1. Instead of dropping hundreds of dollars to say goodbye to 2009 at a club, head to Caddies on Cordell in Bethesda on Thursday for its New Year’s Eve party, where there’s no cover. Enjoy $5 rail drinks; $2 Miller Lites, Bud Lights, and Yuenglings; $3 Stellas and Bass Drafts; and half-price appetizers all night long. There’ll be plenty of freebies, too, so come early.
2. For those on a limited budget this New Year’s Eve, consider Logan Circle’s newest food-friendly, beer-centric destinations, the restaurant Birch & Barley and its sibling bar, ChurchKey, where you don’t have to pay a cover to choose from the 555 brews, 50 artisanal drafts, and five hand-pumped, cask-conditioned beers.
4. There may be no more tickets available for the Gogol Bordello concert on Saturday at the 9:30 Club, but those looking to bump to Balkan beats and Romani rock should head to the Fez and Mustache Party at DC9 on Friday starting at 9. DJs Jason Seymour and Rebelzero will be spinning up-tempo grooves, and revelers should come early to take advantage of the open rail bar from 9 to 10:30. Tickets cost $7. Ages 21 and over.
5. All revved up for 2010 and ready to rock out? Head to the Electric Maid (268 Carroll St., NW) in Takoma Park for the annual Positive Youth Fest on Saturday from 4 to 11 and Sunday from 2 to 11. This two-day celebration aims to promote civic activism and features 20 local punk, metal, and dance bands. Tickets cost $5 per day and come with vegan food.
6. “Right-lane drivers.” “Why doesn’t he call?” “Dan Snyder.” Whatever your grievance is this year, now is the time to post it at this weekend’s free annual Festivus celebration in Adams Morgan. From noon to 12:30 on Saturday and Sunday, anyone can come to the corner of Adams Mill and Columbia roads to vent, stick their complaint on a giant pole, and have it be read aloud.
7. Ring in the new year by keeling over with laughter as the Bethesda Hyatt (7400 Wisconsin Ave.) hosts Laugh Riot on Saturday from 8 to 10. Watch five local comics perform standup routines, and stick around afterward for a $25 cash prize contest for the audience member with the best joke. Tickets cost $10.
8. Sunday is your last chance to catch the “Matisse As Printmaker” exhibit at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Featuring roughly 150 prints created by the French artist between 1900 and 1951, the free exhibit is a must for fans of lithographs, drawings, and woodcuts. Open 11 to 6.
9. If you need your dose of Sunday art but can’t make it out to Baltimore (above), head to downtown DC for the last day of the Renwick Gallery’s free “Staged Stories: Renwick Craft Invitational 2009” exhibit. Showcasing contemporary fine craft from four ceramicists and fiber and glass artists, the pieces range from the fantastical (such as the ten-foot-tall “Every Any Man”) to the humorous (note the costumes knitted for superheroes). Open 10 to 5:30.
10. Celebrate the Latin tradition of Three Kings Day on Sunday at GALA Hispanic Theatre in DC’s Columbia Heights. A live animal procession of burros will start at 1:30, followed by songs, dancing, and storytelling from performers Maria Isolina, Jaime Coronado, and Mexican and Bolivian groups. Tickets are free and will be distributed up to four per person on a first-come, first-served basis at the box office starting at noon. Guests are encouraged to donate a gift for a child.