Monday, Dec. 17
Give a Can, Get a Can at Pizzeria Paradiso Spring Valley: Helping others is second nature this time of year, and bars are happy to get in on the action. Since 2011, Pizzeria Paradiso has hosted a fundraiser for the local charity Martha’s Table called Give a Can, Get a Can. It’s what it sounds like: Bring a food that’s on the organization’s wish list, such as pasta sauce or low-sodium vegetables, and you can trade it in to a bartender for a craft beer. Bring two cans of food, and you’ll get two cans of beer. Philanthropy never tasted so good. (The same deal will be offered Tuesday in Dupont Circle.) Through Tuesday. Free; food and drink prices vary.
Garbage BARge at DC9: DC9 is diverting from the holiday bar craze with its garbage-themed pop-up. No, not the 1990s rock band — heaps of trash and recycled materials that will be turned into decorative sea creatures. In keeping with the theme, the pop-up also features a special beach-inspired drink menu. The spectacle is meant to mark the end of plastic straws at DC9, and a portion of drink proceeds will benefit a Chesapeake Bay foundation. Through Dec. 30. Free; food and drink prices vary.
Tuesday, Dec. 18
“We Choose to Go to the Moon” at the National Portrait Gallery: As the new year approaches, the festivities around the 50th anniversary of the moon landing are ramping up. Washington’s Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company will stage its last performance of “We Choose to Go to the Moon,” which was conceptualized in concert with NASA, as part of the Portrait Gallery’s 2018 exhibit commemorating the tumultuous events of 1968. The dance was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s famous 1962 speech of the same name that depicted space as the new frontier. 6:30 p.m. Free; registration requested.
Hardywood Gingerbread Stout Spectacular at Lost & Found: If you’re not already an evangelist of the Richmond brewery, take a sip of their gingerbread stout and you might become a convert. Better yet, sample 10 varietals in the District on Tuesday night. The Shaw bar will host a tasting of this year’s batch alongside aged bourbon barrel editions from the past two years — and quirky ones such as a Caliente variety brewed with chiles. While you’re trying the beers, you can also build your own gingerbread house to get a double dose of the season. 4 to 11 p.m. Free; food and drink prices vary.
Wednesday, Dec. 19
“The Star Wars Holiday Special” at Suns Cinema: The holiday special that time forgot — or, maybe, the one that everyone involved wishes were forgotten. Following the out-of-this-world success of “Star Wars” in 1977, the first official spinoff appeared a year later in the form of a television special. The rambling plot concerns the main cast helping Chewbacca return to his home planet for “Life Day” and features bizarre side characters, including one played by Bea Arthur, of “Golden Girls” fame; a Boba Fett cartoon; and a performance by rock troupe Jefferson Starship. How terrible is it? Carrie Fisher, who reprised her role as Princess Leia, once told an interviewer that she asked George Lucas for a copy so she could play it at parties to signal it was time to leave. On the other hand, “Star Wars” devotees who want to prove their fandom should line up early to get a seat at this cozy Mount Pleasant theater. 8 p.m. Free.
Hammered Hulls at Black Cat: For the past year, Hammered Hulls has been quietly writing loud songs with an efficiency that comes only with experience. Bassist Mary Timony has made plenty of beautiful noise in Helium and Ex Hex; frontman Alec MacKaye’s combustible shout has anchored a legendary sequence of punk groups, including Faith, Ignition and the Warmers; guitarist Mark Cisneros has played in Des Demonas, Deathfix and Medications; and drummer Chris Wilson has kept time for Ted Leo’s Pharmacists and Titus Andronicus. “Our songs started out punk, straight ahead, super Black Flag,” Timony says. “Now they’re getting a lot more complicated, more proggy.” 7:30 p.m. Sold out.
Thursday, Dec. 20
Cupcakke at the Fillmore Silver Spring: Cupcakke’s music is, to be blunt, explicit in every way. Sure, there’s the obvious significance: the 21-year-old’s nonstop, practically pornographic punchlines that would make even her most sex-obsessed peers blush. But beyond the raunch, there are her crystal-clear messages — about female empowerment, queer acceptance and sex positivity — and the focused detail with she expresses them. (Her social circle isn’t just small, it’s “smaller than that circle that pop up when you tryna download an app.”) Plus, she is as prolific as she is explicit, dropping a pair of albums this year and returning to the area for the second time. 8 p.m. $12.50-$55.
Festivus Party at Mad Fox Brewing Co.: Break out the seasonal pole — and think of all the ways you’ve been disappointed this year — and take it to the Falls Church brewery’s airing of grievances at their celebration of Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us. Mad Fox’s winter seasonal is the Festivus Ale, and it’ll be pouring all night into your holiday giveaway glass — if you get there early enough. It’s $8 for your first pint and happy hour refill prices until 9 p.m. 3 to 11 p.m. Free; food and drink prices vary.
Friday, Dec. 21
The Longest Night of the Year at Port City Brewing Co.: To celebrate the extended nighttime of the winter solstice, Port City is opening for nearly half the day to drink and be merry. The Alexandria brewers are bringing out three special releases for the night: a bourbon barrel-aged version of their classic porter; Rauch Märzen, a smoked lager, which will be available only on draft, and a black IPA, Long Black Veil, inspired by the local urban legend of the grave of the Female Stranger — an unidentified woman with an eerie tombstone inscription. Three bands will play, starting at 7 p.m., and two food trucks will split the day’s food service, Big Cheese earlier and Borinquen Lunch Box in the evening. Noon to 11 p.m. Free; food and drink prices vary.
Eric B. & Rakim at the Howard Theatre: Hip-hop pioneers Eric B. & Rakim released their debut album “Paid in Full” over 30 years ago, but the record sounds as if it could have been made today. Between Eric B.’s production wizardry, which employed an impeccable use of sampling, and Rakim’s poetic rhymes, the duo’s musical matrimony became a blueprint for modern-day rap. There was an unflappable sense of coolness to their delivery that defied the more hard-hitting approach of such fellow New York rappers as LL Cool J and KRS-One. Their current trek across the U.S. marks one of the group’s first tours since parting ways in 1992. 8 p.m. $42.50-$67.50.
Macy Gray at Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club: “Buddha,” the opening track on Macy Gray’s latest album, “Ruby,” offers a window into her current state of mind. Gray isn’t fazed by the critics who dismiss her as a one-hit wonder, but is triumphantly forging her own path. Nearly 20 years since the release of her debut album, the framework of her artistry remains intact, but has also gracefully evolved with the times. The familiar effervescent spirit and sharp wit of her previous albums can be found on “Ruby,” but Gray also makes a concerted effort to redefine her neo-soul sound by incorporating trip-hop, synth-pop, trap music and jazz throughout the record. While “Ruby” hasn’t seen the same level of success as 1999’s “On How Life Is,” it is an admirable effort from a veteran artist who would rather just be herself than concede to current trends. 8 p.m. $67-$87.
Feast of the Seven Fishes at Via Umbria: Go out to eat and celebrate this Italian American tradition, as chefs put their own spin on the Feast of the Seven Fishes. In Georgetown, Via Umbria is hosting a nightly seven-course, $100-per-person dinner through Sunday (Thursday’s opening night is sold out), serving such dishes as Pugliese-style stuffed mussels and black spaghetti with clams, saffron tomato sauce and arugula. 7 to 10 p.m. $100.
— Hau Chu, Adele Chapin, Rudi Greenberg, Fritz Hahn, Chris Kelly, Chris Richards and Stephanie Williams