THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3
ART: Get friendly with the Phillips Collection. This December’s Phillips After Five theme is “Let’s Be Friends,” so every aspect of the event is centered around some sort of commingling. There will be food and drink pairings by Pinstripes Georgetown, a jazzy collaboration among pianist and composer Federico Peña, bassist Romeir Mendez, and drummer CV Dashiell, an “art meetup challenge,” and the chance to learn about the relationships between artists and collectors on a guided tour of the collection. $12, 5 PM.
DISCUSSION: Pericles, Prince of Tyre has arguably one of the most interesting backstories of any Shakespearean play because no one’s entirely sure just how much of it The Bard actually wrote (experts say it’s probably at least half). Grab a beer at the Folger Shakespeare Library’s Brews & Banter as you listen to actors Cedric Lamar and U. Jonathan Toppo from the production lead a conversation about the play, which runs until Dec. 20. $15, 6:30 PM.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 4
DANCE: The Washington Ballet performs Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic The Nutcracker at the Warner Theatre until December 12. Though it’s become tradition watch Clara, the Mouse King and the Sugar Plum fairy or listen to its renowned score while baking cookies, The Nutcracker’s 1892 premiere was not a success. It wasn’t until a 1944 performance in San Francisco that the play began to take shape as the holiday classic we all know and love today. $35-$120, 7 PM.
ART FIGHT: It’s an artsy, holiday showdown at the Black Cat. Super Art Fight’s second annual “Non-Denominational Holiday Spectacular” showcases artists duking it out on canvas for “The Greatest Live Art Competition in the Known Universe.” $15, 9 PM.
DRINK: December 5 marks the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, and the DC Craft Bartender’s Guild is celebrating in style with a Repeal Day Ball at the Historic Carnegie Library. Dress up in fancy clothes (the event is black tie) and sip on cocktails from the best mixologists from across the country while you dance to Prohibition-era music. $80-$110, 8 PM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
FESTIVAL: Georgia Avenue is crucial for Northwest D.C. residents, and not just for getting from place to place: that five-mile stretch is the lifeblood of local culture. The first annual Georgia Avenue Winter Festival will celebrate the businesses, artisans and organizations of the Petworth, Parkview and Pleasant Plains neighborhoods that reside along this very important street. Pick up food and crafts from local vendors, watch performances and demos and listen to live music. Free, 11 AM.
MUSIC: The two-day Magnificent Intentions Music Festival which celebrates the D.C. music scene comes to DC9 on Saturday. Tonight’s lineup includes Dischord Records’ indie power-pop group Title Tracks and Middle Distance Runner, who are selling a limited edition handmade CD of their latest album at the show. $15-$18, 6:15 PM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 5
HOLIDAY FESTIVAL: Smithsonian museums and galleries are getting into the spirit of the season with a two-day Holiday Festival on the National Mall. Each location is putting on something special for the occasion, like the opportunity to taste astronaut’s food, watch live demonstrations and even say hi C-P30, who’s back on display for a limited time at the Museum of American History (he’s probably just as ready to see The Force Awakens as the rest of us). Free, 10 AM.
PERFORMANCE: It’s not your typical holiday party, that’s for sure. Sweet Spot Aerial Productions presents ‘Tis the Circus! A Holiday Party on High at the Atlas Performing Arts Center, in which a “couple’s living room is transformed [by] acrobats, aerialists, jugglers and other performers.” All ages. $25, 4 PM.