Friday, Dec. 1
Winterfest at Wunder Garten: What does a beer garden do when the weather turns too cold for sitting in the sun with liters of hefeweizen? It reinvents itself as a winter garden, with fire pits, blankets and hot toddies. Now decorated with seasonal lights, Wunder Garten offers photos with Santa, pop-up markets, DIY craft workshops, food and even a Christmas tree lot, so you can take some spirit home with you. Through Dec. 17. Free.
Heurich House Christkindlmarkt: Christian Heurich’s Victorian mansion is the site of a weekend-long celebration of the holidays, inside and out. The large Castle Garden is transformed into a German-style Christmas market with dozens of artisans selling their wares, while the historical house is decorated as it would have been for Christmas in the early 20th century. Tickets include admission to the marketplace as well as a self-guided tour of the house. Dec. 1 from 4 to 9 p.m., Dec. 2 and 3 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $10-$15 per day, $20-$30 for a weekend pass.
'BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play' and 'ink' at the Kennedy Center: Camille A. Brown makes her Kennedy Center debut with two works addressing diversity, community and history: “Black Girl: Linguistic Play” and “ink.” Both feature original music. Brown, from Queens, was a longtime member of Ronald K. Brown/Evidence before striking out on her own as a choreographer. Dec. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. $19-$59.
AFI European Union Film Showcase Opening Night: Now in its 30th year, the European Union Film Showcase is a chance to see dozens of that continent’s finest films, including movies that become their country’s official selection for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Opening night features the tennis drama “Borg vs. McEnroe,” starring Shia LaBeouf and Sverrir Gudnason, followed by a post-screening reception. Through Dec. 20. 7:15 p.m. $15-$20.
Saturday, Dec. 2
Christmas in Middleburg: Middleburg turns on the charm for the holidays, mixing the best of hunt country with a small-town atmosphere: Nattily attired foxhunters and hounds parade along Washington Street on Saturday, but so do classic cars, the volunteer fire department and high school marching bands. The full weekend includes a tree lighting and caroling on Friday night; discount shopping at boutiques with wine and spirits tastings on Saturday afternoon; and a Christmas pageant with animals on Sunday. Times vary. Most events are free.
Scottish Christmas Walk Parade in Old Town Alexandria: Cheer on Scottish dancers, marchers dressed in their finest tartans and Scottie dogs at Old Town Alexandria’s 47th Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. Santa Claus and Scottish bagpipers make an appearance in the parade, too, which concludes at Market Square with a band concert. 11 a.m. Free.
Smithsonian Holiday Festival at the National Museum of American History: The National Museum of American History is getting dressed up with festive decor and a two-day party to begin the season. The family-friendly festival includes performances from the U.S. Air Force Band Singing Sergeants, cooking demonstrations and screenings of holiday films. Kids can marvel over a Howdy Doody marionette and Mickey Mouse Club ears in the Children’s Television Holiday Display exhibit, along with chocolate demonstrations and samples from candy experts at Mars. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free.
House of Sweden’s Christmas Bazaar: The event center at the Swedish Embassy's House of Sweden hosts this annual bazaar, which is sponsored by the Swedish Women’s Educational Association. Both floors are filled with Swedish and Nordic goods — warm woolens, glass, textiles and gnome-related crafts — while the cafe sells pastries, coffee and mulled wine. The day ends with a traditional Santa Lucia procession, followed by Swedish and American Christmas carols. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (doors close at 4:30). Free. No strollers are allowed inside.
First Ladies DJ Collective Reunion at the Black Cat: In 2002, a team of veteran female DJs joined forces to form the First Ladies DJ Collective. They worked to break down stereotypes with monthly dance parties and workshops for beginning DJs. Members of the group eventually went their separate ways, but they’re reuniting for one night. Join seven original members, including Junebullet, Ladyplastik and the Pinstriped Rebel, on the Black Cat’s main stage. 9:30 p.m. $10.
Holiday boat parades: Old Town Alexandria’s celebration begins at 3 p.m. with the arrival of Santa Claus on a fireboat. Games and music fill the dock outside the Torpedo Factory before the parade begins in earnest at 5:30 p.m. A quick cruise away, the District's Holiday Boat Parade starts at 7 p.m., although activities on land, including a bonfire with s’mores and hot chocolate, Santa photo ops and live holiday music, begin at 4 p.m., and finish with fireworks. Free.
Sunday, Dec. 3
Free Community Day at the National Museum of Women in the Arts: On the first Sunday of the month, the National Museum of Women in the Arts waives its usual admission fees. If you haven’t seen “Magnetic Fields,” which explores abstract works by African American artists, or “El Tendedero/The Clothesline Project,” this is the perfect afternoon to visit. Noon to 5 p.m. Free.
Shi-Queeta-Lee's Salute to Divas at Chateau Remix: For three weeks in December, Shi-Queeta-Lee — best known as the host of the sold-out drag brunch at Nellie’s and for her 2016 performance at the White House — is hosting dinner cabarets at the Chateau Remix nightclub on Benning Road with a full cast of celebrity impersonators. Dec. 3, 10 and 17 at 6 p.m. $30-$45.
Correction: A previous version of this article listed the holiday boat parades in the District and Old Town Alexandria under Friday. These events will take place on Saturday. This version has been updated.