THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10
TOUR: Taking a candlelight tour of the Tudor Place Historic House & Garden is the historic holiday tradition you never knew you needed. Learn about the mansion’s roots (built in 1815, it was originally the home of Thomas Peter and Martha Parke Custis Peter, whose grandmother was Martha Washington) and appreciate the festive decor as you walk from room to room. Once you’re finished, don’t forget to check out the museum shop, where you’re sure to find the perfect gift for your favorite history buff. $20, 5:30 PM.
ART, DANCE, AND FOOD: Find unique, handcrafted gifts and also get a sneak peek into what the creative process of the residents of Alexandria’s Torpedo Factory Art Center. At tonight’s “Art Night,” nearly 80 studios will be open to the public. You’ll have the opportunity to participate in craft projects, like making your own snowflake, and watch Jane Franklin Dance perform “Incidence,” a beautiful, gymnastic routine that incorporates kinetic sculptures. The center, which hosts the “largest collection of publicly accessible working artist studios” in the country, is also sweetening up the deal—literally: each participating studio will be offering chocolate to attendees, which you can eat as the Alexandria Archaeology Museum teaches about the American colonists’ “taking of chocolate”, a protest on the high tea tax from England. Free, 6 PM.
MUSIC: DC locals Ex Hex bring their lively garage punk to 9:30 Club. You might remember Mary Timony as a singer and guitarist for Wild Flag, Carrie Brownstein’s pre-reuniting Sleater-Kinney endeavor, but the band’s effusive and unapologetic rock n’ roll is all their own. $18, 7 PM.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11
EAT: DC chefs and Top Chef contestants Mike Isabella and Jennifer Carroll joined forces for a French Mediterranean-themed pop-up restaurant, Requin, which opens tonight until spring of next year. Pretend you’re vacationing on the French Riviera as you sip on some crisp white wine and try seafood from the region, ranging from ceviche to sole to escargot. 5 PM.
ART: Open Studio DC’s latest exhibition is all about the art of the show poster. Printmakers will be showing off and selling handmade poster art created for concerts and performances in DC, Baltimore, Philly, and New York. Drinks, food and live music will be available as well. $3-$5, 6 PM.
DRINK: Treat yourself to Drink the District’s Hoppy Holidays Beer Festival at the Ring Building in Dupont with the gift that keeps on giving: beer. You’ll get three hours to taste more than 30 beers hours of unlimited tastings of over 30 beers and ciders, along with the option of unlimited full pours of two beers. $35-$50, 7 PM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12
RUN: Dressing up in your cheesiest holiday sweater for a theme party is a completely standard—and commercial—notion at this point. The Ugly Sweater Run, coming to D.C. for the first time this year, offers a change of pace: you’ll get to sweat it out in your ugliest, festive garb for a 5k at the National Harbor. Enjoy the picturesque view of the city as you and fellow participants are looking anything but. Afterwords, make up for the calories you just burned by drinking hot chocolate and beer. $45, 9 AM.
ART: Even if you’re not the Walt Whitman type or a green-thumbed gardener, there’s something innately soothing about nature. Gardeners and crafters of all levels are invited to the terrarium making class at Rare Sweets, which lets you embrace nature in a cute, crafty, and totally relaxing way. $55, 5 PM.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13
WATCH: Though now considered the “Master of Suspense” and one of the greatest directors of our time, for much of his career Alfred Hitchcock was merely considered a “commercial entertainer.” That was, until he spent an entire week with renowned French New Wave director François Truffaut to discuss his painstaking, completely unorthodox process. Once the interview was published, the public never saw Hitchcock the same way again. Hitchcock/Truffaut is a documentary about the 1962 meeting of the minds, featuring some of today’s most-loved directors, including Martin Scorsese and Wes Anderson. The film is running for seven days (Dec. 11-17), at Landmark Theatres E Street Cinema. $12, 10:45 AM, 12:55 PM, 3:10 PM, 5:25 PM, 7:45 PM, 9:50 PM.
PERFORMANCE: Mosaic Theater Company’s powerful and poetic The Gospel of LovingKindness runs at the Atlas Performing Art Center until Jan. 3. Playwright and poet Marcus Gardley uses a mixture of hip hop and hymnals to describe the way gun violence tears apart lives and families in the South Side of Chicago. Today’s performance is Pay What You Can. 3 PM.