Best Things to Do in the DC Area 12/22-12/25: Choral Christmas Music, a Richard Avedon Exhibit, and Christmas Eve at a Mansion

Must read

Things to Do

Plus, holiday fun at a Winter Lights Festival.

Written by | Published on

2022 Choral Arts gala concert. Photograph by Shannon Finney Photography.

Happy holly jolly weekend, everyone!

Let’s deck the halls and live this holiday weekend to the fullest, whether by attending a family-friendly concert, or by seeing an array of winter light displays before they close for the season. I’ll be away next week, but you can check out some cool New Year’s Eve celebrations in the meantime.

Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. Christmas Music with Choral Arts. Embrace the magic of Christmas Eve with the Choral Arts Chorus at A Family Christmas morning concert featuring special appearances from Santa, Frosty, and Rudolph. Or, have an afternoon out listening to the sounds of a full orchestra as they perform O Night Divine! (Sat, $15+, Kennedy Center).
  2. “Framing Conversations: Photographs by Richard Avedon, 1946-1965.” There’s a new exhibit at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History focusing on the work of fashion and portrait photographer Richard Avedon during the mid-20th century (through Fall 2023, free, Smithsonian National Museum of American History).
  3. Christmas Eve Breakfast Tour. Create holiday memories on a imaginative tour through the Mansion on O Street. Walk through a creative maze of more than 100 rooms styled with fun decor including memorabilia from famous visitors. Secret doors add to the scavenger hunt adventure, and breakfast will be provided (Sat, $60, Northwest DC).
  4. Winter Lights Festival. The spectacular season isn’t over yet. In Maryland’s Seneca Creek State Park, visitors can drive through the 3.5-mile Winter Lights Festival’s glowing trees, igloos, and castles (Thurs-Sat, $15+, Gaithersburg).
The Mansion on O. Photograph by Procopio Photography.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Reserve a pass to check out the animal illuminations at ZooLights before the season’s end (through Dec. 30, free, National Zoo).

Arts and culture. Have a fragrance-filled night out with friends at a candle-making workshop (Thurs-Sat, $55, District Heights).

Holiday festivities. Enjoy holiday delights while listening to live jazz by DC duo Sara and Austin at Succotash Prime (Sat-Sun, free, Penn Quarter). The last days of Winterfest brings hot cocktails, craft activities, and a cozy fire pit (Thurs-Fri, free, NoMa). It’s perfect timing for an Ugly Sweater Party (Sat, free, Northwest DC). Decorate your own holiday ornament at the library (Thurs, free, Georgetown). Shop vintage fashion, crafts, cooking items, and more last-minute gift ideas at a Holiday Bazaar (Thurs, free, Northwest DC). It’s the last chance to have breakfast with Santa Claus at Ada’s on the River (Thurs-Sat, $65, Alexandria). Or, dress the family in pajamas for pancakes with ole Saint Nicholas (Sun, $159 for adults, $59 for ages 5 to 12, free for children younger than 5, Georgetown). It’s the last call for outdoor shopping at the Downtown Holiday Market (Thurs-Fri, free, Downtown).

Theater and shows. Jazz up date night with a dinner and a show (Thurs-Fri, $25, Northwest DC). Irish Carol is an homage to the Dickens’s classic (Thurs-Fri, $45+, Northwest DC). Relieve some holiday season stress with loads of laughter at Bulldog Pizza (Thurs, free, Northwest DC) or at Hotbed Comedy Club (Thurs-Fri, free, Adams Morgan). Get tickets to see Jane Anger (through Jan. 8, $35+, Northwest DC).

History and community. Discover the history of Jewish Washington on a guided walking tour through Judiciary Square and Gallery Place (Sun, $25, Northwest DC). Hike up a historic DC hill on a guided Christmas Day tour (Sun, $23, Georgetown). Gain some knowledge on purchasing a new home at a neighborhood workshop (Thurs, free, Southeast DC).

Music and concerts. See a special line-up of musicians at the All-Star Christmas Jazz Jam (Sun, free, Kennedy Center). Crank up the go-go music before Christmas at this black tie affair featuring DC Vybe and celebrity DJ host Bryan-Michael Cox (Fri, $70, Northwest DC). Busboys and Poets hosts live Christmas caroling (Sat, $20, Baltimore). There’s no mic needed for this communal sing-along (Thurs, free, Northeast DC). Experience a gospel Christmas concert (Fri, $7, Northwest DC). Celebrate the most wonderful time of the year at Handel’s Messiah choral concert (Fri, $19+, Tysons).

Holiday movies. Watch a screening of Jack Frost (Thurs, free, Cardozo). See the family-friendly winter classic, A Christmas Carol (Sat, $10, Baltimore). Munch on Chinese food and watch a film screening of either Avatar or Babylon (Sun, $48, Northwest DC).

Get involved. Learn about the pop culture holiday Festivus at a trivia party and social mixer; a portion of the proceeds will help support the American Cancer Society (Thurs, $18, virtual).

If you enjoyed these events, please don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign up for our newsletter for more things to do. 

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.

More articles

Latest article