Bundle Up & Enjoy These Weekend Events
Baby, it’s cold outside, so we have a list of things to do inside this weekend to keep you warm. Or head out for some fun in the cold, but be sure to bundle up and grab some hot cocoa.
On the Red Line, single-tracking continues between Medical Center and Grosvenor with trains running every 15 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont and every 8 minutes between Farragut North and Silver Spring between 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Orange Line trains single track between West Falls Church and Vienna and will operate every 30 minutes. Blue Line trains will run every 15 minutes. Silver Line trains will run every 15 minutes between Wiehle-Reston East and New Carrollton. Yellow Line trains will operate every 15 minutes between Huntington and Mount Vernon Square ONLY. Green Line trains will single track between U Street and Georgia Avenue-Petworth every 15 minutes.
It is your last weekend to stroll through D.C.’s most historic neighborhood looking at the unique, illuminated artworks. Georgetown Glow has proven to be such a hit that it is a month-long celebration. A group of artists, from locally renowned to internationally celebrated, display works in outdoor spaces throughout Georgetown. This year’s display, which comes to a close this Sunday, features 10 exhibits that encourage contemplation of, and interaction with, the natural environment. Afterwards, wander through a winter wonderland at the Washington Harbour, one of our favorite place to ice skate in the DMV.
Jan. 5, 6 and 7 from 5-10 p.m. nightly along the waterfront, around the C&O canal and up Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown. Admission is FREE!
MAGFest is short for “Music and Gaming Festival,” and games are what you’ll find at the Gaylord National Resort around the clock, all weekend: 200 arcade and pinball machines (all set for free play, of course), video-game tournaments and tabletop games ranging from Dungeons & Dragons to the newest indie creations. Take a break at panel discussions and video-game film screenings, watch live video-game-inspired improv comedy and theater, or learn how to be a circus performer. See the full schedule online.
From 10 a.m. Jan. 4 through 3 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., Oxon Hill in National Harbor. Admission, good for the entire weekend, is $70 for adults, $35 for children 6-12 and free for children 12 and younger.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
This is your last weekend to visit the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception before it takes down the Christmas greenery after Epiphany. Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, Pope John Paul II and other religious figures have visited the Basilica. The largest Roman Catholic church in North America and the 10th largest in the world is dressed up with more than 50 Christmas trees, over 65,000 lights, halls decked with more than 500 poinsettias and two manger scenes, one of which is nearly life size.
Jan. 5-8 from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, 400 Michigan Ave. NE. Admission is FREE!
Christmas at Mount Vernon
The holidays are full of delight during Christmas at Mount Vernon. On the final two days for this holiday season, tour the mansion, enjoy the decorations, join the resident fifer for a demonstration and discussion of 18-century holiday music, visit the greenhouse and listen to friends, family and enslaved servants tell stories of Christmas traditions of the past and meet Aladdin the Camel.
Jan. 5 and 6 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria. Tickets are $18 for adults, $9 for children 6-11 and $16 for seniors online or $20, $9 and $19, respectively, at the door.
Bull Run Festival of Lights
There is one last weekend to visit the Bull Run Festival of Lights, 2.5 miles illuminated by holiday light displays. Drive the festival route in the comfort of your car; turn out your headlights and follow the magical glow.
Jan. 5-7 from 5:30-10 p.m. at Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Drive, Centerville, Va. Admission is $20 per vehicle at the gate.
NSO in Your Neighborhood
The National Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center host NSO in Your Neighborhood, a week of free performances and educational activities in D.C. neighborhoods. To go along with the free full orchestra shows, the program also features in-school visits, chamber performances, instrument petting zoos and classes. This year, Penn Quarter and Brookland/NoMa are being celebrated. Weekend highlights include a free performance (registration is required) at 6 p.m. Friday at the Shakespeare Theatre Co.’s Sidney Harman Hall with five NSO musicians playing a program of music inspired by Shakespeare as well as a performance at 7 p.m. at First Congregational United Church of Christs and shows at 8 p.m. at Israel Manor and Smith Public Trust. On Saturday, head to the National Building Museum at 11 a.m. for a performance of pieces written in 1968 followed by a family-performance at 2 p.m. at the National Portrait Gallery featuring music from Leonard Bernstein as well as an instrument petting zoo others at 4, 5:30 and 7 p.m. at the museum. On Sunday, performances will take place at 2 p.m. at McKinley Technology Education Campus featuring the NSO Bassoon section, another with a string quart at 3 p.m. at the International Spy Museum and one with members of the horn section at 6:30 p.m. at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. Make sure to check out the full schedule.
Through Jan. 8 at various times and locations around the District. Admission to the concerts is FREE!
Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club
The surreal Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club features no-holds-barred brawls so comical and choreographed they would put the WWE to shame. This year’s seven matchups are top secret, but previous bouts have included Vladimir Putin vs. a unicorn, Martha Stewart vs. the Swedish Chef, Pringles vs. Sally the Utz Girl, Congress vs. a clown, and Redksins owner Dan Snyder vs. a Native American. The King himself and burlesque start Trixie Glitter provide commentary on the action. In between rounds, there are burlesque performance, audience trivia contests and other surprises.
Jan. 5 at 8 p.m. and Jan. 6 at 7 and 9:30 p.m. at the Gala Theatre, 3333 14th St. NW. Tickets are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $35 for front row center reserved seats.
Direct from Broadway, The Illusionists, the world’s best-selling magic show, returns to the Kennedy Center after sell-out shows in 2015.. Audiences of all ages will have their jaws drop when they witness the world’s greatest illusionists, who will perform sophisticated magic and outrageous acts that must be seen to be believed.
Jan. 5 and 6 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 6 and 7 at 3 p.m. at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $69-$175.
1968: Shaping the District
The National Building Museum and The 1968-2018 Collaborative partner on 1968: Shaping the District, which explores D.C. as it was in 1968: a predominantly African American city in a complex time of grassroots organizing, groundbreaking initiatives, creative expression, racism, protests and activism. During the day, visitors can learn about Marion Barry’s impact on D.C.’s built environment with George Derek Musgrove, co-author of Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital; map the events of 1968 through photographs and first-hand accounts with the Washington Architectural Foundation and the D.C. Public Library’s special collections; listen to live music evocative of 1968 performed by the National Symphony Orchestra; learn how to preserve your family heirlooms in a personal archiving workshop; review community organizing posters, maps; visualize 1968 in photos of activism, art, architecture and everyday life; use words and music to inspire action and break cycles of violence with One Common Unity’s youth Fly By Light Performance Troupe; and write and illustrate your thoughts. There will also be a walking tour of history Jewish downtown Washington, film screenings, a book signing, docent-led tours of the museum and more.
Jan. 6 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Admission is FREE!
No Pants Metro Ride
You better do your laundry on Saturday because the 10th annual No Pants Metro Ride takes place on Sunday afternoon. Participants are encouraged to gather at Hancock Park by the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station (with pants on), then descend into the station, remove pants and ride, concluding with a happy hour at Front Page near the DuPont Metro station at 5 p.m. (pants still optional). Participants are encouraged to act as if it is any other day: you are traveling to/from work, you are headed to meet friends, you are en route to an appointment, you are carting off your old Christmas tree, you are a tourist not quite sure how to navigate Metro…you just have to not have pants on. Maybe you forgot them. Maybe you hadn’t event noticed. Maybe, despite the assertions of those around you, you are pretty sure you have them on. Remember that there will be media and photographers arounds (plus families and children riding Metro) so don’t go to scanty with your skivvies.
Jan. 7 from 3-5 p.m. starting at Hancock Park, 800 C St. SW. Admission varies based on where you travel on the subway.
Harlem Symphony Orchestra
The Harlem Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble. Its mission is to highlight the historic visibility and contributions of African American orchestral instrumentalists by performing symphony concerts in Harlem’s historic Aaron Davis Hall. It also provides positive role models to encourage youths of all ethnic origins to pursue careers in the field of classical music, and to tour underserved minority and inner city communities nationally and internationally. The orchestra’s members are professional African American musicians, all of whom are graduates of the nation’s top conservatories and music schools, such as The Julliard School, New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Eastman School of Music and Indiana University. This program will include music by Jessie Montgomery, Jame Lee III and Mozart.
Jan 7 at 3:30 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s West Garden Court, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
Meadowlark’s Winter Walk of Lights
Be dazzled by the Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna. Every year, the garden is transformed into a half-mile walk of lights. Revisit perennial favorites such as the animated Lakeside Lights, the Fountain of Lights and the Holiday Nature Walk, and look for new displays each year. Round out your visit by roasting marshmallows and sipping on hot beverages by the fire. Due to the freezing temperatures and wind chill, the display has been canceled for Friday and Saturday, but will reopen for its last night on Sunday with shortened hours. Tickets from any night may be used regardless of date and timed entry will be waived.
Jan. 7 from 5:30-8:30 p.m.at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, 9750 Meadowlark Gardens court, Vienna. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8 for children 3-12 in advance or $16 for adults and $10 for children 3-12 at the door.
FINAL WEEKEND! An American in Paris at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays and 1:30 p.m. Saturday and Sundays through Jan. 7 at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Tickets are $59-$175.
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!
Drawn to Purpose: American Women Illustrators and Cartoonists from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Oct. 20 at the Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. SE. 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!
FINAL WEEKEND! Les Miserables at 2 and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 1 p.m. Sundays and 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays through Jan. 7 at National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets are $38.75-$228.75.
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!
Painting Shakespeare from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 11 at the Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. Admission is FREE!
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!
Portraits of the World: Switzerland from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Nov. 12 at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Recent Acquisitions from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Nov. 4 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!
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!
FINAL WEEKEND! 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. 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.
Editor-in-Chief Mark Heckathorn is a journalist, movie buff and foodie. He oversees DC on Heels editorial operations as well as strategic planning and staff development. Reach him with story ideas or suggestions at dcoheditor (at) gmail (dot) com.