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Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Lots going on this weekend as the holiday season swings into full gear. A Friday night concert, open house holiday tours, Amy Sedaris, free classical music, and lights at the National Zoo are all in this weekend’s picks.

Thursday, November 29: Another happy hour for a good cause! (’Tis the season … .) Urbana (2121 P St., NW) hosts a “Red Hot Night” of appetizers and cocktails benefiting the Whitman-Walker Clinic. The $10 admission at the door gets you two specialty-cocktail tickets and hors d’oeuvres. 6 to 8:30 pm.

The hilarious comedian, writer, and actress Amy Sedaris will be at DC’s Sixth & I Historic Synagogue (600 I St., NW) at 8 pm. Tickets are $15 in advance, $25 at door, and are available here.

For the tenth year in a row, Norway is giving a 30-foot Christmas tree to the people of Washington in gratitude for the help the United States gave the Norwegian people under the Marshall Plan after World War II. The tree will be up through December. The tree lighting takes place at 6 pm at Union Station (50 Massachusetts Ave., NE). Free.

Looking for some “wild” Christmas lights? Head to the National Zoo, which is premiering “Zoo Lights,”  an event taking place every evening through December 30 from 6 to 8:30. Giant, larger-than-life-size light displays of zoo animals will be on display, and you can also enjoy hot chocolate and cookies, do a scavenger hunt, meet zookeepers, and more. $10. For tickets and more information, head here.

Friday, November 30: Director Freida Lee Mock presents her documentary about the personal and political life of Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner. The moving film will be shown at the AFI Silver Theatre (8633 Colesville Rd., Silver Spring) at 7 pm. Tickets ($6.75 to $9.75 ) are available here.

The Washington Jewish Film Festival kicks off, continuing through December 9 at various venues in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Selections include Sweet Mud, which won the International Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival; Beaufort, winner of best direction at the Berlin Film Festival; and Jellyfish, which snapped up the Camera d’Or at Cannes. The full schedule can be found here.

Do you enjoy these weekend picks? Then you may want to check out our Happy Hour Finder to find the best afterwork happy hours in your neighborhood, or our nightlife guides, which round up fun stuff like the best karaoke, area trivia nights, cozy bars with fireplaces, and more.

Lately, I can’t get enough of the local band Jukebox the Ghost (the members are practically straight out of graduation from GW). The band’s infectious, rollicking piano melodies have been playing over and over on my iPod. Lucky for me, Jukebox the Ghost is doing a concert tonight at the Rock and Roll Hotel with two other bands I’ve also been enjoying—Ra Ra Riot and These United States. Check out three great bands for just $10 in advance, $12 at the door. The show starts at 8:30, and you can buy tickets here.

Never been to the H Street, Northeast, area and want to check it out, maybe grab a bite to eat beforehand? Look at our comprehensive guide to the neighborhood.

Saturday, December 1
: Yikes! December already? Get into gear for the holidays and winter by checking out our guides to local ice-skating rinks, holiday markets, and gifts that give twice (proceeds are donated to worthy charities).

Alexandria gets into the holiday mood with its eighth annual Holiday Lights Boat Parade this afternoon. Festivities and refreshments will abound starting at 3 at the Alexandria Marina (King and Union streets). Santa shows up by boat at 3:30, and the beautiful boat parade—with spectacularly lit vessels lazing on the river—starts around 5:30. Call 703-838-5005 for more information.

If you’re into rock photography, head to District Fine Arts (1639 Wisconsin Ave., NW) this afternoon from 2 to 4, when rock photographers Leon Armour Jr. and Chester Simpson—whose work is on view in the gallery’s “Hit Me With Music” exhibition—talk about shooting rock shows and performers. Call 202-333-3545 for more information. Free.

Want to hear some classical music—for free? Make sure to attend the National Symphony Orchestra Prelude Concert at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Members of the NSO will be playing in various small ensembles. 6 pm.

Sunday, December 2
: This afternoon’s Logan Circle House Tour lets you peek inside the DC neighborhood’s gorgeous, historic houses. Visit a church and eight residences, including the home of Eric Kole, co-owner of Logan Circle’s Vastu furniture store, and a house built for Ulysses S. Grant’s son in 1878. 1 to 5 pm. The ticket price ($20; $15 in advance) includes a reception at Studio Theatre (1501 14th Street, NW) from 3 to 5:30. 202-489-4553. Tickets can be purchased here.  See a list of more area house tours here.

Did you know that the Arlington standby dive bar Dr. Dremo’s (2001 Clarendon Blvd.; 703-528-4660) will be closing in January? Wipe away those tears and get out there to enjoy this laid-back and spacious bar before it’s torn down for condos. On Sundays, it’s offering free pool until midnight plus plenty of great beers on tap.

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