An Insider’s Guide to Winter City Lights

Are you ready to sip on some soul-warming hot chocolate and stroll through a winter wonderland? If so, mark your calendars because Winter City Lights is kicking off the festive season with a sparkling start on Saturday, November 18, 2023!

Imagine wandering through a 1.5-mile trail in the heart of the woods, surrounded by magical displays and over one million twinkling lights. And the centerpiece? A 52-foot, fully orchestrated tree with double the number of light strings cascading down like a waterfall of lights. It’s not just a tree; it’s a holiday symphony standing tall against the night sky. And every 30 minutes, get ready to catch “snowflakes” as Winter City’s own “snow” dances to the rhythm of holiday lights and music shows.

This year, Winter City Lights is pulling out all the stops with new holiday displays that will capture your heart and ignite your holiday spirit. Can you picture a 30-foot towering Snowman? Or a Gold Ribbon tree that lights up to guide you through an enchanted path? It’s all there, waiting to make your holidays unforgettable.

Watch our MoCo Moment at Winter City Lights below!


Thrill-seekers, rejoice! The Penguin Plunge snow tubing ride is longer and more thrilling than ever. It’s no wonder it’s the crowd’s favorite attraction at Winter City Lights.

Spread over 18 acres, this festival is a holiday giant with more than 200,000 square feet of displays that spellbind and delight. And it’s not just us saying it – Country Living Magazine ranked it the #2 Most Magical Christmas Light Display in the country!

Produced by the wizards at Steelhead Events – who brought us the legendary Field of Screams Maryland – Winter City Lights is not just a festival; it’s a community triumph benefiting the Olney Boys & Girls Club.

Christian Cedillos, Co-Creative Director at Steelhead Events, puts it best: “We pride ourselves on offering guests an immersive holiday experience. From our signature Christmas tree and canopy of lights to the bonfires and charming displays, we’ve created a breathtaking 1.5-mile walk through the woods that invites our guests to relax and immerse themselves in a magical holiday adventure.”

But hey, walking through a wonderland can work up an appetite, right? Don’t worry, they’ve got us covered with mouth-watering treats. From made-to-order pizza and BBQ sandwiches to the famous Blizzard – a tower of funnel cakes, fried Oreos, and Twinkies, all topped with Cool Whip, powdered sugar, chocolate sauce, and sprinkles – your taste buds are in for a holiday party!

And the best part? This event is as kind to the environment as it is to our holiday spirits, featuring high-quality, low-energy lighting and displays crafted from recycled materials.

Ready to dive into the festive fun? Head over to for tickets. Located at 4501 Olney-Laytonsville Rd., Olney, MD, it’s a stone’s throw from the Capital Beltway and a short drive from Northern Virginia and Baltimore. The lights are on from November 18 to December 31, 2023. Tickets are $39 for adults, $34 for seniors, and $31 for children aged 4-12. Little ones under 3 get in for free! And don’t forget, parking is also on the house.

So, are you in for a magical holiday experience? Let’s make this season the brightest one yet at Winter City Lights!

Explore more things holiday at our Holiday Hub, read our First Timers’ Guide to the Garden of Lights and Everything You Need to Know About Gaithersburg’s Drive-Thru Winter Lights Festival.