:30 p.m.)
December 24 – Delightful Christmas Musical Performance (7:30 p.m.)
December 25 – Delightful Christmas Musical Performance (7:30 p.m.)
December 26 – Tacoma Park Community Band (7:30 p.m.)
December 27 – Baxter Family Bluegrass Band (7:30 p.m.)
December 28 – Hispanic performers share their talents (7:30 p.m.)
December 29 – Washington DC Youth Strings (7:30 p.m.)
December 30 – Tate Family Performs “A Musical Christmas Card” (7:30 p.m.)
December 31 – Accomplished Vocalist Performs (7:30 p.m.)
January 2 – The Pickwick Singers Perform (7:30 p.m.)
January 3 – Olney Big Band (7:30 p.m.)
January 4 – The United Voices of Agape United Methodist Church (4:30 p.m.) and Washington Chinese Chorus (7:30 p.m.)
Créches from Around the World at the Festival of Lights
Inside the Visitors’ Center, they have usually displayed Christmas Trees decorated with different international themes and an exhibit of crèches from around the world. That’s another reason I love to visit. I’ve always loved Nativity Sets and seeing international ones make me feel connected to other parts of the world.
Those are just a small sample of the créches I have seen while visiting the Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Missionaries are available to answer any questions for you or give you a tour. Many speak different languages. While you may not tour the temple itself, there is a model of the inside of the Washington D.C. temple if you’ve been curious what’s inside.
Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights Information
What are the hours of the The Visitors’ Center of the Washington D.C. Temple?
The Visitors’ Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. The Festival of Lights runs until January 4, 2019. A different performing artist or group is showcased each night, including groups such as bell ensembles, choirs, and orchestras.
Does the Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights cost anything?
No, it’s free! So are the concert tickets. Some of my favorite performances have been by the Latino Coro, Polynesian Dancers, and the Sister Missionaries. I may be a little biased since I was a Sister Missionary myself once.
To reserve your tickets to the shows, you can visit the Visitors Center Facebook Page, where it gives you the option to reserve tickets on each event page. Or visit the EventBrite page that lists all the events to reserve your Festival of Lights concert tickets. Tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Who can attend the Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights?
Anyone! Everything is free and open to the public of all ages.
Washington D.C. Temple Visitors’ Center
9900 Stoneybrook Drive
Kensington, Maryland 20895
It can get crowded, so if you want to see a concert, I suggest arriving early to get your tickets. Then you can enjoy the grounds while you wait. There is construction, so parking may be limited and available at a chapel nearby.
My favorite place to take a photo is by the small reflecting pool outside of the Visitors’ Center. It’s fun to look back at all the pictures of the girls as they grow up.
Make some time to visit! It’s one of my most favorite places in the world. In fact, I was married here. The best is watching the diversity of people come through here.
People come with their families from different cultures, different faiths, and different backgrounds. I always hear numerous languages being spoken, and it makes me smile every time.
Come visit the Washington D.C. Temple Festival of Lights and get in the holiday spirit!