Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (December 12-15): An Ice Maze, More Holiday Shopping, and Black Nativity

Shop at GRUMP in Crystal City on Saturday. Photograph courtesy GRUMP.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 12

BEER Drink craft beer at the National Zoo’s annual BrewLights at ZooLights. Sample dozens of breweries—such as 7 Locks, Atlas, The Bruery, and Union—out of a souvenir light-up cup. Make s’mores and wander through a few exhibits that are open specifically for the event. 21+ only. $65 (in advance) or $70 (at the gate), 6 PM.

COMEDY Peruvian comedian Erick Acuña presents his one-man comedy show “Acuña Acuna” at the Source Theater. The performance features monologues, sketches, and songs based on his life as a Peruvian American; it was voted “Best Solo Performance” and “Best of Fringe” at the 2019 Capital Fringe Festival. $10 in advance or $13 at the door, 8 PM.

THEATER Keegan Theatre’s annual An Irish Carol returns for its ninth year. Inspired by Charles Dickens’s classic holiday tale, the show follows a Dublin pub-owner who is faced with his past, present, and future. Through December 31.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 13

EXPERIENCE Get lost in the cold at CityCenterDC’s ice maze this weekend. Purported to be the largest clear ice maze in the US, the maze will be made of 110,000 pounds of ice, formed into 7 foot tall walls. Free to attend, but donations to Children’s National Hospital are welcome. 12/13: 4 PM – 9 PM; 12/14 & 12/15: 10 AM – 9 PM (closed 2-4 PM daily for ice repairs).

MUSIC R&B singer Anthony Hamilton’s backup singers The HamilTones perform on their own as a soul trio and will do two shows at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. The group released its debut EP, Watch The Ton3s, this summer, so expect to hear those tunes plus some of their favorite covers; the trio’s harmony-laden recent take on Lil Nas X’s “Old Town Road” is particularly soulful. $20-$29, 7 PM and 9 PM.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 14

THEATER Langston Hughes’s song-play Black Nativity retells the Christmas story with gospel music and a black cast. The production incorporates blues and jazz music and dance as well as African percussion. The play runs through January 5 at the Anacostia Playhouse. $50.

SHOPPING If the novelty of holiday shopping at a brewery hasn’t worn off, head to Aslin’s new Alexandria tap house for “Snow Daze,” an event with nearly two dozen artists and makers offering consumables (coffee, chocolate), home goods (ceramics), wearables, and more. And if you’d just like to shop for yourself, Aslin is releasing two barrel-aged stouts in bottles, one with chocolate and marshmallow and one with maple, gingerbread, and vanilla. Free to attend (beers are $30/bottle), 11 AM – 5 PM.

FESTIVAL Celebrate the season at the first Smithsonian Winter Family Festival at the Smithsonian Castle. This family-friendly event features hands-on crafting, where visitors can decorate holiday cards or write a festive haiku. Enjoy story time and tours of the castle, or just take a holiday photo with a special backdrop and props. Free, 10 AM – 2 PM.

SHOPPING Buy quirky gifts at the annual GRUMP Holiday Arts & Crafts Show at the Crystal City Shops. Browse the wares of 50 different artists and makers; you’ll find traditional craft fare such as kids’ clothes and handmade soaps, but GRUMP also features offbeat items such as wacky t-shirts, crocheted animals, and unusual prints. There are also several Yetis running around the fair for photo opps. Free to attend, 11 AM – 4 PM.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 15

BALLET If you can’t get enough of holiday fare, catch the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker at Strathmore. See Tchaikovsky’s colorful classic with skillful dancers and various puppets and dolls. $29-$89, 2 PM and 7 PM.

MUSIC Nashville a cappella group Street Corner Symphony placed second in a season of NBC’s The Sing-Off. The five-man band’s show at Jammin Java will pull heavily from its 2016 Christmas album, so expect to hear beautiful harmonies on traditional favorites (“Silent Night,” “What Child Is This”) and other holiday tunes (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” “Santa’s Lost His Mojo”). $15-$22, 7:30 PM.

LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this weekend

“Fast Fashion/Slow Art” closes 12/15 at the Corcoran School of the Arts & Design.

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