NATIONAL CHRISTMAS TREE
One unifying presence in Washington remains our
nation's holiday evergreen, a tradition since 1923. The 28-foot-tall Colorado blue spruce, standing in the northeast
quadrant of the Ellipse in
President's Park South, is
festooned with thousands of lights. Free. Through Jan. 1.
1100 Ohio Drive SW, 202-208-1631, www.thenationaltree.org
HYATT EXTREME CHRISTMAS
Just west of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is "Hyatt Extreme
Christmas." The Hyatt family treats visitors to almost 200,000 bulbs, ice-skating
penguins, a miniature Ferris wheel and, debuting this year, the "Hyatt Extreme Ski Lift." Free. Through Dec. 28.
11201 NW Fourth St.,
Plantation, Fla., www.hyatt
CHOCOLATE WONDERLAND AT THE ETHEL M CACTUS GARDEN
The factory store at Ethel M Chocolates, southeast of Las Vegas, lights its 600,000 bulbs amid three acres of the state's largest collection of living cacti. A rainbow of colors blaze from cholla, golden bears, and other spiny species as mesquite trees twinkle in the background. Free. Through Dec. 31.
2 Cactus Garden Drive,
Henderson, Nev., 702- 435-2608, www.ethelm.com
MAGICAL NIGHTS OF LIGHTS AT LAKE LANIER ISLANDS RESORT
About a quarter million visitors a year marvel at this brilliant display (above) an hour northeast of Atlanta. For its 20th edition, the holiday-themed driving tour has added an ice-skating rink, live Nativity show, and night-light canopy tours. $60 a car. Through Dec. 31.
7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford, Ga., 770-945-8787, www.lakelanierislands.com
ROCKEFELLER CENTER CHRISTMAS TREE
New York deserves its spot as keeper of the most classic holiday emblem. The 80th Rockefeller Center tree radiates in the glow of 30,000 multi-colored LED lights strung over five miles of cord and topped with a star made of 25,000 Swarovski crystals. Free. Through Jan. 7. 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, 212-588-8601,