Thursday, December 13: ZooLights, the larger-than-life-size animal holiday light display at the National Zoo (3001 Connecticut Ave., NW; 202-633-4800), is a fun family outing. But tonight the zoo is making the evening a little more adult—the Mane Restaurant will be serving free microbrews. Tickets are $6 for FONZ and YB members and $10 for nonmembers; for a suggested $10 donation, you can also get a ZooLights mug. See photos and more information about ZooLights here.
Friday, December 14: The news is out: The folks who own the Columbia Heights bar Wonderland are buying the beloved Petworth bar Temperance Hall (3634 Georgia Ave., NW). Though the new owners say not too much will change, I’d still suggest going to Temperance Hall right now and sampling its excellent selection of rye whiskey or ordering a classic martini—the wonderful ’20s-style drink selection will go the way of the dinosaur when the new owners take over. Never been to Temperance Hall? Check out our slide show of the lovely interior and our interview with the general manager.
Nothing says Christmas like . . . tubas? No, really. This cheery, traditional music event at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage involves local tuba, sousaphone, and euphonium players performing holiday tunes. 6 pm. Free.
What will the future look like? Will it involve long-promised flying cars and jet packs—or will it be something more apocalyptic? Find out how a selection of artists envision the future at tonight’s opening of “The New Future” at the District of Columbia Arts Center (2438 18th St., NW; 202-462-7833). Artists interpret their visions using everything from video to installations. Sunglasses will be handed out at the opening—because, we imagine, the future’s so bright . . . get it? 7 to 9 pm. Free.
For another art gallery opening with a fun vibe, head to Alexandria. The new gallery Art Whino (717 N. St. Asaph St., Alexandria; 703462-4135) will host the opening of graffiti-inspired painter Justin Lovato’s work. DJ Tom B and singer and laptop artist Yoko K will perform, and a cash bar will have beer and wine until midnight. Things get started at 6 pm. Free.
Saturday, December 15: Get your musical holiday jollies with a festive concert this weekend at the 9:30 Club (815 V St., NW). At the Washington Social Christmas, some of our favorite local groups—Washington Social Club, Jukebox the Ghost, Georgie James, and more—will band together to sing tunes including the Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York”—plus, holiday gifts will be handed out to the audience. Doors open at 6. Buy tickets ($15) here.
It’s the Miracle on 3rd and 4th Streets! The cleverly named event is actually a new bar crawl on Capitol Hill that will offer boozing discounts to those who come dressed in holiday outfits. Register between 1 and 6 pm at either the Hawk and Dove (329 Pennsylvania Ave., SE; 202-543-3553) or Finn macCool’s (713 Eighth St., SE; 202-547-7100). Then proceed to any of the following nearby bars for drink and food specials until 9: Tune Inn, Ugly Mug, Bullfeaters, the Pour House, and the 18th Amendment. Admission for the crawl is $15, but if you put on that Santa suit you’ve got lying around (or another holiday costume), it’s just $10. Or bring a new, unwrapped toy to be donated to Toys for Tots and get $5 off admission.
If you just can’t get enough of Santa-themed bar crawls (and who can?), we’ve got another one. Today from noon until 6, the Running of the Santas crawl will offer $2.50 Buds at the Front Page, Sign of the Whale, Mackey’s Public House, Madhatter, Rumors, and the Bottom Line. You don’t have to register; just start at one bar and make your way to the others.
Sunday, December 16: The NSO Pops wishes you a happy holiday tonight with its annual holiday concert (the last of a four-night engagement). Conductor Marvin Hamlisch leads the orchestra through holiday classics and favorite winter songs in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Tickets cost $20 to $85. 7 pm.
Today’s your last chance to catch the exhibit “WACK!: Art and the Feminist Revolution”—a comprehensive look at the foundations of feminist art—before it leaves the National Museum of Women in the Arts (1250 New York Ave., NW; 202-783-5000). Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors age 60 and over. The museum’s Sunday hours are noon to 5.