Every year a few days before Christmas, we make our annual family pilgrimage to the National Christmas Tree and Pathway of Peace. And every year for the past few, our teenage sons have grumbled about how boring it is and how we do the same thing every year (ever hear of traditions, people?!). This year, for the sake of family harmony, we decided to change up our routine and visit Georgetown Glow instead. We figured Georgetown Shopping + Eating + Cool Light Art = Winning.
Now in it's fourth year, Georgetown Glow is a series of free outdoor light art installations stationed around various locations in Georgetown. They provide an Exhibition Map and even a Self-Guided Audio Tour to listen to and learn about each installation if you really want to get into it. The exhibits are all within comfortable walking distance of each other. You can also easily plan for stops along the way to shop, eat dinner, ice skate, and grab some dessert and hot cocoa. It's a great activity for families with kids of various ages, as each is sure to find something they enjoy (yes, even the teens!).
The first exhibit is located on K Street at Washington Harbor. The path then traverses down the Georgetown waterfront, up Wisconsin Avenue, jogs over to M Street, and then back over to Wisconsin for the final two stops. Of course, you don't have to follow the order of the exhibition map or visit every installation, but it does make for a fun scavenger hunt of sorts for the kids. The exhibition map is interactive, allowing you to press on the numbered stops to see a photo of what is located there. If it doesn't look interesting, just skip it!
The family favorite by far was Exhibit 3, Aqueous by Jen Lewin of New York City. Located along the Georgetown Waterfront, a series of interconnected, maze-like pathways change colors as you walk. We had to pull our 8-year-old away from this one. She could have stayed there all night.
Family runner-up favorites were Exhibit 1, Horizontal Interference by Joachim Slugocki and Katarzyna Malejka of Poland (this one is interestingly deceiving - the bands of color are made of stretched UV tape, not actual beams of light)...
and Exhibit 5, Bands of Friendship by Vikas Patil and Santosh Gujar of India, located by Dean & Deluca off M Street.
As an added bonus, the Kennedy Center is currently lit up in rainbow colors as a nod to the rainbow ribbons on the medallions of the Annual Kennedy Center Honorees. It makes for a really awesome photo pit stop.
Georgetown is just plain fun to visit any time of year, but particularly during the holidays with all of the festive lights and activity. Georgetown Glow runs through January 7th. Happy Holidays, everyone!
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