Going Out Guide Free & Easy
By — Jess Righthand,
The last day of this Hanukkah celebration hosted by Chabad Lubavitch of Upper Montgomery County winds down with such hands-on festive activities as cookie decorating, potato men and games. Visitors can also make menorahs, dreidels or picture frames for a fee.
11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Travilah Square Shopping Center, 10066 Darnestown Rd., Rockville. 301-926-3632. www.ourshul.org.
Hot Club of DC
This gypsy jazz and swing group performs at the U.S. Botanic Garden, which happens to be filled with displays of such classic holiday plants as poinsettia, evergreens and even mistletoe.
6-8 p.m. U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333. www.usbg.gov.
Kwanzaa Family Day
The Baltimore Museum of Art hosts a Kwanzaa celebration, with performances by Keur Khaleyi African Dance Company and storyteller Maria Broom. You can also see the exhibit titled “Hand Held: Personal Arts From Africa.”
1-5 p.m. Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr., Baltimore. 443-573-1700. www.artbma.com.
Cajun cellist Sean Grissom presents two nights of performances harking back to the vaudeville era. He’ll be joined by Mallory Lewis, daughter of “Lamb Chop” entertainer Shari Lewis, as well as the Alexandria Kleztet.
Thursday and Friday at 6 p.m. Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. 800-444-1324. www.kennedy-center.org.
Last chance: Juan Laurent’s Vision of Spain
Nineteenth-century Spanish photographer Juan Laurent documented Spanish art and architecture, as well as the country’s cities. See the National Gallery exhibit “The Solemnity of Shadows: Juan Laurent’s Vision of Spain” before it closes Friday.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. National Gallery of Art, East Building, Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215. www.nga.gov.
New Year’s Eve at Smith Commons
Many bars are hosting free, low-key New Year’s Eve gatherings this year, but Smith Commons is promising a party, with jazz from the Bob Butta Quartet (7 to 10 p.m.), a DJ spinning until 3 a.m., passed hors d’oeuvres, a Moet champagne toast at midnight, and two specialty cocktails for sale — all in H Street’s most stylish lounge.
7 p.m.-3 a.m. Smith Commons, 1245 H St. NE. 202-396-0038. www.smithcommonsdc.com.
New Year’s Day can be quiet around Washington. But if you’re feeling festive, head to the National Zoo for the last day of ZooLights. Tons of animal-light sculptures made from thousands of lights are on display, and the “iceless,” environmentally friendly skating rink is open for business (skating $5; skate rental $2).
5-9 p.m. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-633-4888. nationalzoo.si.edu.
— Jess Righthand