In America, we take the art of decorating a Christmas tree very seriously.
From sand creations to trees erected from LEGO bricks, along with beautiful hotel trees and larger-than-life displays in cities, these Christmas trees are sure to impress. Yes, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is certainly famous, but these are worth adding to your list, too.
Kauai Festival of Lights in Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii
The Aloha State brings holiday cheer to new heights at this annual display — now for the 25th year — with dozens of themed trees bedecked with “trash to treasure” ornaments. Expect evergreen hits like the “SPAM Can Tree,” “Hokulea Aloha Tree,” “Kilauea Lighthouse” and “Princess Kaiulani Peacock.” There’s also the “Aloha Recycled Treasures” tree, which was unveiled in 2010 at the U.S. Capitol by invite of the late Hawaii Senator Daniel K. Inouye, that’s decorated with plastic water bottles.
Other recent additions to the lineup include the “If Can, Can” tree with recycled aluminum cans; “Fire and Rain” tree with cutlery designed to reflect 2018’s Kilauea Volcano eruption and Kauai’s 50 inches of rain within 24 hours; and “Honu Heaven” covered in sea turtles made from bakery and sushi platter lids and attached to pipe cleaners, so they can “swim” or move with the vibration of visitors. FYI: Only six trees will be on display this year due to pandemic restrictions, with the rest of the festival accessible virtually.
Dates: Nov. 25, 2021 – Jan. 1, 2022
Candy Land Christmas in Johnson City, Tennessee
Doubling the number of trees from last year, visitors can expect 157 community-decorated Christmas trees in a rainbow of colors with more than one million twinkling lights guiding guests through downtown parks and streets in Johnson City. As you wander throughout this city at the foothills of the scenic Appalachian Mountains, you’ll take in Gumdrop Forest (Founders Park), Candy Cane Lane (Commerce Street) and Cupcake Commons (King Commons).
Dates: Nov. 27, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
Christmas at the Mansion in Milledgeville, Georgia
Venture to Georgia’s Old Governor’s Mansion — as people have been doing for the past 54 years — to see the historic abode, which was completed in 1839, transformed into a beautiful interpretation of Christmas in the 19th century. The building was home to eight Georgia governors from 1839 until 1868, and holiday decorations reflect the time period of 1851-1853, when Governor Howell Cobb and his family occupied the home. The pièce de résistance is, of course, the 30-foot Christmas tree aglow with 2,000 lights as well as 500 ornaments crafted from materials around the property by local school children, college students and civic groups.
Tinsel Trail at Big Spring International Park in Huntsville, Alabama
Celebrating 10 years this holiday season, more than 300 people, community businesses, or organizations sponsor and decorate each of the live Christmas trees in Big Spring International Park, a picturesque park complete with ducks, geese and koi in the namesake spring (there are also a red bridge and cherry trees, gifts to Huntsville from Japan).
Equally gorgeous during the day and at night, the trail boasts snowmen, colorful lights galore, and many festive ornaments.
Dates: Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
Christmas Tree Elegance at The Historic Davenport Hotel, Spokane, Washington.
Take in more than a dozen incredible Christmas trees amidst the old-world splendor of The Historic Davenport Hotel’s 1914 lobby. Even cooler: All the trees are stuffed with thousands of dollars in cash and prizes, and visitors can buy a $1 raffle ticket and place their ticket in the tree they hope to win through Dec. 12. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Spokane Symphony, raising $250,000 for the Symphony. Fun fact: Spokane is the hometown of Bing Crosby, singer of the most iconic holiday tune ever recorded and best-selling single in the world, “White Christmas.”
Dates: Nov. 12, 2021 – Dec. 25, 2021
CityCenterDC’s Christmas Tree in Washington, District of Columbia
Look up and be blown away by the 75-foot Christmas tree with more than 150,000 lights and 4,500 ornaments at CITYCENTERDC, a walkable 10-acre mixed-use development in downtown Washington, D.C., for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. The eighth annual tree lighting will take place on Saturday, Nov. 27 at 6 p.m. in The Park at CityCenter with live music, balloon art, face painting, concessions and more.
Dates: Nov. 27, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
Sandi in West Palm Beach, Florida
How about a 35-foot “tree” made of 700 tons of Florida’s fine-grain sand? Such is the composition of Sandi, the one-of-a-kind tree that displays a synchronized light show, scheduled to run every 15 minutes from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily and until midnight on New Year’s Eve. There are other sand sculptures along the waterfront, and the nearby fountain in Nancy M. Graham Centennial Square also dances in a synchronized fashion. This elaborately sculpted tree takes about a month to erect and Holiday in Paradise with “Sandi land” turns 10 this year.
Dates: Dec. 2, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021
The Christmas Tree at The Colony Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida
For another tree distinctly Palm Beach, head to this famed hotel with a pink facade, to marvel at a 12-foot Christmas tree outfitted by designer Aerin Lauder and her AERIN brand. In true Floridian fashion, the theme will be seashells and tropical flowers, featuring mercury glass seashell ornaments and ornamental details of tropical flowers, birds, and fishes.
Beyond the beauty of shimmering pink, blue and gold hues, it’s worth noting that the elaborate display draws on Aerin’s childhood memories of holidays in Palm Beach with her grandmother Estée Lauder, co-founder of the internationally renowned beauty company with her husband Joseph Lauter.
Dates: Nov. 26, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022
The Corning Museum of Glass Holiday Ornament Tree in Corning, New York
Hand-blown glass ornaments? But of course. Showcasing 2,000 hand-blown ornaments at the world’s largest museum devoted to glass art and artifacts, photos don’t do justice for this incredible spectacle in Corning (also known as “America’s Crystal City”). Besides the tree, there’s much to see at the museum from learning about 35 centuries of glass history to watching master glassblowers transform molten glass into stunning objets d’art to making your own glass keepsake. Museum admission is free for kids 17 and under and adult tickets cost $20.
Dates: Nov. 10, 2021 – Jan. 3, 2022
LEGO Christmas Tree at LEGOLAND California in Carlsbad, California
Kids and kids at heart will go wild for this 30-foot tall tree that’s made out of more than 245,000 forest green DUPLO bricks. To up the ante, the “tree” is then decorated with more than 400 LEGO ornaments and 11,000 LED lights. You can also see a similar tree at LEGOLAND Florida in Winter Haven, Florida. Buy a one-day theme park ticket in California for $89.99; one-day theme park tickets in Florida start at $84.99.
Dates: Nov. 19, 2021 – Jan. 9, 2022