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60+ Things to Do This December in Washington, DC

Discover a calendar packed with winter wonder, holiday events, new theater performances, outstanding concerts and fascinating museum exhibits.

We’ve picked out the best events, festivals, museum exhibits, theater performances, concerts and more happening this month in Washington, DC. Check out the best things to do in the nation's capital and plan your visit today.

 Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Events Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Museum Exhibits

 Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Theater Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Music

Events

Nighttime Shopping at the Downtown Holiday Market - Christmas and Holiday Market in Washington, DC
Downtown Holiday Market – Through Dec. 23
This free-to-frequent downtown bazaar is centrally located at 8th and F Streets NW, in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. Scope out eclectic wares from dozens of pop-up tents with seasonally flavored music performed live in the background. Locally roasted coffee and crafted-before-your-eyes mini-doughnuts inspire a cold-weather appetite, creating a holiday atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in DC.
12-8 p.m. daily |  Free admission
Centered at 8th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Christmas tree at Enchant Christmas event at Nationals Park in Washington, DC
Enchant at Nationals Park – Through Dec. 29
The beloved light maze, billed as the biggest in the world, makes its home in DC at the gorgeous Nationals Park throughout the holiday season. There will also be ice skating trails and a large holiday market offering products from more than 60 vendors, including local businesses and international brands. Expect plenty of Instagram-friendly settings and holiday spirit at this one-of-a-kind installation. Get 10% off general admission tickets through Dec. 14 with code VISITDC.
Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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Holiday Movies Screening at National Harbor
Catch Christmas Spirit at National Harbor
An action-packed holiday schedule is the norm at National Harbor, a shopping, dining and amusement park-like landmark located just 20 minutes south of DC. Step inside the Gaylord National Resort for ICE! (through Dec. 30), an indoor winter wonderland featuring two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures, ice slides, a live carving area and a retelling of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Since you’re at National Harbor, you’ll also want to view the tree from atop the Capital Wheel, shop for gifts at the Tanger Outlets and experience unique weekend events like holiday markets, performances and movie screenings.

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Christmas Celebration at George Washington's Mount Vernon near Washington, DC
Christmas at Mount Vernon –Through Dec. 31
George Washington’s estate knows how to celebrate the holiday season like few other locales in the DMV area. During daylight hours, tour the gorgeous mansion, witness chocolate-making demonstrations and hang out with the estate’s favorite pet, Aladdin the Camel. At nighttime, tour the estate by candlelight and on Dec. 20 and 21, enjoy an incredible fireworks display along the Potomac River.
9 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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ZooLights winter holiday celebration at Smithsonian National Zoo - Free family friendly things to do in Washington, DC
ZooLights – Through Jan. 1, 2020
Indulge your wild side with an after-hours visit to the National Zoo during ZooLights, which illuminates the zoo with more than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LEDs, animated light installations, live music and more. Bid good cheer to various animals on display. ZooLights runs through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 24, 25 & 31). If heady craft brews would make your incandescent wonderland complete, mark your calendar for BrewLights on Dec. 12.
5-9 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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Holiday in the Park – Through Jan. 1, 2020
Beautiful lights, seasonal food and holiday-themed attractions and characters make up this annual Christmas event at Six Flags America. Running during weekends and select days through New Year’s Day, make the drive to enjoy the thrills of Six Flags accompanied by plenty of holiday cheer.
2-9 p.m.
Six Flags America, 13710 Central Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

For an exclusive discount to Holiday in the Park, please visit this ticketing link, enter the username DESTDC and the case-sensitive password Sixflags5. 

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Christmas Decorations at the Willard InterContinental
Holiday Afternoon Tea – Throughout December (excluding Dec. 24-25 & 31)
The Willard InterContinental Washington offers a holiday tradition throughout December. You can enjoy afternoon tea in the elegant Peacock Alley every day of the month (except Dec. 24, 25 and 31). There will be seasonal decor, sandwiches, pastries and the beautiful sounds of a harp to accompany you as you sip on festive teas from one of DC’s most historic hotels.
1-4 p.m. |  Reserve
Willard InterContinental Washington, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Find the best holiday hotel deals, packages and discounts in Washington, DC
The National Christmas Tree – Dec. 5 – Jan. 1
While this lighting ceremony is sold out on Dec. 5, the National Christmas Tree display can be visited for free from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily throughout the holiday season. The tree itself is lit each day from 4:30-10 p.m. The National Christmas Tree is DC’s claim to fame during the holidays, and for good reason. The gorgeous conifer lives in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse, where it's surrounded by trees decorated with handmade ornaments from 56 U.S. states and territories and is accompanied by nightly musical performances throughout the holiday season.
10 a.m. – 10 p.m., tree lit from 4:30-10 p.m. |  Free admission
The Ellipse, 15th & E Streets NW, Washington, DC 20500

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Heurich House Museum Christkindlmarkt - Christmas Market in Washington, DC
Christkindlmarkt – Dec. 6-8
Heurich House Museum's famed Castle Garden will host the Christkindlmarkt throughout the first full weekend of December. Tickets grant you access to the arts and crafts-laden market featuring goods from more than 40 vendors and the historic mansion, which will be decorated to the nines.
4-6 p.m. |  Tickets
Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

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GRUMP Holiday Market at National Zoo
GRUMP Holiday Market – Dec. 6-8
Smithsonian’s National Zoo adds an alternative arts and crafts show to its ZooLights celebration. Local artists and makers will showcase their creations in a European-style outdoor market. GRUMP will be centrally located at the Zoo’s Connecticut Avenue entrance. Expect handmade jewelry, clothing, prints, toys, home decor and much more across the three-day showcase. Admission is free.
5-9 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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Visitors interacting with Georgetown Glow light art on the waterfront - Holiday light displays in Washington, DC
Georgetown GLOW – Dec. 6 – Jan. 5
This stroll through DC’s most historic neighborhood will certainly make you light up as you pass by unique, illuminated artworks. Georgetown GLOW has proven to be such a hit that it’s now a month-long celebration. A group of artists, from locally renowned to internationally celebrated, will display works in outdoor spaces throughout the neighborhood. Afterwards, wander through a winter wonderland at The Washington Harbour, one of our favorite places to ice skate in the District.
5-10 p.m. |  Free admission

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Native Art Market at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian
Native Art Market – Dec. 7-8
The National Museum of the American Indian hosts the 14th edition of this cultural market that arrives just in time for holiday season. Both traditional and contemporary works from more than 35 Native artists will be for sale, including fine apparel, beadwork, dolls, pottery, prints, jewelry and sculpture. Attendees will have the chance to meet artists and learn about Native American traditions and creativity.​
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission​
National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Swedish Christmas Bazaar at House of Sweden - Washington, DC
Swedish Christmas Bazaar – Dec. 7
Held at the House of Sweden, this annual DC tradition takes place on the first Saturday in December every year. The event features a Swedish marketplace with for-sale crystal glassware, textiles, books, artworks and even homemade bread. Snack on Swedish delicacies like “fika” and “glögg” in the café and stick around for the main event: the St. Lucia procession with traditional caroling.
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. |  Free admission
House of Sweden, 2900 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

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The District's Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf - Christmas and holiday events in Washington, DC
District Holiday Boat Parade – Dec. 7
Each year, dozens of dazzling boats traverse the Potomac River from the waterfront in Alexandria, Va. to the The Wharf. You can observe free of charge, and there are even holiday festivities on both sides of the river to enjoy beforehand for this year's parade. Prizes will be awarded to the most beautiful vessels, which begin their journey at 6 p.m., and fireworks will cap off the parade at 8 p.m.
6-9 p.m. |  Free admission
The Wharf, 1100 Maine Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Smithsonian National Zoo's BrewLights at ZooLights - Winter and holiday events in Washington, DC
BrewLights at ZooLights – Dec. 12
Christmas lights and unlimited samples from 40 local breweries sounds like an awesome night to us. BrewLights at ZooLights also offers special access to exhibits and animal houses, carolers and a-cappella singers and new additions to the ZooLights lineup, like the dreamy Entre les rangs from Montreal. You can also enjoy a custom s’mores station, popcorn and pretzels. Ticket purchases benefit Friends of the National Zoo and its conservation efforts. Ages 21 and over only.
6-9 p.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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Russian Winter Festival at the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens - Holiday Events in Washington, DC
Russian Winter Festival – Dec. 14-15
Celebrate like it’s the 19th century at the Hillwood Estate’s annual event, which brings holiday cheer and Russian traditions to Upper Northwest. Meet Grandfather Frost (the Russian Santa Claus) and his granddaughter, the Snow Maiden. You can also make and wear your own traditional headwear and enjoy live performances as you explore the grounds of this historic estate. Admission ranges from free for children under six to $18 for adults; become a member and admission is only $12.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Tickets
Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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DC AF Meet Your Maker Holiday Pop-Up Shop at Union Market
DC AF – Meet Your Maker(s) Holiday Pop Up Shopping – Dec. 14-15
Union Market is the perfect venue for this holiday shopping extravaganza that stretches across two days in December. Tickets that range from $5 to $15 grant you access to this pop-up celebration that will feature free cocktail, beer and wine samples from local vendors. You’ll be introduced to new brands and can also browse offerings from household names like New Balance, L.L. Bean and Aviator Nation.
11 a.m. – 6 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Christmas Illuminations in winter at George Washington's Mount Vernon near Washington, DC
Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon – Dec. 20-21
George Washington’s estate showcases its holiday grandeur during this annual event. Fireworks choreographed to holiday music begin around 8 p.m. Before that, enjoy serenading from local choirs, visit re-enactors from the First Virginia Regiment, learn 18th-century dance moves, meet with George and Martha Washington and hang out by a bonfire with hot chocolate. You can purchase tickets that include a mansion tour, as well.
5:30-8:30 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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National Menorah on the National Mall in Washington, DC - Free things to do this winter in Washington, DC
National Menorah Lighting: Chanukah on The Ellipse – Dec. 22
Chanukah kicks off with this lighting ceremony of the world’s largest menorah on the White House Ellipse, which greets all with latkes, doughnuts, menorah kits and dreidels. Music from the United States Air Force Band will add a soundtrack to the scene. As is the custom, a new candle is illuminated on each of the eight days of Chanukah.
4 p.m. (gates at 3 p.m.) | Free, but tickets required.
White House Ellipse, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500

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Museum Exhibits

@abroadwife - Holiday displays at the United States Botanic Garden's Seasons Greenings - Winter holiday events in Washington, DC
'Season’s Greenings: America’s Gardens' – Through Jan. 5, 2020
The U.S. Botanic Garden gets decked out for the holidays thanks to this annual exhibit. This year’s display focuses on gardens from Hawaii to Maine, including iconic spots like the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Franklin Park Conservatory and Huntsville Botanical Garden. Inside the Conservatory you'll also find the garden's collection of DC's iconic landmarks and a showcase of poinsettias. On select Tuesday and Thursday evenings, the Conservatory will stay open until 8 p.m. for live performances of seasonal music.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free admission
United States Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Félix Vallotton Passerby at Bonnard to Vuillard Exhibit at Phillips Collection
‘Bonnard to Vuillard: The Intimate Poetry of Everyday Life’ – Through Jan. 26, 2020
This Phillips Collection offers the work of “Nabis” (a Hebrew phrase that translates to “prophet”), a group of European Post-Impressionist artists who started a creative revolution in the 1890s. The collective aimed to break down boundaries between the fine and decorative arts through painting, sculpture, lithography, stained glass and a range of other forms. The exhibit features pieces by Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Félix Vallotton and others.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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America's First Veterans - winter exhibit by the Society of the Cincinnati at Anderson House in Washington, DC
‘America’s First Veterans’ – Through April 5, 2020
While generals and leading officers of the Revolutionary War have received statues and glowing historical reviews, junior officers and enlisted men returned home after fighting to a new republic deeply in debt and unconcerned with appreciating and supporting them after their important service. The Anderson House displays paintings, prints, artifacts and documents that memorialize the men who fought for U.S. freedom and faced countless struggles in re-adjusting to civilian life.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Monday – Saturday, 12 - 4 p.m on Sunday |  Free Admission
Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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'Chiura Obata: American Modern' exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC
‘Chiura Obata: American Modern’ – Through May 25, 2020
One of the most influential Japanese American artists of the 20th century receives an in-depth retrospective. Chiura Obata emigrated to the U.S. from Japan in 1903 and embarked on a seven-decade career that synthesized Japanese and American styles across an array of works, from intimate paintings to scrolls to still lives to woodblock prints. The exhibit features more than 150 works and personal effects of Obata’s, many on public display for the first time.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th Street NW & F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Lin-Manuel Miranda Portrait as Hamilton at National Portrait Gallery
Recent Acquisitions – Through Aug. 30, 2020
In this new exhibit, the National Portrait Gallery showcases both historical and contemporary pieces that have recently come into its possession (25 in total), including subjects such as Morgan Freeman, Audrey Hepburn, Philip Glass and Andy Garcia. Each figure displayed has had an impact on the history and culture of America through his or her work.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th Street NW & F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Becoming Jane - winter exhibit at National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC
‘Becoming Jane’ – Through Summer 2020
The National Geographic Museum partnered with the Jane Goodall Institute to create an exhibit that highlights the incredible accomplishments of the legendary anthropologist. Chronicling her historic work with chimpanzees, the exhibit features jaw-dropping images, a 3-D exploration of Gombe Stream National Park, a life-size hologram of Goodall, a replica of her research tent and more.
10 a.m. – 6 p.m. |  Tickets
National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

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Marcel Duchamp's L.H.O.O.Q. at Hirshhorn Museum
‘Marcel Duchamp: The Barbara and Aaron Levine Collection’ – Through Oct. 12, 2020
In the first of a two-part exhibition on the life and legacy of the legendary Marcel Duchamp, the Hirshhorn Museum is featuring more than 35 of the artist’s historical pieces, all part of a recent gift from collectors Barbara and Aaron Levine. The exhibition allows viewers to grasp the full arc of Duchamp’s career, from his famous readymades to his drawings and prints that inspired countless future artists. You can also view portraits of Duchamp and pieces from his contemporaries and figures he influenced, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Diane Arbus, Man Ray and Irving Penn, among others.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, 7th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Isaac Hayes Poster at NMAAHC Exhibit
‘Now Showing: Posters from African American Movies’ – Through Nov. 1, 2020
This temporary exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture explores movie poster art for films by and featuring black filmmakers and performers. Movie posters double as art and advertising, so examining a set can provide both narrative and historical context for the films depicted. Some are simply fascinating visual spectacles. Visitors will become acquainted with icons of black cinema across the 400 original posters and lobby cards featured.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission | Timed Entry Passes
National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

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Hokusai Thunder God Painting from Mad About Painting Exhibit at Freer Gallery
‘Hokusai: Mad about Painting’ – Through Nov. 2020
While Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai is mainly known for his unforgettable and iconic Great Wave Off the Coast of Kanagawa, he composed thousands of pieces during his nearly 90 years on Earth. The Freer Gallery, in honor of the centennial of its namesake’s death, presents a wide range of Hokusai’s works that were acquired by Charles Lang Freer roughly a century ago. Visitors can experience Hokusai’s mastery in woodblock printing, painting and drawing and view his renderings of everyday Japanese life, known as manga.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Freer|Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Thomas Wilmer Dewing Exhibit at Freer
‘Dewing’s Poetic World’ – Through Nov. 2020
Thomas Wilmer Dewing’s paintings often featured a single female consumed by her thoughts, alone and passive. This exhibit explores the contradiction between Dewing’s works and his social life, which was often filled with dancing, trips to the theater and dinner parties. Through archival photographs, visitors can learn of Dewing’s lifestyle, his creative partnership with his wife and his friendship with Charles Lang Freer.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Freer|Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Rosa Parks Exhibit at Library of Congress
Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words – Opens Dec. 5
You may know Rosa Parks thanks to her incredibly courageous act on a bus in Montgomery, Ala. on Dec. 1, 1955, when she refused to give up her seat to a white man in the midst of Jim Crow segregation in the South. However, Parks’ life and contributions to the Civil Rights movement went well beyond that incident, as she helped free the Scottsboro Boys in the 1930s and assisted in operating the office of the NAACP in Montgomery in the 1940s and 50s. This exhibit at the Library of Congress will provide an in-depth look at Parks’ life and activism through rare materials, illuminating one of the most important figures in American history.
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Library of Congress, 101 Independence Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20540

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 The Spirit of Northern Lights - winter and holiday exhibit at Artechouse in Washington, DC
‘AURORA: The Spirit of Northern Lights’ – Dec. 7 – Jan. 5, 2020
ARTECHOUSE brings the northern lights and the aurora borealis to the nation’s capital for this special holiday installation. The immersive exhibit will let you shape light and frost, accessing your winter superpowers as you encounter dancing skies and magical illuminations. Visitors will also be able to learn of the technology behind this wonderful experience, which includes its own narrative featuring a stylized northern forest. When purchasing your tickets, make sure to use the code “AEF10” for 10% off your admission. This promotion benefits local students through the American Experience Foundation
Tickets
ARTECHOUSE, 128 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Theater

Newsies production at Arena Stage - Autumn theater in Washington, DC
‘Newsies’ – Through Dec. 29
This Tony Award-winning musical based on the 1992 film takes audiences back to just before the dawn of the 20th century. Inspired by true events, Newsies details how New York City newsboys battled Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst, the two most powerful men in the country at the time. Filled with energy and songs that will be stuck in your head for days, this production is ideal for a family outing this holiday season.
Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Amadeus theater performance at Folger Theatre - Fall theater in Washington, DC this November
‘Amadeus’ – Through Dec. 22
Amadeus is historical fiction at its finest, a spellbinding tale of genius and the jealousy that it can inspire. Antonio Salieri, the former director of the Italian opera and once a dedicated Catholic, has admitted to the murder of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (yes, that Mozart) 32 years earlier. He takes the audience back to his glory days, which were interrupted by a young composer who thrills Salieri with his incredible music, yet appalls him with hedonistic behavior. From then on, Salieri revokes his faith and devotes his life to ruining Mozart’s. The play won the 1981 Tony Award for Best Play and the film adaptation won eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.
Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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'The Nutcracker' – Through Dec. 29
The Washington Ballet pulls out all the stops for this classic Christmas tale that features a special DC twist. The Russian ballet goes local thanks to a Nutcracker Prince in the likeness of George Washington and cherry blossom set designs. Set in historical Georgetown, you will be dazzled by an impressive roster of dancers and the beautiful Tchaikovsky score.
Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Ken Ludwig’s ‘Dear Jack, Dear Louise’ – Through Dec. 29
Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig tells the touching story of his parents’ blossoming relationship during World War II. U.S. Army Captain Jack Ludwig, stationed in Oregon, begins writing letters to Louise Rabiner, an aspiring performer living in New York City. The two want to meet one day – if the war allows. Filled with joy and romance, this Arena Stage production will warm your heart in the chill of December.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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A Christmas Carol at Ford's Theatre - Washington, DC
‘A Christmas Carol’ – Through Jan. 1, 2020
Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace assumes the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a lavish Victorian-style musical production of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, the staging of which is a time-honored holiday tradition in the nation’s capital. Scrooge’s riveting journey alongside the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future is a joy even if you’ve experienced it a hundred times before – especially in one of the world’s most historic theaters.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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A Chorus Line at Signature Theatre - Fall performing arts near Washington, DC
‘A Chorus Line’ – Through Jan. 5, 2020
One of the greatest musicals of all-time calls Signature Theatre home throughout this holiday season. A Chorus Line has won nine Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize with its stunning fusion of ballet, jazz and tap dance numbers. You will experience what it takes to be in a chorus line through the eyes of the dancers, as their loves, hopes, dreams and memories are poured out on stage.
Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

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The Second City’s ‘She the People: The Resistance Continues!’ – Dec. 2 – Jan. 5
It’s time for a she-quel at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. The Second City returns with a new version of She the People that packs in even more satire than the first, if that’s possible. The all-female cast riffs on the reality of womanhood, myths that surround body positivity, bachelorette parties, Beyoncé and the 2020 election. Expect improv brilliance at one of the city’s most offbeat theaters.
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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The Illusionists – Magic of the Holidays – Dec. 3-8
If you’re looking for holiday magic, well, you’ve found the right show. The Illusionists will bring astonishing and sophisticated acts and tricks to the stage at the illustrious National Theatre. Audiences around the world have had their jaws dropped and their minds blown by this traveling spectacular. Don’t try to figure out the trick because, well, you won’t … and you’ll be too thrilled to care.
Tickets
National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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The Second City's 'Love, Factually' at the Kennedy Center - Holiday theater performances in Washington, DC
The Second City’s ‘Love, Factually’ – Dec. 3-29
America’s most beloved comedy collective, The Second City, takes on one of America’s most beloved holiday films, Love, Actually, in this farcical mash-up that will provide plenty of belly laughs. Mixing an original romantic tale with stories and characters from the classic film, Love, Factually contains music, improv and audience participation to go along with its heaps of comedy and parody.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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‘Fiddler on the Roof’ – Dec. 10-15
Tony-winning director Bartlett Sher brings his magic to one of theater’s legendary productions. The original Fiddler on the Roof won 10 Tony Awards, including a special Tony for becoming the longest-running Broadway musical ever. Now, you will be able to enjoy a reimagination of the fantastic play, a tale of family and faith told through riveting song and dance. Expect to hear classics like “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were a Rich Man” and “Tradition” at National Theatre.
Tickets
National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Come From Away Production Still from the Kennedy Center
‘Come From Away’ – Dec. 10 – Jan. 5, 2020
The power of the human heart shines through in this play from Tony Award-nominated director Christopher Ashley. The tale concerns the Canadian small town of Gander, which welcomes 7,000 airline passengers after dozens of planes were diverted there on September 11, 2001. The town offered food, shelter and friendship, and this musical packages all of those good vibes into moving songs that will invigorate your faith in humanity.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Step Afrika! Holiday Show
Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show – Dec. 12-22
DC’s Step Afrika!, the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, puts on a holiday extravaganza at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in the H Street neighborhood. The family-friendly show will combine 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.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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An Irish Carol - winter and holiday play at the Keegan Theatre in Washington, DC
‘An Irish Carol’ – Dec. 12-31
The Irish have something to say about that “Carol” of yours, Mr. Dickens. The Keegan Theatre stages this acclaimed play that subs pub-owning David for Scrooge. He’s distanced himself from his family through his profitable bar, but a visitor from the past, along with present figures and the prospect of a sad future could turn David around. With searing wit, fast-paced dialogue and a classic Irish sensibility, Matthew Keenan’s play is perfect for holiday laughs – and intended for audiences 16 and older.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

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Dance Place Coyaba Dance Theater By Jonathan Hsu
Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place – Dec. 14-15
Dance Place in the Brookland neighborhood annually holds this celebratory event in honor of Kwanzaa. Each of the seven principles of the holiday are honored, as director Sylvia Soumah guides some of the area’s finest dancers, including Coyaba Dance Theater and Coyaba Academy. Expect pounding rhythms, incredible moves and an undeniably communal atmosphere across both performances.
Tickets
Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

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‘Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker’ – Dec. 15-16
The Music Center at Strathmore hosts the Moscow Ballet for what will be two nights of unforgettable performances of the classic Russian tale. The show will feature larger-than-life props, authentic Russian costumes and hand-painted sets. And of course, the Moscow Ballet is one of the most acclaimed in the world, meaning you’ll be able to witness masters of the craft just outside of DC city lines.
Tickets
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

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‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’ – Dec. 17-19
Yep, you read that right. This imaginative performance blends modern hip-hop choreography, an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist to re-create The Nutcracker in truly original fashion. Adults will be wowed by the contemporary take on Tchaikovsky’s score while the kids revel in hip-hop beats. Special guest emcee Kurtis Blow, best known for “The Breaks,” opens the show with a rapping introduction. Digital scenery will color the background of this entertaining cultural mash-up.
Tickets
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

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‘Jersey Boys’ – Dec. 17 – Jan. 5, 2020
Winner of multiple Tony and Grammy Awards, Jersey Boys is the action-packed tale of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, who rose from blue-collar backgrounds to become one of the greatest pop music groups ever. Featuring an unforgettable score and magnificent choreography, this show should be on everyone’s bucket list.
Tickets
National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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My Fair Lady at the Kennedy Center
‘My Fair Lady’ – Dec. 17 – Jan. 19, 2020
This timeless tale from Lerner & Loewe makes for one of the most exciting plays of the season. My Fair Lady comes to the Kennedy Center stage for a month-long run courtesy of Lincoln Theater Center. A young flower seller named Eliza Doolittle meets professor Henry Higgins, the latter determined to turn the city girl into a “proper lady” … except she just may change him more than he changes her. Don’t miss unforgettable songs like “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “The Rain in Spain” and “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly” during this lavish and highly anticipated production.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Music

NPR A Jazz Piano Christmas
NPR’s ‘A Jazz Piano Christmas’ – Dec. 7
Every year, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Kennedy Center join forces to bring outstanding jazz pianists together to perform their favorite Christmas classics for one night only. This holiday tradition has become a favorite in the District, so make sure to purchase your tickets now.
7 p.m. & 9 p.m.|  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Bob Dylan & His Band – Dec. 8
Bob Dylan has been a staple of popular music for nearly 60 years, a towering presence in the history of both folk and rock music. From his humble beginnings playing coffee shops in Greenwich Village armed with only an acoustic guitar and lyrics rife with rebellion to his dabbling in country to his conversion to an electric sound to his complex recordings in the 1970s and beyond, Dylan has served as a vital inspiration to countless musicians every step of the way. See the legend in his twilight years during this show at The Anthem.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Cher Here We Go Again Tour at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
Cher – Dec. 10
The Goddess of Pop will rule at Capital One Arena this December. In a career that spans more than 50 years, Cher has had smashing success in all realms of entertainment, from her days starring on television alongside Sonny Bono to her chart-topping musical career to her Academy Award-winning acting career. Hear her legendary catalogue and watch her stunning stage show inside the city’s largest venue.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Leslie Odom Holiday Concert with National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center
NSO Pops: ‘A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe’ with Leslie Odom, Jr. – Dec. 13-14
NSO Pops and the Washington Chorus (and perhaps Ol’ Saint Nick himself) present a program of holiday carols and seasonal sing-alongs at the Kennedy Center that the entire family can enjoy. Hear the musical stylings of Leslie Odom, Jr., the original player of Aaron Burr in Hamilton. He’s also done notable work on the small screen and released two solo jazz albums.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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The Washington Chorus singing A Candlelight Christmas
The Washington Chorus presents ‘A Candlelight Christmas’ – Dec. 15-22
The Washington Chorus consists more than 130 voices that work in tandem with brass, organ and percussion to create wonderful renditions of Christmas classics. The chorus will also be accompanied by the National Capital Brass and the audience will be asked to join in joyous sing-alongs. A beloved and traditional candlelight processional also takes place at this annual event.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Songs of the Season Choral Concert at the Kennedy Center
The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents ‘Songs of the Season: Christmas with Choral Arts’ – Dec. 15-24
The Choral Arts Chorus and Youth Choir come to Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall for the performance of classic holiday carols and seasonal favorites. The entire family is invited to enjoy this festive celebration of the winter holidays. Expect to hear soprano soloist Kristina Lewis as well. In addition, make sure to check out The Choral Arts Society of Washington’s A Family Christmas on Dec. 24.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Hot 99.5 Jingle Ball at Capitol One Arena
Hot 99.5’s Jingle Ball – Dec. 16
The area’s top pop music station annually hosts this concert that always features a star-studded lineup. This year, you’ll get performances from Khalid, French Montana, Halsey, Why Don’t We, Niall ​Horan, Charlie Puth and Lewis Capaldi. There will be plenty of seasonal cheer inside Capital One Arena to accompany the abundance of talent on stage.
7:30 p.m. | Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Illustration of Messiah Concert at the Kennedy Center
National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s ‘Messiah’ – Dec. 19-22
This holiday epic, which explores the story of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, is performed at the Kennedy Center each year. The National Symphony Orchestra will be joined by standout singers and conducted by Sir Andrew Davis at the beautifully decorated Concert Hall to tell Handel’s riveting tale through song.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Joy of Christmas Concert at the Washington National Cathedral
‘The Joy of Christmas’ – Dec. 21-22
The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas, as it becomes adorned with themed-lights and elaborate decorations each year. The Joy of Christmas is the Cathedral’s marquee event, featuring renditions of Christmas classics and a carol sing-along. This year’s event also boasts a new carol from composer Alex Levine.
Tickets
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

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Thievery Corporation – Dec. 22
Thievery Corporation, a DJ collective consisting of Rob Garza and Eric Hilton, are one of the most significant acts to emerge from DC, with a career spanning over twenty years and a variety of styles. The duo has never had a smash hit or major label backing, yet has built a loyal following through music that touches a range of cultures and emotions. Expect the Corporation to go full-throttle for this performance at DC’s legendary 9:30 Club. Note that a Dec. 21 show is sold out, so purchase tickets to this one ASAP.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Gogol Bordello – Dec. 31
Gogol Bordello is technically a punk band from Manhattan, but when you see the ensemble onstage, it’s obvious that they’re much more than that. The group, led by charismatic frontman Eugene Hütz, is a melting pot of members and sound, turning punk into an international party, mixing in dub sounds, Gypsy music, an accordion, a violin and whatever else moves them on any given night. This makes Gogol Bordello the ideal outfit to ring in the new year at the 9:30 Club.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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White Ford Bronco New Year's Eve Concert
New Year’s Eve with White Ford Bronco – Dec. 31
Turn back the clock to the 1990s as 2020 dawns with White Ford Bronco at The Anthem. Watch DC’s favorite cover band strut their stuff as you’re transported back to a time ruled by Jonathan Taylor Thomas, slap bracelets and Carlton’s dance moves. The set list will be filled with pop radio gems of the decade, a perfect soundtrack to a fun-filled evening as a new decade rolls in.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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