Things to Do

Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Theater: Things to Do in Washington, December 24-27

Plus: Try acting out a play at home.

Illustration by Hannah Good.

Hello hello!

It’s a quiet holiday, but there’s still some fun to be had.

Merry Christmas y’all. If you’re not familiar with the amazing Nicole Byer (above), you really need to watch the holiday special of Nailed It.

Here’s what you should check out this holiday weekend:

Watch: The Keegan Theatre is releasing a filmed version of its annual production of An Irish Carol, an homage to Dickens’s play with a twist. Set in Dublin, the Christmas show focuses on a pub owner’s journey from Scrooge-y to cheery. Available Thursday 12/24 through December 31; $30 per household for a one-week rental, buy tickets here.

Christmas online: If you were wishing to celebrate the holiday at the National Cathedral, you can see programs online for free by registering for a Christmas Season Pass. You’ll be able to see virtual services, Christmas concerts, an organ recital, and more. Learn more here.

Kwanzaa: Explore holiday traditions in the African diaspora with the National Museum of African American History & Culture’s virtual celebration of Kwanzaa. Learn about the seven principles, one marking each day of the festival, including Umoja (unity), Kujichagulia (self-determination), and Kuumba (creativity). The museum will share recipes, fun activities for kids, and educational videos here. Saturday 12/26 through January 1.

Family fun: If you want something different for your family Zoom, why not try a play? A big group of theaters across the country commissioned short plays that are meant to be performed at home, whether in a Zoom room or your living room. You pick a play to download, assign roles as you see fit, and take it from there. Explore Woolly Mammoth Theatre’s commissions from exciting playwrights including Michael R. Jackson, who won the Pulitzer this year for A Strange Loop, and Aleshea Harris, the brilliant mind behind the emotional What to Send Up When It Goes Down. Learn more here.

If you’re looking for something merry: Find festive light displays, winter wonderlands, holiday shopping, comfort-food recipes, and more with Washingtonian’s holiday guide.

It’s official: Two new Smithsonian museums will come to DC. This week, Congress approved proposals for the National Museum of the American Latino and the American Women’s History Museum. Though it’ll be years till we can walk through the doors (it took 13 years for the NMAAHC), I’m still excited to see what’s next.

Order in: Our food team put together a list of restaurants where you can get some delicious Chinese takeout on Christmas, from Peking duck to spicy wontons.

Plan for NYE: Celebrate the annual Noon Yards Eve a little differently this year. The kids-friendly event will be a virtual party featuring a magician, live music, and a balloon drop at noon. Stop by the Yards to pick up a celebration kit with a festive hat, party blower, and more goodies that you can break out at home. Pick up kits: Sunday 12/27 and Monday 12/28. Event: Thursday 12/31 at 11 AM. Free, learn more here.

Happy holidays: 

Me, showing off the 4-foot tree I just decorated.

I’m going to keep this short but have a safe holiday! I’m planning to spend the day marathoning movies (Wonder Woman 1984 here I come) and eating lots of cookies. I’ll definitely be enjoying our Boricua Christmas must-haves, including pasteles and coquito, while I hang out with friends and family virtually. I very much hope that you and your loved ones can find joy in this difficult season, even if it’s just for a moment, and here’s to having a very different Christmastime next year.

Thanks for reading! Tell me what you’re up to at home by dropping me a line at

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.