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Free & easy events: Week of Dec. 10

By — Jess Righthand,

MONDAY

Grand Menorah Lighting

It’s already the third night of Hanukkah, but there’s still plenty of time to celebrate. Feast your eyes on a giant six-foot menorah, and just plain feast on potato latkes and chocolate gelt, all while listening to festive music.

6:30 p.m. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 901 N. Fairfax St., Alexandria. 703-370-2774. www.chabadalexandria.org.

TUESDAY

Bowen McCauley Dance

The local dance favorite graces the Millennium Stage for a family-friendly performance that includes favorites from the company’s repertoire, as well as a guest performance by the Los Angeles Contemporary Dance Company.

6 p.m. The Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. www.kennedy-center.org.

WEDNESDAY

Inside the ‘Bird’s Nest’

The main stadium of the Beijing Olympic Games is inspired by traditional Chinese forms, but it was actually built by the Basel-based architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron. Learn more about the architects’ collaboration with artists such as Ai Weiwei in this 2008 documentary.

12:30 p.m. National Gallery of Art, East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. www.nga.gov.

THURSDAY

Give a Can, Get a Can

Shake down your pantry for any unused canned goods and cart them over to Pizzeria Paradiso on Thursday, where you can trade them in for — that’s right — beer. Choose from DC Brau, Oskar Blues, Maui and several other varieties.

11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Pizzeria Paradiso, 3282 M St. NW. 202-223-1245. www.eatyourpizza.com.

FRIDAY

Cheryl Jones Quartet

Local pianist Chris Grasso, who is in charge of the music lineup at Mandarin Oriental’s lounge, brings in singer Cheryl Jones to interpret jazz standards, pop, gospel and more. There is no cover charge for the show.

8 p.m. Mandarin Oriental Hotel, 1330 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-554-8588. www.mandarinoriental.com.

SATURDAY

‘A Christmas Carol’

Help tell Dickens’s classic Christmas tale at this annual family-friendly event, which is best for ages 4 and older. Kids will take on roles in the show, including that of Ebenezer Scrooge.

9:30 and 11 a.m. National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-783-3372. www.nationaltheatre.org.

SUNDAY

Empire Brass

Get cozy with some holiday music at the National Gallery when this Boston-based brass quintet performs with soprano Elisabeth von Trapp.

6:30 p.m. National Gallery of Art, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215. www.nga.gov.

— Jess Righthand

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