Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Happenings

I've made a listing below of some of the fun holiday (mostly Christmas) themed events in and around our fine city. Later on, I'll try to take the time to enter some events that will be occurring in the latter half of this month. Events are listed in vaguely chronological order. I've made an effort to highlight the event themes in italics. Enjoy!

Throughout December:
A great reason to shop locally: DC is having a sales tax holiday on items totaling under $100 until December 7th.

The Model Train Garden at the U.S. Botanic Gardens winds its way both indoors and out. While you're there do not miss the models of DC landmarks constructed entirely from plant materials (see Thomas Jefferson sculpted with an acorn head and moss hair).

At Union Station take in an impressive model train exhibit and towering tree presented as part of the Norwegian Christmas display.


The National Zoo will be lit up on weekend evenings from 6 to 8:30 p.m. through the 14th for ZooLights. You can also take in the display every night until the 30th with the exception of the 24th and 25th.

December weekends through 14th, you can tour George Washington's home at Mount Vernon by Candlelight between 5 and 8 p.m.

Willard Intercontinental Hotel will have choral concerts in its lobby Mondays through Saturdays until December 23rd. The Hotel, between 14th and 15th Streets on Pennsylvania Avenue, NW is an easy stop to make going to or from the National Christmas Tree.

Take in the classic play, A Christmas Carol, at theater from December 2nd through 28th at the Lansburg Shakespeare Theater in Penn Quarter.

A Christmas classic, the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, with the Rockettes will come to 1st Mariner Arena in Baltimore from December 2-7.

The National Christmas Tree will be lit on the 4th and performances will take place nightly from the 6th through the 23rd.

Fans of David Sedaris might enjoy the performance of his essay, The Santaland Diaries, at Warehouse Theater, 1017 7th Street, NW from the 4th through the 24th.

In Upper Marlboro, take in the Gingerbread House Contest and Show on display from December 4th through 7th and again on the 11th through 14th at the Darnall's Chance House and Museum. The competition will feature entries from both children and adults.

The Downtown Holiday Market opens on December 5th and runs through the 23rd. Local artists and craftsmen will show their wares from noon to 8 p.m. daily next to the Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum on F Street between 7th and 8th Streets, NW (Penn Quarter).

At Constitution Hall from Friday the 5th through Sunday the 7th, see the U.S. Air Force Band play its holiday concert.

Anglophiles, take note: The Fairmont Washington Hotel, 2401 M Street, NW, will hold holiday teas on Saturdays and Sunday through the 27th.

Beginning on the 6th, the Newly reopened National Museum of American History will have performances several times a day of Christmas songs from the World War II era. This show will run until the end of the month.

At some time between December 6 and January 1 it is worthwhile to take in the Festival of Lights, a vast display of Christmas lights, and live nativity scene at the Mormon Temple Visitors Center. Another impressive light display can be seen not far from the Temple at the Bishop's House on the corner of North Portal and Birch Drives, NW.

The Christmas Revels combine music, dance, poetry, and storytelling for a performance "in celebration of the winter solstice" at Lisner Auditorium from the 6th through the 14th.

The Washington Ballet will perform the Nutcracker at the Warner Theater from December 11th through 28th.

The Joffrey Ballet will perform the Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center from December 11th through the 14th.

The National Symphony Orchestra Pops will have a Happy Holidays program from December 11th through 14th.

At the Folger Theater on Capitol Hill, take in A Spanish Christmas featuring organ, winds, and strings performing music from Spain's Golden Age from the 13th through the 21st.

As part of the National Gallery of Art concert series, there will be sing-along carols in the West Building rotunda from December 14th through the 21st. Check the website for times.

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents Christmas music at the Kennedy Center from December 15th through the 24th.

If the National Symphony Orchestra's classical repertoire is more to your liking than pops performances, you may enjoy their presentation of Handel's Messiah from December 18 to 21. If you're feeling like belting out a song or two, there is also a Messiah sign-along on the 23rd.

The Christmas season is a great time for choral concerts. The Washington Chorus will perform music for Christmas at The Kennedy Center on December 20th through 22nd.

The Choral Arts Society of Washington's Annual Holiday Gala and Silent Auction will be held following the Monday, December 15th Christmas music performance.

Host your own event at Longview Gallery at no charge. Call (202) 232-4788 for details.

Wednesday the 3rd:
Pop down to 2401 M Street between 5 and 6:30 p.m. to the Fairmont Hotel to see its fifth annual tree lighting. This event is a great time to hear a capella singing from local high school students and to sip some free hot chocolate. Please also consider bringing an unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.

Thursday the 4th:
The National Christmas tree at the White House will be lit in a ceremony to begin at 5 (gates open at 3:30). Tickets for this event are snatched up, but there will be a standby line to get in. In past years, those waiting standby have been able to claim seats.

Longview Gallery, 1302 9th Street, NW, is hosting a holiday celebration from 6 to 9 p.m. Visit the gallery to see works large and small from some of its most popular artists.

The Washington National Cathedral is hosting its annual holiday shopping evening. Both the Herb Cottage and the Cathedral Store will be open. Refreshments will also be provided from 5 p.m. onward.

The Anderson House at 2118 Massachusetts Avenue will be hosting “A Gilded Age Christmas: Celebrating Yuletide with the Anderson Family.” During the event, visitors can tour the historic mansion and learn about various Christmas traditions from the "gilded age."

Jazz lovers will like the Jazz Piano Christmas at the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theater at 9:30 p.m.

Friday the 5th:
Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW, in Georgetown will have a holiday wreath-making workshop at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Shop the Norwegian Christmas Bazaar at Union Station from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

If you enjoy oggling gorgeous homes, consider the St. Albans School Christmas House Tour which runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. View five houses and one pool house in Georgetown by shuttle bus or on foot .

The entirety of Handel's Messiah will be performed at the Washington National Cathedral at 7 p.m. Go to their website for tickets ($20 to $80).

The basilica at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception will be holding a Christmas concert beginning at 7 p.m. It is suggested that you arrive by 7 in order to claim a seat.

Dumbarton House, 2715 Q Street, NW, will host a holiday family open house to feature music, refreshments, and crafts.

From 6 to 9 p.m., catch the prints and greeting cards from local artist Johanna Mueller at the boutique Redeem, 1734 14th Street, NW.

At 7 p.m. join the International Club for A Holiday Party In Paris to include music, dancing, buffet, open bar, and a silent auction hosted at the Embassy of France.

Saturday the 6th:
If you like to ogle gorgeous homes, consider the St. Albans School Christmas House Tour which runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. View five incredible Georgetown houses by shuttle bus or on foot .

Check out ACKC's Alexandria location before or after touring Del Ray's annual holiday market featuring local arts and crafts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. This event is part of Del Ray's Holiday on the Avenue event with festivities along Mount Vernon Avenue from Nelson to Calvert. At 6 p.m. there will be a tree lighting at Colosanto Park followed by a parade down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be lit with luminarias. Most retail establishments will be open until 9 p.m.

Shop the Norwegian Christmas Bazaar at Union Station from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

In Old Town Alexandria, catch the annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade and Concert. The parade begins at 11 at Wilkes and South Asaphs Streets and will end at 1 at King and Royal Streets. The concert will start at 1:30 at King and Royal streets in front of City Hall at Market Square.

Give a charitable gift in honor of someone you care about. At DC Gifts for Good, from 11 am – 3 pm at St. Patrick's Episcopal Day School in the Great Hall, 4700 Whitehaven Parkway, NW, you can learn about many organizations in need of your donations. If you contribute, you will be given a small gift which you can then give to a friend or family member.

Hear "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" read at the Newseum at 2:30.

At 3 p.m. enjoy a performance by handbell ringers at the Historical Society of Washington, 801 K Street, NW.

Plan B Gallery, 1530 14th Street NW, will host a gallery opening from 6 to 8 p.m. to show off its holiday show which includes many giftable items in addition to the canvasses and sculpture that you usually find in the gallery.

It's worth the 45 minute trip north to Baltimore to see the Parade of Lighted Boats in the Inner Harbor and Fells Point beginning at 6 p.m.

Can't make it to B'more to see lighted boats? There is also a lighted boat parade in the Alexandria Marina from 4 to 6 p.m.

Take advantage of a 20% off jewelry sale at Caramel's Faso Jewelry trunk show, 1603 U Street, NW.

Dumbarton Church in Georgtown will hold A Celtic Christmas holiday concert. Saturday's performances are at 4 and 8 p.m.

Sunday the 7th:
Shop at the DC JCC's Holiday Bazaar from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. for Chanukah items crafted by Jewish artists.

Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW, in Georgetown will have a holiday wreath-making workshop for children and adults at 1 p.m.

The 30th Annual Logan Circle Community Association will hold its house tour from 1 to 5 p.m. Buy your tickets online prior to the event.

Make merry at the Merriment in Georgetown festival from 2 to 6 p.m. The event features a variety of performances, free horse-drawn carriage rides, and special discounts from retailers.

Dumbarton Church in Georgtown will hold holiday concerts. Sunday's performance is at 4 p.m.

The entirety of Handel's Messiah will be performed at the Washington National Cathedral at 4 p.m. Go to their website for tickets ($20 to $80).

Monday the 8th:
Kennedy Center's free Millennium Stage will feature Merry TubaChristmas. If you play tuba, sousaphone, or euphonium, show up at 3 p.m. for the open rehearsal. If you are a spectator only, arrive at 6 for the performance.

At Blues Alley be pleasantly overwhelmed by the Capitol Big Bones Band - with over a dozen horn players - performing a Stan Kenton Christmas. Performances are at 8 and 10 p.m.

Tuesday the 9th:
There will be harp music and singing at the U.S. Botanic Gardens from 5 to 8 p.m.

At Blues Alley be pleasantly overwhelmed by the Capitol Big Bones Band - with over a dozen horn players - performing a Stan Kenton Christmas. Performances are at 8 and 10 p.m.

Wednesday the 10th:
DC is filled with large, attractive historic homes. Explore one such home for free at the Daughters of the American Revolution Christmas Open House, 1776 D Street, NW. From 5:30 to 8:30 view 31 period rooms decorated for Christmas, have some refreshments, and listen to carolers. This event is an easy stop to make going to or from the National Christmas Tree on the ellipse. You can also get some great shopping done at the museum store.

At the Sixth and I Historic Synagogue, attend Rekindling the Chanukah Flames: Infusing New Techniques Into Your Chanukah Festivities at 7 p.m. to learn about new and creative ways to celebrate the holiday.

Thursday the 11th:
From 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., tour McLean homes at the 2008 Holiday Homes Tour and MarketPlace organized by the Woman's Club of McLean. Go to their website for information on how to purchase tickets. The MarketPlace, held in Immanuel Presbyterian Church at 1125 Saville Lane, is free and open to the public.

Have some lox and vodka from 6 to 8 p.m. at the U.S. Botanic Gardens while listening to Klesmer music.

Attend the Santa Jam at The State Theater in Falls Church, VA to help raise money to benefit the Fairfax Battered Women's Shelter and the Arlington Homeless Shelter. The doors open at 7 p.m. and the half dozen musical performances kick off at 8. Be sure to stick around until at least 10:30 for the raffle.

Friday the 12th:
Shop and enjoy some holiday refreshments at the 4NX¢ boutique's Fashionista's Fridays Holiday Party at 1019 U Street, NW. During the festivities you can subtract a holiday discount from your purchases and enjoy a fashion show.

Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street, NW, in Georgetown will have holiday wreath-making workshops at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

At 6 p.m. see a free holiday performance by the DC Youth Orchestra at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage.

Saturday the 13th:
Holiday wreath making workshop at the U.S. Botanic Gardens at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. See the website for cost and registration information.

Hear "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" read at the Newseum at 2:30.

Dumbarton Church in Georgtown will hold A Celtic Christmas holiday concert. Saturday's performances are at 4 and 8 p.m.

Tour Old Town Alexandria by candlelight. Tours depart from Gadsby's Tavern Museum from 5 to 8 p.m.

The House of Sweden is hosting a St. Lucia Ball for young professionals from 8 p.m. to 1 p.m. Festivities are to include dancing, a holiday buffet, and a rooftop bar.

Sunday the 14th:
Dumbarton Church in Georgtown will hold a Celtic Christmas holiday concert. Sunday's performance is at 4 p.m.

Shop at the DC JCC's Holiday Bazaar from 2:30 to 7 p.m. for Chanukah items crafted by Jewish artists.

Fans of opera may enjoy Music of the Sea: A Norwegian Christmas at the National Gallery of Art's rotunda in the west building, 6:30 p.m.

5 comments:

Susan said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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Scenic Artisan said...

wow! thats an impressive post!

Tamera said...

I was just googling for events on U Street and found your blog. Thank you so much for putting this amazing list of events!

Mr. 14th & You said...

Mrs. 14thandYou extends her thanks for the compliment Tamera. I believe she's working on a neighborhood holiday shopping guide and a post outlining events during the second half of the month...so stay tuned!

Sarah said...

This list is amazing-- thank you!