Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (December 28-January 1): A Third Music Venue Opens at the Wharf, Alexandria’s First Night, and a New Year’s Day 5K

Folk/country band The Felice Brothers will be one of the first bands to play at The Wharf’s newest music venue, Union Stage. Photo courtesy Ground Control Touring.


LISTENING Multiple “Best of 2017” lists have been published this month; to hear some of the year’s best music (and pick out your own favorites), head over to Songbyrd’s Best of 2017 Listening Party. The event will showcase local DC music as well as national bands, and the venue will also be giving away tickets for shows in 2018. Free, 7 PM.

MUSIC Grammy award-winning bassist and DC native Ben Williams will play “A Holiday Music Extravaganza” at The Hamilton. In addition to holiday tunes, you’ll likely hear songs from his own jazz quintet albums. $20-$45, 8 PM.


MUSIC The week between Christmas and New Years is full of concerts by local bands. One of the biggest of those shows is at The Anthem, where reggae group SOJA will take the stage with openers Twiddle and Footwerk. SOJA will play songs from its newly-released album Poetry In Motion as well as their classic tunes. $40-$60, 8 PM.

MUSIC Police don’t seem quite so intimidating when they’re singing. A cappella group DC’s Finest (DooWop Cops) features active and retired District police officers. Catch the group’s tight harmonies at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Free, 6 PM.


BENEFIT There’s no clever poem for the night before New Year’s Eve, but the Humane Rescue Alliance (the merged Washington Humane Society and Washington Animal Rescue League) is hosting its 22nd annual Night Before New Year’s Eve Party at Mission in Dupont Circle. In addition to funds raised from voluntary contributions at the door, the bar will donate 10% of its proceeds to the HRA to care for more than 60,000 sick, injured, unwanted, and abused animals in our area. $10, 8:30 PM.

MUSIC Union Stage is the third music venue to open at The Wharf, with its inaugural concerts hitting off this weekend. Folk/country band The Felice Brothers, which formed in 2006 and features two brothers (plus three friends), will be one of the first bands to play the newest venue. $20, 8 PM.

COMEDY Every weekday on 106.7 FM, radio host Danny Rouhier provides daily commentary on the local teams he grew up watching, all within the context of sports news around the nation. But in the evenings, he performs standup comedy. See his myriad voice impersonations at the French Quarter Brasserie. $10, 8 PM.


FIRST NIGHT Alexandria’s annual First Night celebration is a family-friendly destination for New Year’s Eve. The day features events all over Alexandria including a fun hunt, a magic show, and tons of live music. The evening culminates in a fireworks show at the Alexandria Waterfront at midnight (for those who don’t have a bedtime). $30 per adult for the events (no charge for fireworks only), 7 PM to midnight.

CELEBRATE We’ve already rounded up a list of no-cover bars for New Year’s Eve, but if you’re trying to avoid the bar scene altogether, head over to Woolly Mammoth’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which features a special performance of The Second City’s Nothing to Lose (But Our Chains) followed by a party (music, dancing, midnight champagne toast) with the cast. $100-$160, 9:30 PM.


EXERCISE There’s no time like the present for New Year’s Resolutions: join Mayor Muriel Bowser in her Fit DC Fresh Start 5K. Run or walk alongside the Mayor as she renews her One Billion Steps Challenge to the residents of the District of Columbia. The 5K kicks off at Anacostia Park and there will be shuttles between the Anacostia Metro station and the start/finish line starting at 8:30 AM. Free, packet pickup at 9 AM and 5K begins at 10 AM.

MUSIC Local rapper Wale always kicks off the new year on his home turf; his seventh straight New Year’s Day show will be at the Fillmore Silver Spring. The show is billed as “Wale and Friends”, a nod to the fact that he always brings out special surprise guests to join him on stage. $35, 8 PM.