Things to Do

Virtual Concerts, Festivus, and Holiday Yoga: Things to Do in Washington, December 21-23

Plus: Puerto Rican holiday traditions.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hi folks!

We’ve got Festivus, virtual concerts, and holiday yoga.

Celebrate Festivus with some Seinfeld trivia.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Movie night: Head to Rockville for a drive-in screening of the classic Christmas comedy Elf. Wednesday 12/23; $12 per adult, buy tickets here.

Tune in: The U.S. Botanic Gardens are closed, but its annual free concert tradition will continue online. This week, see local singer-songwriter Chris Urquiaga, a.k.a. JChris, perform pop, R&B, and Latin songs in a variety of languages. Tuesday 12/22 at 5:30 PM; Free, watch it here.

Stretch out: Take a holiday-themed yoga class with Past Tense Yoga’s Jenna Grubman. She’ll lead a family-friendly “Jingle Bell” vinyasa flow. You can virtually invite a buddy with a complimentary pass, too. Thursday 12/24 at 10 AM; $18 (email kelly@pasttensestudio.com for the free pass) register here.

Sing along: The Kennedy Center is releasing a bunch of new music and video performances for the season. See a new concert every week day (now through January 1) from the center’s “Arts Across America: Winter Traditions” series. Tonight, catch an intimate show with Renée Fleming in her “Home for the Holidays” event. She’ll sing holiday classics with guitarist Dave Sanders. Monday 12/21 at 5 PM; Free, watch it here.

Calling Seinfeld stans: Celebrate Festivus with an online recreation of the 1997 Seinfeld episode that popularized the secular holiday. There will be time to air grievances and play trivia, and a portion of the profits will benefit the American Cancer Society. Wednesday 12/23 at 8:30 PM; $10, buy tickets here.

New: There’s a winter wonderland pop-up opening in Shaw from the HalfSmoke team. You can rent an igloo and sip on hot toddies. Read more here.

A procrastinator’s gift guide: If you’re still looking for gifts—no judgment here, I’m with ya—try exploring this last-minute suggestion for cool DC restaurant merch and fun local dining scene gifts.

A flashback: On this day 50 years ago, Elvis dropped by the White House to visit President Richard Nixon. The two figures shook hands in an Oval Office photo that became the most popularly requested item from the U.S. National Archives. Revisit the story of this uniquely strange and funny encounter here.

Something fun:

What a parranda would look like, pre-pandemic.
Do you have any fun or quirky holiday traditions with your family? We’re really big on Christmas in my family because we Puerto Ricans take Navidad partying very seriously. Of course this all looks very different this year—for example, we’re doing white elephant gifts on Zoom somehow—but this weekend we were able to continue one tradition: Parrandas. Every year, my family gathers a group of musicians and friends for a mobile party in Jersey City. (It’s like a very rowdy version of caroling with much better music.) If this were pre-Covid times, we’d be hopping from house to house with hand-held drums, playing plena music, and stopping only to eat and drink before we head to another home. That’s not really possible this year, so instead we took the party outside. A group of us walked around the neighborhood singing and drumming, reveling in the joy despite the cold. I hope that you can all find a bit of happiness this week and I’d love to hear about your traditions—and how those might be changing this year.

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Web Producer/Writer

Rosa joined Washingtonian in 2016 after graduating from Mount Holyoke College. She covers arts and culture for the magazine. She’s written about anti-racism efforts at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, dinosaurs in the revamped fossil hall at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and the horrors of taking a digital detox. When she can, she performs with her family’s Puerto Rican folkloric music ensemble based in Jersey City. She lives in Adams Morgan.