Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Candlelit holiday tours, a Capitol Hill Santa bar crawl, lots of Prohibition-repeal bar parties, film festivals, and more are all in this weekend’s picks.

You may also be interested in . . . Holiday Fashion Gift Guide | Celebrating the Repeal of Prohibition | Holiday House Tours

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Thursday, December 4: It’s never too early to start listening to Christmas music! So head to the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage tonight at 6 to hear NPR’s Jazz Piano Christmas. Tickets for the 7:30 show in the Terrace Theater are sold out, but you can still see the 9:30 show, where pianists such as Ellis Marsalis, Rebeca Mauleon, and more play Christmas-song renditions. $45; get tickets here.

The annual Washington Jewish Film Festival kicks off with the US premiere of the Australian indie film Hey Hey It’s Esther Blueburger, featuring Toni Collette and Keisha Castle-Hughes, at the Goldman Theater. Tickets ($20) can be purchased at the door. The screening starts at 7.

Friday, December 5: Party like it’s 1933 and commemorate the end of Prohibition with the DC Craft Bartenders’ Guild at the City Tavern Club from 8 to midnight. Top mixologists including Owen Thompson (Bourbon), Gina Chersevani (EatBar), and Derek Brown (the Gibson) will be making cocktails for the Repeal Day party. Hors d’oeuvres will be served throughout the night, and a 1930s-style jazz band will set the mood. Tony Abou-Ganim, host of Fine Living Network’s Raising the Bar, will also be in attendance. The event costs $90 per person, with proceeds benefiting the club’s preservation fund and the Museum of the American Cocktail. To purchase tickets, visit

Click here for more end-of-Prohibition parties.

Proud of your wine knowledge and want to share it with others? At the Washington Wine Academy’s 13th Great Wines BYOB Wine Tasting tonight, you’ll have your chance. Bring a favorite bottle for others to taste, and get to taste everyone else’s. Admission is $13.50 plus one bottle of wine (over $10) per person. 7 PM; RSVP here to get the address.

The Freer Gallery screens The Mourning Forest at 7 in the Meyer Auditorium as part of the series “Another Side of Japanese Cinema.” The film, with English subtitles, won the Grand Prix at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. It tells the story of a widower and her young caregiver who accompany each other on a day trip, which turns into a spiritual quest.

Shop amid holiday carolers, take a horse-and-carriage ride, and sample cider and hot chocolate at stores such as Bella Italia and Le Creuset during the Bethesda Row Open House. Enjoy discounts throughout the Row and then meet Cindy Post, great-granddaughter of etiquette expert Emily Post and a children’s etiquette expert in her own right, as she signs her two gift-worthy children’s books at the Waygoose from 6:30 to 8:30 PM.

Saturday, December 6: It’s the Miracle on Third and Fourth Streets! The cleverly named event is actually a 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 the Hawk ’n’ Dove. Then proceed to any of the following nearby bars for drink and food specials until 9: Tune Inn, Ugly Mug, Bullfeathers, the Pour House, and the 18th Amendment. Admission for the crawl is $10, but if you put on that Santa suit you’ve got lying around (or another holiday costume), or bring a toy to be donated to Toys for Tots, it’s just $7. Ho ho ho!

Fifty brightly lit and festively decorated powerboats and sailboats take to the Potomac for Alexandria’s Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on December 6. The event begins at 4 at the Alexandria marina at the foot of Cameron Street, with music, refreshments, and Santa’s arrival by boat. The parade starts at 6 at the marina and heads for the Washington Channel. Free. 703-838-5005;

Want to get fancy for the holidays? Hit the 21st Annual Yuletide Madness Charity Ball at the National Press Club. This black-tie Christmas ball features an open bar, dinner buffet, dancing, and live entertainment (popular local cover band Mr. Greengenes is playing). Guests are asked to bring an unwrapped toy to benefit needy and orphaned children. Call 301-652-7712 or e-mail for tickets and more information; $109.

Sunday, December 7: Peek inside some beautiful houses decorated for the holidays on the Logan Circle Holiday House Tour. Ten condos and houses as well as a historic church will be open. The tour also includes a stop at the Blagden Alley studio of printmaker David Adamson and a reception at the Long View Gallery, at Ninth and N streets, Northwest, from 3 to 5:30. $20; $15 in advance. 1 to 5 PM.

You can see lots more holiday house tours in our roundup here.

Follow Martha Washington on a candlelit tour of Mount Vernon. Don’t miss the last stop in the kitchen, where you can see Martha’s Great Cake and get the recipe. After the hourlong tour, there’s caroling, hot cider, and cookies. Tickets are $18, under age 12 $12. Purchase tickets here.

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