‘The Last Waltz’ at Boundary Stone: Since 2011, Boundary Stone has marked Thanksgiving Eve by showing “The Last Waltz,” Martin Scorsese’s documentary about the Band’s final concert, held on Thanksgiving Day in 1976. Last year, though, had a funereal atmosphere: It was the final event held at the much-loved Bloomingdale pub before closing “until further notice” in hopes of surviving the winter. This year is a different story: Boundary Stone is once again showing “The Last Waltz” in its dining room, with sound. While the restaurant scene isn’t near “back to normal,” it’s nice when some traditions are. 9 p.m. Free.
Tur-Kegging at Wunder Garten: The night before Thanksgiving is one of the biggest party nights of the year, and Wunder Garten is luring customers with an all-night happy hour. Specials include $5 draft beers beginning at 4 p.m., and the DJ kicks off at 6. 4 to 11 p.m. Free.
Gimme Gimme Disco: A dance party inspired by ABBA at 9:30 Club: Collectively, we can’t seem to escape ABBA. And that’s okay, because embracing the Swedish pop group’s irresistibly catchy and innocuous sound is only a matter of time. Their newest album “Voyage” dropped earlier this month, making it the group’s highest charting American album ever. If you’ve accepted your fate as an ABBA fan, 9:30 Club offers a step above that: a dance party “inspired by ABBA,” where you can sing along all night. 9 p.m. $17.
Thursday, Nov. 25
Friday, Nov. 26
Enchant Christmas at Nationals Park: A maze through a twinkling forest of light-covered trees and enormous seasonal displays, an ice skating trail, a holiday market, a play area for kids and an audience with Santa himself — Enchant fills Nationals Park with all the holiday cheer and goodwill that you’d expect from one of the area’s largest holiday attractions. This year’s theme asks visitors to go on a quest to “save Christmas” while exploring the park — and tucking into some food and drink from local restaurants. Open daily through Jan. 2. $29-$39; children aged 2 and younger free.
Christmas at Gaylord National: The Gaylord National offers three nightly light shows with music and lasers in its soaring atrium, but that’s just the beginning at National Harbor. The walk-through “I Love Christmas Movies” features 13 re-created sets from Christmas movies, including the North Pole workshop from “Elf” and the kitchen from “A Christmas Story,” with animatronic characters and special effects. There are bumper cars on ice; ice-covered hills to slide down on inner tubes; a gingerbread house decorating station; stories with Mrs. Claus over cookies and milk; cooking classes; an outdoor ice rink; and more. Naturally, you’ll pay for each of these experiences, though ticket bundles are available. Open daily through Dec. 31. Prices vary.
Sippin’ Santa at Archipelago: Tiki may be synonymous with refreshing summer cocktails, but strong, fruity rum drinks are the perfect antidote to dark, chilly winter afternoons — especially when they’re served in comical glassware depicting Santa as a mermaid, or a hot tub-shaped ceramic bowl. Each December, U Street’s Archipelago bar transforms into Sippin’ Santa, adding more-kitschy-than-usual holiday decor and a playlist of twangy surf-style carols. The drinks have seasonal touches: the Sippin’ Santa adds gingerbread spice to aged Demerara rum, amaro and citrus, while the new Yule Log Grog’s warm mix of cranberry and ginger spices, gin and falernum will come in handy if you’re huddled under heat lamps on the patio. Open Wednesday through Saturday through Dec. 30.
‘A Christmas Carol’ at Olney Theatre: The annual holiday performance returns to Olney, with Paul Morella reprising his role of grumpy old Scrooge in the one-man show. Last year, the production was filmed due to the coronavirus disrupting live theater performances, but this year Morella, who also adapted the Dickens novella, returns to the stage for performances all holiday season long. Through Dec. 26. $50.
Frosty Friday in Downtown Frederick: Listening to carols on the streets and visiting DIY s’mores stations sounds like more fun than hanging out in a Big Box parking lot on Black Friday. The Downtown Frederick Partnership’s holiday program features more than 40 shops with extended hours, plus music, giveaways, photos with Santa and, to end the day, a Frosty Friday Holiday Cocktail Competition with $5 cocktails and mocktails at participating restaurants and bars after 6 p.m. 8 a.m. to midnight. See schedule for venues and times.
Day of Decadent Dark Ales at Shelter: The beer world loves its little jokes, such as Goose Island’s revered Bourbon County stouts being released on Black Friday. (They’re but one of many breweries getting in on the “holiday.” In D.C., your top destination should be Shelter, at the Roost, where 18 “decadent dark ales” — 15 of them imperial stouts, more than half of them barrel-aged — will be poured by the glass and, mercifully, in four-ounce tasters. Look for Moska, Phase Three, Creature Comforts and Grimm, and watch the ABVs. Taps open at noon. Admission is free; beer prices vary.
2000s music dance parties at DC9 and Black Cat: The early to mid aughts have been making a comeback in a big way — from aesthetics to music to fashion to Britney Spears. Music venues DC9 and Black Cat have capitalized on the trend with two separate dance parties: A Spears and pop star girl-themed “Oops … I Did It Again” and indie dance party “Take Me Out,” respectively. Live out the first time you listened to Franz Ferdinand or rediscover the lasting impact of early 2000s Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. Both events begin at 9 p.m. $10-$15 at Black Cat, free at DC9.
Saturday, Nov. 27
The Washington Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ at the Warner Theatre: With George Washington as the heroic nutcracker, a stage bedecked with cherry blossoms, and a Georgetown house party where Frederick Douglass rubs shoulders with modern-day politicos and athletes, the Washington Ballet’s annual “Nutcracker” manages to make the holiday chestnut feel timeless and heartwarmingly local. There are special events throughout the run, including Family Day (Dec. 12), with ornament-making and behind-the-scenes activities before the curtain rises. Proof of vaccination is required to attend this event. Through Dec. 26. $46-$146.
Old World Holiday Market at Bear Chase Brewing: The view from Bear Chase’s mountaintop might be a little less stunning after peak foliage, but there are still reasons to head out to the Bluemont farm brewery. This weekend, for Small Business Saturday, Bear Chase welcomes more than 30 artists and vendors for an Old World Christmas Market full of gifts. Browsing is free, and goes hand-in-hand with a pint of Kodiak Kolsch, a crisp lager that medaled at the Virginia Craft Brewers Cup and the Great American Beer Festival. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.
‘90s and ’80s dance parties: Throwback Thanksgiving weekend continues on Saturday by dipping even further back into the past than Friday’s ’00s-themed nights. Right Round, DJ Lil’ E’s long-running paean to new wave and alternative ’80s, returns to the Black Cat, where you can expect Siouxsie and the Banshees, Human League and Depeche Mode, in addition to more popular cuts from the Cure and the Smiths. (8 p.m., $10-$15.) Meanwhile, a short walk away, No Scrubs fills the 9:30 Club with a mix of everything that gets hands in the air: “Poison,” “Regulate,” “Fly,” “California Love,” “Wannabe” and, of course, the title track. Even if you don’t remember these songs from the first time around, it’s irresistible. (9 p.m., $16.)
Ana Roxanne at the Miracle Theatre: You could let ambient music float in the air without thinking twice about it. But Ana Roxanne’s commitment to the meditative and slow sounds, which you might associate with spas or healing retreats, demands your attention. Roxanne told the music website Pitchfork that she enjoys making her music as “a place to contemplate, a place to process.” The Filipino American artist’s 2020 album “Because of a Flower” is the best place to calm your mind. Roxanne’s tender, soprano voice lies at the center of every track, and its magic comes from a blossoming strength that seems determined to spread itself in every direction in search of a better way forward. 8 p.m. $25.
Sunday, Nov. 28
Lighting of the National Menorah on the Ellipse: The National Menorah returns to the Ellipse for the annual celebration of the first night of Hanukkah. The ceremony, organized by Chabad, typically features D.C. politicos — President Biden spoke at the lighting in 2014, when he was vice president — as well as the U.S. Navy Band, musical guests and free hot latkes and doughnuts. Reservations are required. 3:15 to 5:45 p.m. Free; registration required.
More Hanukkah celebrations: The Wharf lights a menorah in its central District Square between 5 and 6 p.m., an act that will be repeated through Dec. 6. Union Market and the Edlavitch Jewish Community Center are joining forces each night to light the menorah on Neal Place, outside the market, between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. The outdoor Suburbia bar will be serving mulled wine and other warm seasonal drinks to help fight the chill. A six-foot menorah is lit outside the Lyceum in Alexandria at a celebration that includes live music, latkes, doughnuts and hot cocoa. In Edgewood, GatherDC, a community for Jews in their 20s and 30s, is taking over Metrobar from 4 to 7 p.m. for a first night of Hanukkah party, complete with menorahs, vegan doughnuts and funky R&B from the Jarreau Williams Experience.
Chai-vy and Cohen-y at Ivy and Coney: Ivy and Coney’s pop-up Hanukkah Bar started as a joke — a riff on the popular Miracle on Seventh Street bar a few blocks north. But over the years, Chai-vy and Cohen-y has become a fixture, thanks to dreidel-spinning contests, a menu heavy on Manischewitz and shots that taste like sufganiyot, and the Shotnorah, an oversized menorah that allows up to eight customers to simultaneously take shots together. (“The year 5782, what a time to be alive!” the bar says.) It’s not all kitsch, though: During Hanukkah, the Shaw bar slows down each night at 7:30 p.m. to light an actual menorah. Latkes, made using bar co-owner Josh Saltzman’s family recipe, are served with a choice of sour cream or applesauce. And proceeds from the sale of Manischewitz products are donated to Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society to support refugees. Proof of vaccination is required for entry. Through December. Free.
Nikole Hannah-Jones at Busboys and Poets: Nikole Hannah-Jones, the creator of the New York Times’ award-winning “1619 Project,” has expanded that impressive reporting into a book, “The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story,” which examines the legacy of slavery in America through essays, fiction and poetry. Hannah-Jones joins Nakeesha “Keesha” Ceran, associate director of Teaching for Change, at the original Busboys to discuss the new book. While tickets for the in-person discussion in the Langston Room were quickly snapped up, the event will be simulcast throughout the restaurant, with first-come, first-served seating. Can’t make it to 14th Street? The event will also be streamed online. 6 p.m. Free. Register to receive the live stream link.
Monday, Nov. 29
D.C. Cocktail Week: Think of D.C. Cocktail Week as the liquid version of Restaurant Week, with more than 50 bars and restaurants promoting cocktail programs, happy hours and nonalcoholic drinks. Some are offering specific food and cocktail pairings: Thamee offers the Mingalaba, a cognac-and-hibiscus peach berry drink alongside cauliflower fritters with garam masala and five-spice ($21), while Immigrant Food+ has three choices, including dim sum with a Shochu cocktail that incorporates Thai basil, cucumber and jalapeño ($33). Others are just having fun: U Street favorite Service Bar is offering a happy hour with all 30 of its cocktails for $7 each on Wednesday between 5 and 8 p.m. Through Dec. 5. See website for schedule and prices.
Church Street Holiday Stroll: This seasonal block party shuts down Vienna’s historic Church Street and Mill Street for live music and the lighting of the town Christmas tree. (Santa, who arrives on a firetruck, is the guest of honor.) Local businesses stay open late, including historic sites, such as the Freeman Store and Museum. 6 to 8:30 p.m. Free.
Tuesday, Nov. 30
‘Once Upon a One More Time’ at the Shakespeare Theatre: The music of pop princess Britney Spears inspired a musical fairy tale that will make its world premiere at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sidney Harman Hall before heading to Broadway. “Once Upon a One More Time” imagines a feminist awakening for Cinderella, Snow White and “Sleeping Beauty’s” Aurora, set to some of Spears’s catchiest tunes, including “Lucky,” “Stronger,” “Toxic” and “Oops! … I Did It Again.” Proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within 48 hours of the performance is required to enter. Through Jan. 9. $35-$145.
Wednesday, Dec. 1
Lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree: Unlike the National Christmas Tree, the Capitol Christmas Tree — known as “The People’s Tree” — isn’t a permanent fixture. Each year, a new tree is selected from a different national forest. This year’s specimen, an 84-foot white fir, hails from California’s Six Rivers National Forest and made its way to the Capitol’s West Lawn after a whistle-stop tour of the country. The tree, decorated with ornaments made by residents from the tree’s home state, is traditionally lit by the House speaker, and is on display nightly through New Year’s Day. 5 p.m. Open through Jan. 1. Free.
Caroling at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel: The Willard Hotel’s lobby is one of the most festive spaces in Washington during the holiday season, thanks to a giant tree covered in lights, pots of poinsettias and the joyful sounds of carols. Each night, the lobby plays host to a different group of singers: high school ensembles, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, church choirs, the German-speaking Washington Saengerbund. Drinks are available from the landmark Round Robin Bar and a pop-up lobby bar. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. daily from Dec. 1 through Dec. 23. Free.
Holiday Wreath Building Workshop with Cocktails at Union Market: The name says it all with this one: Learn to create a holiday wreath with the experts from local plant shop Jungle and Loom while sipping cocktails from Buffalo and Bergen. Tickets include materials and one drink. 6:30 p.m. $60.
European Union and Latin American film festivals: At this time of year, film viewing tends to focus on the classics — “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Elf,” everything else you loved as a kid — or holiday rom-coms as fluffy and wispy as the first snow of the season. Much meatier choices can be found at two local film festivals, both beginning on Wednesday. Proof of vaccination or a recent negative coronavirus test is required for entry to all screenings.
The AFI European Union Film Showcase at Silver Spring’s AFI Silver Theatre includes 53 films covering every E.U. member state, including 11 contenders for best international feature at the Academy Awards. Some include well-known actors — Javier Bardem stars in “The Good Boss,” Spain’s Oscar nominee — but don’t be afraid to explore the more unusual titles, such as “Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn,” from Romania, which was dubbed “brilliant” by the New York Times. The closing night selection is a chance to see Pedro Almodóvar’s “Parallel Mothers” weeks before it arrives in American theaters. Through Dec. 19. $15 per film; $250 all-access pass.
The GALA Film Fest: Latin American Innovation at GALA Hispanic Theatre in Columbia Heights is smaller in scale, with seven selections over five nights, but its focus on films by emerging female filmmakers from Central and South America makes it worthy of attention. “Identifying Features,” a Mexican drama about a mother looking for her migrant son, won jury and audience awards at Sundance last year. In addition to screenings, the festival offers discussions with filmmakers and diplomats, and receptions sponsored by embassies. Through Dec. 5. $10 per film; $40 all-access pass.