- Discovery Theater will present “Seasons of Light,” an interactive program about the history and customs of Ramadan, Diwali, Sankta Lucia, Hanukkah, Los Posados, Kwanzaa, Christmas and the First Nations’ tradition of the winter solstice (for ages 5 through 10). 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. $3 to $8. Discovery Theater, S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. 202-633-8700. Performances will continue through Dec. 21.
- The Georgetown Library will host “Song and Dance,” a 20-minute weekly program of music and movement (for ages birth to 5). 10:30 a.m. Free. Georgetown Library, 3260 R St NW. 202-727-0232.
- A “Winter Wonders” family discovery day will feature a “Snowy Survival” aquarium tour with feedings, a “Coldwater Critters” aquatic animal presentation, and wintry crafts and activities. 10:30 a.m. to noon. Free; reservations required. Aquatic Resources Education Center, Anacostia Park, 1900 Anacostia Drive SE. doee.dc.gov/arec.
- The Tenley-Friendship Library will host “Tots and Toys Playdate,” during which children can play with toys, browse books, visit with friends and toddle (for ages 3 and younger, with parent or caregiver). 11 a.m. Free. Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-727-1488.
- • The National Museum of African Art will present “African Art on the Go: Kingdoms of Ancient Africa,” about the art and culture of kingdoms such as Mali, Benin, Ghana and others (for ages 8 and older, as well as ages 6 through 8 if accompanied by an adult). 2 p.m. Free. Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-282-0021.
- Mount Pleasant Library’s weekly “Friday Films” program will feature a family movie. 4 p.m. Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW. 202-671-3121.
- Artist Will Fleishell will present a drop-in figure drawing class. 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. $15. Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 7th St. SE. 202-547-6839.
- Soloist Yuja Wang and National Symphony Orchestra with conductor Gianandrea Noseda will perform works by Britten, Rachmaninoff and Prokofiev. 11:30 a.m. $15 to $94. Concert Hall, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600. The concert will repeat Saturday at 8 p.m.
- The U.S. Air Force Band’s Max Impact ensemble will perform. 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m. Free. National Air and Space Museum, 6th Street and Independence Avenue SW. 202-633-1000.
- The Friday Noon Concert series will continue. Noon. Free. Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I St. NW. 202-331-7282, ext. 3.
- The Friday Morning Music Club will present a concert of works by Beethoven, Haydn, Schumann and others. Noon. Free. Calvary Baptist Church, 755 8th St. NW. 202-333-2075.
- Chuyoung Suter of Gaithersburg, Md., will present an organ recital. 12:15 p.m. Free. National City Christian Church, 5 Thomas Circle NW. 202-797-0103.
- The Friday Music Series’ annual holiday concert will feature the Georgetown University Jazz Ensemble performing classic holiday standards. 1:15 p.m. Free. Gonda Theatre, Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University, 37th and O streets NW. 202-687-2787.
- The Millennium Stage will host a tribute to the music of Richard Rodgers from his monumental collaboration with Oscar Hammerstein II, featuring five vocalists and six musicians performing songs from “Oklahoma!,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I,” “Carousel,” “The Sound of Music” and more. 6 p.m. Free. Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
- The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “Jazz Nights” series will feature D.C. jazz trio Epsilon, featuring Mike Okusami on bass, Paul Jung on drums and Matt Henderson on keyboard. 6 to 7:45 p.m. Free. Mezzanine, Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW. 202-547-5688. The series will continue Dec. 8 and 15.
- The Washington National Cathedral’s choir and Baroque orchestra will perform Handel’s “Messiah” with soprano Laura Choi Stuart, mezzo-soprano Emily Marvosh, tenor Rufus Müller and bass Kevin Deas. 7:30 p.m. $25 to $95; $10 for students. Washington National Cathedral, Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues NW. tix.cathedral.org. The performance will repeat Saturday and Sunday at 4 p.m.
- The AU Workshop contemporary music ensemble will present “Mid-Century Modern,” featuring music from the mid-20th century by composers from around the world. 7:30 p.m. $5 to $10. Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-885-3634.
- The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra will perform Duke Ellington’s “Second Sacred Concert” to celebrate the event’s 50th anniversary. 7:30 p.m. $25. Coulter Performance Plaza, National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-663-1000.
- The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will present its annual concert, “American Holiday Festival.” 8 p.m. Free; tickets required. DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 C St. NW. usarmyband.com. The concert will repeat Saturday at 3 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.; advance tickets for the shows are sold out, but patrons without tickets will be admitted 15 minutes prior to showtime if space is available.
Discussions and lectures
- Library Express will host a weekly bring-your-own brown-bag lunch and adaptive-technology discussion. Noon to 1 p.m. Free. Library Express, 1990 K St. NW. 202-727-0324.
- A forum on “Marriage in Early Modern Political Thought” will feature Mary Nyquist of the University of Toronto, Jason Rosenblatt of Georgetown University and Nigel Smith of Princeton University. 1 to 4:30 p.m. Free; reservations required. Board Room, Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The National Museum of African Art will present “African Art on the Go: Kingdoms of Ancient Africa,” about the art and culture of kingdoms such as Mali, Benin, Ghana and others. 2 p.m. Free. Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-282-0021.
- Ann Powers will discuss her book “Good Booty: Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music,” a history of the country’s last hundred years that uses popular music as a lens for understanding complex social issues such as race and sex. 7 p.m. Free. Politics and Prose at the Wharf, 70 District Square SW. 202-488-3867.
- Jared Yates Sexton and Sasha Polakow-Suransky will discuss their respective books “The People Are Going to Rise Like the Waters Upon Your Shore: A Story of American Rage” and “Go Back to Where You Came From: The Backlash Against Immigration and the Fate of Western Democracy.” 7 p.m. Free. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919.
- “In Conversation With Samantha Bee … A Moderated Q&A” will feature satirical commentary by the late-night host of “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee” while discussing current events with best-selling author Rebecca Traister. 8 p.m. $49 to $89. Concert Hall, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
- “The Warrior, the Reader, the Writer: Fantasy Figures in French Period Film” will feature Édouard Molinaro’s 1996 film “Beaumarchais, l’insolent,” about a playwright who wangles his way into the capricious court of Louis XV. 2:30 p.m. Free. East Building Auditorium, National Gallery of Art, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215.
- GALA Hispanic Theatre’s sixth annual international film festival “Reel Time at GALA” will continue with the Washington premiere of Manolo Caro’s 2016 comedy “La Vida Inmoral de la Pareja Ideal/Tales of an Immoral Couple,” about two lovers who meet again 25 years after their first rendezvous. 7 p.m. $10 to $30. GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St NW. 202-234-7174.
- Reel Affirmations XTRA will present a World AIDS Day screening of Vincent Gagliostro’s “After Louie,” starring Alan Cumming and Wilson Cruz. 7 p.m. $12 to $25. Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Ave. NW. reelaffirmations.org.
Performances and readings
- English poet, novelist and biographer Andrew Motion — former poet laureate of the United Kingdom, and president of the Campaign to Protect Rural England — will present “Coming in to Land” as part of the Randy Packer Poetry Series. 4 to 6 p.m. Free; reservations requested. Room 702, Gelman Library, George Washington University, 2130 H St. NW. geography.columbian.gwu.edu.
- Washington Improv Theater will present “Seasonal Disorder,” its annual tribute to the chaos of the holidays. 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. $12 to $30. Source, 1835 14th St. NW. witdc.org. Performances will continue through Dec. 31.
- The Georgetown University Dance Company will perform diverse programs of dances ranging from hip-hop to classical ballet by professional guest and student choreographers. 8 p.m. Free. Devine Studio Theatre, Davis Performing Arts Center, Georgetown University, 37th and O streets NW. performingarts.georgetown.edu.
- Laugh Index Theatre will present “Sketch Night,” featuring comedy teams Separate Beds and the Employables. 8 p.m. $8 to $15. DC Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW. 202-462-7833.
- As part of “JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy,” Camille A. Brown & Dancers will present “BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play,” a treatise on identity development performed to original live music. 8 p.m. $49 to $89. Eisenhower Theater, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
- Busboys and Poets will present “Live!,” an open mic talent showcase hosted by Beny Blaq. 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. $5. Langston Room, Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St. NW. 202-387-7638.
- The Washington Harbour ice rink will offer public skating. Noon to 9 p.m. $9 to $10. Washington Harbour, 3000 K St. NW. 202-706-7666. Regular hours are Monday and Tuesday from noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., Friday from noon to 10 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- The 13th annual Downtown Holiday Market will feature exhibitors, local food and live music. Noon to 8 p.m. Free admission. Sidewalk of F Street between 7th and 9th streets NW, in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. downtownholidaymarket.com. The market will continue through Dec. 23 from noon to 8 p.m. daily.
- The Heurich House Museum’s fifth annual German-style “Christkindlmarkt” will feature local craft vendors selling products such as artisan jewelry, clothes and pottery. 4 to 9 p.m. $10 for adults and $2 for ages 2 to 12 for a one-day ticket; $20 for adults and $4 for ages 2 to 12 for a full weekend pass. Castle Garden, Heurich House Museum, 1307 New Hampshire Ave. NW. heurichchristmas.org. The market will continue Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- The Glen Echo Potters’ 30th annual Holiday Pottery Show and Sale will feature the work of 50 local potters, including porcelain, stoneware, raku and soda- and wood-fired pieces. 5 to 8 p.m. Free admission. West Hall, George Washington University Mount Vernon Campus, Whitehaven Parkway and Foxhall Road NW. glenechopottery.com. The event will continue Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- DC Brau Brewing Co. will host a Tap Takeover and Tasting featuring exclusive flavors. 5 to 8 p.m. Free; reservations requested. The Embassy Row Hotel, 2015 Massachusetts Ave. NW. tinyurl.com/yd4vrcoo.
- Cathedral Commons will host a Holiday Tree Lighting Event featuring live entertainment, free photos with Santa for children and pets, festive giveaways for children, and food and drink offerings by participating restaurants. 6 to 8 p.m. Free. Wisconsin Avenue and Newark Street NW. cathedralcommons.com/events.
- “ZooLights” will feature environmentally friendly LED displays, a light show set to music, 150-foot-long “snow tubing” tracks, the Conservation Carousel, live entertainment, and a glow-in-the-dark play zone for children. 5 to 9 p.m. Free admission. National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-633-4470. The event will repeat daily through Jan. 1 (except Dec. 24, 25 and 31).
- Guy Mason Recreation Center will host a turkey dinner and a holiday singalong with local musician Ann Glendinning. Dinner at 6:15 p.m.; singalong at 7:30 p.m. Free, with attendees asked to bring a dessert for sharing if they are able to do so; reservations required. Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert St. NW. 202-727-7527.
- MesorahDC and Sixth & I Historic Synagogue will hold a traditional Friday-night Shabbat service followed by dinner. 6:30 p.m. $8 to $12. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. sixthandi.org.
- The Washington Wizards will play the Detroit Pistons. A post-game “Go-Go Night” concert will feature local bands Experience Unlimited, Junkyard and DJ Kool. 7 p.m. $12 to $176. Capital One Arena (formerly Verizon Center), 601 F St. NW. 800-745-3000.
- The 35th annual St. Albans Christmas House Tour will feature five homes in the Spring Valley neighborhood, as well as a holiday luncheon and boutique shopping at the school. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. $40 for the tour; $20 for the luncheon; free admission to the boutique. St. Albans School, Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues NW. stalbansschool.org/cht. The tour will continue Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- The American University Museum will present a docent-led tour of one of its fall exhibitions. 11:30 a.m. Free. American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-885-1300.