As the holidays near, these concerts, markets, and other events to check out across town will get you in the spirit.
Alexandria waterfront, December 24
Santa ditches the sled for a river ride. Free.
Anacostia Community Museum, December 26–28
Three full days of activities. Free.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington Holiday Show
Lincoln Theatre, December 9 and 16–17
Expect a rousing rendition of “I Should Have Been a North Pole Elf.” $25 to $65.
National Menorah Lighting
White House Ellipse, December 12
Will Javanka do the honors? Free.
Washington Ballet: The Nutcracker
Warner Theatre, December 1–24
A DC-set version of the classic. $30 to $120.
Wreaths Across America
Arlington National Cemetery, December 16
Volunteers decorate vets’ graves. Free.
Heurich House Castle Garden, December 1–3
The lovely courtyard of this historic house hosts a traditional market. $2 to $10.
Step Afrika! Magical Musical Holiday Step Show
Atlas Performing Arts Center, December 15–30
Step dancing with a seasonal spin. $18 to $45.
Swedish Christmas Bazaar
House of Sweden, December 2
Mmm, princesstårta cake. Free.
The Anthem, December 9
Her recent album is (mostly) Xmas songs. $64.50 to $84.50.
Downtown Holiday Market
Eighth and F Sts., NW, November 24–December 23
Local artists and live music. Free.
Library of Congress, December 7
NASA scientist Miguel O. Román discusses energy use during this much-lit time of year. Free.
US Navy Band Holiday Concert
DAR Constitution Hall, December 16–17
Washington’s most shipshape ensemble. Free.
The Hip Hop Nutcracker
Strathmore, December 12–13
Tchaikovsky with breakdancing. $28 to $58.
NSO Pops: “Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration”
Kennedy Center, December 20
Mervyn Warren, who produced an R&B version of Messiah, joins the National Symphony Orchestra. $29 to $79.
A Christmas Carol
Ford’s Theatre, November 16–December 31
Ford’s has staged this for 35-plus years, so you can visit both the Ghost of Christmas Past and the ghost of A Christmas Carol productions past. $32 to $105.
My So-Called Jewish Life
Sixth & I, December 19
Storyteller Amy Saidman hosts a Hanukkah share session. $20 to $25.
Capital One Arena, December 14
Still doing its thing despite the death of its founder this year. $47 to $88.
Eastern Market, December 3, 10, 17, and 19
A gold mine for gifts. Free.
Turtle Island Quartet With Liz Carroll
National Gallery of Art, December 17
The string quartet teams up with an Irish fiddler for some holiday bow action. Free.
An Operetta Holiday
GALA Hispanic Theater, December 6 and 9–10
This show includes music from Franz Lehár’s The Merry Widow, which contains a couplet that some might find seasonally appropriate: “I refresh my jaded brain / With little suppers and Champagne.” $22 to $45.
NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas
Kennedy Center, December 9
Past participants have included Ellis Marsalis and Carla Bley. $55 to $70.
Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Alexandria Marina, December 2
Excited to watch Christmas-light-decorated watercraft compete for top honors in this annual event? Whatever floats your boat. Free.
Dance Place, December 16–17
Coyaba Dance Theater celebrates Kwanzaa and its own 20th anniversary. $15 to $30.
A John Waters Christmas
The Birchmere, December 21
The director’s guide to surviving the season. $55.
This article appears in the December 2017 issue of Washingtonian.