Things to Do

Ten Under $10

Watch Santa waterskiing, spend Christmas at the White House, and step up to a soapbox in this week's top budget events.

1. You've seen him in shopping malls, sliding down a chimney, and stuffing his face. But when was the last time you caught St. Nick waterskiing? On Christmas Eve, head to National Harbor to watch Santa pregaming for the big night by skiing across the Potomac at 1 PM. We're told a slew of reindeer will be kneeboarding, there'll be flying elves, and Frosty the Snowman will be aboard a dinghy. The event is free. For more information, click here.

2. All dressed up and nowhere to go on Christmas Eve? Practice the true spirit of the season by doing good at Union Jack's British Pub in Bethesda (4915 St. Elmo Ave.), as the bar hosts the 16th annual Gefilte Fish Gala from 8 to midnight. Your suggested $5 donation gives you access to Kosher pizza, drinks, and music, and it benefits the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. For more information, call 202-686-5990.

3. Can't take the holiday sing-alongs and family bonding anymore? Grab some friends and make your way to Left Bank where the bar's free Tropical Thursdays will be in full effect from 9 PM to 2 AM. DJs will spin salsa, merengue, bachata, and reggaeton all night, with live music from Grupo Saoco. Mixed drinks will be $5, imported beers $3.

4. Spend Christmas at the Kennedy Center with its free All Star Jazz Jam starting at 6 on the Millennium Stage, where vocalist Delores Williams and her five-piece band will jive to some yuletide favorites. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, and due to the popularity of this event, listeners are encouraged to arrive extra early.

5. Barack, Michelle, and the girls may still be playing with presents inside, but visitors wishing to celebrate Christmas with the First Family for free can head to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to marvel at the White House Christmas tree, which will be lit from dusk to 11. Musical groups will perform from 6 to 8:30 on the Ellipse. For more information, call 202-208-1631.

6. How do Jews celebrate Christmas? By heading to the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue from 6 to 10 for its Shabbat and Dinner soiree. A free "nosh and mingle" reception kicks off at 6 followed by Shabbat services accompanied by musician Robyn Helzner and cantor Larry Paul. A $6 dinner begins at 8. Register in advance for the dinner here, and order a vegetarian meal by sending an e-mail to

7. Get coal in your stocking this year? Blow off some steam this Christmas in Vienna at the Soundry's free Verbal Assault Open Mic night from 8 to 11. Whether you're a poet, a comedian, or just a deranged narcissist looking for an audience, this free-form forum is your soapbox. Those looking to step up to the mike should sign up in advance here.

8. The National Gallery of Art is showing a free screening of The Brother From Another Planet on Saturday at 1 in the East Building Auditorium. Characterized by many as a subtle extension of the "blaxploitation" tradition of the 1970s, the 1984 film features African-American actor Joe Morton (the brother in the film) as an alien searching for a new home in Manhattan.

9. Looking for a place to recycle Grandma's Christmas sweater? Look no further than the Georgetown Flea Market Sunday from 8 to 4. Peruse antiques, collectables, art, furniture, clothes, books, and much more. For information, call 202-775-3532.

10. The NFL season may be winding down, so fans should take advantage of Duffy's Irish Restaurant & Pub's $10 pitchers of Miller Lite and Coors Lite on Sunday during football season while they can. The deal starts at 12:30 and runs until midnight. Those looking for something a bit stronger can drink $4 Bloody Marys from noon until 4.

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