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60+ Things to Do This December in Washington, DC

Check out an exciting month of events in the nation’s capital this holiday season.

Make plans for unforgettable experiences in the nation's capital. December is packed with a great mix of events as many of the city’s businesses and attractions safely welcome visitors again. After you’ve read through this list, you can always check out even our things to do for the week and weekend.

Light Yards – Dec. 1 – Jan. 1, 2022
Yards Park annually offers a festive light installation at its Sundeck. Australian-based light design sculptors Amigo & Amigo have crafted a stunning new installation with 22-foot-tall trees and colored patterns sure to dazzle you as you wander through the area this holiday season. The space is wonderful for an illuminated, night-time stroll. Light Yards is lit up each night from 6-10 p.m.
6-10 p.m. nightly |  Free admission
Yards Park, 355 Water Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

 

Christkindlmarkt – Dec. 3-5
Heurich House Museum's famed Castle Garden will again host the Christkindlmarkt throughout the first full weekend of December after a hiatus in 2020. Tickets grant you access to the arts and crafts-laden market featuring goods from dozens of vendors and the historic mansion, which will be decorated to the nines.
Tickets
Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

 

Enjoy holiday festivities at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Explore George Washington’s estate by candlelight and learn about historic holiday traditions on Dec. 3–4, Dec. 10–11 and Dec. 19, and enjoy the dazzling spectacle of Christmas Illuminations on Dec. 17–18. Please make sure to review Mount Vernon’s COVID-19 protocols before you plan your visit.
5:30-8:30 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121 

Check out the National Christmas Tree – Open to the public on Dec. 4
The National Christmas Tree is DC’s claim to fame during the holidays, and for good reason. The gorgeous conifer lives in President’s Park on the White House Ellipse, where it's surrounded by trees decorated with handmade ornaments from 56 U.S. states and territories and is accompanied by nightly musical performances throughout the holiday season. The display is free to visit and open from 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. beginning Dec. 4 while the National Christmas Tree is lit each day from 4:30-10 p.m. This year's lighting ceremony takes place on Dec. 2, with the event set to air on Dec. 5 on CBS.
10 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Free admission

15th & E Streets NW, Washington, DC 20500
 

Dupont Circle Holiday Pop-Up – Dec. 4
Artists and makers will be situated in front of retail shops all over the Dupont Circle neighborhood for this annual event hosted by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. Approximately 50 vendors will sell paintings, scarves, chocolates, jewelry, pottery and additional holiday-themed items. Pop-up shops will feature imported food, fine art, shoes and more.
12-5 p.m. |  Free admission |  More info

 

The District Holiday Boat Parade – Dec. 4
Each year, dozens of dazzling boats traverse the Potomac River from the waterfront in Alexandria, Va. to the The Wharf. You can observe the parade on Dec. 4 free of charge, and there are holiday festivities to enjoy beforehand, including winter drink sampling, chances to meet Santa, ornament decorating and more. Prizes will be awarded to the most beautiful vessels, which begin their journey at 6 p.m., and fireworks will cap off the parade at 8 p.m.
6-9 p.m. |  Free admission
The Wharf, 1100 Maine Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas – Dec. 4
Every year, National Public Radio (NPR) and the Kennedy Center join forces to bring outstanding jazz pianists together to perform their favorite Christmas classics for one night only. This holiday tradition has become a favorite in the District, so make sure to purchase your tickets well in advance.
7 p.m. & 9 p.m. | Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC Holiday Show – Dec. 4, 11 & 12
Tap-dancing elves, a moving Christmas tree, snow and unforgettable choral renditions of holiday classics will all be part of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, DC's annual holiday show. The festive program will include songs like “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”, “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” and “Boogie Woogie Frosty”. Expect performances from the full Chorus, soloists, all GMCW ensembles and the GenOUT Youth Chorus.
Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Park View Holiday Pop-Up Holiday Market – Dec. 4, 11 & 18
Hook Hall hosts this pop-up of the popular Park View Farmers Market on three consecutive Saturdays. Many of its vendors are offering food and holiday gifts from local artists, makers and producers at this holiday bazaar.
10 a.m. – 2 p.m. |  Free admission |  More info
In front of Hook Hall, 3400 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010
 

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical – Through Dec. 5
The incredible stage show of Dr. Seuss’ classic comes just in time for Christmas, with performances set to begin at the National Theatre on Tuesday. One of the most revered holiday stories in American history comes to musical life. All the hit songs – “You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch,” “Welcome Christmas,” etc. – will be performed, as audiences are again dazzled by Dr. Seuss’ classic tale and the play’s awesome costumes and scenery.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Tootsie – Dec. 7-12
Based on the classic 1982 film starring Dustin Hoffman, this Broadway musical edition of Tootsie comes to DC’s illustrious National Theatre this December. Featuring a score by Tony Award winner David Yazbek, the play follows actor Michael Dorsey in his quest for acting stardom. Talented but difficult to work with, Dorsey lands the role of a lifetime under false pretenses. Hilarity ensues. Don’t miss this critically acclaimed production during its limited run in DC.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

Holiday Lights at Tudor Place

Holiday Lights at Tudor Place

Enjoy a lantern-lit tour of Tudor Place – Dec. 7, 9, 11, 14 & 16
Experience one of the city’s most historic destinations with a lantern light tour taking place Dec. 7, 9, 11, 14 and 16. Explore the Historic House by candlelight to learn about traditional holiday celebrations, and then set out into the beautifully kept gardens guided by lantern lights.
Tickets
Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
 

NSO at The Anthem: Ugly Sweater Holiday Concert – Dec. 8
Turn the holiday spirit to 11 with this special performance by the National Symphony Orchestra at The Anthem. The entire orchestra will be decked out in ugly sweaters of choice as the ensemble performs stirring renditions of Christmas classics. Make sure to rock your own holiday outfit and prepare for an unforgettable night inside a state-of-the-art venue. Tickets start at just $15.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Step Afrika!’s Magical Musical Holiday Step Show – Dec. 9-19
DC’s Step Afrika!, the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping, puts on a holiday extravaganza at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in the H Street neighborhood this December. The family-friendly show will combine clapping, stomping and stepping for a dazzling array of percussive dance. Furry friends from the animal kingdom and a dance party hosted by DJ Frosty the Snowman are also on the docket.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins – Dec. 10

Alex Ovechkin and the Caps have started the 2021-22 NHL season hot, sitting near the top of the league standings and looking like a formidable squad. The hometown favorites will take on their archrival, the Pittsburgh Penguins, in a crucial early December clash. The Penguins are led by center Sidney Crosby, making for an enticing matchup of two perennial contenders on a Friday night.

7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Eric Church – Dec. 10
Now nine albums into one of the most successful country music careers of the past 15 years, Eric Church is at the top of his game. His most recent release, Heart & Soul, features three albums worth of new music, adding to an already sparkling catalogue. Catch the outlaw and his outstanding band at The Anthem on the second Friday in December.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024
 

San Holo – Dec. 10-11
San Holo rose to international prominence with a remarkable remix of Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode,” a track that has more than 175 million views on YouTube. The Dutch DJ and producer, who was nominated for New Artist of the Year at the 2017 Electronic Music Awards, will spin his eclectic takes on techno and trap music across two nights of concerts inside what will be a lively 9:30 Club.
10 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

An Irish Carol – Dec. 10-31
The Irish have something to say about that “Carol” of yours, Mr. Dickens. The Keegan Theatre stages this acclaimed play that subs pub-owning David for Scrooge. He’s distanced himself from his family through his profitable bar, but a visitor from the past, along with present figures and the prospect of a sad future could turn David around. With searing wit, fast-paced dialogue and a classic Irish sensibility, Matthew Keenan’s play is perfect for holiday laughs – and intended for audiences 16 and older.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
 

Georgetown Men’s Basketball vs. Syracuse – Dec. 11
While the Syracuse Orange have moved to the Atlantic Coast Conference, their classic Big East rivalry with Georgetown still lives. Watch these two titans of college basketball battle inside Capital One Arena. Both teams have high hopes for the 2021-22 season. Former Georgetown star Patrick Ewing will guide the Hoyas against Syracuse’s legendary head coach, Jim Boeheim.
12 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

The Joy of Christmas – Dec. 11-12
The Washington National Cathedral is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas, as it becomes adorned with themed lights and elaborate decorations each year. The Joy of Christmas is the Cathedral’s marquee event, featuring renditions of Christmas classics and a carol sing-along.
Tickets
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

 

Ween – Dec. 12

What began as a way for two teenagers in suburban Pennsylvania to record themselves being goofy idiots has turned into one of the most successful rock acts of the past 30 years. Ween is Gene and Dean Ween. Yes, they have real names but you don’t need to know them. They make guitar rock, but they also make psychedelic rock. And soul music. And country. And sometimes they throw in some Latin vibes? And other times, they make jazz. Or techno. Or punk rock. They’ve sung about voodoo ladies, boy’s clubs, very successful parties, ocean men, free roses and much, much, much zanier things. Ween is as satirical or as serious as they want to be on any given song and really, at any given moment. See them at the Fillmore Silver Spring if you know what’s good for you. All hail the Mighty Boognish.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910
 

HOT 99.5's Jingle Ball presented by Capital One – Dec. 14
DC's favorite local radio station gets into the holiday spirit with this annual star-studded concert inside Capital One Arena. This year's lineup is truly incredible, with Meg Thee Stallion, The Jonas Brothers, Doja Cat, Saweetie and Black Eyed Peas all on the bill, among others. Please note that a negative COVID-19 test within the last 48 hours or proof of full vaccination will be required to enter the venue.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 


Beautiful – The Carole King Musical – Dec. 14 – Jan. 2, 2022
The rise of Carole King to one of the most successful songwriters of all-time is beautifully depicted in this musical written by Douglas McGrath, a Tony Award and Academy Award nominee. Follow King as she progresses from being part of a songwriting team with her husband to a solo act that would define a generation, enjoying classic songs like “I Feel The Earth Move” and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” along the way.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations – Dec. 15 – Jan. 16, 2022
If you think the music of The Temptations is fantastic, just wait until you hear their story. The Kennedy Center hosts the East Coast premiere of this pre-Broadway engagement, a musical that will make you want to dance in the aisles (but don’t do that). Five kids from Detroit are discovered by the legendary Berry Gordy, then signed to Motown, then launched into an unforgettable career filled with chart-topping hits. Along the way, both friendship and betrayal enter into the story, in addition to civil rights struggles in the country at-large. Don’t miss this song-and-dance extravaganza that also offers a captivating tale.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Cirque Dreams Holidaze – Dec. 16
The MGM National Harbor's Theater will welcome Cirque Dreams Holidaze to light up the stage this December. The popular and dazzling family holiday spectacular wraps a whimsical, Broadway-style musical infused with contemporary circus artistry into the ultimate holiday gift for parents and children alike.
Tickets
The Theater at MGM National Harbor, 101 MGM National Avenue, National Harbor, MD 20745

 

The Kennedy Center

National Symphony Orchestra: Handel’s Messiah – Dec. 16-19
This holiday epic, which explores the story of Jesus Christ as the Messiah, is performed at the Kennedy Center each year. The National Symphony Orchestra will be joined by standout singers and, for the first time, will be conducted by music director Gianandrea Noseda at the beautifully decorated Concert Hall to tell Handel’s riveting tale through song.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

The Washington Chorus presents A Candlelight Christmas – Dec. 16-23
The Washington Chorus consists of more than 130 voices that work in tandem with brass, organ and percussion to create wonderful renditions of Christmas classics. The chorus will also be accompanied by the National Capital Brass and the audience will be asked to join in joyous sing-alongs. A beloved and traditional candlelight processional also takes place at this annual event.
Kennedy Center Tickets | Strathmore Tickets
Dec. 19, 21 & 22: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
Dec. 16, 17 & 23: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

 

 

The Hip Hop Nutcracker – Dec. 20-22
Yep, you read that right. This imaginative performance blends modern hip-hop choreography, an on-stage DJ and an electric violinist to re-create The Nutcracker in truly original fashion. Adults will be wowed by the contemporary take on Tchaikovsky’s score while the kids revel in the hip-hop musical performances. This year, special guest emcee Kurtis Blow, best known for “The Breaks,” opens the show with a rapping introduction. Digital scenery will color the background of this entertaining cultural mash-up that will be performed for three nights only at Strathmore's Music Center.
Tickets
The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda, MD 20852

 

The Choral Arts Society of Washington presents Christmas Music – Dec. 20 & 24
The Choral Arts Chorus and Youth Choir come to Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall for the performance of classic holiday carols and seasonal favorites. The entire family is invited to enjoy this festive celebration of the winter holidays. In addition, make sure to check out The Choral Arts Society of Washington’s A Family Christmas on Dec. 10 and Dec. 24.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Snail Mail – Dec. 21
Masterminded and led by 22-year old singer-songwriter Lindsey Jordan, who hails from Ellicott City, Md., Snail Mail is one of the most exciting acts in indie rock. Initially just Jordan and a guitar, the project now features a full-fledged band, one that has compelled Jordan and her immaculately composed songs to greatness on 2018’s Lush and this year’s Valentine. The Fillmore Silver Spring hosts the buzzworthy act for one night only.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

 

Downtown Holiday Market

Downtown Holiday Market

Downtown Holiday Market – Through Dec. 23
This free-to-frequent downtown bazaar is centrally located in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. The beloved market stretches across two blocks of F Street between 7th and 9th streets. Scope out eclectic wares from dozens of pop-up tents with seasonally flavored music performed live in the background. Locally roasted coffee and crafted-before-your-eyes mini-doughnuts inspire a cold-weather appetite, creating a holiday atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in DC. Please make sure to read the market’s safety information before your visit.
12-8 p.m., daily |  Free admission | Safety guidelines
F Street between 7th and 9th Streets NW, Washington, DC

 

Washington Wizards vs. Philadelphia 76ers – Dec. 26
The Wizards are off to a hot start in their 2021-22 season, sitting near the top of the Eastern Conference standings. All-Star Bradley Beal is now supported by center Montrezl Harrell, small forward Kyle Kuzma and point guard Spencer Dinwiddie and the early results have been spectacular. Washington’s own will take on their rivals, the Philadelphia 76ers, in what promises to be a rocking Capital One Arena. The matchup of Eastern powerhouses could be a playoff preview.
6 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

The Roots – Dec. 26
From Philadelphia streets to Things Fall Apart to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the journey of The Roots is almost as fascinating as their thoughtful, continuously evolving music. The group has made classic albums, accrued Grammy Awards and lit up stages around the world. The Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall will proudly host the legendary hip-hop band as part of their Holiday Tour.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

August Wilson’s Seven Guitars – Through Dec. 26
Legendary playwright August Wilson’s fifth cycle play takes audiences to 1940s Pittsburgh, where blues singer Floyd Barton has decided to alter his lifestyle after an unexpected windfall has him thinking about second chances. Seven lives will be affected by Floyd’s decision in a story injected with powerful blues rhythms.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

The Nutcracker – Nov. 27 – Dec. 26
The Washington Ballet pulls out all the stops for this classic Christmas tale that features a special DC twist. The Russian ballet goes local thanks to a Nutcracker Prince in the likeness of George Washington and cherry blossom set designs. Set in historical Georgetown, you will be dazzled by an impressive roster of dancers and the beautiful Tchaikovsky score.
Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

A Christmas Carol – Through Dec. 27
Acclaimed actor Craig Wallace assumes the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in a lavish Victorian-style musical production of Charles Dickens’ timeless classic, the staging of which is a time-honored holiday tradition in the nation’s capital. Scrooge’s riveting journey alongside the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future is a joy even if you’ve experienced it a hundred times before – especially in one of the world’s most historic theaters.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

WWE LIVE Holiday Tour – Dec. 28
Superstars from the WWE will descend upon the nation’s capital for an epic showdown during the week between Christmas and New Year’s. Featured superstars will include Roman Reigns, Charlotte Flair, Kofi Kingston, King Woods, Drew McIntyre and Jimmy Uso. Tickets will go quickly for this holiday wrestling extravaganza.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

Pretty Woman: The Musical – Dec. 28 – Jan. 2, 2022
Based on one of the most beloved romantic comedies in film history, this musical adaptation of Pretty Woman comes to the National Theatre for a limited run over the New Year’s holiday. Tony Award nominee Adam Pascal stars as Edward Lewis, while rising star Olivia Valli plays the role of Vivian Ward. Grammy Award winner Bryan Adams composed the outstanding score, with Tony Award winner Jerry Mitchell serving as director and choreographer. Prepare for a spellbinding, stargazing production.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

A Jazz New Year’s Eve – Dec. 31
Ring in the new year with three jazz masters. The Kennedy Center annually hosts this jazz-themed celebration, with this year’s lineup featuring five-time Grammy Award-winning singer Dianne Reeves, legendary Cuban pianist, composer and arranger Chucho Valdés and one of the greatest saxophone players alive, Joe Lovano.
7 p.m. & 9 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Rainbow Kitten Surprise – New Year’s Eve at The Anthem – Dec. 31
Ring in 2022 at The Anthem, one of the best places to see a concert in DC. Rainbow Kitten Surprise headlines the proceedings, which you can expect to continue well into the night. The band’s name is nearly as fun as their raucous live shows, making the group the ideal New Year’s Eve act. Please note that you must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test within the last 72 hours to enter The Anthem.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Enchant Christmas – Through Jan. 2, 2022
The beloved light maze, billed as the biggest in the world, makes its home in DC at the gorgeous Nationals Park throughout the holiday season. There are also ice skating trails, a holiday village with products from local businesses and a kids’ play place. Expect plenty of Instagram-friendly settings and holiday spirit at this one-of-a-kind installation.
Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

 

Life of a Neuron at ARTECHOUSE

Artechouse

Life of a Neuron – Through Jan. 2, 2022
This exhibit at ARTECHOUSE will take you through the thinking cells of the brain, diving into one of the world's greatest mysteries. Artists and scientists collaborated on this fascinating experience that will showcase how the brain shapes our experiences. Thanks to the Society for Neuroscience, ARTECHOUSE allows you to see a neuron from pre-birth to death, allowing for an immersive journey to the center of the mind. Book a discounted trip through the museum at the link for 'Tickets' below.
Monday – Thursday: 12-8 p.m. |  Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Tickets
Safety guidelines
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024
 

A Strange Loop – Through Jan. 2, 2022
Woolly Mammoth Theatre hosts this tour-de-force of a play from Michael R. Jackson. The Puliterzer Prize-winning production focuses on Usher, a Black queer writer writing his original musical while working a job he despises. The musical is about a … Black queer writer working on his original musical while working a job he despises. The young artist must wrestle with his own demons to pull himself out of the loop. Please note that the theatre requires proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 or a negative test from the last 72 hours.
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Rent – Through Jan. 2, 2022
Jonathan Larson’s Earth-shattering musical comes to Signature Theatre as part of the venue’s triumphant reopening. Rent is iconic in every sense of the word, a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece that focuses on a group of friends in New York City’s East Village in the late 1990s. Faced with gentrification, loss, the complications of love and the HIV/AIDS crisis, the group uses the power of songs like “Seasons of Love” and “I’ll Cover You” to embrace hope and survive.
Tickets
Signature Theatre Company, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

 

Once Upon a One More Time – Through Jan. 2, 2022
Inspired by the music of Britney Spears, this Broadway-bound production centers on fairytale princesses who have gathered for their fortnightly book club. When one of the ladies drops The Feminine Mystique into the discussion, these queens realize there is much more to life than fancy dresses and a kiss from your true love. Spears’ classic songs, including “Toxic,” “Oops! … I Did It Again” and “Stronger,” provide the backdrop to this awesome adventure hosted by Shakespeare Theatre Company. Please note that proof of full vaccination is required to attend the show.
Tickets
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

DC Holiday Lights – Through Jan. 6, 2022
Neighborhoods throughout the nation’s capital are adorning their “main streets” with colorful lights through Jan. 6, 2022. Additionally, vendors in each neighborhood are offering holiday specials and promotions throughout the month to encourage shopping locally. You can enjoy this holiday cheer in Columbia Heights, Mount Pleasant, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, U Street and Woodley Park, among other locales. Votes can be cast for the best decorated corridor!

 

David Driskell: Icons of Nature and History – Through Jan. 9, 2022
Along with fellow Howard University graduate Alma Thomas, David Driskell showed that the art of Black people is essential to the story of American art. In this exhibition at The Phillips Collection, which marks the first comprehensive look at Driskell’s collages, paintings, drawings and prints, you can observe more than 50 works and marvel at the legacy of this titanic figure who also worked as a curator, teacher and writer. Driskell’s connection to American history and the African diaspora make for timeless pieces that strongly resonate today.
Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. |  Tickets & safety guidelines
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC

 

Welcome Home: A Portrait of East Baltimore, 1975-1980 – Through Jan. 17, 2022
As part of a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, three women photographers – Elinor Cahn, Joan Clark Netherwood and Linda Rich – captured East Baltimore for a five-year stretch from 1975 to 1980. In this exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, you can view the stunning work of Cohn, Netherwood and Rich in all its glorious detail, as the trio captured celebrations, luncheons, homes, businesses and the everyday strife that members of the community faced. These images are being presented in an exhibition setting for the first time.
Wednesday – Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands – Through Jan. 17, 2022
For the first time, a museum focuses on the portraiture work of visionary Chinese American artist Hung Liu in this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Portraits of Promised Lands is also the artist's first on the East Coast. The exhibit is in memoriam of Liu, who tragically passed away in 2021. Her multilayered paintings, often sourced from photographs, are a feast for the eyes and mind.
Wednesday – Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful – Through Jan. 23, 2022
This Phillips Collection exhibit provides a fresh perspective on artist Alma Thomas’ life and multifaceted career. Everything is Beautiful traces her trek from Georgia to DC and beyond through artworks and archival assets, showcasing the artist’s wide-reaching influence, dynamic artistic practices, intriguing interest in puppetry and much, much more. Note that on Jan. 20, 2022, The Phillips Collection will host a staged reading of a one-act play on Thomas’ life by local playwright Caleen Jennings.
Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. |  Tickets & safety guidelines
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC

 

The New Woman Behind the Camera – Through Jan. 30, 2022
The National Gallery of Art displays breathtaking photographs from more than 120 women photographers around the world. These "new women" embraced the art form as a mode of personal and professional expression and in the process, rewrote the rules of modern photography. See unflinching and beautiful images from these trailblazers who embodied a creative and confident spirit and whose work showed unique new perspectives from the 1920s to the 1950s. The exhibit will be on display through Jan. 30, 2022. Make sure to read up on even more reasons to check out The New Woman Behind the Camera.
Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Aquatint: From Its Origins to Goya – Through Feb. 21, 2022
More than 100 exceptional examples of the aquatint technique recently acquired by the National Gallery of Art constitute the first American exhibition to highlight the medium's development across Europe. The artistic range of aquatint led to striking images, including tombs, volcanoes, moonlit vistas and caricatures, from French, British, Italian, German, Dutch and Spanish printmakers in the 18th century. 
Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free admission |  
Safety guidelines
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

New Glass Now – Through March 6, 2022
The Renwick Gallery showcases the creativity and dexterity of architects, artists and designers who work in one of the world’s most challenging materials: glass. New Glass Now consists of objects, videos, installations and performances from 50 different artists in 23 countries, allowing visitors to marvel at the tremendous skill of contemporary glass-making.
Wednesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

 

Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory – Through April 3, 2022
The Hirshhorn features this stunning narrative work through next April. Toyin Oljih Odutola's A Countervailing Theory features 40 large-scale monochromatic drawings in low-lit galleries. The series is presented as if each drawing was unearthed at an archaeological site in Nigeria. Panel by panel, these pastels reveal a myth conceived by Odutola, reminding one of a mammoth graphic novel. The installation spans the entirety of the Museum’s circular inner galleries on its second floor.
Wednesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560
 

Abigail DeVille: Light of Freedom – Through April 17, 2022

The Hirshhorn’s Sculpture Garden hosts this 13-foot-tall, mixed-media installation that serves as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement within the larger context of America’s long relationship to the idea of liberty itself. Sculptor Abigail DeVille is widely recognized for works that mine the overlooked, often traumatic histories of Black America to spotlight cultural contradictions and inequities. The piece’s proximity to the U.S. Capitol Building and the National Mall is not accidental.
Wednesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano – Through May 8, 2022
Discover Venice’s rich history as a glassmaking capital and its influence on early 20th century art with this retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The first comprehensive look at the American Grand Tour to Venice in the late 19th century features works by seminal artists such as John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and many, more all of which convey how glassmakers in Murano inspired new ventures and styles in American painting.
Wednesday – Sunday, 11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

James Van Der Zee’s Photographs: A Portrait of Harlem – Through May 30, 2022

The National Gallery of Art showcases more than 40 images by legendary photographer James Van Der Zee, a prolific chronicler of life in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood during the 1920s, ‘30s and beyond. Van Der Zee captured special occasions and other local happenings through carefully composed photographs that provided insights into the personalities and aspirations of his subjects. He also showcased nightclubs, storefronts as well as religious, social, political and athletic community groups in his signature style. Marvel at a master’s work in this revelatory exhibit.
Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

FUTURES – Through July 6, 2022
Smithsonian's historic Arts and Industries Building has opened its groundbreaking new experience. On view through July 6, 2022, FUTURES is the Smithsonian’s first major building-wide exploration of the future and will temporarily reopen the Smithsonian’s oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. The part-exhibition, part-festival will celebrate the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with more than 150 awe-inspiring objects, ideas, prototypes and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history to help visitors imagine many possible futures on the horizon. Make sure to read our guide to the exhibit before you go.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  More details
Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

 

Laurie Anderson: The Weather – Through July 31, 2022
You're likely familiar with Laurie Anderson and her influence without even knowing it. One of the most groundbreaking artists of the 20th century has used a range of media, including live performance, video, music and writing, to address American identity and technology and the effect of both on human relationships. This exhibit at the Hirshhorn debuts more than 10 new artworks, interspersed with essential Anderson creations from throughout her career. The immersive audiovisual experience will be complimented by a series of live shows by Anderson from January through July of 2022.
Wednesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

The Wall/El Muro: What Is a Border Wall? – Ongoing
The National Building Museum examines the concept of a border wall through the perspective of architecture and design in this exhibit. The ways in which the built environment and the landscape of security challenge us and our notion of America are central themes. Photography, video, artifacts and an immersive design reveal to visitors the role of design and engineering in the realm of national security and geopolitics.
Friday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Tickets & safety guidelines
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Make Good The Promises: Reclaiming Reconstruction and its Legacies – Through Aug. 31, 2022
Step into the National Museum of African American History and Culture's new 4,300-square-foot exhibition that explores the Reconstruction era through an African American lens. Make Good The Promises features 175 objects, 200 photographs, 15 audio, video and interactive programs, as well as a companion book. The exhibition explores the deep divisions and clashing visions about how to rebuild the United States after slavery and the end of the Civil War. It connects that era to efforts in 2021 to make good on the promises of the Constitution.
Wednesday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free timed passes |  Safety guidelines
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

#MyDCcool Photo of the Month

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Holly (@hroyhab_photo)

 

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