Poinsettias and holiday decorations at the U.S. Botanic Garden

Season's Greenings 2023

Our popular annual holiday display “Season’s Greenings” features model trains in the gated outdoor gardens, festive lights throughout the Garden, and the poinsettias, holiday decor, and D.C. landmarks made from plants inside the Conservatory. On the lawn in the gated outdoor gardens, G-gauge model trains  circulate from 10:00-5:00 daily through displays of pollinators made from plant parts. These scenes  range from oversized models of native U.S. flowers like milkweed and bats pollinating a banana to an orchid bee pollinating a vanilla orchid flower, a chocolate midge pollinating a cacao flower, a lemur pollinating a traveler’s tree flower, and more! The Garden will be closed on December 25.


Visiting Tips

  • The Garden is busiest on holidays and the weekends surrounding holidays. For a less busy experience, visit during the week if possible.
  • For safety, it is recommended that visitors wear a mask and maintain social distance between your group and others.
  • Strollers are welcome at the Garden, but personal property must be kept in the owner’s possession at all times.
  • The outdoor train display may not run during inclement weather.
  • Please be mindful of terrain changes (stone, gravel, grass, etc.) as you make your way through our outdoor gardens. For additional accessibility information, please visit our Accessibility page.



  • The outdoor train display and Conservatory hours are both 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily between Nov. 23, 2023, and Jan. 1, 2024., closed Dec. 25.
  • On Dec. 10 and 17, the gated outdoor gardens will open at 10:00 a.m. to accommodate the Garden’s sensory-friendly programming. For additional information on programs for special audiences, please visit our Accessibility page.
  • The Terrace Gardens and Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens are open dawn to dusk daily.
  • There is no admission fee and no tickets are required to visit any area of the U.S. Botanic Garden, including the holiday train display.

Evening Hours and Music

On three Thursdays in December -- Dec. 14, Dec. 21, and Dec. 28 -- the Conservatory and outdoor train display will have extended hours, staying open until 8:00 p.m. There will be live holiday music during these evenings.


Outdoor Train Display

Model train display with trains circling a miniature barn, corn, and wheat farmThis year, the outdoor holiday display includes a model train display in the gated outdoor gardens, with trains running from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. between Nov. 23, 2023, and Jan. 1, 2024, closed Dec. 25. The train display will run until 8:00 p.m. on three Thursdays: Dec. 14, Dec. 21, and Dec. 28.

The trains will run through a display of pollinators and their related plants all made from plant parts. Tickets are not required to view the trains or any part of the USBG’s outdoor holiday display, and the train display may not run during inclement weather.

The pollinator-plant scenes made from plant parts include:

  • Euglossine orchid bee pollinating a vanilla orchid flower
  • Chocolate midge pollinating a cacao flower
  • Bat pollinating a banana flower
  • Lemur pollinating a traveler's tree flower
  • Gecko pollinating a Trochetia flower
  • Honeycreeper bird pollinating a lobelia flower
  • Pygmy possum pollinating a banksia flower
  • Mosquito pollinating an orchid
  • Yucca moth pollinating a yucca flower
  • Milkweed flower and milkweed beetle
  • and more

About 75% of all flowering plant species need animal pollinators for reproduction. As a result, pollinators contribute to ecosystem health and a sustainable food supply.


Conservatory decor featuring DC Landmarks Buildings and Poinsettias

Inside the Conservatory, explore more than 20 landmarks and monuments from around D.C. made from many different plant parts. Each building is a unique plant-based masterpiece. Distinctive architectural details are fashioned from hundreds of dried plant materials. Learn about the plants that make up our famous DC landmarks buildings:


Gift Shop and Zeke's Coffee

A gift store run by the Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden and local D.C. small business Rewild will offer a variety of botanically-themed gifts for purchase in the Conservatory's West Gallery, open 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily.

Zeke’s Coffee will offer coffee and hot chocolate for sale just inside the gated outdoor garden near the trains. The Zeke's schedule will be posted later this fall.




Our Horticulture team grows thousands of poinsettias each year. Learn about growing poinsettias, their history, varieties new and old, testing more sustainable growing media, and more!



Archive of previous holiday shows

Looking for information about previous Season's Greenings shows? Check the archive:

  • 2014: Season's Greenings: Lighthouses (November 27, 2014 - January 4, 2015)

Holiday cheer abounds at the U.S. Botanic Garden! Despite the cold winter outside, the Conservatory boasts a tropical paradise, one of the largest indoor decorated trees in Washington, D.C., and a showcase of poinsettia and their plant cousins. It wouldn’t be the winter holiday season without the fantasy train display in the East Gallery, which chugs along a track through imaginative structures created with plant materials. Explore the seven seas, using lighthouses to navigate your way through this year’s scenic wonderland. Many of the capital’s landmark buildings, all made from natural materials, will be on display in the Garden Court. Come in from the cold and enjoy the sights, scents, and sounds of Season’s Greenings.



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