The Week of Nov. 26

Brookside Gardens holds its annual "Garden of Lights" holiday display Nov. 26 through Jan. 2 in Wheaton. Call 301/962-1453.

Reston celebrates its 35th birthday with a Holiday Parade featuring giant balloons, marching bands, strolling entertainers and others, Friday at the Reston Town Center. Call 800/368-8696.

Gaithersburg's Winter Lights Festival offers a special Sneak Preview Weekend Nov. 26-27 from 6 to 10 p.m. at Seneca Creek State Park in Gaithersburg. The 3.5-mile drive-through exhibit of more than 200 illuminated displays will reopen Dec. 3 and run through Jan. 1 (closed Dec. 25). Call 301/258-6350.

Tour a magical winter wonderland with more than 750,000 lights, displays of Santa with real reindeer, a North Pole Workshop, a Candy Mountain Express and the Elves' Holiday Hideout at the Baltimore Zoo's ZooLights, open Nov. 26 through Jan. 2. Call 410/396-7102.

The Week of Dec. 3

The Kennedy Center Holiday Festival features free performances and holiday concerts throughout the month of December. Call 202/467-4600.

The Lighting of the Menorah marks the Jewish holiday of Hanukah Dec. 5 on the northwest corner of the Ellipse. Call 202/619-7222.

The lighting of the National Christmas Tree on Dec. 8 on the Ellipse south of the White House kicks off the month-long Pageant of Peace. Call 202/619-7222.

The Scottish Christmas Walk features more than 100 Scottish clans marching through Alexandria's historic Old Town. Call 703/549-0111.

The Washington Revels feature the music and tales of medieval Europe, Sephardic Spain and the Middle East in their "Christmas Revels," Dec. 3-5 and Dec. 10-12 at Lisner Auditorium. Call 703/218-6500.

The Audubon Holiday Fair showcases more than 100 juried artisans, gourmet food, music and live animals, Dec. 3-5 at Woodend, the Audubon Naturalist Society's headquarters in Chevy Chase. Call 301/652-9188.

Tony Award-winner Jennifer Holliday will star in a Holiday Youth Musical, Dec. 4 at 1 and 7:30 at the Washington Convention Center. Call 202/432-7328; for information, call 202/232-5610.

George Washington University hosts the International Dance Improvisation Plus+ Festival, with dancers from Russia, the Netherlands, Germany, Korea, and the United States, Dec. 3-4 at the Dance Studio, 2131 G St. NW. Call 202/432-7328.

The Week of Dec. 10

The Smithsonian's "African Voices" exhibition, featuring artifacts from stones worked by mankind's ancient ancestors to sculptures, textiles and pottery, opens Dec. 15 at the National Museum of Natural History. Call 202/357-2700 (TDD: 202/357-1729).

Hot Tickets

On sale now from Ticketmaster: Mary Chapin Carpenter, at the 9:30 club Dec. 7 to tape a future TV special ($35); two concerts by Harry Connick Jr., visiting the Warner Theatre Jan. 26 and 27 ($56.25, $46.25 and $36.25); and "Target Stars on Ice," a touring ice skating show starring Olympic gold medalists Tara Lipinski, Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton and Ilia Kulik, and many other champions, Dec. 29 at the Baltimore Arena ($55, $45 and $35). Call 202/432-7328 or 410/481-7328 (service charges added).



On stage soon, on sale now: "Chicago -- The Musical," at the National Theatre Nov. 30 through Jan. 2 ($35 to $67.50; 800/447-7400); "Annie," at the Warner Theatre Nov. 30 through Dec. 5 ($25 to $55; 202/432-7328); "Vaudeville! Humor on the 20th Century Stage," at Washington Jewish Theatre Nov. 30 through Dec. 19 ($10 to $28; 301/230-3775); and "Neruda: 2000," at GALA Hispanic Theatre Nov. 18 through Dec. 19 ($20 to $22; 202/234-7174).


These exhibitions open next week: "Gingerbread Lane," opening Nov. 26 at the Capital Children's Museum, is a 250-square-foot edible village constructed of candy and gingerbread by Washington chef Jon Lovitch. Call 202/675-4120.

"In Place of Prairie," opening Nov. 30 at the National Museum of Natural History, features 48 black-and-white photographs of the American prairie by Terry Evans. Call 202/357-2700 (TDD: 202/357-1729).


Opening Nov. 26: In "Anna and the King," Jodie Foster teams up with Asian action star Chow Yun-Fat in this romantic drama about a widowed British teacher, Anna Leonowens, and King Mongkut of Siam.

Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in "End of Days" as a former cop who must save the world by preventing Lucifer (Gabriel Byrne) from taking a mortal wife.

In "Flawless," former cop Robert De Niro suffers a stroke and gets speech therapy from a drag queen next door.

Buzz Lightyear (voice by Tim Allen) and the toys unite to save Woody (Tom Hanks) from a vintage toy dealer in "Toy Story 2."

In "Mansfield Park," Canadian filmmaker Patricia Rozema adapts the Jane Austen novel.

Gibson Frazier is a young newspaper reporter in the 1920s who must produce a scoop or perish in "Man of the Century."


Closing on stage this weekend: "The Royal Family," George C. Kaufman's comedy about life in the theater world, in the Arena Stage Fichandler Theater ($27 to $45; 202/488-3300, TDD: 202/484-0247); "The Sins of Sor Juana," a saga about a child prodigy in 17th-century Mexico, by Theater of the First Amendment at George Mason University ($20 to $25; 703/218-6500 or 703/993-8888); and "The Cradle Will Rock," a 1930s story of the working man vs. Big Business, by American Century Theatre at the Gunston Arts Center ($20; 703/553-8782).

This weekend is your last chance to visit "The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall" and "The Commissar Vanishes" at the Newseum (703/284-3544 or 888/639-7386; and "Grace Albee: An American Printmaker, 1890-1985," at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (202/783-5000).


It's time for our annual guide on where to cut your own tree for the holidays.