Mount Vernon Winter Glow: The annual Mount Vernon by Candlelight is canceled this year, but you can still visit the festively lit grounds of George Washington’s estate, listening to carolers, watching interactive demonstrations, and meeting Aladdin the Camel — yes, Washington once rented a camel to entertain Christmas guests — and a troupe of Revolutionary War reenactors. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Nov. 27-29 and Dec. 11-13 and 26-28. $25-$45.
John McGrath: 40 Years at the Dubliner: Irish troubadour John McGrath has performed sing-alongs, rebel songs and ballads on stage at the Dubliner for four decades — a truly remarkable achievement. McGrath is unable to celebrate the anniversary at the Capitol Hill pub, so he’s taking over the Dubliner Facebook page for a special remote concert. 6 p.m.
Downtown Holiday Market: The 16th annual Downtown Holiday Market returns to Penn Quarter this weekend with a greatly enlarged footprint: Instead of packing a gauntlet of booths on both sides of a crowded sidewalk, this year finds 60 booths and a half-dozen food and drink stands spanning two city blocks, set in the middle of F Street NW between Seventh and Ninth streets, making more room for safe, spaced browsing. While the market continues its focus on sustainable and fair-trade products, new additions for this year include booths focusing on local fashion designers and Black and minority-owned businesses. While there’s no live entertainment, a jumbotron screen will show videos of local bands performing original and holiday tunes, as well as seasonal movies. Worth noting: While many vendors are staying for the entire month, a new selection will rotate in on Dec. 8. Through Dec. 23; closed three Mondays (Nov. 30, Dec. 7 and 14). Entrance in front of the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW. downtownholidaymarket.com.
Hoptimist Holiday Market: Moving online after years of in-real-life events isn’t easy, and for some organizers, there’s strength in numbers. The Heurich House Museum, which has run a weekend-long German-style Christmas market in the mansion’s back garden for the last eight years, has joined forces with DC Brau, who’ve run their own one-day holiday market at the brewery, to create the Hoptimist Market. While the dozens of local vendors are selling a wide mix of gifts — letterpress cards, jewelry, jerky, ceramics — organizers are trying to make the market more personal by uploading interviews with makers discussing their process and inspirations, and how they’ve been affected by the pandemic. “We wish we could stroll through the garden with a glass of gluhwein,” says Kimberly Bender, the executive director of the Heurich House. “Where we can make up for that is giving people a warm, glowing feeling knowing that their purchases benefit one of their neighbors.” Nov. 27 to Dec. 11. hoptimist.shop.
Grump at Home: The 10-year-old Grump festival has earned a devoted following for its mix of vendors, which include stuffed animals, whimsical prints, cards, ceramics and jewelry, and this year is its biggest yet, with more than 50 participants. “If there was one bright side to having a virtual Grump this year, it’s that we could include people who weren’t local,” says co-founder Beth Baldwin, such as ZooGuu, a Massachusetts-based creator of plush taxidermy, that the Grump organizers discovered at the trailblazing Crafty Bastards. Baldwin and co-founder Tina Seamonster are trying to re-create the spirit of Grump with a mix of online events, such as bingo, and the opportunity to have gifts hand-delivered by a yeti (at least in Washington and its immediate suburbs). Nov. 27 to Dec. 1. grumpathome.com.
Ice and Lights at Cameron Run: There’s still a week until Thanksgiving, but festive holiday light shows are already popping up across the region. One of the more interesting is at Alexandria’s Cameron Run Regional Park, which opens for its second season this weekend. The Winter Village includes a walk-through light display with various photo ops — think oversize wreaths, a walk-through tree, and a 100-foot-long tunnel of rainbow lights — but there’s also an outdoor ice skating rink, so visitors have the option of spending an hour gliding around before wandering through the brightly decorated park. Capacity is limited due to coronavirus precautions, so tickets must be purchased in advance. Open Friday through Sunday from 5 to 7:15 p.m. and 7:45 to 10 p.m. Open selected weekdays on and around holidays, including Nov. 25-26. General admission $9.35; Admission and ice skating $24.
Black Friday Reimagined at Old Ox Brewery: “Black Friday” has a whole ’nother meaning in the craft beer world, where pun-loving brewers use the day after Thanksgiving as an excuse to release big, boozy dark beers. Goose Island’s Bourbon County Stout line is the best known, but there are adherents in the Washington area, too. Ashburn’s Old Ox Brewery releases four new bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts this weekend, including variants aged with coffee and chocolate and hazelnuts. To truly capture the flavors of the season, the brewery offers tasting flights on Friday and Saturday that pair each stout with a different type of s’mores. For social-distancing reasons, Old Ox offers two seatings per day, with tickets for groups of two, four or six people at indoor and outdoor tables. Friday and Saturday from noon to 2 p.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. $20 per person.
Donnell Rawlings at Park Up DC: Over previous Thanksgiving weekends, comedian Donnell Rawlings has assembled homecoming shows for fans and friends at the DC Improv. The D.C. native is still coming home for the holidays this year, but like many others, he had to mix up his plans a bit. Rawlings will take to the pop-up stand-up stage at Park Up DC in RFK Stadium’s parking lot and perform to an audience of cars for two shows on Saturday night. A 45-foot projection screen will broadcast the performers for anyone who isn’t able to snag a prime parking spot. 6 and 8 p.m. $65.
Cocktail Class with Carlie Steiner: Carlie Steiner wore multiple hats at Petworth’s Himitsu, Pom Pom and Dos Mamis. Not only was she the owner or co-owner of the Upshur Street businesses, Steiner was frequently responsible for whatever delicious concoction was in customers’ glasses. With her restaurants closed, Steiner has pivoted to offering online cocktail classes. Join her this weekend to learn to make three drinks — My Favorite Manhattan, Siesta Singani and a three-ingredient sour — over a lively Zoom class. Register via email and Steiner will send a list of required ingredients. 7 p.m. $30 per Zoom link.
Victura Park Holiday Market: Victura Park was one of the surprise debuts of the summer, transforming the grassy areas around the Kennedy Center’s Reach expansion into a sunny beer garden. Starting on Black Friday, the park welcomes a holiday market with a rotating lineup of artists and makers each weekend. After browsing, get a glass of spiked hot chocolate or cider and sit at one of the socially distanced tables warmed by heat lamps. Nov. 27 through Dec. 20. Open Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m.
Holiday Movies at the Wharf Transit Pier: Even if you’ve lost track of the number of times you’ve seen “Elf” and “A Christmas Story,” it’s still fun to gather around a crackling fire and watch them on a 20-foot screen. The $60 ticket to the Wharf’s outdoor holiday film series gets you up to four Adirondack chairs arranged around a private fire pit, and you can order food and drinks from the waterfront Cantina Bambina. A different classic movie is shown every weekend, starting with “Home Alone” from Nov. 27-29, and then every day from Dec. 26 to 31. Screenings on Fridays (6 p.m.), Saturdays (2 and 6 p.m.) and Sundays (2 p.m.) through Dec. 20. $60.
The Eavesdropping Sessions with Frédéric Yonnet and the Band With No Name: French-born harmonica ace Frédéric Yonnet is a fixture in Washington jazz venues, and his skills have found him touring with Prince and dueling with Stevie Wonder. But after the coronavirus postponed his band’s latest tour, Yonnet began hosting weekly jam sessions in his Capitol Hill home, opening the windows so that neighbors and passersby could hear the sweet music coming from within. Each session is live-streamed on Facebook and Twitter, so the whole world can listen. 4 to 6 p.m.
Ice Skating at Pentagon Row: While Pentagon Row is home to the largest outdoor ice rink in Northern Virginia, it can still get a little busy on weekends, thanks to skating lessons and group outings, as well as a restricted capacity that only allows 50 people at once. Visit on a weeknight for an experience as smooth as freshly Zambonied ice, and hit a nearby restaurant for happy hour after. Open daily through March. $9-$10, $5 skate rental.
D.C. Holiday Lights: It’s no secret that small businesses have suffered during the pandemic. A dozen neighborhood Main Street organizations in the District have joined forces to encourage residents to get out and explore shops and restaurants during the holiday season. Stroll one of the festively decorated strips, including Georgia Avenue, Mount Pleasant and Logan Circle, for discounts and participate in a scavenger hunt, then cast your vote for the neighborhood with the most spirit. Through Dec. 31. Free.
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting: Out-of-state visitors from Colorado to D.C. must quarantine for 14 days under the city’s current guidelines — unless they’re a 55-foot spruce. This year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was selected from the Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests in Colorado and will be adorned by ornaments made by children from the Centennial State. (No word yet on whether an adorable owl has been found nestled into the mighty tree, a la Rockefeller Center.) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) will light the tree in a ceremony beginning at 5 p.m., but it might be best to watch it live on C-SPAN to avoid the crowds, or pick another time to visit, as the tree is lit from sunset until 11 p.m. each night. 5 p.m.
Give a Can, Get a Can at Pizzeria Paradiso: Many people feel extra generous at this time of year, and so do bars. Since 2011, Pizzeria Paradiso has held fundraisers for local nonprofit Martha’s Table. Give a Can, Get a Can is the most popular: Bring a can of low-sodium pasta sauce, vegetables or salmon (among other items on the Martha’s Table wish list) to any of the popular Neapolitan pizza restaurant’s locations on Dec. 2, and you can trade it for a can of beer to take home. Two cans are good for two beers, but customers do need to purchase a food item to help Paradiso meet legal requirements. It’s a delicious way to do good for others. Locations in Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Spring Valley and Hyattsville. Free.
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U.S. Army Band and U.S. Army Field Band concerts: Military bands are staples of the Washington area in the spring and summer, performing everywhere from the steps of the Capitol to regional parks. But with public events on hold, the U.S. Army’s bands have gone virtual. The U.S. Army Band, known as “Pershing’s Own,” hosts concerts on its Facebook page Fridays at 4 p.m. Each screening features one of its ensembles, such as the U.S. Army Blues jazz band and the pop-focused Downrange. The U.S. Army Field Band, meanwhile, broadcasts concerts from Fort Meade, with themes including “the World War II Songbook” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone: Uplifting Songs of Broadway.” If you can’t tune in live, the streams are archived. (Swamp Romp, the New Orleans-inspired unit of the U.S. Army Blues, has a Jazz Appreciation Month concert from April 9 that’s worth replaying.) U.S. Army Band: Fridays at 4 p.m. U.S. Army Field Band: Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 7 p.m.
Meditation and Mindfulness Workshops at the Freer Gallery of Art: We could all use some stress relief, and we’re thankful that the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art has moved its regular lunchtime meditation series online. Four times each week, local meditation teachers offer 30 minutes of stillness and peace. You don’t need meditation experience to join the sessions — just an open mind. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m.
Ice skating at Reston Town Center: If the recent dip in temperatures has inspired thoughts of lacing up your skates and gliding up and down a sheet of ice, you’re in luck: The glass-roofed pavilion at Reston Town Center has made its annual transformation into an outdoor ice rink. There are precautions against the coronavirus, including reduced capacity and touch-free payment, and reservations can be made online. With the popular D.C. rinks at the National Gallery of Art and Washington Harbour staying closed this winter, it’s a good idea to buy tickets for the 90-minute sessions in advance. Daily through mid-March. Admission $9-$10; skate rental $7.
#HirshhornInsideOut: Your fingers (and brain) might want a change of pace from all the sourdough concoctions you’ve been whipping up, so how about trying your hand at crafting some modern art? The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was priming itself for Round 2 of the wildly popular Yayoi Kusama installation before the widespread shutdowns, but instead, the museum brings art into your home across social media platforms with #HirshhornInsideOut. Each day offers a post with a brief history lesson on an artist featured in the museum’s collection, along with a way you can emulate that artist while stuck inside. You just need some basic art supplies: A recent post considered artist Annette Lemieux’s work on body and space, simulating her work “Nomad” by suggesting you paint the bottoms of your feet and walking around a sheet of paper. Daily.
D.C. Library at Home: Now that you’ve cleaned your closet or reorganized your kitchen for the umpteenth time, it’s probably time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to finish. If you’re more of a social reader, the D.C. Public Library is offering a few online resources to make sure you have someone to talk with about whatever you’re reading. The library’s Twitter feed has a bevy of hashtags to follow along with daily: Fans of audiobooks use #audiobookafternoon Mondays at noon, while those who want to keep up with what the local community is writing about join #DCwriterschat Thursdays at 8 p.m. Even younger readers can stay engaged with a virtual story time on Facebook (facebook.com/dclibrary) with a D.C. librarian at 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. Daily programming varies.