Washington, DC

Well it only took us 11 years but with the untimely death of DCist, it was necessary. So I poached DCist’s last events freelancer – Mimi Montgomery. Originally from North Carolina, Mimi now lives in Adams Morgan.

14 of our favorite events in D.C. this weekend

By: Mimi Montgomery

Photo by Eric Sidle


LIGHT IT UP The Columbia Heights Civic Plaza will turn into Dr. Seuss’s Hooville tonight for its tree lighting extravaganza. Come see the switch get flipped on for yourself, and enjoy hot cocoa, candy canes, and carols, too. Neighborhood watering holes such as The Coupe, Colony Club, and The Good Silver will be having happy hour deals, as well, so let the festive spirit continue throughout the night. (Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, 6:30 p.m., FREE)

PETWORTH FIRST FRIDAY Petworth Arts Collaborative will celebrate its first birthday tonight at First Friday in Petworth. The space will have drinks and dancing, and don’t forget to check out the pieces on-display by local artists. And, of course, bop around to the many other neighborhood joints that will be participating in the First Friday celebration – Upshur Street Books, Willow D.C., Hank’s Cocktail Bar, Lighthouse Yoga Center, and many more will all be joining in on the fun. (Petworth Citizen, 6 p.m., FREE)

HALLELUJAH The Christmas classic Handel’s Messiah will be performed at the National Cathedral today through Sunday. Experience the beloved masterpiece as Handel himself would have wanted it: performed in a cavernous space with period Baroque instruments. Be sure to purchase tickets beforehand, as the event is expected to reach maximum capacity. (Washington National Cathedral, Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 4 p.m., $15 – $95)

HOLIDAY MARKET Head to the historic Heurich House for its Christkindlmarkt event. The traditional outdoor German holiday market will feature gifts on-sale by local artisans such as bakers, jewelers, ceramicists, and more. Post-shopping, stick around: Each ticket allows entry to the home, which will be decked out in full seasonal splendor. (Heurich House Museum, Friday 4 – 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., $2 – $30)

MEETING OF THE MINDS The Long Conversation is a series of alternating conversations between influential artists, scientists, innovators, chefs, and politicians about their hopes for the future. Tonight, prepare to be inspired and challenged by conversations between the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Jose Andres, and Erik Bruner-Yang. There will be an interactive art display on exhibit, too, as well as a pop-up café by Andres serving drinks and food. (Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building, 3 – 10 p.m., FREE, registration required)

MORE Ofenbach (U Street Music Hall, 10 p.m., $15), GoGo Night with the Wizards (Capital One Arena, $12 – $170), An Introduction to Traditional Indian Painting (Freer|Sackler Gallery of Art, 6 – 8:30 p.m., $90), Winterfest at Wunder Garten (1101 First Street SE, 12 noon – 8 p.m., FREE), Light Up The Wharf (The Wharf, 5 – 8 p.m., FREE)

Photo by @seeingjoyfully


BOOK SWAP Attention bibliophiles: The Coffee & Design group puts on its inaugural Holiday Book Swap today. Head to the National Portrait Gallery’s atrium with your favorite design, art, architecture, or creative book in-hand to trade with fellow readers. Fancy wrapping paper not required (although it doesn’t hurt). (National Portrait Gallery, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., FREE, registration required)

SMITHSONIAN HOLIDAY FESTIVAL The National Museum of American History hosts its Holiday Festival this weekend. Listen to traditional Hanukkah songs while designing your own dreidel, bake a festive Caribbean fruitcake, try a hand at making your own chocolate, watch a screening of The Polar Express, catch a performance by the U.S. Air Force’s Singing Sergeants and Airmen of Note, and tons more throughout Saturday and Sunday. Plus, there will be plenty of chances to pick up a few extra holiday gifts in between activities, too. (National Museum of American History, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., FREE)

FILM STUDIES Join Sankofa Video Books & Café tonight for A Night of Black Brazilian Cinema. Each of the short films screened is representative of the new generation of black filmmakers emerging in Brazil. Post-viewing, Brazilian researcher and Fulbright Scholar Janaina Oliveira will host a discussion about the films and the movement at-large. (Sankofa Video Books & Café, 7 – 9 p.m., FREE)

‘TIS THE (SWEDISH) SEASON Get into the holiday spirit Scandinavian-style at the Swedish Christmas Bazaar. Artisans and vendors will be selling all sorts of traditional Swedish crafts, treats, food, and drink, and caroling by the Swedish St. Lucia Procession will top off the event. (House of Sweden, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., FREE)

NATIVE ART MARKET Today marks the first day of the Native Art Market at the National Museum of the American Indian. Purchase traditional and contemporary works by Native American artists from all over the country. Silver and semiprecious jewelry, handwoven baskets, paintings, traditional beadwork, and more will all be on sale through Sunday. (National Museum of the American Indian, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., FREE)

MORE Holiday Market (Old City Farm and Guild, 12 noon – 4 p.m., FREE), Fashion for Thinking Women (2122 P Street, 12:30 – 3:30 p.m., FREE, registration required), Vinyl & Vinyasa (Songbyrd Music House & Record Café, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., $10), Holiday Pop-Up (Urban Village, 3 – 7 p.m., FREE), Sale Empowerment for Women (WeWork Apollo, 10 a.m. – 12 noon, FREE, registration required), An Evening with Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton (Sixth & I, 8 p.m., $26 – $86), Holiday Boat Parade (The Wharf, 4 – 10 p.m., FREE)

Photo by Jenn Verrier


SLEIGH MY NAME Join The Skivvies for an evening of stripped-down holiday cheer – literally. The duo will be getting down to just their underwear to perform rousing renditions of holiday classics mixed with original favorites such as “It’s F*cking Hanukkah.” Prepare for song mash-ups, kooky covers, Broadway cameos, and maybe even an ukulele. (French Quarter Brasserie, 7 – 10 p.m., $35 – $50)

ESCAPE INTO THE SUN Stacy Jewell Lewis will be at Takoma Station Tavern tonight to perform a powerful spoken word and musical piece about her experience as a sex trafficking survivor. There will be a premiere screening of Lewis’s new documentary “Escape into the Sun,” as well as a panel on ways individuals can combat sex trafficking on their own. All proceeds raised the night of the event will go toward the D.C Exodus Project, Sun Gate International, and the Whoisstolen Creative Arts Troupe. (Takoma Station Tavern, 6 – 8 p.m., FREE)

DANCE, DANCE Beat the Sunday blues with a free performance: Award-winning choreographer Helanius J. Wilkins will be at The Kennedy Center to perform his contemporary dance piece “Triggered.” It will feature solo works as well as the D.C. premiere of his latest piece “Media’s Got Me All Figured Out: Reloaded,” inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. (The Kennedy Center, 6 p.m., FREE)

PAJAMARAMA It’s a dream come true: You can finally leave the house in your PJs. Local shops in Takoma Park are joining forces to offer discounts and promotions throughout the morning, but only to customers who show up pajama-clad. With names like Busboys and Poets Books, Takoma Park Farmers Market, and Old Takoma Ace Hardware on the list, it’s worth it to venture out in your footie pajamas. Yoga Heights will offer a free yoga nidra class to those in their jammies, too. (Takoma Park, 8 – 11 a.m., FREE)

MORE Ladee Hubbard Reading (Bridge Street Books, 6 – 8 p.m., FREE), Warrior Womban (Femme Fatale D.C., 12 noon – 5 p.m., $30 – $40)



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