Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (December 29-January 2): A 5K with the Mayor, a Bar Auction, and New Year’s Plans

Join Mayor Muriel Bowser on her third annual Fit DC Fresh Start 5K on Sunday morning. Photo by Khalid Naji-Allah.


BOOKS Local young-adult authors are hosting a happy hour at the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall, reading from their childhood favorites and from their own YA work. Curated by author Jessica Spotswood (A Tyranny of Petticoats, Wild Swans, The Cahill Witch Chronicles), the event features Jon Skovron (Empire of Storms trilogy) Lindsay Smith (A Darkly Beating Heart), and Robin Talley (As I Descended). Free (with RSVP), 6 PM.


MUSIC Local blues musician Jonny Grave has spent the last year on the road playing over 180 shows, and he’s celebrating his return home with a show at Hill Country. He’s also celebrating the end of a successful year with the release of a new, all-instrumental EP, The Highest Bough, which is available as a “name your own price” purchase on Bandcamp, with all proceeds going to benefit Martha’s Table. Grave isn’t likely to play anything from the EP at the show—its mellow, acoustic introspection is quite different from his raucous live shows with his backing band The Tombstones—but it’s always admirable when a local musician donates back to a local charity. Free, 9:30 PM.

BENEFIT Most people have their New Year’s Eve plans locked down already, but the Eve of New Year’s Eve is a different story. This year marks the 21st annual Night Before New Year’s Eve Party hosted by and benefitting the Humane Rescue Alliance (the recently merged Washington Humane Society and Washington Animal Rescue League), at Hawthorne on U Street. In addition to the cover charge donation, the bar will donate 10% of the party’s proceeds to the HRA. Consider it pre-gaming for your big New Year’s plans. $20, 8:30 PM.

TOUR The Washington National Cathedral is stunning from the outside but certainly isn’t as high on the list of tourist spots as many of the monuments around the mall. Things To Do DC is hosting a tour of the National Cathedral, led by the son of the sculptor who carved much of the Cathedral’s stone. $20, 7 PM.


MUSIC Earlier this year, hip-hop artist Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def) announced his retirement from music. He’s performing his final DC-area shows (and his final shows currently announced in America) at the Kenndy Center on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. During these shows, Bey will perform songs from his albums alongside new material, with special guests. The New Year’s Eve celebration will feature a post-performance party in the Grand Foyer, and the rapper’s artwork will be on display as well. $35 to $159, 8:30 PM.

NEW YEAR’S Washingtonian has already provided a round-up of no-cover bars for New Year’s Eve, but if that scene isn’t for you, head outdoors for Alexandria’s annual (and family-friendly) First Night Alexandria celebration. Shops and galleries all over Alexandria will be hosting events and performers as early as 10 AM, including music performances, book readings, face painting, and a Fun Hunt. The night ends with fireworks on the river at midnight. $30, 10 AM to midnight.


RUN Start your get-in-shape New Year’s Resolution on Day 1 with Mayor Muriel Bowser’s 3rd annual Fit DC Fresh Start 5K Walk/Run. Jog or walk your first 5K of 2017 in East Potomac Park, alongside the Mayor. Free (with registration), 9 AM.

LIGHTS New Year’s Day marks the final day for two of the season’s outdoor light exhibits: Zoo Lights at the Smithsonian National Zoo and Georgetown Glow. Keep an eye on Sunday’s forecast for rain. Free, 5 PM to 9 PM (Zoo Lights) / 6 PM to 10 PM (Glow).


AUCTION Monday is the final night of business for beloved Columbia Heights bar Kangaroo Boxing Club. As part of the final farewell, the bar will be auctioning off a variety of items—such as hand-carved wooden statues, Washington Nationals bobbleheads, and the KBC signs—with all proceeds going to homeless prevention nonprofit Thrive DC. Free, 5 PM.

BOOKS New York magazine contributing editor Chris Smith worked with Daily Show host Jon Stewart to document the show’s history in The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests. The book, released in November 2016, features stories about the cast, the show’s political guests, and the skits and monologues. Smith will be reading from it at Politics and Prose. Free, 7 PM.