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60+ Things to Do This December in Washington, DC

The nation’s capital offers a packed list of can’t-miss things to do this month, including holiday-themed events, markets and theater productions, New Year's Eve celebrations and so much more.

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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@ceelowphotographs - Holiday displays in The Willard InterContinental Hotel - Christmas and holiday events in Washington, DC

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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@fiz1point5 - ZooLights winter holiday celebration at Smithsonian National Zoo - Free family friendly things to do in Washington, DC

ZooLights – Through Jan. 1, 2018
Head to ZooLights at the National Zoo for a wildly vibrant display of LED Christmas lights (a half-million of them!), along with activities like Snow-less Tubing and special themed nights like BrewLights (Nov. 29). The kids will love the National Zoo Choo-Choo (a train ride through the Great Cats exhibit), while the big kids enjoy spiked hot chocolate and live music. ZooLights is closed on Dec. 24-25 and 31.
5-9 p.m. | Free Admission
National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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LightUP Fest in Loudon County, Virginia - Winter events near Washington, DC

LightUP Fest 2018 – Through Jan. 2, 2019
An illuminative feast for the eyes, LightUP Fest transforms 20 acres of land some 30 miles outside of DC into one of the largest light displays on the East Coast. In sum, the outdoor spectacle includes one million lights and Chinese lanterns comprising 77 installations that represent key themes, including Tour of Fantasy, Freedom America, Mysterious East and Magical World. In addition to its colorful, high-tech light arrays, the experience, which was devised by Chinese designers from the Zigong Lantern Festival, includes a food court with Chinese street food finds, daily performances from artists and acrobats, as well as interactive arts and craft activities. Onsite parking is free, but if you don’t have a car, you can ride share from DC (around $50-$60 each way) or from the closest Metro stop, the Wiehle-Reston East Station on the Silver Line (around $20-$25 each way).
5:30-10:30 p.m. | Tickets
44600 Freetown Boulevard, Ashburn, VA 20147

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@ekelly80 - Snowy winter scene at the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall - Winter in Washington, DC

Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival – Through Dec. 9
The Smithsonian Ingenuity Festival is a result of the annual Smithsonian American Ingenuity Awards, which honor innovators across the entire creative spectrum, from technology to the performing arts to education. The 11-day festival will showcase award winners and other innovators all over DC through an array of events. Among the highlights: John Krasinski will speak at the Smithsonian American Art Museum on Dec. 5, Jewel will bring her holiday tour to the Lincoln Theatre on Dec. 6 and The Long Conversation (detailed below) takes place on Dec. 7. Check out the full schedule.
Citywide

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Swedish Christmas Bazaar at House of Sweden - Washington, DC

Swedish Christmas Bazaar – Dec. 1
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 cafe 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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Free activities and things to do this winter in Washington, DC - Georgetown GLOW holiday light installation

Georgetown GLOW – Dec. 1 – Jan. 6
This stroll through DC’s most historic neighborhood will certainly make you light up as you pass by unique, illuminated artworks. Georgetown GLOW is a holiday hit in this District, a five-week celebration of 16 artists and 10 installations (this Saturday through Jan. 6). Participants range from locally renowned to internationally celebrated, while their works gorgeously adorn outdoor spaces throughout Georgetown. 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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The District's Holiday Boat Parade at The Wharf - Christmas and holiday events in Washington, DC

The District’s Holiday Boat Parade – Dec. 1
Dozens of dazzling boats will traverse the Potomac River from the waterfront in Alexandria, Va. to The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront. You can observe free of charge, and there are plenty of holiday  festivities to supplement the experience. The Wharf will feature live music, cookie decorating, a fire pit, ice skating and winter-themed drinks at the Waterfront Wine & Beer Garden, in addition to an on-site Santa. Prizes will be awarded to the most beautiful vessels, which begin their journey at 5:30 p.m., and fireworks will cap off the parade at 8 p.m.
5:30-8 p.m. |  Free admission
From the Docks of Alexandria to Southwest Waterfront in DC – 600 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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@bambamfiasco - The atrium inside the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian - Free attractions in Washington, DC

Native Art Market – Dec. 1-2
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian hosts this two-day market that will showcase some of the best Native American artists. You’ll be able to peruse silver, jewelry, beadwork, dolls, paintings, prints, sculptures, fine apparel, ceramics and handwoven baskets. Expect to observe both traditional and contemporary styles as you shop at this free-to-attend event.
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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Guests eating at The Metropolitan Cooking and Entertaining Show - Events this December in Washington, DC

The Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show – Dec. 1-2
From a Grand Tasting Pavilion featuring more than 50 local restaurants to chances to meet top celebrity chefs, the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show is like a Super Bowl for foodies. Over two days, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center will also sport tasting and entertaining workshops, a pop-up cooking school and a beer, wine and spirits garden. Finally, award-winning chefs such as Carla Hall, Emeril Lagasse, Michael Schlow, Erik Bruner-Yang, Nicholas Stefanelli, Vikram Sunderam and Amy Brandwein will participate in fascinating cooking demos. Ready the taste buds for this culinary bonanza.
12-5:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Washington Nationals Winterfest at the Washington Convention Center - Winter Family Friendly Event in Washington, DC

2018 Nationals Winterfest – Dec. 1-2
In an event that always produces classic moments between players and fans, Nationals Winterfest comes to Nationals Park. 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 baseball team.
11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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@dmorrocco - Holiday Scenes in Washington, DC

40th Annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour – Dec. 2
Logan Circle is hip, happening and historic. Get in the holiday spirit by exploring a diverse mix of Victorian mansions and upscale modern housing that lines DC’s only remaining residential circle during the 40th installment of this wintertime tradition. You’ll encounter fascinating interiors, accompanied by in-house musicians and street carolers along the way. The excursion concludes with a reception at the beautiful Studio Theatre.
1-5 p.m. |  Tickets
Logan Circle NW, Washington, DC 20005

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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. 2
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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@insiteimage - Nighttime at the United States Capitol Christmas Tree - Holiday light displays in Washington, DC

U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting – Dec. 5
Situated in front of the monumental U.S. Capitol on the West Lawn, this Christmas tree is yet another majestic staple of the holiday season in the District. This year’s version is a beautiful conifer from the Willamette National Forest in Oregon and will go aglow on Dec. 5. The tree has been transported across the country by motor vehicle – see its Facebook and Twitter pages to check out its journey. Once lit up, you’ll be able to admire the tree’s beauty throughout the season.
5 p.m. |  Free admission
West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, East Capitol Street NE & First Street SE, Washington, DC 20004

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Cirque du Soleil presents 'Crystal' at Capital One Arena - Events this December in Washington, DC

Cirque du Soleil presents ‘Crystal’ – Dec. 5-9
The very first on-ice experience for Cirque du Soleil is coming to Capital One Arena. Crystal will feature feats of athleticism that challenge gravity and acrobatic moves from world-class ice skaters performed with daring speed. Follow the title character as she immerses herself in her own imagination in this fast-paced and empowering tale that is suitable for the entire family.
Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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The Long Conversation event at the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall in Washington, DC

The Long Conversation – Dec. 7
Prepare for a creative marathon inside the Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building. The Long Conversation will bring together individuals across a wide spectrum of professions, from comedian to DJ to geologist to poet to astrophysicist to drag queen and many more. The event is broken into sessions – each one will discuss pertinent topics of the moment and how we can make a brighter future. Speaker highlights include Cheech Marin, Sasha Velour, David Brooks and Alfre Woodard. The Long Conversation will also feature on-site art installs and locally sourced gourmet menu from James Beard Award winner Spike Gjerde. Attendance is free, but tickets are required.
2-10 p.m. |  Free admission, but tickets required
Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Russian Winter Festival at the Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens - Holiday Events in Washington, DC

Russian Winter Festival – Dec. 9
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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Family at George Washington's Mount Vernon by Candlelight - Winter family friendly holiday event near Washington, DC

Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon – Dec. 14-15
George Washington’s estate showcases its holiday grandeur during this annual event. Fireworks choreographed to holiday music begin around 8:30 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 – 8:45 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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Light Up the Season holiday event at the Four Seasons Hotel - Winter events in Washington, DC

Light Up the Season – Dec. 16
The Four Seasons Hotel and the Children’s Health Board team up for this event held to support Children’s National. The fundraising event will feature designer-decorated trees, menorahs, mantle pieces and wreaths, each one a collaboration between a Children’s National patient and a local designer. Light Up the Season will also include cookie decorating, ornament making, visits from Santa and Dr. Bear, live music, seasonal lunch fare, holiday-themed libations for adults and pop-up boutiques.
12-4 p.m. |  Tickets
Four Seasons Hotel, 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007

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Events DC Holiday Hoops Fest at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Washington, DC

Events DC Holiday Hoops Fest – Dec. 22
Step inside the new Entertainment and Sports Arena to enjoy a day of college basketball action. This doubleheader will feature the University of Richmond Spiders versus the High Point University Panthers at 2:30 p.m. and a matchup between the Howard University Bison and the Hampton University Pirates at 5 p.m. There will also be interactive experiences on the concourse, live performances, an in-arena DJ and kids’ games at halftimes.
Doors open at 1 p.m. | Tickets
Entertainment and Sports Arena, 1100 Oak Drive SE, Washington, DC 20032

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Water-Skiing Santa – Dec. 24
A tradition since 1986, Santa and his elves zip around the Potomac River on water-skis while a jet-skiing Grinch buzzes around the holiday gang. The festivities take place along the Old Town Alexandria Waterfront and afterwards, Santa Claus and the crew will mingle with families in attendance. New this year: a vantage point from DC’s Wharf development.
1 p.m. |  Free admission
Founder’s Park, 351 North Union Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

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@wwwchris - Concert at The Anthem on the Southwest Waterfront - Events at The Wharf in Washington, DC

New Year’s Eve in Washington, DC – Dec. 31
DC presents a variety of experiences to celebrate the new year. There’s jazz at Blues Alley, concerts at 9:30 Club, The Anthem, Union Stage and Echostage, dinner and fireworks with Entertainment Cruises, the annual River Bash at Tony & Joe’s Seafood Place and more. Read on for a full rundown and start making plans to party.

Museum Exhibits

@abroadwife - Holiday displays at the United States Botanic Garden's Seasons Greenings - Winter holiday events in Washington, DC

Season’s Greenings – Through Jan. 1, 2018
The U.S. Botanic Garden gets decked out for the holidays thanks to this annual exhibit featuring a model train exhibit running through classic train stations like New York City's Grand Central Terminal, St. Louis' Union Station and many more. Inside the Conservatory you'll also find the garden's collection of DC's iconic landmarks, including a model of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture 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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'Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse' exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum on the National Mall - Free fall museum exhibit in Washington, DC

‘Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse’ – Through April 28, 2019
Innovative Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer will bring the largest interactive technology exhibition to the Hirshhorn in the museum’s history. Pulse will take up the entire Second Level, with three major installations using heart-rate sensors to create audiovisual experiences from visitors’ biometric data. Together, the biometric signatures will create spellbinding sequences of soundscapes, lights and animations.
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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@washingtondcua - Tour guide with group in Smithsonian National Museum of American History - Free museum in Washington, DC

‘Superheroes’ – Ongoing
This showcase presents artifacts from the museum’s collections that relate to superheroes, including comic books, original comic art, movie and television costumes and props and memorabilia. The display includes George Reeves’s Superman costume from the Adventures of Superman TV program, which ran from 1951-1958, as well as Halle Berry’s Storm costume from the 2014 film X-Men: Days of Future Past.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

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U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum - Washington, DC

‘Americans and the Holocaust’ – Ongoing
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum features this in-depth exhibit that details the American response to the Holocaust and Nazism. America’s own racism, antisemitism, xenophobia and isolationism had an impact on this response, as did the amount of information available to Americans in regard to what was happening in Europe. The few American individuals that sought to help the Jewish people are also highlighted.
10 a.m. – 5:20 p.m. |  Free admission
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Place SW, Washington, DC 20024

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@ray.payys - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall - Free Museum in Washington, DC

‘Nature’s Best Photography’ – Open through Sept. 2019
Make your way to the second floor of the National Museum of Natural History to discover the best nature photography in the world. More than 26,000 photos were entered into the Windland Smith Rice International Awards, with 60 of the finest submissions selected for inclusion in this visually marvelous exhibit. In addition to photos, you’ll see a video of manta rays and sharks feeding and a display that shows how cameras have evolved.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

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@emilygoesplaces - Henry the Elephant at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History on the National Mall in Washington, DC

‘Game Change: Elephants from Prey to Preservation’ – Open through Feb. 1, 2020
Elephants are one of the most fascinating species in the world, and their conservation is essential. This exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History shows how the public attitude towards elephants has drastically shifted since the late 19th century, when big game hunting was popular. Now, care and concern for these animals is a must in order to save them. Find out why in this exploratory and historic display.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

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Magnificent Obsessions Why We Collect exhibit at the National Museum of American History - Free Smithsonian museum on the National Mall in DC

‘Magnificent Obsessions: Why We Collect’ – Open through July 1, 2020
The phenomenon of collection is the focus of this new exhibit at the National Museum of American History. Learn about pioneering collectors who helped shape Smithsonian Libraries through their infinite curiosity and desire to preserve the past. You’ll encounter the sheer diversity of the Smithsonian’s collections and how the institution continues to preserve historic treasures and modern items.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

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Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient Seas at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC

‘Sea Monsters Unearthed: Life in Angola’s Ancient Seas’ – Open through 2020
Africa’s southwest coast teemed with rare sea creatures after the South Atlantic Ocean basin formed some 120 million years ago. In this exhibit, discover fossil remnants of these giant reptiles, including mosasaurs, plesiosaurs and sea turtles. You’ll also learn how these ancient creatures help us understand ocean ecosystems today. Highlights include a 23-foot-long reconstruction of a predatory mosasaur, an animated mural full of sea monsters and the skull of the South Atlantic’s oldest sea turtle species.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

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Ambreen Butt, The Great Hunt I - Exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC

‘Ambreen Butt – Mark My Words’ – Dec. 7 – April 14, 2019
Pakistani-American artist Ambreen Butt is known for her distinctive interpretation of traditional Indian and Persian miniature painting. Butt focuses on female protagonists and politics in her work, tackling global issues and posing art as social commentary. The patterns, symbols and techniques of Butt’s work will be on full display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Recently, the artist began incorporating words into her pieces more often, as evidenced by the Say My Name series dedicated to forgotten casualties of American conflicts in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The exhibit will feature new works from this series on display for the first time.
Hours & Admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

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@evansevilla - ‘Champions’ exhibit at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery - Free museum in Washington, DC

‘Portraits of the World: Korea’ – Dec. 14 – Nov. 17, 2019
The centerpiece of this second entry in the National Portrait Gallery’s Portraits of the World series is a stunning wood assemblage portrait by Yun Suknam, a groundbreaking feminist artist from Korea. The work of other women artists will also be showcased, including portraits of Nancy Spero, Louise Bourgeois and Marisol. Visitors will be able to learn of themes and approaches that have inspired women from around the world.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

Theater

The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker - Holiday Performances in Washington, DC
The Washington Ballet's 'The Nutcracker' – Nov. 28 – Dec. 28

The Washington Ballet pulls out all the stops for this classic Christmas tale that features a special DC twist when 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 during the Revolutionary War, the production dazzles by an impressive roster of dancers and the classic Tchaikovsky score.
Various Times | Tickets
The Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street, NW Washington, DC 20004

'Indecent' production at Arena Stage on the Southwest Waterfront - Theater and performing arts in Washington, DC

‘Indecent’ – Nov. 30 - Dec. 30
This Arena Stage play about a play concerns censorship, cultural identity and the power of art. Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel penned this behind-the-scenes story of the creation and production of God of Vengeance, a 1923 play written by Sholen Asch that inspired both outcry and critical praise for its controversial themes. Indecent depicts the bravery of the artists involved through searing dialogue and unforgettable musical numbers.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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The Second City’s 'She the People' at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company - Cutting-edge fall theater in Washington, DC

The Second City’s ‘She the People’ – Dec. 3 – Jan. 6, 2019
The Second City celebrates the 10th anniversary of its first trip to Woolly Mammoth Theatre with this all-female production that will have you rolling in the aisles. Laugh out loud as one of the country’s top comedic troupes takes on the patriarchy, discusses having each other’s backs and fearlessly skewers the powers that be, all motivated by mimosas and madness.
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Motown at Signature Theatre in Virginia - Winter theater in Washington, DC

‘Motown: The Reprise’ – Dec. 4-22
Motown: Hitsville U.S.A. dazzled Signature Theatre audiences earlier this year, so the Virginia company is bringing even more Motown sounds to its stage this December. The cabaret-style production will dig even deeper into the Motown catalogue with joyous performances of classic songs by Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Smokey Robinson and many more.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

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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. 4-31
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 during December. 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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'The Panties, the Partner and the Profit: Scenes from the Heroic Life of the Middle Class' at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC

‘The Panties, the Partner and the Profit: Scenes from the Heroic Life of the Middle Class’ – Dec. 4 – Jan. 6, 2019
Acclaimed playwright David Ives takes on Carl Sternheim’s legendary trilogy, Scenes from the Heroic Life of the Middle Classes, in this new play from Shakespeare Theatre Company. Jumping from Boston in 1950 to Wall Street in 1986 to modern-day Malibu, this satire of the American middle class will address issues large and small, with plenty of zaniness thrown in. This production marks the final collaboration between Ives and director Michael Kahn.
Tickets
Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Ballet West's 'The Nutcracker' at The Kennedy Center - Christmas and holiday-themed performances in Washington, DC

Ballet West: ‘The Nutcracker’ – Dec. 5-9
Ballet West, the premier theater company in Utah, comes to the Kennedy Center to perform a new rendition of The Nutcracker, a version that received rave reviews upon its introduction to Sale Lake City audiences last year. Journey to the Land of Sweets on the wings of Tchaikovsky’s score as Ballet West presents an unforgettable holiday tale as you’ve never seen it before.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Miss Saigon at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Winter theater in Washington, DC

‘Miss Saigon’ – Dec. 12 – Jan. 13, 2019
The creators of Les Misérables also masterminded this hit Broadway musical. Miss Saigon tells the tale of Kim, a Vietnamese woman who meets an American G.I. in a seedy bar run by a villainous character known as The Engineer. After this chance encounter, Kim’s life changes forever. Featuring riveting songs and scenes filled with spectacle, this Kennedy Center production will be one of the season’s biggest draws.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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@iamjaithephotog - Nightlife on H Street NE - Things to Do in Washington, DC

‘Oh, God’ – Dec. 12 – Jan. 13, 2019
God needs therapy in this play written by the late Anat Gov and produced by Mosaic Theater Company. Ella is a psychotherapist and a single mother of an autistic child. She gets an unexpected visit from God, who is in desperate need of psychiatric treatment due to the overwhelming responsibility of his power. Meanwhile, Ella stopped believing in God a long time ago. Witness these two square off in this biblical tale that will address faith, hubris and humility with loads of wit at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Scene from 'An Irish Carol' at Keegan Theatre in Dupont Circle - Holiday Theater Performances in Washington, DC

‘An Irish Carol’ – Dec. 13-31
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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National Symphony Orchestra's NSO Pops 'A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe' with Ashley Brown in Washington, DC

NSO Pops: ‘A Holiday Pops! Under the Mistletoe’ with Ashley Brown – Dec. 14-15
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 Ashley Brown, the player of the titular role in Mary Poppins on Broadway, who will be making her NSO debut.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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'The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me' at the Kennedy Center - Kid-friendly holiday opera in Washington, DC

‘The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me’ – Dec. 14-16
Treat the family to some wholesome opera this holiday season. The Lion, the Unicorn and Me takes on the Nativity story from a new perspective, as the Fearsome Lion, the gorgeous Unicorn and the humble Donkey compete to determine who can get Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem for the birth of their son. Donkey is in for some surprises in this whimsical show based on an award-winning children’s book.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show - Holiday-Themed Performance in Washington, DC

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show – Dec. 14-30
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 this December. 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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Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place - Washington, DC

Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place – Dec. 15-16
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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Chorus at Washington National Cathedral in Upper Northwest - Things to Do in Washington, DC

Cathedral Choral Society: 'The Joy of Christmas' – Dec. 15-16
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 Paul Moravec.
2 p.m., 4 p.m. & 7 p.m. |  Tickets
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

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The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker - Holiday-Themed Performances Near Washington, DC

‘Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker’ – Dec. 16-17
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 and 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.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

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The Hip Hop Nutcracker at the Strathmore - Holiday performances in and around Washington, DC

‘The Hip Hop Nutcracker’ – Dec. 18-19
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 the hip-hop musical performances. This year, 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 that will be performed for two nights only at Strathmore’s Music Center.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

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‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ – Dec. 18 – Jan. 6, 2019
Sherlock Holmes meets Monty Python in this play that has inspired gut-busting laughs in London and on Broadway. It’s the opening night of The Murder of Haversham Manor, but circumstances couldn’t be worse – the leading lady is unconscious, the corpse can’t play dead and the actors can’t seem to get their lines right. Mania and madness ensue. The Play That Goes Wrong is recommended for ages 8 and up.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Washington, DC

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s ‘Messiah’ – Dec. 20-23
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 the University of Maryland Concert Choir 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

Music

@endave - John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Foggy Bottom - Theater in Washington, DC

NPR’s ‘A Jazz Piano Christmas’ – Dec. 1
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. A Jazz Piano Christmas will be led by the Center’s artistic director for jazz, Jason Moran, who will also be joined by Booker T. Jones, James Francies and many others.
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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@namesmusic - Concert at Rock and Roll Hotel on H Street NE - Where to See a Show in Washington, DC

Peter Bjorn & John – Dec. 2
The Swedish trio that set the world a-whistlin’ with 2007’s “Young Folks” is continuously reinventing its sound, as evidenced by this year’s Darker Days. Peter Bjorn & John’s kaleidoscopic approach to pop means there’s never a dull moment on their recordings or during their performances. Rock & Roll Hotel will host the three musicians for a night of pop wizardry this Sunday.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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The Washington Chorus presents ‘A Candlelight Christmas’ - Holiday Performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

The Washington Chorus presents ‘A Candlelight Christmas’ – Dec. 7-22
The Washington Chorus consists of 200 voices, which work in tandem with brass, organ and percussion to create wonderful renditions of Christmas classics. The chorus will also be accompanied by high school ensembles and the audience will be asked to join in joyous sing-alongs. The traditional candlelight processional will also take 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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Cloud Nothings at Union Stage - Concerts this December in Washington, DC

Cloud Nothings – Dec. 8
Hailing from Cleveland, OH, Cloud Nothings bring forth guitar-driven pop and expertly crafted songs from bandleader Dylan Baldi. Their early, DIY recordings were fuzzed up and catchy, while 2012’s Attack on Memory signaled a much louder and streamlined sound for the group. Since then, Baldi and co. have only built on this breakthrough, culminating in this year’s heavy and intense Last Building Burning. Union Stage, located at The Wharf, hosts these rock darlings for a Saturday night show.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Stage, 704 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Hot 99.5's Jingle Ball at the Capital One Arena - December concerts in Washington, DC

Hot 99.5’s Jingle Ball – Dec. 10
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 Shawn Mendes, The Chainsmokers, G-Eazy, Meghan Trainor and Bebe Rexha, among others. 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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Dave Matthews Band at Capital One Arena - The best winter concerts in Washington, DC

Dave Matthews Band – Dec. 13
Dave Matthews Band, often referred to as “DMB,” have become an American institution. Since their founding in Charlottesville, Va. in 1991, the group has built a following of millions around the world. DMB’s concerts are a seismic event, as the band riffs on its extensive catalogue with flourishes of jazz, rock, fusion and folk, never afraid to jam out for extended periods. The group is currently touring in support of its first LP in six years, Come Tomorrow.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Mumford and Sons at Capital One Arena - The best winter concerts in Washington, DC

Mumford & Sons – Dec. 14
Mumford & Sons have transcended the folk-rock label to become one of the most popular musical acts in the world. Songs like “I Will Wait,” “The Cave” and “Little Lion Man” have propelled the group to superstardom, which means packed stadiums await them everywhere they go. The circumstances will be no different for this show at Capital One Arena, so grab tickets as soon as you can. Once they’re sold out, check the secondary market.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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A Christmas Messe: A Banquet of Seasonal English Music at Folger Theatre - Holiday events in Washington, DC

A Christmas Messe: A Banquet of Seasonal English Music – Dec. 14-23
Strings, harp, organ and a voice ensemble will perform traditional Yuletide music during this series of concerts at the Folger Theatre. In conjunction with the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Churchill’s Shakespeare exhibition, the Folger Consort will take on English carols and arrangements of later favorites, including Greensleeves by Vaughan Williams. The music will be accompanied by a reading of A Christmas Messe, a 1619 manuscript that details a struggle between King Beef and King Brawn.
Tickets
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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Concert at the historic 9:30 Club - Best music venues in Washington, DC

Thievery Corporation – Dec. 15
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.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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@bandoftomorrow - Concert at the historic 9:30 Club - Concert venues in Washington, DC -

Cat Power – Dec. 16
Cat Power is the stage name of Chan Marshall, one of indie rock’s most intimate singer-songwriters. Her songs and sultry voice can split your heart or raise your spirit to the sky. Cat Power’s breakthrough came with 1998’s Moon Pix, one of the most beloved indie albums of that decade. Ever since, she’s been crafting odes to love, heartbreak, loss and empowerment. Marshall also has an uncanny knack for the cover song, as evidenced by her rendition of Lana Del Rey’s “Woman” on this year’s Wanderer. Prepare for a heartfelt and emotional set.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents 'Songs of the Season: Christmas with Choral Arts' in Washington, DC

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents ‘Songs of the Season: Christmas with Choral Arts’ – Dec. 16-24
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 Esther Heideman 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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Snail Mail – Dec. 21
Masterminded and led by 19-year old singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan, who hails from Ellicott City, Md., Snail Mail is having one hell of a year. Initially just Jordan and a guitar, the project now features a full-fledged band, one that compels Jordan and her immaculately composed songs to greatness on Lush, a record that has been praised to high heaven since its release this past June. The track “Pristine” is so good that it may inspire you to attend this show at the 9:30 Club with one listen. With tickets at just $17, this performance will be well worth the price of admission.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Eric B. & Rakim – Dec. 21
Plain and simple, Eric B. & Rakim revolutionized rap music. The duo burst onto the scene with 1987’s Paid in Full and released three more acclaimed albums after that. Rakim’s flow and sharp lyrics took the art of rap to the next level, allowing it to flourish and become a pillar of popular music, while Eric B.’s sample-strewn beats provided the perfect backdrop. Tickets to the duo’s show at The Howard Theatre would be a perfect early Christmas present for the hip-hop fan in your life.
8 p.m. | Tickets
The Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Echostage - Live Music Venues in Washington, DC

Tiësto – Dec. 26
Tiësto is a legend in electronic dance music, with a DJ career that spans well over two decades. Hailing from the Netherlands, he’s taken his incredible live sets all over the world, and he even performed during the opening ceremony at the 2004 Summer Olympics. His music has developed from trance to a more pop-influenced EDM sound, but one thing that never changes: his ability to put on an unforgettable show. Echostage will be at its most vibrant for what will be hours of spinning and dancing.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, DC 20018

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Music for Young Audiences: Timbalooloo Live - Family-friendly performance at the Kennedy Center in DC

Music for Young Audiences: ‘Timbalooloo Live’ – Dec. 26-31
The Kennedy Center invites Grammy Award-winning clarinetist and composer Oran Etkin and his band for a music-themed series of events that will thrill the kids. Etkin and his group will use stories, songs, movement and games to educate kids on musical history and heritage. Their engaging lesson will span from Mozart to Willie Nelson to Herbie Hancock.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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The Roots – Dec. 28
From Philadelphia streets to Things Fall Apart to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the journey of The Roots is almost as fascinating as their thoughtful, continuously evolving music. The group has made classic albums, accrued Grammy Awards and lit up stages around the world. will proudly host the legendary hip-hop band for one night only. It’ll be well worth trekking outside of DC lines to witness The Roots do their thing.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

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Echostage - Live Music Venues in Washington, DC

David Guetta – Dec. 30
David Guetta helped spearhead the EDM boom, a DJ whose influence stretches well beyond standing behind a turntable. The legend has made records with Kelly Rowland, Ludacris, Sia and many others, helping to create a dance sound that has leapt from clubs to top-40 radio. Echostage is the most fitting venue for Guetta’s live show, which will feel more like a party.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, DC 20018

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@jim_malone - Balcony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Theater and performing arts in Washington, DC

‘A Jazz New Year’s Eve’ – Dec. 31
Ring in the new year with hip-hop scatting and a mash-up of hip-hop and bebop dedicated to the late Ella Fitzgerald. The Kennedy Center annually hosts this jazz-themed celebration, with this year’s lineup featuring jazz singer Patti Austin and hip-hop drummer Trevor Lawrence, Jr. (who has recorded with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones). Your ticket will include a party in the Grand Foyer.
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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The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC