Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: December 12 to 15

A Santa bar crawl, the best of Story League, and holiday parties galore.

Dress up and drink with other santas in Dupont Circle this weekend. Photograph via Shutterstock.

Thursday, December 12

MUSIC: The National Symphony Orchestra Pops puts on its holiday show at the Kennedy Center, featuring baritone singer Brian Stokes Mitchell (known for his work in Sweeney Todd) and conductor Steven Reineke. For about two hours, the orchestra and Mitchell will run through holiday standards to put you in the Christmas mood. Tickets ($20-$80) are available online. 7 PM.

ART: Local artist Madeline Lynch spent time recently traveling through Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica, and Mexico, where she was inspired to create “Seeing With Spiral Eyes: An Artist’s Journey through South and Central America,” which is being displayed at the Fondo del Sol Visual Arts Center. Tonight, at a reception for the exhibit, Lynch will talk about her abstract paintings and photographs, which pull from myths and stories she picked up along her travels. Free. 6 PM.

THEATRE: Alexandria’s The Lyceum will host a staged reading of Maturity Island, a brand new comedy featuring quips about Tupac, reality shows, and the trouble two women playwrights have finding a normal man to date. Afterwards, the cast and playwrights will discuss the play before heading to a local bar to continue the party. Free. 7:30 PM.

Friday, December 13

LIGHTS: The Georgetown Fete des Lumieres, or Festival of Lights, opens this week, with public art displays and Christmas lights on Thomas Jefferson Street. To celebrate, Malmaison is hosting an opening night party with visual artists, a bar, deejays, and art installations decorating the (relatively) new space. Tickets ($10) are available online. 9 PM.

DRINK: Trade toys for booze at Ugly Mug’s Toys for Tots Charity Event. Two toys gets you a pint of beer, additional toys get you free beer and raffle tickets for the chance to win prizes including Capitals tickets, corn hole sets, gift cards, and more. Free. 7 PM.

STORYTELLING: The best of Story League has been invited back for Story League All-Stars, featuring storytellers who have won contests already. Unlike most storytelling events, this one has no theme, so anything goes. That means you’ll get the best, wackiest, most heartbreaking or hilarious story each performer has to offer. The Moth’s Peter Aguero heads down from NYC to host the event. $12. 9 PM.

Saturday, December 14

HOLIDAY MARKET: Yelp helps you figure out where to shop and eat, so it sort of makes sense that they’re going to, for one day, stop being the middleman and start doing it themselves. Yelp’s Totally Bazaar includes a s’mores bar, a cookie buffet, food from H &Pizza, an ornament making station, ice sculptures, carolers, and a massive holiday market featuring dozens of local artisans and shops selling Christmas things. Free. 12 PM to 4 PM.

BAR CRAWL: It’s time for Dupont Circle’s annual Santa Crawl, a scary, nine-hour event featuring hundreds and hundreds of santas and elves. Grab a fake beard and a santa suit and join the madness, which starts at BlackFinn or The Front Page and hits Public Bar, Madhatter, Irish Whiskey, Mighty Pint, and all the other Dupont standards. Entry gets you a santa mug, party favors, and access to $2 Yuenglings, $3 vodka and SoCo drinks, $4 Jack Daniels Honey drinks, and $4 holiday shots. $15. 1 PM to 10 PM.

HOLIDAY PARTY: The Dunes hosts a decidedly not-ugly-sweater holiday party (wear something festive but cool), featuring live music, deejays, dancing, food specials, and drinks. It’s one of the cooler spots in DC, they don’t need to provide an extensive description of their parties for you to know it’s going to be a good time. Tickets ($10) are available online. 7 PM.

VARIETY SHOW: The Capital City Showcase’s standard variety show gets the holiday treatment with its Christmahanukwanzakah Special, featuring local comedians, musicians, and live bands performing special holiday sets. Proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen. $15. 10 PM.

Sunday, December 15

MUSIC: It’s unclear whether Trans-Siberian Orchestra is the kind of group that needs a cover band, but they have one anyway. Ornament’s 12 members will take over the Hamilton, playing their takes on TSO’s takes on Christmas songs, complete with fake snow, laser lights, and smoke. $22.50. 6:30 PM.

A CAPELLA: Jammin Java invites three a capella groups from the area (Tonic and Gin, The Chromatics, UltraViolet) to perform holiday songs during this matinee show. Between them, the groups have several decades of experience and have performed at venues all over the city. $10. 12 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter.