Friday, Dec. 8
Georgetown Glow: Georgetown looks even more charming than usual this time of year, with all its red and green decorations. But the District’s oldest neighborhood takes a modern approach to holiday lights: Georgetown Glow is a month-long outdoor light-art exhibition, inviting artists from around the world to illuminate entire blocks with neon installations. Through Jan. 7. 5 to 10 p.m. Free.
‘Amahl and the Night Visitors’ at George Washington University’s Marvin Center: Once upon a time, television actually commissioned operas, and Gian Carlo Menotti’s “Amahl and the Night Visitors,” written for NBC in 1951, has remained a holiday classic. This year, George Washington University’s music program is teaming up with the theater and dance program for a new staged production of the story. Through Saturday. 7:30 p.m. $10-$10.
Drink the District Wine Festival at the Park View: The holiday edition of the Drink the District Wine Festival is “Mistletoe and Merlot”-themed, with unlimited samples of more than 100 wines. Sommeliers will roam the Petworth festival answering questions, and a chef will be demonstrating food and drink pairings. While you’re tasting your way through rosés or nibbling on cheese, get some shopping done, too. There will be a Drink the District retail store with bottles for sale and a marketplace featuring gifts made by D.C. crafters and artisans. Through Saturday. Also on Dec. 15-16. Various times. $30-$99.
Saturday, Dec. 9
Repeal Day Ball at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium: The biggest event on Washington's cocktail calendar is this swinging party celebrating the 84th anniversary of the end of Prohibition. The biggest names in local bartending mix exclusive drinks throughout the venue, while special guests include legendary mixologists and authors Dale DeGroff and Jeffrey Morgenthaler. New York's BlackTail and Houston's Julep run special pop-up bars, and another section of the Auditorium celebrates the 10th anniversary of the D.C. Craft Bartenders Guild. 7:30 p.m. to midnight. $90-$140.
Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington Holiday Show at the Lincoln Theatre: The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington’s annual holiday concert has everything you could want this time of year, mixing both the irreverent and traditional. Yes, you’ll hear multiple ensembles perform gorgeous choral pieces and a capella doo-wop carols, but with a side of leather-clad reindeer and an over-the-top take on “The Nutcracker.” Whichever music you come for, you’ll leave with a smile on your face. Through Dec. 17. Dates and time vary. $25-$65.
Wendy Whelan, Brian Brooks and Brooklyn Rider at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center: Former New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan, one of the most exquisite and daring ballerinas of recent years, teams up with contemporary choreographer and dancer Brian Brooks in “Some of a Thousand Words,” accompanied by the string quartet Brooklyn Rider. 8 p.m. $10-$40.
Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at the National Presbyterian Church: In the German-speaking world, it’s not “Messiah” but Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, or Weihnachtsoratorium, that represents the ubiquitous seasonal fare. The Washington Bach Consort is offering four of the set of six (I, II, V and VI) in a concert led by Dana Marsh, one of the candidates for the group’s music directorship (audience members are invited to leave feedback that will aid in the search). 6 p.m. $10-$69.
Sunday, Dec. 10
Wreathmaking at Tudor Place: Channel your inner Martha Stewart with a two-hour morning or afternoon session making herbal or historic green wreaths at Tudor Place Historic House and Garden. Participants will weave fresh-cut foliage with herbs and spices — think cinnamon and lavender — into one-of-a-kind wreaths in the morning sessions, and learn how to create historical masterpieces of greenery in the afternoon. 10 a.m. (herbal) and 1:30 p.m. (historical greenery). $45 members, $55 nonmembers.
Russian Winter Festival at Hillwood Museum: The annual Russian celebration of the season returns to Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens with music by the Samovar Russian Folk Music Ensemble and dances by the Kalinka Dance Ensemble of Baltimore. The event also includes crafts and appearances by characters from Russian stories (such as Grandfather Frost and the Snow Maiden) and fortunetellers. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5-$18.
— Jennifer Abella, Adele Chapin, Fritz Hahn, Sarah L. Kaufman, Peggy McGlone, Anne Midgette