Monday, Nov. 19
Joel Harrison at Blues Alley: Jazz guitarist Joel Harrison came of age in 1960s and ’70s Washington, but he never saw it as a place to build a career as an adventurous, progressive musician. Everywhere he’s gone, however, he’s taken the sounds of the city with him. “Growing up in that area allowed me access to a lot of different kinds of music,” says Harrison, 61, who’s based in New York after stints in Boston and San Francisco. “Southern music traditions — old-time music, bluegrass, country — as well as jazz, R&B, funk and rock.” All of those appear to some degree in Free Country, a project Harrison began in 2003 as a means of filtering country and bluegrass compositions through a cutting-edge jazz sound and sensibility. 8 and 10 p.m. $28.
Ice skating at National Gallery of Art ice rink: D.C.’s weather might be all over the place, but the return of the National Gallery of Art’s beloved (and scenic) Sculpture Garden ice rink is a sure sign that winter is here. The rink was scheduled to open over the weekend, but last week’s snowstorm pushed the season debut back a few days. Through March 10 (weather permitting). 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 20
‘An Inspector Calls’ at Sidney Harman Hall: Way before director Stephen Daldry brought us a frosty royal marriage in “The Crown” and a joyful newbie ballet student in “Billy Elliott,” he made waves with his production of the play “An Inspector Calls.” That 1992 show at London’s National Theatre helped set his career in motion, and now Daldry’s reinterpretation of writer J.B. Priestley’s thriller arrives at Sidney Harman Hall. Set in 1912 but with an eye out to the future, an upper-class family’s celebration — and comfortable life — is interrupted by a knock at the door from a police inspector. Through Dec. 23. Times vary. $44-$118.
Wednesday, Nov. 21
Festival of Lights at Bull Run Park: Holiday light display season in the D.C. area is in full swing. The opening night of this 2½-mile stretch of holiday lights in Centreville, Va., is enjoyed entirely from the comfort of your car. Starting Friday, the carnival that accompanies the light display opens, and on Nov. 29, the holiday village — which has bonfires, s’mores and a gift show — will complete the full showcase at Bull Run. Through Jan. 6. 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. $20-$25 ($5 off coupon available online).
Werk Ethic at U Street Music Hall: When the sound of EDM bulldozed its way across America at the dawn of this strange decade, older heads worried that the youth were waving their glow sticks to something loud, bogus and ahistorical. But maybe that story has a happy ending. Plenty of 20-somethings who grew up dancing to the unrelenting bwomp-bwomp of EDM now appear to be searching for their roots — at least, according to Nick Garcia, 27, and Ken Lazee, 43, the duo behind Werk Ethic, a quarterly dance night dedicated to the classic house and techno sounds of the ’80s and ’90s. 10 p.m. Free before midnight; $5 after.
Pusha T at the Fillmore: The Virginia Beach rapper finishes his victory lap tour following the release of his 2018 album, “Daytona.” The president of the Kanye West-founded G.O.O.D. Music label was the center of attention in the music world for a spell this year when he got into a very contentious beef with Canadian megastar Drake — which effectively ended when Pusha revealed Drake’s secret child. Beyond the headlines, the tracks off “Daytona” shine in their own right with the rapper’s usual confident snarls of grueling tales of drug dealing. 8 p.m. $29.50.
Thursday, Nov. 22
Thanksgiving dinner at Unconventional Diner: Chef David Deshaies is devoted to dressed-up comfort food: Think meatloaf with a sriracha glaze, which is one of the dishes on Unconventional Diner’s three-course Thanksgiving menu. Roasted turkey and gravy with mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts and mushroom stuffing make an appearance, of course. But you could also opt for dishes that wouldn’t make the cut for most Thanksgiving spreads, such as avocado toast or sweet and sour cauliflower with charred pineapple. End your meal with a choice of pumpkin pie mascarpone, Smith Island carrot cake or a “Ferrero Rocher” tart for dessert. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. $48.
Friday, Nov. 23
ZooLights at the National Zoo: In a season packed with bright and festive light displays, the National Zoo has made its 11-year-old ZooLights one of the area’s must-do attractions, especially for families. (Part of the appeal: Entry is free.) More than 500,000 environmentally friendly LED lights are used to create animated animals, including hummingbirds and red pandas, and to festoon trees along the Zoo’s main pathways, while holiday music plays in the background. Choral groups and bands perform every night, and there are special rides and attractions targeted at the youngest visitors. Through Jan. 1. 5 to 9 p.m. Free.
Mount Vernon by Candlelight at George Washington’s Mount Vernon: Want to know how one of the Founding Fathers might have celebrated the holidays? George Washington’s Mount Vernon will provide a glimpse into some 18th-century holiday traditions. Staff at the residential estate will lead an in-character candlelight tour of the property which is followed by traditional dancing of the era, snacks, refreshments, caroling and a chance to see Aladdin the Christmas camel (Washington is said to have brought a camel to his home to entertain guests). Through Dec. 16 (dates vary). $25 for ages 12 and older, $17 for ages 6 to 11 and free for kids 5 and younger.
Downtown Holiday Market at Eighth and F streets NW: The annual holiday market that resides outside of the National Portrait Gallery returns for its 14th year. If you haven’t had the occasion to walk by, a block of F Street NW turns into a mini-holiday village of white tents filled with local makers hawking their wares and Washington-area food and drink vendors. The market runs for a month so those looking to get a jump-start on holiday shopping are catered to — as well as last-minute scroungers. Through Dec. 23. Noon to 8 p.m.
Barrel-Aged Black Friday at Old Ox Brewery: Sure, you could spend the day after Thanksgiving bumping elbows at your local mall or you could avoid the hordes of shoppers and kick back with some bourbon barrel-aged beer. Ashburn’s Old Ox Brewery is debuting four varieties of their imperial stout — original, mocha, cinnamon vanilla and chocolate orange — which will be available only to ticket holders. There will be live music throughout the day and food will be available for purchase, but you’re more than welcome to bring your own turkey day leftovers picnic. 11 a.m. $14.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Chris Richards and Michael J. West