Bert and Ernie, the Cookie Monster, Grover, Oscar and other famous Muppets follow Big Bird's lead this weekend when "Sesame Street Goes to Hollywood" at George Mason University's Patriot Center. Tickets are $6 to $10 for shows at 7:30 Friday, 11 and 3 Saturday and 1 and 4:30 Sunday. 432-0200.

It's not for dinner, but you can take the kids anyway to the West End Dinner Theater for a children's matinee of the musical comedy "Snoopy!" starring the famous beagle and the "Peanuts" gang, 1 Saturday at the Foxchase Shopping Center, 4615 Duke St., Alexandria. Cookies and juice will be served during intermission. (The show runs through December 31.) Tickets for all shows are $6.75. Call 370-2500.

At the Hayloft Dinner Theater, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown" shows at 11 Saturday. Admission ($7.50) includes a box lunch and surprise guests. The show, at 10501 Balls Ford Rd. in Manassas, continues through December 30. Call 631-0230.

REST OF THE BEST Gunston Hall in Lorton has tours, concerts, costumed soldiers and candlelight caroling 7 to 9 Friday and 3 to 5 Saturday and Sunday; $5. Take I-95 south to exit 55 and follow the signs. 550-9220 . . . The Washington Philharmonic performs Handel's "Messiah" at 4 Sunday in the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church, 1518 M St. NW. Ticket proceeds ($15, $7.50 for seniors and students) will benefit AIDS education. 347-0447 . . . Colvin Run Mill's Old-Fashioned Christmas (five miles west of Tysons on Rte. 7) is 7 to 9 Friday and 3 to 5 Sunday with decoration-making workshops, concerts and visits from you know who. It's $4; $2 for kids 3 to 15. 759-2771 . . . The town of La Plata celebrates its 100th birthday with Christmas in the County Seat noon to 7 Sunday with house tours, ($3 per site) and concerts by local groups. 301/934-8819 . . . Rose Hill Manor Children's Museum, 1611 North Market St. in Frederick, is having an old-fashioned Christmas noon to 4 Saturday and Sunday complete with Santa and cranberry- and popcorn-stringing. 301/663-8687 . . . There's a candlelight tour of four Old Town Alexandria museums, including Gadsby's Tavern and the Carlyle House, 7 to 9:30 Friday and Saturday. Tickets (available at the Ramsay House, 221 King St.) are $10; $5 for kids 6 to 17. 838-4200.


"Strike the Harp and Join the Chorus" is what the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington will be doing at 8 Friday and Saturday at the Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. The program includes "Magnificat" by Charpentier and "Fantasia on Christmas Carols" by Vaughan Williams. GMCW's ensembles and chamber orchestra will also be featured and the concert will end with a sing-along. Tickets are $12. 462-6969.

On a different note, the Washington Men's Camerata performs its Holiday Season Choral Concert at 8 Friday and Saturday at Christ Church Capitol Hill, 620 G St. SE. Tickets are $6 at the door. 726-6189.


Still checking that list? Check Sugarloaf Mountain Works' Winter Crafts Festival at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds (off Rte. 355, Gaithersburg). About 200 crafters will be there, including blacksmiths, potters, woodcarvers and glass-blowers, from noon to 9 Friday, 10 to 9 Saturday and 10 to 6 Sunday. It's $4; free for under 12. 540-0900.


Decked your halls yet? Here are a few greenery sales to get you going: The Landon School Christmas Green Sale is 10 to 5 Friday and Saturday at the Landon School, 6101 Wilson Lane in Bethesda. Call 320-3200. The American Horticultural Society's Christmas at River Farm open house and green sale is 11 to 4 Sunday, 7931 East Boulevard Dr. in Alexandria. Call 768-5700. And in the city, St. John's Church, at 3240 O St. NW, is having its green sale 10 to 4 Saturday. Call 338-1796.

THE CELTIC BEAT Get down to earth at these traditional Irish concerts:

Liz Carroll, Billy McComiskey and Daithi Sproule play at 8:30 Friday, courtesy of Takoma Park's House of Musical Traditions, at the Paul VI Institute of the Arts, 924 G St. NW. It's $10 at the door. 270-9090.

Ceoltoiri lives up to its name -- it means musicians in Gaelic -- at 7 Sunday at St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 301 A St. SE. It's $3. 726-1216.

FAMILY FOLKLORE How about something ethnic and eclectic?

The Bethune Museum and Archives presents an afternoon of Afro-American Christmas stories read by author Marita Golden and music by the D.C. Youth Ensemble 3 to 5 Sunday. Admission, at 1318 Vermont Ave. NW, is $3. 332-1233.

The Folklore Society of Greater Washington presents Master Puppeteer Soeprapto and Indonesian musical group Gamelan in the free Javanese shadow-puppet drama "Arjuna's Coronation" at 8:30 Friday at the Embassy of Indonesia, Massachusetts and 21st NW. 281-2228.


The Washington Cathedral Choral Society presents its "Joy of Christmas" concert at 4 Saturday and Sunday; they'll be joined by the Cathedral Choir of Boys and Men and organist R. Benjamin Dobey. Tickets are $7 to $18. 537-6247.

The Levine School of Music Holiday Musicale is at 2 Saturday at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Theater with the school's voice faculty, chamber orchestra and National Children's Choir. It's free, but non-perishable food for the needy is appreciated. The Ellington school is on 35th Street between R and Reservoir NW. 337-2227.

Farther afield: "Christmas in St. Michaels" features a walking tour of a dozen decorated homes in the historic harbor town, plus Santa, greens, electric trains and an antique fire-engine show, 1 to 6 Saturday and noon to 3 Sunday. It's $12; pick up tickets at the information center on Green Street, off Talbot. 301/745-2257 or 301/745-9076.

In Edgewater, London Town Publik House and Gardens celebrates with an 18th-century wedding 7 to 9:30 Friday. There'll be hammer dulcimer music and the London Town Ladies Singing School, fresh greens and decorations for sale at 839 Londontown Rd. Admission is $3; $1.50 for kids 6 to 18. 301/956-4900.