The Going Out Guide recommends free things to do for every day of the week.
Need an excuse to get vacationing kids out of the house and into something creative and time-consuming? Head to the National Portrait Gallery for a little artsy fun for kids age 5 and older. The theme for Monday’s session is “Beautiful Mess: Charcoal Drawing.” There’s a second session on sculpting on Thursday.
1 to 4 p.m. National Portrait Gallery, Education Center, Eighth and F streets NW. 202-633-8300. www.npg.si.edu.
Watch Santa hop on water skis at National Harbor. This annual holiday tradition includes appearances by Frosty the Snowman, flying elves and the Grinch — on a jet ski, of course.
1 p.m. National Harbor, 150 National Plaza, National Harbor. 571-385-2929. www.waterskiingsanta.com.
The Kennedy Center’s 15th annual All-Star Christmas Day Jazz Jam will be hosted by Chuck Redd, and the lineup includes bassist James King, drummer Lenny Robinson and vocalist Delores King Williams and her husband, trumpeter Tom King Williams.
6 p.m. Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW. 202-467-4600. www.kennedy-center.org.
The principle for the first day of Kwanzaa is “umoja,” which means unity, so bring family and friends to the Anacostia Community Museum where actress, storyteller and dancer Maria Broom (“The Wire,” “The Corner”) will present an interactive introduction to Kwanzaa. It will include stories, dancing, call-and-response singing and a breakdown of the holiday’s seven principles.
10:30 a.m. to noon. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4844. www.anacostia.si.edu.
Be dazzled by the sight of the National Zoo dipped in string lights before it all comes down after Jan. 1. Because what’s more fun than the zoo at night? The zoo at night plus colorful lights, obviously.
5 to 9 p.m. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-633-4888. www.nationalzoo.si.edu.
Here’s a dose of science-y fun to break up the holiday merriment. Learn about birds of prey, or raptors, at Meadowside Nature Center. The center’s raptor aviary is home to an American bald eagle, a red-tailed hawk, a turkey vulture and two owls.
3 p.m. Meadowside Nature Center, 5100 Meadowside Lane, Rockville. 301-258-4030. www.meadowsidenature.org.
Finish the week at Glenview Mansion, where you can gaze at the home’s holiday decorations, including displays created by 18 community organizations. It’s your last chance to ooh and ahh over the tinsel, glitter and lights before it all comes down.
1 to 4 p.m. Glenview Mansion, 603 Edmonston Dr., Rockville. 240-314-8660. www.rockvillemd.gov/glenview.