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14 Things to Do This Weekend in Washington, DC

Our end-of-the-week picks for December 15-17


Christmas at George Washington's Mount Vernon - Things to Do During the Holidays

Christmas Illuminations at Mount Vernon
George Washington’s estate showcases its holiday grandeur during this annual event. Fireworks choreographed to holiday music begin at 9 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. The event continues on Saturday.
5:30-9 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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Shamir Bailey burst onto the scene in 2015, a 20-year old musical phenom from Las Vegas equipped with a lethal sense of rhythm, insightful lyrics and no shortage of personality. His debut album, Ratchet, was a dance party. This year’s Revelations is a gradual departure, with slower songs that recall bare-bones, early ‘90s indie rock and bedroom pop. The result is an album just as striking as his first. U Street Music Hall will host this Friday night show.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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An American in Paris Broadway Production at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Theater in Washington, DC

‘An American in Paris’
This Tony Award-winning musical comes to DC for the first time. Set in Paris after World War II, the play follows an American soldier and a French girl, each looking to begin a new life after the conflict. Featuring unforgettable music from George and Ira Gershwin, this acclaimed Broadway production will be a highlight of the holiday theater season in the District. The production runs through Jan. 7, 2018.
7:30 p.m.  |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Angel Olsen
One of rock music’s most important voices is gracing DC with her presence this December. Angel Olsen is writing heartfelt, introspective songs like no one else currently working in rock music. Her most recent LP, MY WOMAN, built on the folk-rock glory of 2014’s Burn Your Fire For No Witness with a fuller sound and intricately woven songcraft. Olsen sits comfortably in the lineage of Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Patti Smith – female songwriters capable of rendering deep emotions with a single word, a single note. With all that said, it’d be a shame if you missed Olsen at 9:30 Club this Friday.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001


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

Nationals Winterfest
In an event that always produces classic moments between players and fans, Nationals Winterfest returns to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday. Many of the Nats’ stars will be on-hand for fun interaction, games and autographs. Coaches and mascots will be hanging around, too, as the city celebrates its beloved, division-winning baseball team. Tickets are available for each day separately.
11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Tickets
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Chorus at Washington National Cathedral in Upper Northwest - Things to Do in Washington, DC

‘The Joy of Christmas’
The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas, as its themed lights and decorations make for spectacular viewing that the whole family can savor. The Joy of Christmas is the Cathedral’s marquee event, featuring renditions of Christmas classics and sing-alongs. This year’s event features a new carol from popular British composer Paul Mealor. There is an additional performance on Sunday at 4 p.m.
2 p.m. & 7 p.m.  |  Tickets
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

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An Evening with ThePianoGuys at National Theatre - Holiday and Winter Performance in Washington, DC

An Evening with ThePianoGuys
DC’s holiday season only improves with a performance from ThePianoGuys. The group has become a YouTube sensation, and now their brand of wit and outstanding arrangements will light up the stage at the National Theatre from Wednesday through Saturday. Watch as they reinvent hit songs in their own signature way. You’ll have four chances to catch this one-of-a-kind act.
4 p.m. & 8 p.m.  |  Tickets
National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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'The Little Prince' Washington National Opera Performance at the Kennedy Center - Theater in Washington, DC

‘The Little Prince’
The Washington National Opera revives its sold-out 2014 production of Rachel Portman’s family opera. Based on the classic illustrated book, The Little Prince concerns a little boy’s search for companionship across the universe. Along the way, he encounters a rich businessman, a tired lamplighter, a delusional king and a pilot, making up an incredible journey that the entire family will love. The play runs from Thursday through Sunday.
7:30 p.m.  |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place - Washington, DC

Kwanzaa Celebration at Dance Place
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 a communal atmosphere across both performances (the second is on Sunday at 4 p.m.).
8 p.m.  |  Tickets
Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

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

‘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. The production runs through New Year’s Eve.
8 p.m.  |  Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036


‘Portraits of the World: Switzerland’ Exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery - Free Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC

‘Portraits of the World: Switzerland’
With this exhibit, the National Portrait Gallery begins a series that will highlight the global context of American portraiture. You can marvel at Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler’s Femme en Extase, a portrait of the Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi. The piece embodies the theory of eurhythmics, which went on to change the concept of dance in America. Other Portrait Gallery works that showcase this theory will also be on display. The exhibit is open through Nov. 12, 2018.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

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@icecreamjubilee - Cookie Cookie Dough Ice Cream Cone from Ice Cream Jubilee - Best Ice Cream in Washington, DC

Ice Cream Jubilee’s Ice Cream Tasting Holiday Party
Decadence awaits at Ice Cream Jubilee’s new flavor tasting/holiday party, running Saturday from 1-2 p.m. in Capitol Riverfront and Sunday from 1-2 p.m. on 14th Street. Dig in to an ice cream flight (yes, ice cream flights exist in real life!) featuring six scoops of wintry flavors: candy cane pretzel, boozy eggnog, sticky toffee pudding, espresso colada, chocolate peanut butter fudge and cranberry sorbet. Best of all, your $16 ticket also includes a pint of ice cream to take home with you. Good to know: In the spirit of the holidays, Ice Cream Jubilee will be collecting socks and canned food for the needy.
1 p.m. | Tickets
Ice Cream Jubilee, 1407 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s ‘Messiah’
This holiday epic, which explores the story of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, is performed at the Kennedy Center each year, but each rendition has its own special flair. 2017 is no different, as the National Symphony Orchestra takes the stage along with guest artists: Sophie Daneman, Ann McMahon Quintero, Karim Sulayman and Christian Immler, as well as the University of Maryland Concert Choir. Performances begin on Thursday and conclude on Sunday.
1 p.m.  |  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
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, which begins Friday and runs through Dec. 30, 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.
4 p.m.  |  Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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#MyDCcool Photo of the Week


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For more events, festivals and things to do in Washington, DC, check out our events calendar.