Wednesday, November 27
MUSIC: Outside of Independence Day, there’s no more American holiday than Thanksgiving, and there’s no musician more American than Bruce Springsteen. Unfortunately, Bruce himself will probably be cleaning his house so his family can come over or something, but Bruce in the USA, the best Springsteen cover band out there, will be playing at the Hamilton. They’re not just some random musicians: People in the band have moonlit for Blue Oyster Cult, Hall & Oats, Queen, the Temptations, and more. Tickets ($29.50) are available online. 7:30 PM.
KARAOKE: Hill Country’s live-band karaoke is still running tonight. Bring your friends visiting from out of town to see what they’ve got onstage. Free. 8:30 PM.
Thursday, November 28
FILM: Take a pre- or post-dinner trip out to AFI Silver for a screening of the original Wizard of Oz, which seems like a pretty good way to spend time with Grandma if you guys aren’t into watching football together. Tickets ($12) are available online. 3 and 9:30 PM.
DRINK: If you need to get out of the house, many bars will be closed, but Black Cat is open for business as normal starting at 8, and Sticky Rice’s two weeks of DC-imposed prohibition is finally over, so you can stop by to sing some karaoke. Otherwise, you can fight the Black Friday (Thursday edition) crowds—or, you know, just watch football and go to sleep early like everyone else.
FREE STUFF: Check out our roundup of free (non-food-related) things to do today and the rest of the week.
Friday, November 29
DANCE: Time to work off all that turkey and stuffing with the 9:30 Club’s always excellent diva dance party. This one pits the music of Lady Gaga against Beyoncé and Rihanna. Three worthy competitors, but Gaga’s lackluster Artpop and Beyonce’s staying power probably gives this one to Queen Bey. Deejay lil’e will be your guide through all the glitter, glamour, and glowsticks. Tickets ($15) are available online. 8 PM.
VARIETY SHOW: The Weirdo Show hits Bier Baron, featuring burlesque dancers, glasswalkers (ouch), ukulele players, and a “pain-proof man.” Years of accidentally seeing weird stuff on the Internet has hopefully prepared you well for this. Tickets are $12 online or $15 at the door. 8:30 PM.
SHOP: DC’s annual Christmas market is finally here. It takes over F Street in front of the National Portrait Gallery and runs between Seventh and Ninth streets. You’ll find some arts and crafts, plus lots of ornaments, holly, nativity scenes, and other holiday swag. There’ll be live music and plenty of hot cider and hot chocolate to keep you warm. Free. Noon to 8.
Saturday, November 30
MUSIC: Union Market continues its expansion into an anything-goes destination: First it was movies; now it’s a concert, and a good one too. New York City rockers the Walkmen all grew up near DC, so they’re all in town for the holiday—and this could be one of the last times you’ll see them all together. Deejay Will Eastman opens and provides between-sets music. VIP tickets include Green Hat cocktails and food from Rappahannock Oyster Company. Tickets ($25 to $125) are available online. 7 PM.
FLASH MOBS: Improv Everywhere and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum are throwing the mysterious MP3 Experiment. Show up on the Mall in front of the museum with some headphones and the MP3 downloaded, bring a bottle of bubbles, and wear a red, blue, yellow, or green shirt. The rest is probably going to be pretty weird. Get more details here, but don’t listen to the MP3 before you go! Free. Noon.
BAZAAR: Spellbound hosts the seventh annual Freak Bazaar, a place to shop for all your, uhh, quirky friends. You’ll find weird arts and crafts, witchcraft, tarot readers, and lots of local and national artists hawking their cool stuff. Afterwards, there’ll be a goth/dark-wave/industrial dance party. Bazaar: free, 5 to 9 PM. Dance: $7, 9 PM.
SHOP: Black Friday is for fighting the masses at big-box stores; Small Business Saturday is to support the local businesses who go the extra mile for their customers. Lots of boutiques will be participating with specials or live music, but the main Adams Morgan 18th Street strip will have organized prizes, music, and lots of participating businesses. (Also check out our list of small businesses President Obama should visit.) 9:30 to 4:30 PM.
Sunday, December 1
SHOP: It’s officially Christmas season, and Union Market is hosting Thread, a fashion, art, and music “shopping experience,” featuring artisanal designers and works from artists at Heiner Contemporary, Transformer Gallery, and Civilian Art Projects. Fortify yourself with food, coffee, and drinks from all of Union Market’s usual suspects. Free. 11 to 5.
PETS: We enjoy your pet Instagrams and Snapchats as much as anyone, but let’s face it, getting your dog to sit still for even four seconds can be pretty tough. Head to the DC Home Buzz office with your pet to get a free, hi-res, digital picture of your animal with Santa. All you have to do is donate a toiletry item or article of winter clothing to Thrive DC, a Columbia Heights-based homeless shelter. Make sure you register beforehand. Free. 11 to 3.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter.