National Christmas Tree

A lit Christmas Tree in front of the White House; a band sits onstage and audience members look on.
National Christmas Tree lighting event, 2023.

NPS / Kelsey Graczyk

How to visit

The National Christmas Tree is located on the Ellipse, south of the White House. From December 2, 2023 to January 1, 2024, the National Christmas Tree and 58 smaller trees are open to the public from 10 am to 10 pm daily, with extended hours until 11 pm Friday-Saturday. The lights turn on near sunset each evening. The tree and grounds are free to visit.

Watch the National Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony

In partnership with the National Park Foundation (NPF), CBS will broadcast the 2023 ceremony on Friday, December 15 (8 p.m. EST/PST) on the CBS Television Network, and available to stream live on Paramount+.

Starting December 16, the National Christmas Tree Lighting will be available to view at


About the National Christmas Tree

The 2023 tree is a cut, 40-foot-tall Norway spruce from the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. This is the first time the NPS and USDA Forest Service have partnered to bring a tree to the Ellipse. The previous tree, planted on October 30, 2021, was removed on Nov. 11 after developing needle cast, a fungal disease that causes needles to turn brown and fall off.

Before 1973, the National Park Service used cut trees as National Christmas trees. The NPS and event partners will evaluate whether to continue using a cut tree or to plant a new tree, after this holiday season.

The beloved tradition of the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony began Christmas Eve in 1923 when President Calvin Coolidge lit a 48-foot Balsam Fir from Vermont decorated with 2,500 red, white, and green electric bulbs. Learn more about the history of the National Christmas Tree.
Several young women view a small Christmas tree bedecked in spherical ornaments.
Pathway of Peace, 2019

NPS / Liz Macro

Pathway of Peace

How to Visit

Anyone is welcome to visit the National Christmas Tree this season! The Pathway of Peace and the National Christmas Tree are free to visit and open to the public December 2through January 1, 2023. The National Christmas Tree and the 58 smaller trees that surround the tree turn on around sunset each evening and turn off promptly at 10 pm Sunday-Thursday and 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.

What to Expect

The walkway surrounding the National Christmas Tree features 58 trees representing the 56 states and territories, and schools managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education and the Department of Defense Education Activity. These trees are uniquely decorated with ornaments designed by students from each state, territory, and school system. The National Christmas Tree lights turn on around sunset each evening and turn off promptly at 10: pm Sunday-Thursday and 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday.

Audience watches musical performers at the National Christmas Tree
Performers during the 2015 season.

NPS / A. Garrison

National Christmas Tree Music Program

The National Park Service and National Park Foundation will not host the 2023 National Christmas Tree month-long music program this year. However, the public will still be able to visit the National Christmas Tree and the 58 trees decorate by states, territories and federally managed schools through January 1, 2024

Last updated: December 4, 2023

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

1849 C Street NW
Room 1426

Washington, DC 20240


202 208-1631

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