Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (December 1-4): BrewLights, a European Film Showcase, and the Smithsonian Holiday Festival

Craft breweries and local restaurants visit ZooLights on December 1 for BrewLights. Photo courtesy Friends of the National Zoo.


FOOD & DRINK The National Zoo is hosting ZooLights through New Year’s Day, but tonight the event turns 21+ for BrewLights, a craft beer and food tasting event. Over two dozen breweries are participating, with a good balance between locals (Bluejacket, Mad Fox, Adroit Theory) and farther-flung breweries (Elysian, Avery). Tickets include complimentary snow-tubing rides, weather permitting. $45 to $65, 5 PM to 9 PM.

FILM The 29th edition of AFI European Union Film Showcase runs from tonight through December 18 at AFI Silver. The showcase’s selection of 47 films includes nine US premieres, 14 countries’ Oscar submissions for Best Foreign Language Film, and international film festival winners. Opening night features a reception after a screening of Paolo Virzi’s Like Crazy (La Pazza Gioia), a comedy about friendship in a mental hospital. $18 to $20 (tonight) or $175 to $200 (all-festival passport), 7:30 PM.

MUSIC Fans of doom and stoner metal have two great options tonight. At the Black Cat, Richmond’s Windhand plays a rumbling doom matched with Dorthia Cottrell’s entrancing vocals. Across town at the Rock & Roll Hotel, Portland’s Red Fang celebrates its new album Only Ghosts with riff-heavy opening band Torche. $15, 7:30 PM / $25, 7 PM.


SHOPPING The Heurich House Museum’s annual Christkindlmarket is an opportunity to shop for the holidays and tour the Brewmaster’s Castle (which will be closed for the month of January for extensive cleaning) through Sunday. The Dupont Circle marketplace features a breadth of different vendors; Friday night is dedicated exclusively to DC craftspeople. $10, 4 PM (Friday) / 11 AM (Saturday and Sunday).

BOOKS For five years, attorney Brian Stolarz worked to overturn the conviction of Alfred Dewayne Brown, a Texas man who spent twelve years in prison—ten of those on Death Row—for the armed robbery of a check-cashing business that resulted in the fatal shooting of an officer and store clerk. Stolarz’s work (and the work of journalist Lisa Falkenberg, who won a Pulitzer for her coverage of the case) shed light on the corruption and grand jury abuse that led to the conviction. Stolarz will be discussing his book, Grace and Justice on Death Row: The Race Against Time and Texas to Free an Innocent Man, at Politics & Prose. Free, 7 PM.


FOOD & DRINK Billed as “the ultimate food-lover’s weekend”, the Metropolitan Cooking & Entertaining Show runs Saturday and Sunday at the Washington Convention Center. Celebrity cooks and guests include Ace of Cakes star Duff Goldman, 2941 pastry chef Caitlin Dysart, Richard Sandoval (of El Centro D. F. and Masa 14), Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio, and TV personalities such as Diva Q and Carla Hall. In addition to all the food celebs, there will be plenty of demos, book signings, and tons of exhibitors to find help you find ingredients and equipment for your next home-cooked masterpiece. $21.50 (some classes sold separately), 10 AM.

MUSEUMS The Smithsonian Holiday Festival runs all day Saturday and Sunday, featuring events for children and adults alike across several museums. Astronaut food tastings and IMAX 3D presentations of Polar Express are perfect for the younger crowd, while there are a variety of book signings for adults, from New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis’s In the Shadow of Liberty (about slave-owning presidents) to cookbook author Nancie McDermott. Participating museums include the National Museum of American History, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, Sackler Gallery, National Museum of the American Indian, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, National Museum of African Art, and the Smithsonian Castle. Free, 10 AM.

HOLIDAYS Alexandria is the place to be on the first Saturday of December: during the day is the 46th annual Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, a march filled with tartans, bagpipes, classic cars, and Scottish dancers. As the sun goes down, Alexandria’s waterfront lights up with the 17th annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. A panel of judges will score the illuminated boats on a variety of different categories. Free, 11 AM / 5:30 PM.


FOOD & DRINK Northeast DC brewery Atlas Brew Works has run a series of charity events this year, with tips all afternoon being matched and donated to charity. This Sunday’s event will benefit DC Central Kitchen, a non-profit organization that provides culinary training to at-risk adults and serves healthy meals at shelters and low-income schools. Free to attend (but tip your bartenders well!), 1 PM to 8 PM.

HOUSE TOUR For the 38th time, homes in Logan Circle are open to the public for the Logan Circle Holiday House Tour, with a Wassail Reception at the neighborhood’s Studio Theatre. Admire the neighborhood’s home renovations and art collections with proceeds benefitting the Logan Circle Community Association. $30, 1 PM.

MUSIC The Capital Hearings present a unique spin on contemporary a cappella: where many of their contemporaries perform strictly pop radio hits, these singers also take on classical and jazz music with beautiful precision. For their holiday show at AMP, the troupe will stay true to their mission of genre diversity, with traditional carols sung alongside classical pieces such as Edgar Pettman’s The Angel Gabriel. $20 to $30, 6:30 PM.

Correction: This post originally stated that the Atlas Brew Works event is on Saturday. It is on Sunday.