Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Week (December 30-January 1): New Year’s Eve, Comedy, and the National Bell Festival

Yards Park’s Noon Yards Eve event. Photograph by Kaz Sasahara.


COMEDY DC Improv is celebrating the last day of Hanukkah with a “Festival of Laughs.” Headliner Jessica Kirson is a regular contributor to “The Howard Stern Show” and has appeared several times on the HBO series Crashing; most recently, she has launched the mental health-focused podcast “Relatively Sane.” Kirson will perform with Adam Ray, Josh Adam Meyers, and Jared Stern. $18, 7:30 PM.

BENEFIT Celebrate the eve of New Year’s Eve at Franklin Hall to benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. The (voluntary) cover charge and 10% of the bar’s proceeds will be donated to the HRA to provide low-cost veterinary care to injured, unwanted, and abused animals. Voluntary $10 contribution, 8:30 PM.


CELEBRATE Spend New Year’s with the family at Noon Yards Eve at the Yards Park. Ride a trackless train through Yards Park, hop around in a moon bounce, enjoy crafting stations, and get a glitter tattoo. Catering to those with bedtimes long before midnight, there will be a countdown and balloon drop at noon. Free, 10 AM – 1 PM.

PARTY As we head into the 2020s, remember the 1920s at the Mansion on O Street’s Roaring 20s New Year’s Eve Party. Grab your flapper dresses and top hats, take advantage of an open bar (plus, a midnight champagne toast), and dance to the tunes of DJ Stylz, all while exploring the mansion’s many rooms and secret passageways. 21+ only. $250, 9 PM.


FESTIVAL There’s a festival for everything, so why not bells? The first annual National Bell Festival starts Wednesday featuring events all around town. The handbell choir Virginia Bronze will perform at the Washington Monument at noon before continuing their performance on a Big Bus route. Head over to the Washington National Cathedral to hear an attempt at a full peal starting at 12:45 PM; this ringing of every possible permutation of the cathedral’s bells could take up to three and a half hours, so there will be a self-guided meditation walk for those who wish to listen. Head out to Virginia to hear a rare ringing of the Bell of Peace and Harmony at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (2 PM). Event prices vary by location.

MUSIC Wale’s annual show at the Fillmore Silver Spring have become a New Year’s Day tradition. Billed simply as “Wale and Friends,” these shows are always packed with surprises and guests; this year he’s performing with Big Flock, Beau Young Prince, and Flex Kartel. $35, 9 PM.

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

“Moving Forward, Looking Back: A Collection Still in the Making: Selections from The Phillips Collection Archives” closes 12/31 at the Phillips Collection.

“Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement” closes 12/31 at the Newseum.

The Newseum closes 12/31.