’Twas the Week Before Christmas
The Christmas rush is on. There are gifts to buy, presents to wrap and cookies to bake, but there are still many holiday events to fill the weekend. All of the area’s annual Christmas attractions are now open. For the complete listing, click here. Find some time to take a break and enjoy the holiday season in the DMV.
Emergency track work between Rhode Island Avenue and Silver Spring on the Red Line this weekend will close the Brookland and Takoma stations and the upper level at Fort Totten. Buses will replace trains between Rhode Island Avenue and Silver Spring, but trains will run at regular weekend intervals Shady Grove and Rhode Island Avenue and Silver Spring and Glenmont. Additional trains will run between Shady Grove and NoMa-Gallaudet during daytime hours. Orange and Blue Line trains will single track between Eastern Market and Stadium-Armory every 24 minutes from 10 p.m. Saturday until closing on Sunday. As a result, Silver Line trains will operate every 24 minutes between Wiehle-Reston East and Ballston ONLY after 10 p.m. Saturday and all day Sunday. Green Line trains will single track after 10 p.m. each night between Prince George’s Plaza and College Park on a regular schedule. Yellow Line trains will operate on a regular weekend schedule.
George Washington’s estate showcases its holiday grandeur during its annual Christmas Illuminations event. Fireworks choreographed to holiday music begins at 9 p.m. Prior to that, enjoy serenading from local choirs, visit re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, learn 18th-century dance mover, meet George and Martha Washington and hang out by a bonfire with hot chocolate. Colonial artisans will demonstrate the process of chocolate making and blacksmiths will work in their shop. You can purchase tickets that include a mansion tour, as well.
Dec. 15 and 16 from 5:30-9 p.m. at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria. Tickets are $30 for adults and $20 for children 6-12. Tickets with the mansion tour are $34 for adults and $24 for children. Saturday tickets are SOLD OUT!
Portraits of the World: Switzerland
With Portraits of the World: Switzerland, the National Portrait Gallery begins an annual series that will highlight the global context of American portraiture. Featured for 2017-18 is Swiss painter Ferdinand Holder’s Femme en Extase, a portrait of the Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi. The piece embodies the Swiss modernist approach to expressing emotion through movements of the body — a theory known as eurhythmics — which had an international impact and transformed dance in America. The Swiss painting will be complemented by works from the Portrait Gallery’s collection representing American dancers influenced by this theory of eurhythmics.
Daily from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. through Nov. 12 at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
An American in Paris
The Tony Award-winning musical, An American in Paris, comes to the District for the first time. Set in Paris after World War II, the play follows an American soldier and a French girl, each looking to begin a new life after the conflict. Featuring unforgettable music from George and Ira Gershwin, this acclaimed Broadway production will be a highlight of the holiday season in the DMV.
Through Jan. 7 except Mondays at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sundays at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $59-$175.
The Little Prince
The Washington National Opera revives its sold out 2014 production of Rachel Portman’s family opera. Based on the classic illustrated book, The Little Prince is about a little boy who spends his days protecting his only friend, a rose, from miniature volcanoes and ravenous baobab trees. When loneliness sets in, he begins a search for companionship across the universe. Along the way, he encounters a rich businessman, a tired lamplighter and a delusional king before meeting a pilot on Earth who has crash-landed in the Sahara. The two become unlikely friends, learning lessons from the desert’s many creatures until the prince realizes just how special his rose really is. It is an incredible journey that the entire family will love.
Dec. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 16 and 17 at 2 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $45-$65.
Magical Musical Holiday Step Show
D.C.’s Step Afrika!, the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, puts on its Magical Musical Holiday Step Show extravaganza. The family-friendly show, which begins Friday and runs through Dec. 30, combines clapping, stomping and stepping for a dazzling array of percussive dance. Furry friends from the animal kingdom and a dance party hosted by DJ Frosty the Snowman are also on the docket. Arrive in the lobby 30 minutes early to decorate your own musical instrument so you can make music with Step Afrika! During the show.
Dec. 15-30 at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays, 4 p.m. Sundays except Dec. 24, as well at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 27, at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. Tickets are $45-$18 or $100 for a family fun pack of two adult and two children tickets.
A Candlelight Christmas
The Washington Chorus consists of 200 voices, which work in tandem with brass, organ and percussion to create wonderful renditions of Christmas classics during A Candlelight Christmas. The chorus will be accompanied by the Eleanor Roosevelt High School Chamber Choir and D.C. al Fine. The audience will be asked to join in joyous sing-alongs. The traditional candlelight processional will also take place at this annual event.
Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. at the Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, and Dec. 16 at 4 p.m. and Dec. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $18-$79.
This holiday epic, which explores the story of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, is performed at the Kennedy Center each year, but each rendition has its own special flair. This year is no different, as the National Symphony Orchestra takes the stage along with guests artists Sophie Daneman, Ann McMahon Quintero, Karim Sulayman and Christian Immler, as well as the University of Maryland Concert Choir.
Dec. 15 and 16 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 1 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $15-$109.
Holiday Trains & Planes
Train buffs young and old will want to head to the College Park Aviation Museum, where the National Capital Trackers create Holiday Trains & Planes, a display of model railroads complete with tunnels, depots and villages. After enjoying the train display, check out the aircraft at the historic airfield, which was founded in 1909.
Dec. 16-23 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Corporal Frank Scott Drive, College Park. The display is include with museum admission of $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and $2 for children 2 and older.
Book Hill’s Winter Wonderland
Join shops and restaurants along Wisconsin Avenue near the Georgetown Library for Book Hill’s Winter Wonderland. More than 20 shops and cafés will offer discounts, festive bites and special activities, including music and photos with Santa in the TD Bank parking lot. Kids can drop off their letters to Santa at the bank and there will be an ugly sweater contest from 2-3 p.m. At Georgetown Galleries, kids of all ages can make origami birds and bunnies for their holiday trees. Stick around after and check out all nine of the Georgetown Glow displays from 5-10 p.m.
Dec. 16 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. along Wisconsin Avenue from P Street to Reservoir Road. Admission is FREE!
In an event that always produces classic moments between players and fans, Nationals Winterfest returns to the convention center this weekend. Many of the Nats’ stars will be on-hand for fun interaction, games and autographs. Coaches and mascots will be hanging around, too, as the city celebrates its beloved, division-winning baseball team. The main stage will feature interviews with payers, coaches and front office staff as well as interactive games where fans will get to play games on stage with their favorite players, like wreath decorating and snowman building. At the player photo stations, you can take the perfect photos for your holiday card and a kid zone will have activities such as snow for building, inflatable tee-ball, the Rookie Steal Home Challenge and players reading during story time. There will also be the Slider, giving fans the opportunity to glide down the winter slide after their favorite player pushes them from the top, a youth baseball academy field for fans ages 6-13, holiday shopping from Nationals jerseys to tickets, an unwrapped toy drive for a chance to win one of 10 meet-and-greets each day, and photos with Santa, the Raching Presidents and Screech.
Dec. 16 and 17 from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. Tickets are $39 for adults and $29 for children 3-12 for one day or $70 for adults and $50 for children both days. Children 2 and younger are FREE! Autograph vouchers are $25.
Join The Wharf this Saturday for its inaugural Nog Fest, a celebration of the classic seasonal drink. Sip and sample winter drinks at the Wine & Beer Garden as mixologists serve up special nog-themed drinks including the “Grand Ma Go Run Over by a Reindeer” from Pearl Street Warehouse, Ponce de Huevo from Kith/Kin, Union Jack Frost Flip from The Brighton, Captain’s Nog from Whiskey Charlie, Conquito from Hank’s Oyster Bar and Spiked Irish Egg No from Kirwan’s Irish Pub.. Plus, warm up around the fire pit with free s’mores, take a ride on a mechanical reindeer, try your hand at snowman bowling and make your own reindeer antler headband — all set to live, merry music from White Ford Bronco. What better way to celebrate the season?
Dec.16 from 1-4 p.m. at The Wharf’s District Pier, Wharf Street NW. Admission is FREE!
The Joy of Christmas
The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas, as its themed lights and decorations make for spectacular viewing that the whole family can enjoy. The Joy of Christmas is the Cathedral Choral Society’s marquee event, featuring renditions of Christmas classics and sing-alongs. This year’s concert features a new carol from popular British composer Paul Mealor.
Dec. 16 at 2 and 7 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. at Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Tickets are $25-$80 for adults and $15 for students.
The Holiday Show
The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington presents its annual holiday extravaganza of festive new songs and traditional favorites in The Holiday Show. See what the chorus has in store this year as it rings in the season with holiday mashups, tap dancers, snow, leather-clad reindeer, a campy version of The Nutcracker and more. Songs include Sleigh Ride, The Christmas Song and I Should Have Been a North Pole Elf. There chorus will also be collecting new, unwrapped toys and gift cards for Community Family Life Services at each show.
Dec. 16 at 3 and 8 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Tickets are $25-$65.
An Irish Carol
Set in a modern Dublin pub, An Irish Carol is an homage to Dickens’ classic, told as only the Irish can. The play follows one evening in the life of David, a wealthy pub owner who has lost touch with his own humanity in the interest of self-interest and material success. But on this Christmas Eve – challenged by a voice from the past, provoked by those in the present and faced by the prospect of a lonely future – his life could change forever. With searing, fast-paced dialogue and a classic Irish sensibility, Matthew Keenan’s play is perfect for holiday laughs, and intended for audiences 16 and older.
Through Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, as well as Dec. 20, 26, 27 and 31, 3 p.m. Sundays (except. Dec. 24) and 2 p.m. Dec. 23 at the Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St. NW. Tickets are $35-$50 and many dates are already sold out.
Dance Place in the Brookland neighborhood holds its Kwanzaa Celebration every year. Each of the seven principles of the holiday are honored, as director Sylvia Soumah guides some of the area’s finest dancers, including the Coyaba Dance Theater and Coyaba Academy. Expect pounding rhythms, incredible moves and a communal atmosphere.
Dec. 16 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 17 at 4 p.m. at Dance Place, 3255 Eighth St. NW. Tickets are $30 for adults, $25 for seniors and $15 for college students and children 17 and younger at the door one hour prior to the performance.
Christmas in Vienna
The Vienna Boys Choir brings its Christmas in Vienna to George Mason University. The concert features cherished carols, pop favorites and sacred hymns sung with the purity and excellence of these talented young boys – all between the ages of 10 and 14. The internationally renowned choirs has stood the test of time since its founding in 1498 and continues to share its bright, light voices.
Dec. 17 at 2 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax. Tickets are $55-$27.50. GMU students can get one free ticket with their student ID.
Ai Weiwei: Trace from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Jan. 1 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. Admission is FREE!
Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 15 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors, students and children.
Beautiful Blooms: Flowering Plants on Stamps from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through July 14 at the National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave. NE. Admission is FREE!
Crazy for You at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday through Jan. 14 at Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington. Tickets are $40-$89.
Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 15 at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Admission is FREE!
Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Nov. 29, 2020 at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Admission is FREE!
The First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald at 100 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Apr. 2 at the National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
The Faces of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Jan. 28 at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov: The Utopian Projects from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Mar. 4 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Ave. SW. Admission is FREE!
In the Tower: Anne Truitt from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through Apr. 1 at the National Gallery of Art East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
Making Room: Housing for a Changing American from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 16 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors 60 or older, students, and children ages 3-17.
Mark Bradford: Pickett’s Charge from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Nov. 12 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. Admission is FREE!
Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Apr. 15 at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Mural from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 11 a.m-6 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 28 at the National Gallery of Art East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily at the Renwick Gallery, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Admission is FREE!
Nina Simone: Four Women at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 7;30 p.m. Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday through Dec. 24 at Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. Tickets are $71-$111
Parallax Gap from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. daily through Feb. 11 at the Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Admission is FREE!
Recent Acquisitions from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Nov. 4, 2018, at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Remembering Vietnam from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 6, 2019, at the National Archives, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Admission is FREE!
Rick Araluce: The Final Stop from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Jan. 28 at the Renwick Gallery, 1700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Admission is FREE!
Secrets of the Lacquer Buddha from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. through June 10 at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Admission is FREE!
Subodh Gupta: Terminal from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through 2020 at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Admission is FREE!
The Sweat of Their Face: Portraying American Workers from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Sept. 3 at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Tamayo: The New York Years from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Mar. 18 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
FINAL WEEKEND! Twelfth Night at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday through Dec. 20 at Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. Tickets are $25-$118.
Twist Your Dickens at 8 p.m. Dec. 15-17, 19-23 and 26-31 and 3 p.m. on Dec. 16, 17, 20, 22, 23, 30 and 31 at 3 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $49-$79.
Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 21 at the National Gallery of Art, Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
What Absence Is Made Of from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through the summer of 2019 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th Street and Independence Avenue Sw. Admission is FREE!
Imaginary World of the Nutcracker from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.-10:30 p.m. (21+ only) through Jan. 7 except Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan. 1 at Artechouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for students, senior and military and $8 for children 12 and younger.