Schedule of Events

The Holidays at Union Station

November & December

Union Station has become renowned for its grandeur and beauty. There is no more beautiful time in the station than during the holidays. Visitors plan their trips around the station’s decorating schedule and DC residents come out every year to see the station adorned in all its holiday glory. Some of the major features of the station’s holiday transformation are the Norwegian Christmas Tree, the Miniature Train Display, and the Holiday Wreaths.

Norwegian Christmas Tree

Since 1996 it has been a station tradition for the people of Norway to donate a Christmas tree the United States as gift of appreciation our country’s assistance during and after World War II. Every year a ceremony is held at the lighting of the tree. This year’s ceremony will be held on Tuesday, December 01, 2014 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM on the West Carriage Porch.

For more information on the theme for this year's tree (tree in photo is from a previous year) and the tree lighting ceremony click here.

Holiday Train & Wreaths

The Holiday train and wreaths on the exterior of the building will once again be on view. The train which will unveil on November 28th in the Main Hall is very popular with travelers and shoppers and viewing the train has become a holiday tradition for many of our guests. From the elaborate mountain landscape to the vintage cars, trees, people, dogs and cats make for a realistic setting. We’ve heard whispers that there may be some special additions this year as well.  Our beautiful, fascinating lit holiday wreaths are sure to amaze visitors and tenants alike. As tradition endures the three enormous wreaths will be hanging in the archways of the front colonnade as of November 23rd.  This year they have received a makeover to ensure that they are as beautiful as they ever have been.

Holiday Decorating Schedule Highlights

November 27th - Tree will be on display (will not be lit until the lighting ceremony).

November 28th - Holiday Train Display begins.

December 1st - Christmas Tree will be lit.

1st Annual Gift of Goodwill

November 17th through December 15th

Union Station DC


The 1st Annual Gift of Goodwill

Throughout this holiday season Union Station DC in partnership with its retailers and affiliates will host a holiday food drive on behalf of DC Central Kitchen. Each year Union Station DC selects a local charitable organization to lend its support to during the holiday season. This year Union Station DC has selected The DC Central Kitchen, a neighboring organization that provides meals and culinary training to at-risk men and women in the Washington, D.C. community.

The holiday season is not a joyous time for everyone in the city. Union Station DC is located in the heart of the city and can hardly avoid noticing that many residents of the city are at risk of having nothing at all or have lost much due to circumstances beyond their control. Recognizing the needs of the DC community, Union Station DC was inspired to collaborate with local organizations that have dedicated themselves to developing programs and initiatives to address those needs. “All of us, as concerned citizens, can be a part of the positive response to the needs of those who are less fortunate than we are. That’s what we want to inspire others to do,” stated Mark Polhemus, the General Manager at Union Station DC. From November 17th through December 15th people may visit any of the participating retailers and affiliates to offer their donations.

About DC Central Kitchen

DC Central Kitchen goes beyond simply feeding people by using food as a tool that strengthens bodies, empowers minds, and builds communities. DC Central Kitchen recovers nutritious food that would otherwise go to waste, use it to prepare 5,000 meals each day for hungry DC residents and trains unemployed, at-risk women and men in the culinary arts so they can find gainful employment. For more information about the good work that DC Central Kitchen does visit

The Gift of Goodwill Holiday Drive Participants



Andrew's Ties

E-Z Travel



Kashmir Imports


Pizzaria Uno

Swarovski Crystal


Union Station Parking Garage

Union Station Redevelopment Corporation

Requested Holiday Items

Canned green beans

Canned applesauce

Cranberry Sauce

Bulk spices

Stuffing mix

Top 5 Most Needed Items (all year)

Canned Chicken

Canned Tuna