Thursday, November 21
JOURNALISM: National Geographic continues its 125th-anniversary celebration with talks from writers who did some of their most memorable stories. David Quammen, who won a National Magazine Award for the magazine, talks about going to the Serengeti and Congo for a story; Alma Guillermoprieto talks about her time in Latin America; Paul Salopek talks about his (current) seven-year walk across the world; and three other writers and editors discuss what makes a great National Geographic story. Tickets ($24) are available online. 7:30 PM.
VARIETY SHOWS: After a brief break, the Encyclopedia Show DC is back with its second series. For its first show back, it’s resurrecting everyone’s favorite extinct megafauna: dinosaurs. Join Smithsonian curators, standup comics, academic researchers, poets, and historians to learn about all things dino. Before the show, enjoy $4 T-Rexes on the Beach, and afterward stick around the Dunes for a dance party. Tickets ($12) are available online. 7 PM.
VIDEO GAMES: Xbox One is here, and you can be one of the first to try it by heading over to the Microsoft Store at Tysons Corner for its exclusive launch party. Not sure how the line is—maybe you should be in it now—but the store is giving away $5,000 worth of free Xboxes, games, and other prizes once the thing launches at midnight. Free. 10 PM.
Friday, November 22
FRANCE: If you don’t speak French (and I don’t), the words “Alliance Française Beaujolais Nouveau” won’t mean a lot to you. Find out the deal at the Beaujolais and Beyond fete at La Maison Française (French Embassy), featuring free-flowing wine; small plates from the Caucus Room and Paul Bakery; and French breads, cheeses, pâtés, and pastries; plus a deejay, dancing, trivia, and the chance to win a free trip to Paris. Dress up Roaring Twenties-style. Tickets ($60) are available online. 8 PM.
COMEDY: The last Don’t Block the Box before Thanksgiving features Matt Koff—who’s about to appear on the new Adam DeVine’s House Party (you know Adam DeVine from Workaholics) show on Comedy Central and has written for the Onion News Network—and three local comedians. As always, it’s just three bucks and culminates in a crazy dance party, Wonderland-style. 7:30 PM.
MUSIC: It’s a rare opportunity to see “All Star” live, so get your game on and go play with Smash Mouth at the Howard Theatre like it’s 1999 all over again. Tickets ($25) are available online. 8 PM.
DANCE: Black Cat hosts Close 2 the Edge, an early hip-hop night featuring deejays Dredd, Grap Luva, and Quartermaine. Bring your boom box, baggy windbreaker, and dance moves. $7. 10 PM.
Saturday, November 23
DANCE: Bliss is one of the city’s best dance parties, as deejay Will Eastman, who owns U Street Music Hall, always brings the beats. It’s his birthday, and you get in free if you get there before midnight—what else could you ask for? Free before midnight; $10 after. 10 PM.
FILM: The US Navy Memorial’s Burke Theater is hosting Speakeasy Shorts, a new kind of film competition that pairs filmmakers with storytellers to make a short film in just five days. Each short is (insert movie trailer voice here) based on a true story. Tickets ($20) are available online. 7:30 and 9:30 PM.
MUSIC: If you’re into sad piano pop, Ben Folds is pretty much where the conversation starts. He’ll be at the Kennedy Center doing some sort of live The Voice-like thing where he partners with young artists and coaches them through making a song. It sounds kind of weird but worth checking out if you can’t get enough of “Brick.” Tickets ($38) are available online. 3:30 PM.
MUSTACHES: You’ve spent all month growing out your ’stache, right? Good, cuz the H Street Movemberfest is back. The all-day bar crawl hits H Street institutions such as the Country Club, H &Pizza, the Argonaut, and Sidamo with various specials on food, drinks, coffee, and more. For you ladies, there will be mustache face-painting so you can celebrate, too. Tickets ($12) are available online. 1 to 9 PM.
Sunday, November 24
BOURBON: If there’s one thing you should know about bourbon, it’s that it tastes delicious. If you want to know more than one thing you’ll have to go to Last Exit’s History of Bourbon event, featuring three bourbon-tastings, a lesson from cocktail historian Luke Johnson, and bourbon-based cocktails. Tickets ($50) are available online. 3 PM.
DREIDELS: Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, you made it out of clay . . . but who cares what it’s made out of, as long as it can spin ’til the oil in the candles burn out. Sixth & I hosts the MesorahDC Dreidel Championship and Chanukah Extravaganza, featuring an open bar, a latke buffet, live music, and all the dreidel-spinning you could ever want. Free. 7:30 PM.
BASEBALL: There’s no way to mince words here: It’s impossible to have a “vintage” Nationals memorabilia sale. Can we agree nothing from this millennium qualifies as vintage? Even so, the “Vintage” Nationals Memorabilia Sale at Hill Country is a good chance for you to get your hands on used memorabilia and locker-room curios from Nats players from the past couple of years. If you want to get vintage, let’s talk Senators. Free. Noon to 4.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter.