What better way to end a full day of holiday shopping than to enjoy the sights and sounds of Union Station's well-decked halls? Washington, D.C.'s train station and upscale shopping mall features entertainment throughout the season to appeal to all ages. The Christmas tree is a gift to the people of Washington and a symbol of the friendship between the United States and Norway. The tree symbolizes Norway’s gratitude for help received during and after World War II.
The Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony has been a Washington, D.C. tradition each holiday season since 1997. Union Station is one of the best venues for holiday shopping in Washington, D.C. as the historic building is festively decorated each year with its large wreaths and thousands of twinkling lights. There are plenty of great dining options ranging from casual eateries at the food court to fine dining at restaurants such as Thunder Grill and Legal Seafoods. Be sure to check out the holiday train display in the West Hall.
Toys for Tots Campaign
West Hall. The U.S. Marine Corps Reserve "Toys for Tots"-campaign delivers a new toy and provides a tangible sign of hope to economically disadvantaged children at Christmas. Union Station is one of the top collection sites for the program in the nation's capital which was founded in 1947 when U.S. Marine Corps Major Bill Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children for Christmas.
In 1948, the program expanded and became a nationwide campaign.
Holiday Model Train Display
November 24, 2017 - January 1, 2018. The Norwegian Giant Model Train exhibit will be on display in the West Hall at Union Station delighting visitors of all ages. The trains are hand-made replicas of real Norwegian trains -crafted by an expert model builder and set in a Norwegian landscape of mountains and fjords.
Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony
Wednesday, November 29, 2017 at 6 p.m. Outside the West Hall (1st St. side). The tree will be decorated with hundreds of custom-made polar bear ornaments. Kick off the holiday season on this special evening as the tree is lit by the Ambassador of Norway. The Children's Chorus of Washington will lead a medley of Christmas carols and Santa will visit with children.
About Union Station
Union Station is a transportation depot as well as one of the largest shopping venues in the nation's capital. It is located at 50 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Washington, DC and has a Metro stop on the Red Line. The historic building is located north of the Capitol Building and northeast of the National Mall. It is within walking distance to many of the most visited landmarks in the nation's capital. Union Station is the rail station for Amtrak, MARC Train (Maryland Rail Commuter Service) and VRE (Virginia Railway Express). Retail Hours are Monday - Saturday, 10:00 am - 9:00 pm, Sunday, Noon - 6:00 pm. The parking garage has more than 2000 spaces and is open 24 hours.