Jeffersons and Peales: Friendship among families, a National Park Service Ranger discusses the Peale family of 17, which included explorers, natural scientists and portrait painters, and the Jefferson grandson who lived with them. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Thomas Jefferson Memorial, 900 Ohio Dr. SW. Free. Joe Mohr, 202-359-1532.
The Building Zone, for age 2-6 with an adult, learn about building trades through play. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays except Dec. 25, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays, National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $3. 202-272-2448.}
“Baby Rex’s Holiday Surprise,” for ages 2-6, from Dinorock Productions, the story of dinosaurs in jolly holly green — with a bit of red — getting ready for the holiday and midwinter celebrations. 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. Thursday and Friday, Discovery Theater at S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $8; ages 2-16, $6; 1 and younger, $3. 202-633-8700 or www.discoverytheater.org.
Behind the scenes cathedral tour, for age 11 and older, see gargoyles, stained-glass windows and climb a lot of stairs to view the city from on high; take a camera. 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. most weekdays, Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. $15. 202-537-6200.
Renwick Sit ’n’ Stitch, for all abilities, specialists teach different types of stitching. 12:30 p.m., Renwick Gallery, Palm Court, 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000 or www.americanart.si.edu/calendar.
“Love on the Range,” performance, Nat Love, a cattle driver of the American West, talks to visitors before he sets out on the trail with the herd, and talks about being a decent cowhand, reading brands, rounding up steers, fighting off rustlers and delivering longhorns on time and with few losses. 2:30 p.m. Thursdays except Dec. 27, National Museum of American History, first floor, east wing by the John Bull locomotive, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Cathedral tour: Angels High and Low,for age 10 and older, docents examine the angel statuary, tapestries, wood carvings and other mediums. 3 p.m., Washington National Cathedral, West-End Docent Station, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. $10. 202-537-6200.
The Pilgrimage of World Christianity, visiting scholar Wesley Granberg-Michaelson discusses the major demographic changes in the Christian world. 4 p.m., Library of Congress, Jefferson Building, Room 119, first floor, 10 First St. SE. Free. 202-707-0213.
Teen game night, for ages 12-19, participate in playing video games, board games, trading card games and more. 4-6 p.m. Thursdays, Lamond-Riggs Library, Meeting Room No. 1, 5401 South Dakota Ave. NE. Free. 202-541-6255.
Merry Tuba Christmas! area tuba, sousaphone and euphonium players perform traditional Christmas music; bring your own instrument and join a 3 p.m. rehearsal. Performance. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Evening in the conservatory, Klezmer music by Lox & Vodka. 6 p.m., U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free. 202-225-8333 or www.usbg.gov.
An Empire of Beauty, Textile Museum executive director Holly Shimizu discusses the plants of the sultan’s gardens, their diversity, why many of them are considered modern-day horticultural treasures and how a rich array of bulbs, woody plants and perfumed plants are still an essential aspect of traditional Ottoman gardens. 6 p.m., Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. $45, registration required. 202-667-0441, Ext. 64.
NSO Pops concert, Randall Craig Fleischer conducts the National Symphony Orchestra and New York Voices in a performance of holiday works, includes a visit with Santa Claus and other special guests. 7 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $20-$85. 202-467-4600.
“American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White, and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama,” author Rachel L. Swarns and National Public Radio journalist Michele Norris discuss their book of how the Obama family was touched by the major shifts in our nation’s history. 7 p.m., National Archives, McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.
“The Sleeping Beauty,” performed by students of the Kirov Academy of Ballet of Washington, D.C. 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Kirov Academy of Ballet, 4301 Harewood Rd. NE. $20-$55. 202-636-0629 or www.kirovacademydc.org.
A Flutar Christmas, a flutist and a guitarist perform classical and folk music from around the world. 7:30 p.m., Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. $15. 202-549-4172 or www.hillcenterdc.org.
“My Fair Lady,” Molly Smith directs the Lerner and Loewe musical based on the George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion”; stars Benedict Campbell, Nicholas Rodriguez and Manna Nichols. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sundays; 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays; noon Wednesday, Dec. 26. Continues through Jan. 6. Arena Stage, Fichandler Stage, 1101 Sixth St. SW. $45-$94, subject to change and based on availability. 202-488-3300.
Music from the Hearts of America” violinist Sage Snider and banjo artist Matty Metcalfe perform traditional Civil War music. 11 a.m.-2 p.m., National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Friday Morning Music Club recital, a performance of works by classical composers. Noon, Calvary Baptist Church, 755 Eighth St. NW. Free. 202-333-2075.
“Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union,” Louis P. Masur discusses his book about the president’s struggles as he led the nation through war, debated his foes and worked to meet the expectations of millions of enslaved people. Noon, National Archives, McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.
George Washington and Slavery, a National Park Service Ranger discusses the little-known and remarkable stories surrounding the first president’s ideas on slavery. 3 and 5 p.m., Lincoln Memorial, 23rd Street NW and West Potomac Park. Free. Jan Buerger, 202-497-1397.
ZooLights, sparkling lights, zookeeper talks, live entertainment, viewing the small mammal and great ape houses and more. Proceeds from the ZooLights concessions and parking fees benefit animal care and conservation science at the National Zoo. 5-9 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 5-9 p.m. nightly Friday-Jan. 1 except Dec. 24, 25 and 31. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free; parking, $16. 202-633-4470.
Tudor Choir recital, the Seattle-based group performs a program of holiday music. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Memorials tour by night, a National Park Service ranger leads a tour and discusses the history of the memorials; take water and a flashlight. 7-9 p.m., National World War II Memorial, 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. 202-426-6841.
“The Horizon Glitters,” Michiyoshi Doi’s 1961 film based on a story by Shinji Fujiwara, a black comedy about a prison break gone wrong, in Japanese with English subtitles. 7 p.m., Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium, Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. Free. 202-633-1000.
The Great Noise Ensemble, artists-in-residence at the Benjamin T. Rome School of Music perform. 7:30 p.m., Catholic University, Ward Recital Hall, 620 Michigan Ave. NE. Free. 202-319-5414.
Nnenna Freelon, the vocalist performs jazz-styled holiday tunes. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Kennedy Center, Terrace Gallery, 2700 F St. NW. $26. 202-467-4600.
Chris Davis: A Christmas Carol, a re-creation of the Charles Dickens classic novel, with a grown-up Tim Cratchit and his bride, with children in the audience taking roles as Jacob Marley, Ghosts of Christmas and the cantankerous miser. 9:30 and 11 a.m., National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free ticket, one per person, distributed 30 minutes before each show. 202-783-3372.
Write Home Soon workshop, Mark Strandquist leads an interactive workshop that celebrates our local personal histories; you can create a postcard and deliver it to the nearby Art Museum of the Americas, where it will be exhibited as part of “Ripple Effect: Currents in Socially Engaged Art,” on view through Jan. 13. 10:30 a.m., Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. Free, registration required. 202-639-1700 or getinvolved.corcoran.org/writesoon.
Chocolate house-making workshop and tea, for children, enjoy a festive holiday tea, sample period brews and delicious desserts and listen to a costumed interpreter discuss their history; children will be invited to build their own chocolate house step by step (one per child). 10:30-noon and 1:30-3 p.m., Tudor Place, 1644 31st St. NW. $25 per child; accompanying adult, $10. 202-965-0400. Registration: tudorplacechocolatehouseforfamilies.eventbrite.com.
Lego club, open Lego Duplo block playtime for ages 2-5 and caregivers. 11 a.m., Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, 1630 Seventh St. NW. Free. 202-727-1288.
Recipe writing and lunch, with The Washington Post’s interim food editor Bonnie Benwick, learn to put together a cookbook of family or school recipes, learn to “translate” a favorite dish from a chef and more. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. $85. 202-549-4172 or www.hillcenterdc.org.
The Joy of Christmas concert, the Cathedral Choral Society, the 18th Street Singers, organist Todd Fickley, carillonist Edward Nassor, the Langley High School Madrigal Singers and the Washington Symphonic Brass perform a world premiere of a carol by British composer Ben Parry, old and new Christmas carols. Noon (shorter family program) and 4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Washington National Cathedral, Wisconsin and Massachusetts avenues NW. Noon Saturday, $25; other programs, $30-$80. 202-537-2228 or www.cathedralchoralsociety.org.
Get acquainted with Gertrude Stein, drop in to hear a story about the American writer and create a special piece of art. 1-4 p.m. Saturday and 2-5 p.m. Sunday, National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Children’s Turkish tea party, listen to traditional Turkish folk tales and have a hot cup of tea, try on Turkish clothes and imagine yourself a member of the Ottoman court; take a camera. 2 and 3 p.m., Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. Free. 202-667-0441, Ext. 64.
Beautiful writing: Arabic calligraphy,after a demonstration of this art, a docent leads a tour of the calligraphy exhibit and invites visitors to learn how to write their names in Arabic. 2 p.m., Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW. Free. 202-633-1000.
A Candlelight Christmas, Julian Wachner conducts the Washington Chorus in a medley of favorites. 2 p.m., Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $18-$70. 202-467-4600.
Knit and Lit, informal group of knitters and readers, take a knitting or needlework project to work on as you share patterns and stories. 3 p.m., Georgetown Library, 3307 M St. NW. Free. 202-724-8783.
Estela Velez dance concert, the Puerto Rican choreographer combines flamenco’s gypsy heritage with modern flamenco choreography in a performance by her D.C.-based dance company, Furia Flamenca. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Anthony Braxton Diamond Curtain Wall Quartet, with special guest avant-garde saxophonist Jason Morano. 7:30 p.m., Kennedy Center, Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW. $38. 202-467-4600.
Pennsylvania Avenue: Progress, New Beginnings and Celebration, a National Park Service ranger leads a walk in the footsteps of past presidents and discusses inaugural history. 10:30 a.m., the Peace Monument, First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Free. Jason Barna, 202-606-8691.
“Flesh Pier,” Teruo Ishii’s 1958 film shot in a semi-documentary style on the back streets of Akasaka, Ginza, and Shinjuku, about an undercover cop investigating a call-girl ring operating out of a Ginza nightclub, in Japanese with English subtitles. 1 p.m., Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium, Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“A Family Christmas,” Joseph Holt conducts Catherine Flye’s theatrical concert work with Santa Claus, Frosty and Rudolph, and music by the Choral Arts Society Chorus and Chamber Ensemble. 1 p.m., Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $15. 202-467-4600.
Tudor Place chocolate and tea tasting, for adults, sample 18th-century period teas and chocolates, learn the history of tea and chocolate tasting and trading and more, a tour of the historic mansion follows. 1-3 p.m., Tudor Place, 1644 31st St. NW. $25. 202-965-0400. Registration, tudorplacechocolateandteaforadults.eventbrite.com.
Marine Brass Ensembles recital, a performance of works by Eric Ewazen and Mendelssohn and several Christmas carols. 2 p.m., John Philip Sousa Band Hall, Marine Barracks Annex, Seventh and K streets SE. Free. 202-433-4011 or www.marineband.usmc.mil.
“Death Row Woman,” Nobuo Nakagawa’s 1960 romantic drama and murder mystery about an upper-class woman who is sentenced to death for the murder of her wealthy businessman father, her daring prison escape and search for the real killer, in Japanese with English subtitles. 2:30 p.m., Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium, Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. Free. 202-633-1000.
A Chevy Chase Christmas, a festival of seasonal music performed by several musical ensembles of the church; the audience will be invited to sing along with the carols, and a reception follows. 4 p.m., Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church, 1 Chevy Chase Cir. NW. Free, donations welcome. 202-363-2202 or www.chevychasepc.org.
Art reception, for a collection of drawings, paintings and sculpture by atelier students. 4-6 p.m. Dec. 16; exhibit continues through Dec. 28, Washington Studio School, 2129 S St. NW. Free. 202-234-3030.
Washington Youth Choir holiday concert, Joyce Garrett conducts the former Eastern High School Choir in a program of seasonal favorites, proceeds benefit the choir’s scholarship fund. 4-6 p.m., Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, 921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. $25. 202-549-4172 or www.instantseats.com.
“Yellow Line,” Teruo Ishii’s 1960 action film about a hit man, betrayed by his employer to the police, who kidnaps a dancer at Tokyo Station and flees with her, in Japanese with English subtitles. 4 p.m., Freer Gallery of Art, Meyer Auditorium, Jefferson Drive and 12th Street SW. Free. 202-633-1000.
“Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols,” with carols by candlelight and works arranged by Rutter and Willcocks. 5 p.m., St. John’s Episcopal Church, Georgetown Parish, 3240 O St. NW. Free, donations welcome. 202-338-1796.
D.C. Youth Orchestra holiday concert. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Empire Brass and Elisabeth von Trapp in concert, the soprano and ensemble perform holiday works. Latecomers not admitted. 6:30 p.m., National Gallery of Art, West Building Garden Court, 600 Constitution Ave. NW. Free. 202-842-6941.
Axelrod String Quartet, a performance of works by Haydn, Samuel Barber and others. At 6:30 p.m., artistic director Kenneth Slowik discusses the music and its composers. Concert, 7:30 p.m., National Museum of American History, Warner Brothers Theater, Warner Bros Theater, First Floor, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free, tickets required. 202-633-1000 or smithsonianassociates.org.
Job seekers clinic, personalized help with creating an e-mail account, searching for jobs online, filling out online applications, preparing a résumé, finding useful books and other resource materials and more. 10 a.m., William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library, 115 Atlantic St. SW. Free. 202-243-1186 or www.dclibrary.org/jobseekers.
Children’s “Seasons of Light,” for ages 5-10, a multicultural program about winter holidays from around the world. 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. Monday, 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tuesday-Dec. 20, 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. Dec. 21. Discovery Theater at S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $8; ages 2-16, $6; 1 and younger, $3. 202-633-8700 or www.discoverytheater.org.
Microsoft Word I basics, instructions on how to create letters, résumés, faxes and other documents used to apply for jobs, identify and navigate the basic features and elements of the program, and perform various word processing functions; take a flash drive for saving class documents. 2:30 p.m., Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, Computer Lab, Room 311, 901 G St. NW. Free. 202-727-0321.
Holiday party, for all ages, holiday merriment, stories and activities. 4:30 p.m., Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library, 1630 Seventh St. NW. Free. 202-727-1288.
Woodridge chess club, instruction for children and teenagers. 5:30 p.m. Mondays, Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin St. NE. Free. 202-541-6226.
A Stan Kenton Christmas, the U.S. Army Band — “Pershing’s Own” — performs a festive program reminiscent of the music of the pianist, composer and orchestra leader. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Untold stories of Stalin’s victims, a National Park Service ranger discusses the tyranny of Joseph Stalin that led to millions of deaths. 6 p.m., Victims of Communism Memorial, 707 New Jersey Ave. NW. Free. Andrew Clark, 202-426-6841.
“White Christmas,” Michael Curtiz’s 1954 film about two song-and-dance men who hook up with a sister act to stage a show that will help a beloved retired army general, starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye and Rosemary Clooney. 6:30 p.m., National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free tickets distributed at 6 p.m. 202-783-3372.
An Enchanted Christmas, Scott Tucker conducts the Choral Arts Society of Washington and the Choral Arts Society Instrumental Ensemble in a program of carols, popular holiday standards and favorite sing-alongs. 7 p.m., Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $15-$70. 202-467-4600.
Church of the Epiphany Choir Christmas recital, sacred and secular favorites to benefit the church’s downtown mission work. 12:10 p.m., Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. Donations requested. 202-347-2635, Ext. 20.
Holiday tea, historic tea blends served with sandwiches, scones and desserts in the stately 1870s Dower Townhouse, a guided tour follows. 1-3 p.m., Tudor Place, 1644 31st St. NW. $30. 202-965-0400. Registration: tudorplaceholidaytea.eventbrite.com.
Evening in the conservatory, barbershop quartet music by Buskers. 6 p.m., U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free. 202-225-8333 or www.usbg.gov.
Bastogne: The first eight days, a National Park Service ranger discusses the battle that started Dec. 16, 1944, and why the town became so famous. 4 p.m., National World War II Memorial, 17th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Free. Paul O’Brian, 202-438-7066.
“The Red Violin,” Francois Girard’s 1998 film about a violin that makes its way around multiple owners in various countries throughout 300 years, in French with English subtitles. 6 p.m., Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW. Free. 202-727-0232.
“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” for adult audiences, David Fincher’s thriller based on Stieg Larsson’s novel about a journalist’s search for a woman who has been missing for 40 years and his young computer-hacker assistant, starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara and Christopher Plummer. 6 p.m., Dorothy I. Height/Benning Library, 3935 Benning Rd. NE. Free. 202-281-2583.
Kol Dodi in concert, the ensemble of Israeli, Moroccan, Yemenite and Ethiopian musicians and singers, led by Israeli vocalist Mike Karni, combines traditional Jewish melodies with African ethnic rhythms and a taste of folk. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King, Jr., a National Park Service ranger discusses the three leaders, who made great strides in the struggle for human rights. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., Lincoln Memorial, 23rd Street NW and West Potomac Park. Free. Joseph Mohr, 202-359-1532.
“The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War,” historian David Cecelski discusses his book about the abolitionist and Union spy who rose out of bondage to become one of the most significant black leaders in the South during the Civil War. Noon, National Archives, McGowan Theater, Constitution Avenue and Ninth Street NW. Free. 202-357-5000.
“Islam: Empire of Faith,” Part III: “The Ottomans,” a PBS documentary. Noon, Textile Museum, 2320 S St. NW. Free. 202-667-0441, Ext. 64.
Presidential inaugural balls, a National Park Service ranger leads a walking tour of the White House area and discusses the Ulysses S. Grant celebration in the Treasury Building. 3:30 p.m., Freedom Plaza, Pennsylvania Ave. NW between 13th and 14th streets. Free. Julia Clebsch, 202-606-8691.
Chess for kids, come to learn and/or play the game. 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. 202-282-3080.
Computer classes, learn the basics of the D.C. Public Library Web site. 10 a.m., Southwest Library, 900 Wesley Pl. SW. Free. 202-724-4752.
Gingerbread house workshop, for age 5 and older, participate in an educational scavenger hunt then design, build and decorate a gingerbread mansion to take home. 10:30 a.m.-noon and 1:30-3 p.m., Tudor Place, 1644 31st St. NW. $12 per child; accompanying adult, free. 202-965-0400 or tudorplacegingerbreadworkshop.eventbrite.com.
Holiday music and drawing workshop, Take 5! With the Brad Linde Quartet perform holiday favorites arranged for their jazz ensemble. 5 p.m., Smithsonian American Art Museum, Kogod Courtyard, Eighth and F streets NW. Free. 202-633-1000.
Last Train Home in concert, the D.C. roots-rock group performs original holiday tunes and interpretations of yuletide classics. 6 p.m., Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. Free. 202-467-4600.
Evening in the conservatory, choral concert by Capital Accord Chorus. 6 p.m., U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. Free. 202-225-8333 or www.usbg.gov.
Handel’s “Messiah,” Rolf Beck conducts the National Symphony Orchestra, plus soloists, soprano Katherine Whyte, countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo, tenor Sunnyboy Vincent Dladla, bass-baritone Panajotis Iconomou and the University of Maryland Concert Choir. 7 p.m. Dec. 20, 8 p.m. Dec. 21-22, 1 p.m. Dec. 23, Kennedy Center, Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. $10-$85. 202-467-4600.
“Amahl and the Night Visitors,” Daniel Boychuk, soprano Marje Palmieri, flutist Mary Norris, clarinetist Bernie Arons, bassoonist Dilyana Kirova and pianist David Ehrligh perform the operetta and a potpourri of carols for all to sing, plus a performance by a five-clarinet ensemble. 7:30 p.m., St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church, Sixth Street and Maine Avenue SW. Donations appreciated. 202-484-6354.
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