Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: December 15 to 18

Jane Monheit at the Kennedy Center, brunch with Santa at the Roof Terrace Restaurant, and "A Broadway Christmas Carol" at Metro Stage.

A Broadway Christmas Carol returns to Metro Stage December 17 and 18. Photograph by C. Stanley Photos.

Thursday, December 15

MUSIC: The University of Maryland Concert Choir and the National Symphony Orchestra are performing Handel’s Messiah at the Kennedy Center. The show runs through December 18. Tickets ($20 to $85) can be purchased through the KenCen’s Web site. 7 PM.

THEATER: If you haven’t already, catch a showing of Amy Freed’s You, Nero at Arena Stage. Set in ancient Rome, the comedy explores what happens after the emperor shuts down the theaters. The play is “a deeply silly, enjoyably screwy comedy,” says arts editor Sophie Gilbert. Read the full review here. Tickets ($40 to $85) can be purchased through the theater’s Web site. 8 PM. The show runs through January 1.

DRINKS: Express Night Out returns to Madhatter with a slew of drink specials—including $2 Coors Lights, $3 Blue Moons, $4 vodka drinks, and half-price appetizers. Admission is free. 5 to 9 PM.

PARTY: [Editor’s note: We’ve been informed this event has sold out.] One Lounge is celebrating its two-year anniversary with a Birthday Toy Drive. Partygoers enjoy a three-hour premium bar featuring specialty cocktails and hors d’oeuvres, live jazz with the Pete Muldoon Band, a photo booth, and more. Guests are encouraged to bring a packaged toy for children in need. Send RSVPs to 7 to 10 PM.

Friday, December 16

MUSIC: Ellen Greene joins the Gay Men’s Choir of Washington DC at Lisner Auditorium for the holiday show Red & Greene . Greene is best known for originating the role of Audrey in the film and Broadway versions of Little Shop of Horrors. The performance runs through December 18. Tickets ($25 to $50) can be purchased through the theater’s Web site. 8 PM.

If you’re in the mood for something edgier, U.S. Royalty is giving a free performance at the Kennedy Center. Esquire called the DC natives “one of the more promising rock acts of 2011.” 6 PM.

SHOPPING: Local jewelry designer Dana Greaves of ARTAYA is hosting a holiday trunk show at the Chevy Chase Bloomingdale’s. Her pieces have been spotted on celebrities like Jennifer Hudson and Erykah Badu. Free. 10 AM to 8 PM. The show runs through December 18.

ZOO LIGHTS: Washington’s wildest light show is back at the National Zoo. Little critters can enjoy thousands of environmentally friendly light displays, after-hours access to several animal houses, live entertainment, a train ride around the Great Cats Circle, and ice-skating ($5). The show runs through January 1, excluding December 24, 25, and 31. Free. 5 to 9 PM.

Saturday, December 17

MUSIC: Jazz singer Jane Monheit is bringing her toe-tapping melodies to the Kennedy Center. The two-time Grammy nominee will perform her jazz standards, along with a few holiday favorites. You can listen to some of her songs here. Tickets ($45) can be purchased through the KenCen’s Web site. 7:30 PM.

BAR HOP: Grab some friends and head to Dupont for the Snow Day DC Bar Crawl. Bar hoppers will get a refillable mug, deals on drinks, and exclusive access to participating bars—including Front Page, Bread and Brew, Madhatter, the Mighty Pint, Black Finn, 19, and the Bottom Line. Tickets can be purchased online for $15 or at the door for $30. 1 to 8 PM.

BRUNCH WITH SANTA: The Kennedy Center’s 15th annual Brunch With Santa returns to the Roof Terrace Restaurant December 17 and 18. Kids can munch on childhood favorites including macaroni and cheese, chicken fingers, and French fries; adults can choose from seasonal gourmet salads, shucked oysters, French toast, and made-to-order omelets, plus a complimentary mimosa or glass of sparkling wine. A jazz band will provide entertainment. Tickets ($20 children 4 to 11, $39.95 adults) can be reserved through the event’s Web site. 10 AM. Be sure to check out our full roundup of holiday events for more great options.

THEATER: Don’t miss opening night of Ann at the Kennedy Center. Emmy Award-winning actress Holland Taylor makes her screenwriting debut with the one-woman show about late Texas governor Ann Richards. The show runs through January 15. Tickets ($54 to $95) can be purchased through the KenCen’s Web site. 7:30 PM.

Sunday, December 18

THEATER: It’s your last chance to catch A Broadway Christmas Carol at Metro Stage. The comedy combines Dickens’s classic tale with several parodied show tunes. Tickets ($45) can be purchased through Box Office Tickets. 7 PM.

GINGERBREAD DECORATING: Santa’s little helpers can learn the art of gingerbread house decorating at the DC Ritz-Carlton. Hot cocoa, soda, and holiday cookies will be served, and kids get a chef’s hat and apron to take home. Tickets ($65) can be purchased through the hotel’s Web site. 3 to 4:30 PM.

TEA WITH SANTA: Stop by the Morrison House for afternoon tea, arts and crafts, story time, and photos with Santa. Tickets ($50 children, $150 adults) can be purchased through the event’s Web site. Proceeds will benefit the Child and Family Network Centers, an organization that provides preschool and social services to families in Virginia. Noon to 3 PM.