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Things to Do This Weekend in Washington, DC

Our end-of-the-week picks for Dec. 8-10

We've gathered up some fun things to do in DC this weekend. You can also read what else is going on during the week and throughout the month.

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Friday

 

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.
Tickets
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Georgetown GLOW
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

 

ZooLights 
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

 

The Improvised Shakespeare Company
Shakespeare has been interpreted in many, many ways, but The Improvised Shakespeare Company has come up with one of the most intriguing approaches yet. With one audience suggestion (a title of a play not yet written), the Company creates a Shakespearean masterpiece right before your eyes, totally improvised. Equipped with language and themes from all The Bard’s classics, the talented players could unveil a comedy or a tragedy – you will have to come to find out.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566


 

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.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

Reggae Fest DC
Prepare to move your feet at DC’s historic Howard Theatre during Reggae Fest, which will bring the rhythms of dancehall, Soca, Afrobeat and of course, reggae, to one of the most vibrant venues in the District. Doors open at 10 p.m. for this 21-and-over event.
11 p.m. – 3 a.m. |  Tickets
The Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

NSO Pops: A Holiday Pops! with Norm Lewis
The sparkling holiday celebration hosted by the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) returns with fresh takes on comforting classics and sing-along favorites in the festively decorated Concert Hall. This year, the NSO welcomes actor and singer Norm Lewis, one of Broadway's leading men.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Saturday

 

DC Design Tours

DC Design Tours

Experience the city with DC Design Tours
See the District through a new light with DC Design Tours, which offers evening walking excursions through Georgetown GLOW, the holiday-themed installation that dazzles the city's most historic neighborhood each winter. You can also book a winter walking tour for two, ideal for a date night to disrupt the winter blues (get $50 off the private tour with discount code "DCDESIGNDATE"). DC Design Tours is also hosting a holiday sale on gift cards through the end of the calendar year (use discount code "DCDESIGNGIFT").

 

Downtown Holiday Market

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.
Free Admission
White House Ellipse, 15th & E Streets NW, Washington, DC 20500

 

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.
Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

Handel's Messiah
The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas, as it becomes adorned with themed lights and elaborate decorations each year. Join the Cathedral's choir and baroque orchestra for a stirring rendition of Handel's beloved Messiah. You will be dazzled by the performance set against the Cathedral's architecture and Gothic splendor.
Tickets
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
 

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.
Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

The Lion, the Unicorn, and Me
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

 

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.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

 

The bp Renegades Steel Orchestra
In honor of an incredible 75-year run, the bp Renegades Steel Orchestra will play a special anniversary show at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Events DC and the Mayor’s Office on Caribbean Community Affairs bring you the pulsating rhythms, pounding drums and steelpan magic of the group, which is playing its first show in DC in more than a decade. Get ready for the energy of Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival in the heart of the District.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Entertainment and Sports Arena, 1100 Oak Drive SE, Washington, DC 20032

 

Sunday

 

Enchant Christmas 
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.
Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

 

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 illustrious Arena Stage 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 Nutcracker are also on the docket.
Tickets
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.
Tickets
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).
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

 

#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.

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