The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.
Friday-Saturday: No seasonal beer is more fetishized than the pumpkin beer, which dominates store shelves and bar taps in dozens of varieties each fall. Christmas beer, unlike its autumnal cousin, is beholden to no single flavor. Sample a dozen holiday ales this weekend, when the Black Squirrel in Adams Morgan devotes 12 taps to the season's bold, spicy and flavorful warmers, from Hardywood Brewery's gingerbread stout to the Scaldis Bush de Noel strong dark ale during its 12 Beers of Christmas celebration. Bonus: Everyone gets free Christmas cookies beginning Friday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 11 a.m.
Friday-Saturday: Outdoor Christmas markets, or Christkindlmarkts, are fixtures in German towns at this time of year. The historic Heurich House in Dupont Circle is trying to capture the seasonal atmosphere at its first Christkindlmarkt, held in the Victorian mansion's large private garden. Local artisans will sell jewelry, clothing and housewares while musicians perform German carols, and Cafe Berlin sells traditional food and gluhwein. After you've finished shopping, you can take an optional tour of the house, which will be decorated for the holidays.
Saturday: Trust us, it's a glorious thing to celebrate Repeal Day, the annual observation of the repeal of the 18th Amendment -- that nasty bugger that launched Prohibition. In the District, the Repeal Day Ball raises the roof and money for the Museum of the American Cocktail with a black-tie soiree featuring drinks made by an army of D.C.'s best bartenders and live swing music from the Red Hot Rhythm Chiefs. Black tie or Roaring '20s attire is required. Get tickets ($100-$150) here.
Saturday: This week's Weekend explores the new Baltimore, from its art scene to its best bars. On Saturday, be one of the first to hop the new weekend MARC train to Pratt Street Ale House, where you can get a taste of Charm City's brewing scene. Longtime tap fixtures Heavy Seas, the Brewer's Art and Oliver Ales have been joined in recent years by Union Craft Brewing and Full Tilt. You can sample offerings from those five breweries, plus 15 others from across the region, at 14th annual Mid-Atlantic Holiday Beer Tasting. Expect a mix of seasonal brews as well as some one-offs; the Brewer's Art, for example, is leaving its gorgeously malty St. Festivus at home in favor of a special cask-conditioned version of its Bagman Porter made with smoky Lapsang Souchong tea. The $35 admission fee includes tastes from each brewery between noon and 4 p.m. Tickets traditionally sell out, so buy tickets in advance online instead of taking your chances at the door.
Saturday: Dolcezza's new gelato factory at 500 Penn St. NE (just behind Union Market) will swing open its doors Saturday from 2 to 6 p.m. to offer free freshly made samples of smoked bacon gelato and Stumptown coffees produced with posh Chemex coffeemakers. If you're in the neighborhood, stop in to check out the cool, industrial space; but after you've marveled at it, prepare to wait. Dolcezza's staff will lock up the doors until its actual spring opening.
Sunday: A fan of Pearl Dive or Black's? Make room in your hearts for Republic, the latest venture from restaurateur Jeff Black. The restaurant, at 6939 Laurel Ave. in Takoma Park, will feature live music and options for vegans and vegetarians. Read: Jeff Black’s Republic to open Sunday in Takoma Park.
Saturday: Sunday: The more you can do to keep yourself out of the shopping mall during the month of December, the better. Here's how to do so in face-melting style: Hit the Black Cat's beloved Rock-N-Shop, where you can fill your stockings with rare LPs, band T-shirts and other rock-and-roll paraphernalia while shopping to the sounds of a DJ at 8 p.m.
Sunday: There's no avoiding the fact that you're going to put away a full sleigh's worth of excess calories this month, in the form of shortbread cookies, egg nog, ham and the sweets that keep showing up at work. Might as well try to be proactive by signing up for the Jingle All the Way 8K, the festive race that takes runners through downtown, around the Capitol and across the Mall, in costumes - think bells on shoes, reindeer antlers and Santa beards. The event kicks off at Freedom Plaza; register at www.runpacers.com.
Sunday: Logan Circle is the epicenter of the city's condo boom, but beyond the shiny new glass exteriors are heritage houses that are among the city's most fabulous residences. Explore 10 of them during the 35th annual Logan Circle House Tour. The tour ($30) begins at Studio Theatre, where there will be a wassail reception and snacks, with the houses open from 1 to 5 p.m.