40th Annual Festival of Lights

‘Tis the season for impressive light displays and the Mormon Temple’s Festival of Lights, now in its 40th year, is well worth a visit.  With more than 650,000 lights shining brightly, set against the majestic backdrop of the Mormon Temple this light show is certain to impress.  What’s more, it’s one of the few big light shows in the area that is completely free!

Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Many visitors are impressed from the moment they enter the parking lot and first glimpse the lights.  The grounds of the Mormon Temple are large and it seems as through nearly every square inch is covered in lights. Most of the lights are very colorful and festive.  We spent around 20 minutes walking around the main part of the grounds looking at the lights and the life-sized outdoor nativity scene.   Another area towards the back of the grounds is covered in white lights and is serene.

Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The lights would be reason enough to go to the festival, but there is more to see inside the Visitor’s Center.  There are nightly performances in the indoor theater starting each night at 7:00 p.m, you can secure your free tickets online or they are available on a first-come, first-served basis on site.  While my family has never been to a performance, they are mostly musical and many families do enjoy them.  Inside there are also Christmas trees decorated in international themes, an exhibit of crèches from around the world (waiting in line may be necessary to see these).  For those interested in learning more about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are large murals and other exhibits explaining the history and tenants of the faith.

Festival of Lights at the Washington D.C. Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Good to Know

  • There is no admission fee.
  • Parking is also free, but there may be a long wait to get into the parking lot on busy nights.
  • Although visitors are allowed on the first floor of the Temple, non-Temple members are not permitted in any other area. 
  • The Festival of Lights is open daily until December 31, 2017.
  • The Visitor’s Center is open from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. during the Festival of Lights.  The lights are turned on at 6:00 p.m. 
  • Dress for the weather.  And if it stays cold like it has been, dress warmly.  There is a lot of ground to cover if you want to see everything and you will want to stay warm.
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OK Editorial Team

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