Thursday, December 19
MUSIC: Listen Local First takes over the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage with its Holiday Nine Showcase, featuring music from, you guessed it, nine local musicians. The nonprofit group is usually at the forefront on this kind of thing, so you’ll likely see some artists who are about to get much bigger. As always, Millennium Stage shows are free. 6 PM.
VARIETY: The Encyclopedia Show’s last performance of the year is a festive one: A Very Serial Killer’s Christmas. You’ll hear experts talk about the DC Snipers, poetry about “The Black Widow,” stand up comedy, and a true crime author’s take on the serial killer mind. As usual, expect lots of zaniness both during and between acts. Happy hour starts an hour before showtime. $15. 7 PM (happy hour), 8 PM (show).
ART: ArtJamz presents Artz Bazaar, a holiday blowout including three and a half hours of studio time, pick-your-own canvases, a free drink, cocktails inspired by famous works of art, a human canvas, live painters who know what they’re doing and might help you out, a deejay, and the chance to buy work by local artists. $15. 8:30 PM.
Friday, December 20
(SLAM)DANCE: Black Cat presents Krampus Kristmas, a night of punk, garage, and metal music on the main stage. Bar staff take over the deejaying for the night, so things might get a bit wild. Great Lakes Christmas Ale is five bucks all night. Christmas-up your clothes, but make sure you keep things punkish. Free. 9:30 PM.
FILM: Everyone’s favorite Christmas film, Die Hard, is turning 25 (!) this year. Say you want about the sequels (but mostly just say that they’re awesome), but Bruce Willis will probably never achieve the level of badassery he reached with the original. AFI Silver is screening it a couple times over the next week to get you in the holiday mood. $12. 9:15 PM.
SHOP: The stores along Cady’s Alley (along Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown) are hosting a night of slashed prices, food, and drinks. Shop between 4 and 9 PM for 15 percent off of all full-priced items at Babette, Bonobos, Artist’s Proof Gallery, Tuckernuck, and Steven Alan.
DANCE: 9:30 Club hosts 1958, a dance party featuring music by Madonna, Michael Jackson, and Prince. Maybe you’ve heard of them? Things get started around 8 PM but run well into the night. Video artist Robin Bell has figured out all the visuals to help power you through the night, and deejay Dredd keeps the party moving. $15. 8 PM.
Saturday, December 21
DONATE: Malmaison hosts a Christmas donation drive and party. Bring canned food, toys, blankets, and warm clothes to be donated to Food For All DC, then get your dance on all night with deejays Ace and Pride. Free with donation. 10 PM.
DANCE: DC9’s Peach Pit ‘90s dance night is also holiday themed this weekend. I’ve got my fingers crossed that means deejay Matt Bailer (of Mixtape) will just play Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” all night, but I’m guessing he’ll mix it up a bit. $5. 10:30 PM.
SWEAT IN YOUR SWEATER: You’ve been to ugly sweater parties, but have you ever been to an ugly sweater run? Probably not. Pull on the lamest thing you own, head out to National Harbor, and run a 5k in the freezing cold. Not exactly enticing on a Saturday morning? You’ll get a free ugly knit hat, a stick-on mustache, two Sam Adams beers, and the chance to party afterwards, with awards for best and worst sweaters and best beard and mustache. $44. 9 AM.
MORE SWEATERS: Keep that aforementioned ugly sweater on all day and get to the Ugly Mug, which is awarding $50 each for the ugliest, dirtiest, and most festive sweater. If you ran the race earlier in the day, maybe you can win sweatiest sweater (note: not a real award, but do it anyway). All night, cinnamon whiskey shots are three bucks and hot spiked cider drinks are six bucks. Free. 9 PM.
CHURCH (KINDA): Black Cat is hosting the weirdest “Church Night” you’ve ever heard of. Featuring a depraved reverend, drunk entertainers, inappropriate comedians, lots of burlesque and loud rock music, and dancing afterwards, it might just turn you into a true believer. $10. 9 PM.
Sunday, December 22
FOOD: Most people head home for the holidays, but with Christmas on a Wednesday this year, there’s probably a lot of you sticking around. No matter—you can still get home cooked comforts at Bar Pilar’s Home Alone one-day buffet, featuring cheese pizza, kung pal pork, pizza bagels, stromboli, deep fried PB&J, mac and cheese, and lots more. Tickets include one free drink and homemade eggnog, and all the food you can eat. $25. 6 PM.
FILM: Yes, you can watch It’s a Wonderful Life on basically any cable TV channel at any hour next week, but can you see it on the big screen at home? Sort of? Well, Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse is screening it anyway, and they’ll make it worth your while. Ticket sales benefit Patrick Henry Elementary School and anyone dressed up in Christmas garb (see website for details) will get four free movie passes to any movie in 2014. That’s a deal you won’t get by sitting on your couch. $10. 7:15 PM and 9:30 PM.
ZEN: U Street Music Hall debuts a new kind of deejay night. One that requires blankets and yoga mats. It’s called “Glide,” and it’s all new age-y. They’ll help you will away all that eggnog you’ve been drinking and get you to a zen-like state before the craziness of next week. Free. 9 PM.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at email@example.com, or find him on Twitter.