Events calendar: Thursday, Dec. 21


Children’s programs

  • 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.
  • The Kid’s Chess Club will offer weekly chess instruction. 5 p.m. Free. Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-282-0021.
  • “Pajama Movie Night” will feature “Toy Story.” 6 p.m. Free. Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-727-1488.


  • A weekly class on “Basic Knitting: Casting On, Garter Stitch, Purl Stitch” will offer instruction for beginners who want to learn the essential foundations of knitting. 5 p.m. Free. West End Library, 2301 L St. NW. 202-724-8707.


  • The Take 5! Jazz Series will feature saxophonist and composer Tim Green and his quartet in a tribute to Wayne Shorter, one of the most universally recognized composers and saxophonists. 5 to 7 p.m. Free. Kogod Courtyard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G streets NW. 202-633-1000.
  • The “Holiday Lobbying” concert series will feature The City Singers. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free. Lobby, The Willard InterContinental, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-628-9100.
  • Listen Local First D.C. and the 9 Songwriter Series will present a holiday spectacular featuring Justin Trawick, Daryl Davis, Emma Rowley and six other local musicians performing their favorite holiday tunes. 6 p.m. Free. Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600.
  • Dial 251 For Jazz will perform contemporary jazz as part of the U.S. Botanic Garden’s “Holiday Music in the Garden” series. 6 to 8 p.m. Free. Conservatory Garden Court, U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Ave. SW. 202-225-8333.
  • 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. 7:30 p.m. $10 to $50. Church of the Epiphany, 1317 G St. NW.
  • Folger Consort will hold a concert named after the Christmas carol “Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming,” featuring German Advent and holiday music performed by the vocal ensemble Cathedra, viol consort Arcadia Viols, organist Adam Pearl and artistic co-director Robert Eisenstein. 7:30 p.m. $50. Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol St. SE. 202-544-7077. The performance will repeat Dec. 22 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 23 at 4 and 8 p.m.
  • The Washington Chorus will present “A Candlelight Christmas,” featuring brass, organ, singalongs and a candlelight processional. 4 p.m. $18 to $79. Concert Hall, Kennedy Center. 202-467-4600. The performance will repeat Friday at 7 p.m.

Discussions and lectures

  • National Gallery of Art lecturer David Gariff will discuss “The Christmas Story in Art.” 2 p.m. Free. West Building Rotunda, National Gallery of Art, 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. 202-737-4215. The talk will repeat Friday at 2 p.m.
  • Documentary photographer Marisa Scheinfeld will discuss her book “The Borscht Belt: Revisiting the Remains of America’s Jewish Vacationland,” which captures and celebrates the 1920s to the 1970s when the region was the summer playground for American Jews. 6:30 to 8 p.m. $10 to $20. National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. 202-272-2448.
  • The Takoma Park Library’s Adult Book Club will discuss David Guterson’s novel “Snow Falling on Cedars.” 7 p.m. Free. Takoma Park Library, 416 Cedar St NW. 202-576-7252.


  • The West End Library’s Thursday Morning FIlm Series will feature the 2013 superhero movie “Iron Man 3,” starring Robert Downey Jr., Guy Pearce and Gwyneth Paltrow. 10:30 a.m. Free. West End Library, 2301 L St. NW. 202-724-8707.
  • The Mount Pleasant Library will screen the 2017 action film “American Assassin,” starring Dylan O’Brien and Michael Keaton. 6 p.m. Free. Mount Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St. NW. 202-671-3121.
  • The Korean Cultural Center’s K-Cinema series will present Lee Gae-byok’s 2016 comedy “Luck-Key.” Appetizer social at 6 p.m.; film at 6:30 p.m. Free; reservations required. Korean Cultural Center Washington, D.C, 2370 Massachusetts Ave. NW.
  • The Italian Cultural Institute and the Italian Short Film Center will present five short films from some of the best emerging talents of the Italian film scene. 6 to 7:15 p.m. Free; reservations required. Auditorium, Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven St. NW.


  • Step Afrika! will present “Magical Musical Holiday Step Show 2017,” a family-friendly performance by the internationally renowned percussive dance company. 7:30 p.m. $18 to $40. Sprenger Theatre, Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. The performance will repeat Dec. 22 and 28 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 23 and 30 at 2 p.m.; and Dec. 27 and 29 at 11:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Special events

  • 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. 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.
  • “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).
  • Via Umbria chef Liam LaCivita will present “Dinner at the Chef’s Table: Feast of the Seven Fishes,” based on a Christmas Eve custom from Southern Italy and featuring a menu of seafoods from different regions of Italy. 7 to 9 p.m. $100; reservations required. Via Umbria, 1525 Wisconsin Ave. NW. The dinner will also be offered Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m.
  • Busboys and Poets will host a book signing and release party with magician and comedian Kevin Lee, author of “Playing With Fire.” 7 to 11 p.m. Langston Room, Busboys and Poets 14th & V, 2021 14th St. NW. 202-387-7638.


  • “Gardener’s Focus: Bones of the Winter Garden” will feature a tour led by Brian Barr, director of horticulture at the Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens. 12:45 p.m. $15 to $18; tickets distributed at the Visitor Center upon opening each day. Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave. NW. 202-686-5807. The tour will repeat Dec. 22, 26, 28 and 29 at 12:45 p.m.
  • The Heurich House Museum will host a “Holiday Brewmaster Tour,” featuring a one-hour guided tour through the mansion and a half-hour craft beer tasting in the conservatory. 6 to 7:30 p.m. $30. Heurich House Museum, New Hampshire Avenue and 20th Street NW.