Thursday, Dec. 20

Fair Oaks Mall Enchanted Ice Palace, A winter wonderland of falling snow, interactive elements, footage of arctic animals and landscapes along with stories and fun facts plus a visit with Santa. Ends Monday, Fair Oaks Shopping Center, 11750 Fair Oaks, Fairfax. 703-359-8300. Free.

“A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas,” Paul Morella stars in the one-man show that uses only the words from Charles Dickens’s novella. For age 10 and older. Through Dec. 30, Olney Theatre Center, 2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Rd., Olney. 301-924-3400. $26.

Chris Brient and Mfon Akpan of Step Afrika! perform the Holiday Show with audience participation. (Jati Lindsay/Jati Lindsay)

Step Afrika! Holiday Performance, The stepping company hosts a holiday party and performance. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. Sunday, Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. $35, $20 seniors and students, $12 age 17 and younger.

“Winter Soulstice” concert, Formerly known as the Santa Jam, this benefit concert features Cathy Ponton King with Bruce Swaim on sax, John Previti on bass and Grammy award winning guitarist Mike Melchione. With blues guitarist Linwood Taylor and talented kids from School Of Rock. Bring an unwrapped toy to donate to the Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C. 8 p.m., State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. 703-237-0300. $10.

Loni Love, 8 p.m. Thursday, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, DC Improv, 1140 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-296-7008.$17-$20.

Friday, Dec. 21

Bull Run Festival of Lights and Winter Wonderland Holiday Village, A 2 1/2-mile drive-through display and a holiday village with carnival midway games and rides. Holiday village is open Fridays-Sundays in Dec. from 5:30 to 10. Carnival fees: $1.50 single ticket, $20 ride-all-you-want wristband. 5:30-9:30 p.m. Thursdays, Mondays-Wednesdays, 5:30-10 p.m. Fridays-Sundays, through Jan. 6, Bull Run Regional Park, 7700 Bull Run Dr., Centreville. 703-359-4633. 703-631-0550. $15-$55.

Mary Alouette: A Gypsy Jazz Christmas, 11 a.m., Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda. 301-581-5100. $15.

Fireworks at the Harbor, Musical performance, shopping and food specials, crafts and grand finale includes a fireworks show over the Potomac River at 8. 5-9 p.m., National Harbor, 150 National Plaza, National Harbor. 877-628-5427. Free.

Maryland Youth Ballet, MYB’s full-length family classic, “The Nutcracker,” is presented. 7 p.m. Friday, 1 and 5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Montgomery College, Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, 51 Mannakee St., Rockville. 240-567-5301. $23-$33.

“Altar Boyz,” A pop-rock musical comedy about a fictitious boy-band on the last night of their national “Raise the Praise” tour. 8 p.m. Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 30., 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Rd., McLean. 703-854-1856. $30; students, $15.

The Nighthawks, 8:30 p.m., The Hamilton, 600 14th St. NW. 202-787-1000. $20.

Yoron Isreal, 9 and 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Twins Jazz, 1344 U St. NW. 202-234-0072. $20.

Late Night Rhythm Method, DJ Lance Reynolds spins his unique mix of jazz, funk, future soul, breakbeats, house, and reggae. 10 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays through Jan. 25. Chez Billy, 3815 Georgia Ave. NW, DC. Free, RSVP required.

Saturday, Dec. 22

Holiday Planes and Trains, Miniature trains, villages, tunnels and depots decked out in the yuletide spirit. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Saturday, College Park Aviation Museum, 1985 Cpl. Frank Scott Dr., College Park. 301-864-6029. $4, $3 seniors, $2 children.

Lights On the Bay, A two-mile drive-through holiday light show with more than 70 displays. Proceeds benefit Anne Arundel Medical Center. 5-10 p.m. through Jan. 1, Sandy Point State Park, 1100 E. College Pkwy., Route 50, Exit 32, Annapolis. 443-481-3161. $14 per car, $50 per bus.

Wizards, vs. the Detroit Pistons. 7 p.m., Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. 202-628-3200.

Sunday, Dec. 23

The X-Mas Battle of the Bands, 4 p.m., Empire, 6355 Rolling Rd., Springfield. 703-569-5940. $10.

“The Butler’s Been Murdered!,” The comedy murder mystery unfolds during a four-course dinner. 7:30 p.m. Sundays, Sheraton Crystal City Hotel, 1800 Jefferson Davis Hwy., Arlington. 888-471-4802. $53.

Monday, Dec. 24

“Securing the Blessings of Liberty,” Learn how African Americans survived and helped end slavery while working to shape the world as we know it today. , Alexandria Black History Museum, 902 Wythe St., Alexandria. 703-746-4356.

Water-skiing Santa, For the 27th anniversary show, Santa is joined by kneeboarding reindeer, flying elves, a jet-skiing Grinch and dinghy-riding Frosty the Snowman. 1 p.m., National Harbor, 150 National Plaza, National Harbor. 877-628-5427. Free.

Tuesday, Dec. 25

Model Train Garden,The garden’s annual winter exhibit features eight model trains and buildings created with plants, one of Washington’s largest indoor holiday trees, blooming poinsettias and a collection of D.C. landmarks crafted from natural materials. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., through Jan. 1, U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333. Free.

ICE! featuring DreamWorks “Shrek the Halls,” Gaylord’s annual “Christmas on the Potomac” celebration includes this ice-enclosed exhibition featuring renderings of scenes from the animated film, carved from two million pounds of ice. 1-8 p.m. Dec. 25, runs through Jan. 6, Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, 201 Waterfront St., National Harbor. 301-965-4000. $23-$30, $19-$26 seniors, $16-$23 ages 4 to 12, younger free.

Festival of Lights, Admission is free today to the annual drive-through light display uses more than a million lights. Canned goods will be collected for a food drive. 5-9:30 p.m. through Jan. 1, Watkins Regional Park, 301 Watkins Park Dr., Upper Marlboro. 301-699-2456; TTY 301-218-6768; Spanish 301-445-4509. $5 per car or van, three-visit pass $10, small buses and limos $15, buses $25, Dec. 25 free.

Wednesday, Dec. 26

School Break film festival, for ages 3 to 6 accompanied by an adult, a program of films to entertain children on winter break. 10:30-11:30 a.m., Twinbrook Library, 202 Meadow Hall Dr., Rockville. 240-777-0240. Free.

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