THURSDAY, DECEMBER 14
THEATRE An Irish Carol, an original work written by Keegan Theatre company member Matthew J. Keenan, is an homage to Dickens’ A Christmas Carol set in an Irish pub, where the pub’s owner comes to terms with his past, present, and future. Through December 31. $35-$50.
BEER If you didn’t get tickets to Star Wars’s opening night—or if you want to grab a beer before your screening—head over to ChurchKey for its seventh annual Holiday Tap Takeover, featuring 43 different holiday beers including two specialty casks. The event also doubles as a canned food drive to benefit Martha’s Table: Bring a canned good (or make a cash donation) and receive a free 4 oz taster of a beer on draft. Free to attend, 4 PM.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 15
MUSEUMS The National Portrait Gallery is launching a new series that will highlight the global context of American portraiture. Each year, the Gallery will showcase a portrait created by an international artist affiliated with a specific country. The inaugural exhibit, Portraits of the World: Switzerland, will feature Femme en Extase, a portrait of the Italian dancer Giulia Leonardi by the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler. The piece embodies the Swiss approach to expressing emotion through movement, a theory known as eurhythmics, which had an international impact. The exhibit will include eurhythmics-influenced portraits of American dancers from the Gallery’s collection. Through November 12.
MUSIC Ring in the holidays with The Washington Chorus, who is presenting its A Candlelight Christmas program at Strathmore. The group will perform audience favorites such as Hallelujah Chorus and The Dream Isaiah Saw and will also include the group’s candlelight processional. $33-$79, 8 PM.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 16
NATIONALS It can be a long, cold winter without baseball, but the home team is hosting the annual Nationals Winterfest this weekend at the Washington Convention Center. With a combination of holiday- and baseball-themed activities, visitors of all ages can meet and greet their favorite Nats players and coaches, take a photo with Santa, join in clinics, or play “video pitch”, where fans can give virtual batters their best pitch. There will even be story-time led by a Nationals player. Through Sunday. $39 (adults) or $29 (children), 11:30 AM to 4 PM both days.
WINE Want to be a wine pro? Sample wines from five different European countries at the Embassy of France. Learn about the preparation and tasting style of various European wines and get a crash course in wine-tasting lingo. $60, 3:30 PM.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 17
BOOKS Local author and physician-scientist Curtis Harris is one of three authors of the novel High Hand, a deeply-intertwined thriller about spies, journalists, and politicians. Harris will be at the International Spy Museum signing his book. Free to attend, 1 PM to 4 PM.
SHOPPING The Black Cat’s 20th annual Rock-n-Shop features local crafters and record dealers, all hawking their holiday deals with a punk-rock flare. It’s certainly one of the most eclectic mixes of vendors of any local holiday market. Free to attend, 7 PM.
MUSIC All the holiday music at this time of year can really be a drag—so get the antidote to holiday cheer with a metal show at the 9:30 Club. Headlining is Richmond’s party-thrash band Municipal Waste, but it’s worth showing up early for the openers too. California power-violence group Nails made waves with its 2016 breakout album You Will Never Be One Of Us, and Illinois murder-metal group Macabre sings about serial killers, complete with backstory and reenactments. $20, 7 PM.
BIKE The Hains Point 100 has been an annual event since a solo rider took on the feat in 2012 to raise awareness for the Washington Area Bicycling Association’s Women & Bicycles program. Join in the 100-mile ride—or ride any distance you’re comfortable with—and enjoy the giveaways for cyclists. Free (but donations and advanced registration are recommended), 8:45 AM.