Our end-of-the-week picks for Dec. 1-3
DC Cocktail Week
Dozens of DC restaurants participate in this celebration of mixology curated by the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. DC Cocktail Week (Nov. 28 through Dec. 5) showcases innovative drinks, letting local bartenders put their creative brains to work. These tasty creations are paired with dishes to inspire flavor explosions that you will not want to miss. Local distilleries get in on the act as well.
Heurich House Museum's famed Castle Garden hosts the Christkindlmarkt throughout the first full weekend of December every year. Tickets grant you access to the arts and crafts-laden market featuring goods from dozens of vendors and the historic mansion, which will be decorated to the nines.
Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
In the Library: Will’s World – European Literature in Shakespeare’s Time
In conjunction with the Shakespeare Everywhere Festival, the National Gallery of Art’s Library presents an enthralling exhibit of selected rare books from the museum’s special collections. Classical and modern literary sources can be examined in-depth, many of which were inspired by groundbreaking playwrights such as Shakespeare – and some of which likely inspired the Bard himself.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC
ARTECHOUSE: Beyond the Light
In collaboration with NASA, ARTECHOUSE's latest installation delivers an artistic expression of space exploration, technology and innovation. The cinematic experience explores the history of our universe through light and immersive audio, based on groundbreaking discoveries. Purchase tickets through the link below for a 10% discount.
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024
Stroll through DC’s most historic neighborhood to see jaw-dropping illuminated artworks. Georgetown GLOW is always a holiday hit in the District. Participants range from locally renowned to internationally celebrated, while their works gorgeously adorn outdoor spaces throughout Georgetown.
More Info | Free Admission
Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights, powered by Pepco, a part of their annual holiday tradition. The free event includes live music performances, tasty winter treats and plenty of opportunities for holiday shopping. Environmentally friendly LED lights and dozens of glowing animal lanterns transform Smithsonian's National Zoo into a winter wonderland. New this year: admission is $6 per individual.
Hours & Admission
Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
A Christmas Carol
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.
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
The Ven's Holiday Market
Take care of some holiday shopping and bring the kids along to visit with Santa at The Ven's Holiday Market. Offerings include a range of vendors, from high-end crafts and fine art to body products, candles, jewelry, apparel, books and more. Fred and Stilla Restaurant & Bar has created a specialty menu that features mulled wine, spiced cider, soups, pastries and sweets. Santa Claus will be on hand for photo ops as well. The Ven's new exhibit, LOVE LANGUAGES, will debut on the lower level gallery with many of the artists featured in the show in attendance.
12-5 p.m. | More Info | Free Admission
The Ven at Embassy Row, 2015 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036
Downtown Holiday Market
This free-to-frequent downtown bazaar is centrally located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, the beloved market stretches across two blocks of F Street between 7th and 9th streets. 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
F Street between 7th and 9th Streets NW, Washington, DC
Visit the National Christmas Tree
The National Christmas Tree is DC’s claim to fame during the holidays, and for good reason. The gorgeous conifer, which is free to visit, 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.
White House Ellipse, 15th & E Streets NW, Washington, DC 20500
Whistler: Streetscapes, Urban Change
The National Museum of Asian Art’s renowned collection of works by James McNeill Whistler inform this exhibition that explores European cities in an era of rapid change. Streetscapes, Urban Change showcases oil paintings, watercolors, pastels and prints, some of which are on some on view at the museum for the first time. Visitors will be able to experience the American expatriate artist’s fascination with the stunning growth and transformation of major cities at the end of the 19th century.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560
The Washington Ballet presents The Nutcracker
DC's favorite ballet company 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 1882 Georgetown, you will be dazzled by an impressive roster of dancers and the beautiful Tchaikovsky score.
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
The Dragon King’s Daughter
In a world premiere Kennedy Center Commission, writer Marcus Yi invites audiences into the world of 12-year-old Kenny Li, a victim of bullying at school who discovers a magical tablet that transports him to the Jade Kingdom, where he meets our title character. The duo embarks on a mission to save the world, and along the way, Kenny taps into his bravery and encounters the joy of friendship. Featuring fascinating Chinese dragon mythology, martial arts and soaring music, The Dragon King’s Daughter is a can’t-miss for family-friendly audiences this winter.
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
GALA FILM FEST: Latin American Innovation
The perspectives of some of the finest young independent directors will be presented throughout this festival in celebration of bright and emerging Latin American filmmakers. Contemporary films from Colombia, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina and the Dominican Republic – as well as a Mexican classic – will be screened at the GALA Hispanic Theatre. Q&A’s with artists and experts and receptions will also be available to attend after screenings.
More Info & Tickets
GALA Hispanic Theatre, 3333 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20010
The District’s Holiday Boat Parade
Each year, dozens of dazzling boats traverse the Potomac River from the waterfront in Alexandria, Va. to the The Wharf. You can observe the parade free of charge, and there are holiday festivities to enjoy beforehand, including winter drink sampling, chances to meet Santa, ornament decorating and more. 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.
Events begin at 6 p.m. | More Info
The Wharf, 760 Maine Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024
Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC Holiday Show
Tap-dancing elves, a moving Christmas tree, snow and unforgettable choral renditions of holiday classics will all be part of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC's annual holiday show. The festive program will include songs like “Sleigh Ride”, “Underneath the Tree” and “The 12 Rockin' Days of Christmas”. Expect performances from the full Chorus, soloists, all GMCW ensembles and the GenOUT Youth Chorus.
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
An Irish Carol
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.
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Congressional Cemetery Holiday Market
For the first time, the historic Congressional Cemetery will host a holiday market. Expect to see one-of-a-kind gifts, handmade treasures and delicious treats from local bakers, artisans and vendors. Admission is free.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Free Admission
Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
With the beloved light maze at its center, Enchant makes its home in DC at the gorgeous Nationals Park each winter. Families can enjoy ice skating trails, a holiday village with products from local businesses and a kids’ play place. Expect plenty of Instagram-friendly settings and holiday spirit at this one-of-a-kind installation.
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
Featuring music and lyrics by The Avett Brothers, whose 2004 album Mignonette was inspired by the same story, Swept Away concerns an 1884 shipwreck and the struggle of four men to survive it. When their whaling ship sinks off the coast of New Bedford, Mass., the men must face a reckoning and attempt forgiveness in the face of tragedy.
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
As You Like It
Shakespeare didn’t only dabble in tragedy. You can experience one of his greatest romantic comedies, As You Like It, at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Hall this winter. Set in the 1960s amid flower power and filled with humor, beauty and romance, the play follows Rosalind, who is banished from her home and ends up in an “alternative community” where possibilities are endless. The Bard’s verse and the music of The Beatles are woven together to create a production you won’t soon forget.
Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
VOCA Presents: ISM II
After the success of the first iteration of ISM, Atlas Performing Arts Center welcomes back the VOCA Ensemble for a sequel. The ensemble consists of Deaf and Hard of Hearing BIPOC individuals who will share their true stories in American Sign Language (ASL). Many of these experiences involve being exposed to societal “isms”, discrimination and oppression. Through Deaf Hip-Hop culture, including in-depth storytelling, poetry, music, dance and multimedia, these brave artists will express themselves on stage. Deaf, hard of hearing and hearing audiences will simultaneously have access to ASL and Spoken English (voice-performed).
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
Fresh Talk: Digital Futures
The recently reopened National Museum of Women in the Arts continues its Fresh Talk series with a focus on the digital future. Artists, curators and designers will examine the influence of technology on how art is created and sold as well as how the trend can be leveraged to create gender equity across the creative spectrum. A cocktail hour concludes the festivities.
4-6 p.m. | Tickets
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue, Washington, DC 20005
#Only1DC Photo of the Week
Do you know where you’ll be dining pre- or post-event? From pop-up restaurants to Michelin-starred hot spots to laid-back food halls, our DC food guide is perfect for helping you plan a more memorable experience.