- The Friends of Volta Park will hold its annual “Breakfast With Santa” event, which will give children in the Georgetown community the chance to receive a toy and take photographs with Santa Claus. Adults with and without children will be able to enjoy coffee, hot chocolate, doughnuts and other treats. 10 a.m. to noon. Free. Volta Park Playground, 1616 34th St. NW. voltapark.org.
- Children will hear a story about Albert Einstein and then create a special piece of art. 1 to 4 p.m. Free. National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets NW. 202-633-1000.
- The D.C. Public Library will host a holiday greeting-card and gift-tag crafting session, with all materials provided (ages 18 and older). 2 p.m. Free. Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW. 202-727-0232.
- The U.S. Air Force Band’s Singing Sergeants will perform as part of the Smithsonian Holiday Festival. Noon, 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. Free. Flag Hall, National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. 202-633-1000.
- The Barclay Brass Quintet will perform seasonal chorales for brass and organ, including “Nun Komm der Heiden Heiland” and “Veni Immanuel,” along with other winter and holiday music. 1 p.m. Free; donations welcome to benefit the church’s food pantry and music ministries. Christ Lutheran Church, 5101 16th St. NW. 202-829-6727.
- The American University Symphony Orchestra and violinist Jessica Bauer, student winner of the 2017 Concerto and Aria Competition, will present a season-opening concert devoted exclusively to Russian master Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. 3 p.m. $5 to $10. Abramson Family Recital Hall, Katzen Arts Center, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW. 202-885-3634.
- The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” will present its annual concert, “American Holiday Festival.” 3 p.m. Free; tickets required. DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 C St. NW. usarmyband.com. Advance tickets for the show are sold out, but patrons without tickets will be admitted 15 minutes prior to showtime if space is available.
- Pianists Inna Faliks and Daniel Schlosberg will perform Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, arranged for four-handed piano by Zemlinsky. 3:30 p.m. Free. West Garden Court, National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215.
- The Phillips Collection will present violinist Alexi Kenney and pianist Renana Gutman performing music by Nicola Matteis, Franz Schubert, J.S. Bach, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Ottorino Respighi. 4 p.m. $20 to $40. Warne Ballroom, Cosmos Club, 2121 Massachusetts Ave. NW. phillipscollection.org/music.
- Students of Brock Holmes will perform a winter recital. 5 p.m. Free. Middle C Music, 4530 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-244-7326.
- The Washington Master Chorale will present “New Joy!: Christmas with the Chorale,” featuring classic carols as well as classical masterpieces such as the seldom-performed “Lauda per la Natività del Signore” by Italian neoclassical composer Ottorino Respighi. 5 p.m. $10 to $50. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW. washingtonmasterchorale.org. The performance will repeat Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m.
- The Emerson String Quartet will perform works by Beethoven and Shostakovich. 6 to 8 p.m. $50 to $60. Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-633-3030.
- Rock band The Barr Brothers will perform on a double bill with Nathan Moore. 8 p.m. $17 to $20. Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, 600 I St. NW. 877-987-6487.
Discussions and lectures
- Stephanie Burt will discuss her book “Advice From the Lights: Poems” in conversation with Sandra Beasley. 1 p.m. Free. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919.
- Film historian Kelley Conway will discuss “Agnès Varda and the Art of the Documentary,” about the French filmmaker and her experimentation with documentary form. 2 p.m. Free. East Building Auditorium, National Gallery of Art, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215.
- Coleen Christian Burke, a professional decorator who was a 2014 White House design partner, will discuss “Christmas With the First Ladies: Decking the Halls at the White House,” about the signature holiday decorating approaches of modern residents from Jackie Kennedy to Michelle Obama. 2 to 5 p.m. $45 to $55. S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. 202-633-3030.
- Garth Risk Hallberg will discuss his book “A Field Guide to the North American Family: An Illustrated Novella.” 3 p.m. Free. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919.
- Leading scholars from the Phillips Collection, the National Gallery of Art, the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam and the Courtauld Institute of Art in the United Kingdom will discuss Renoir’s creation of his impressionist painting “Luncheon of the Boating Party.” 4 p.m. $15 to $25; reservations suggested. The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St NW. 202-387-2151.
- Robert W. Merry will discuss his book “President McKinley: Architect of the American Century.” 5 p.m. Free. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919.
- A panel discussion on the latest FBI surveillance of African-American organizations and parallels with tactics in the 1960s and 1970s will feature Nkechi Taifa, senior policy analyst for the Open Society Foundations; a student representative from Resist at Howard University; and Marshall Eddie Conway, a leading member of the Baltimore chapter of the Black Panther Party. 5 p.m. Free. Langston Room, Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St. NW. 202-387-7638.
- Nathan Kravis, clinical professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, will discuss his book “On the Couch: A Repressed History of the Analytic Couch From Plato to Freud” in conversation with Harry Cooper, curator and head of modern art at the National Gallery of Art. 5:30 to 7 p.m. Free. The Loft, Busboys and Poets 5th & K, 1025 5th St. NW. 202-789-2227.
- The Art Deco Society will present a talk by Robert Jenner on “Irving Berlin for the Holidays,” about the life and work of the Jazz Age composer. The event will include a singalong and a reception with appetizers, beer and wine. 6 p.m. $60 to $75. Arts Club of Washington, 2017 I St. NW. adsw.org.
- The National Museum of American History will host a viewing of classic children’s television shows such as “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and “Sesame Street.” 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Free. Warner Bros. Theater, National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. 202-633-1000.
- The National Museum of American History will present “The Polar Express,” an animated film about a boy invited to board a magical train to the North Pole. 1:30 p.m. (in 2-D) and 3:30 p.m. (in 3-D). $5 to $12. Warner Bros. Theater, National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. 202-633-1000.
- The National Gallery of Art will present Agnès Varda’s 2017 film “Visages Villages (Faces Places),” a portrait of France, a friendship and a madcap mission. 4 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 conclude with Ismael Rodríguez’s 1953 film “Dos Tipos de Cuidado/Two Mischievous Guys,” at 4 p.m.; and the D.C. premiere of Fernando Guzzoni’s 2016 drama “Jesús,” at 7 p.m. $10 per screening; $30 for a festival pass. GALA Theatre, 3333 14th St NW. 202-234-7174.
Performances and readings
- Student actors from the University of Maryland at College Park will present “The Measure of Our Lives,” featuring monologues about key moments in the biography of individuals depicted in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection. Noon and 2 p.m. Free. Meet in the F Street lobby, National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets NW. 202-633-1000.
- The music program at All Souls Church Unitarian and Dance Exchange will present “Hiroshima: An Introspective,” a meditative, interactive arts experience featuring the Hiroshima Children’s Drawings (as seen in the documentary “Pictures From a Hiroshima Schoolyard”) and Jacob Lawrence’s evocative “Hiroshima Series.” 2 to 5 p.m. Free. All Souls Church Unitarian, 1500 Harvard St. NW. 202-332-5266.
- “Triggered,” a program of dynamic contemporary dance, will feature solo works performed by Kennedy Center Local Dance Commissioning award recipient Helanius J. Wilkins, as well as the D.C. premiere of Wilkins’ work “Media’s Got Me All Figured Out: Reloaded,” a trio inspired by the tensions and events that fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. 6 p.m. Free; tickets distributed in the States Gallery starting at 5 p.m. Terrace Theater, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
- The DC Contemporary Dance Theatre/El Teatro de Danza Contemporanea will honor its mentors and celebrate its Central American roots with dance pieces by former associate artistic director Lloyd Whitmore, founder/co-director Francisco Castillo and artistic director Miya Hisaka. The program will also include “Intermezzo,” a passionate duet reflecting the company’s extensive history with classical ballet in Latin America. 7 p.m. $20 to $30. Dance Place, 3225 8th St. NE. 202-269-1600.
- Regie Cabico and Danielle Evennou will host “Sparkle,” an open mic event for LGBT-dedicated poets. 8 to 10 p.m. $5. Langston Room, Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St. NW. 202-387-7638.
- American Heritage, a division of Mars Wrigley Confectionary, will hold a “From Bean to Bar” program demonstrating the history of chocolate. Participants will be able to sample chocolate made from recipes created as early as 1750 using spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, orange and red pepper. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free. Third Floor, National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Ave. NW. 202-633-1000.
- 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. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free admission. West Hall, George Washington University Mount Vernon Campus, Whitehaven Parkway and Foxhall Road NW. glenechopottery.com.
- The Heurich House Museum’s fifth annual German-style “Christkindlmarkt” will feature local craft vendors selling products such as artisan jewelry, clothes and pottery. 11 a.m. to 5 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 Colonial Dames of America Chapter III will host an open house with holiday music and an orange pomander ball demonstration at the historic Abner Cloud House, the oldest original building along the C&O Canal and a primary example of Federal architecture in Washington. Noon to 5 p.m. Free. Abner Cloud House, Canal and Reservoir roads NW. email@example.com.
- The National Museum of Women in the Arts will hold its monthly Community Day, featuring an opportunity to explore current exhibitions and the museum’s regular collection. Noon to 5 p.m. Free. National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. 202-783-7370.
- 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 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 Children’s Health Board and the Four Seasons hotel in Georgetown will host “Light up the Season,” a fundraiser for the Children’s National Health System that will include designer-decorated holiday trees, decorations and a menorah as well as music from local students and school choir groups. 1 to 4 p.m. $50 for ages 12 and younger; $100 for adults; $250 for a family of four. Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, 2800 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. childrensnational.org/lightuptheseason.
- “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).
- Moment Magazine’s 2017 Gala & Awards Dinner will honor Jake Tapper, Joan Nathan, Allan Gerson, Peter Yarrow and Robert Siegel. 6 p.m. $300. National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. 202-363-6422.
- The National Museum of Women in the Arts will host a “Fierce Women” tour highlighting artists, activists and innovators who refused to let men define their place and rejected the limited roles provided by society. 1 to 2 p.m. Free. Meet at the information desk in the lobby, National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW. 202-783-7370.
- The Logan Circle Community Association will host the 39th annual Logan Circle Holiday House Tour, featuring a mix of traditional and contemporary homes. The event will include in-house musicians and street carolers, as well as a wassail reception with refreshments. 1 to 5 p.m. $30 to $35. Studio Theatre, 1501 14th St. NW. logancircle.org/house-tour.