The List for Dec. 27


Best Music

1. Irving Berlin's "White Christmas": The holiday classic with beloved music, a romantic story and good cheer.

Where: Kennedy Center Opera House, 2700 F St. NW

When: Through Jan. 5

Info: $25 to $150; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

2. "Million Dollar Quartet": The Tony Award-winning Broadway musical based on the true recording session of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins features songs they made famous.

Where: Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: $55 to $150; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

3. Music of John Denver: Ted Vigil, a Denver look-alike, and Steve Weisberg, Denver's original guitarist in a tribute concert.

Where: The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Avenue, Alexandria

When: 7:30 Thursday

Info: $22.50; 800-745-3000;

4. Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes: The singer/songwriter who invented the New Jersey sound enjoys a fervent following.

Where: The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria

When: 7:30 Saturday

Info: $39.50; 800-745-3000;

Best Brainfood

1. Christmas at Belle Grove Plantation: Daytime and candlelight tours at the house, holiday decorations and gifts. A 12-foot Christmas tree graces the parlor and regional garden clubs have decorated each space of the house to celebrate traditional Christmas carols.

Where: Belle Grove Plantation, 336 Belle Grove Road, Middletown

When: Through Sunday

Info: $6 to $12; 540-869-2028;

2. Holiday Vaudeville: Two Too Far: Cajun cellist Sean Grissom hosts an evening featuring modern-Klezmer quartet, the Alexandria Kleztet, and a hilarious performance by the theater and clowning company TwoTooFar.

Where: Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

When: 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Info: Free; 202-467-4600;

3. Christmas Doll and Train Exhibit: Antique and character dolls, working trains and more.

Where: Potomac River Museum, 38370 Point Breeze Road, Colton's Point, Maryland

When: Through Sunday

Info: 301-769-2222;

4. A Celtic New Year: Celebrate the New Year with guitarist Zan McLeod, the New Century Dancers, and other special guests.

Where: Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

When: 6 p.m Tuesday

Info: Free; 202-467-4600;

5. New Israel Fund Panel Discussion: Religious Pluralism: Related to the Theater J production of "Apples fro the Desert."

Where: Theater J, 1529 16th St. NW

When: 9:30 p.m. Jan. 3

Info: Free;

Best Outdoors

1. Zoo Lights at the National Zoo: The National Zoo presents a seasonal display of thousands of sparkling animated lights, winter-themed crafts, ice sculpting demonstrations, choral groups, and storytellers.

Where: National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave. NW

When: 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday through Sunday and Tuesday

Info: Free; 202-633-4888;

2. Garden of Lights at Brookside Gardens: Visitors must drive to the entrance gate, paying at the gate, drive into the parking lot, park their car and walk through the light show display. Garden of Lights Hotline: (301) 962-1453. This illuminated outdoor winter garden walk includes a whimsical monster, an enchanting persimmon tree, a walk through kaleidoscope caterpillar, and an animated flying cardinal.

Where: Brookside Gardens, 1800 Glenallen Ave., Wheaton

When: Through Jan. 6; see website for times

Info: $25/car Friday to Sunday; $20 Monday to Thursday;

3. Symphony of Lights in Columbia: New Year's Eve event! Symphony of Lights is a spectacular drive-through display of more than 75 animated and stationary holiday lights. All proceeds from the Symphony of Lights benefit the services of Howard County General Hospital.

Where: Symphony Woods, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: $20/car; 410-740-7840;

4. The National Christmas Tree: Since 1923, the United States has held a tradition of lighting a National Christmas Tree in Washington, DC. In 1978, a live 40-foot Colorado blue spruce was transplanted from York, Pennsylvania to its present site on the Ellipse, the grassy area south of the White House. In 1954, a "Pathway of Peace," 56 smaller, decorated trees representing all 50 states, five territories, and the District of Columbia were planted surrounding the National Christmas Tree.

Where: The Ellipse, 1600 Constitution Ave. NW

When: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., through Tuesday

Info: Free;

5. Mason Neck State Park and Wildlife Refuge: Spot bald eagles, hundreds of herons and numerous other avian species soaring over an 1,814-acre park adjoining a 2,000-acre wildlife refuge.

Where: 7603 High Point Road, Lorton

When: Any season

Info: Free; 703-490-4979;

Best Gatherings

1. Kwanzaa Celebration: Melvin Deal and the African American Heritage Drummers and Dancers celebrate the spirit of Kwanzaa with music, dance and ceremony.

Where: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, 1600 Morris Road SE

When: 10 a.m. Friday

Info: Free; 202-633-4844;

2. Holiday Hand Dance: Instructors take the stage for a program featuring the art of hand dancing, a form of swing dance that first originated in Washington, D.C. Free dance lessons begin at 5 p.m.

Where: Millennium Stage, Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

When: 6 p.m. Friday

Info: Free; 202-467-4600;

3. Riversdale House: An 1812 Winter's Evening: Take a self-guided tour of the house and enjoy refreshments, live music and children's activities.

Where: Riversdale House Museum, 4811 Riversdale Road, Riversdale

When: Tours on quarter hour, 12:15 through 3:15

Info: $1 to $3; 301-864-0420;

4. See what's at the Botanic Gardens: Among many other things, you'll find in the Garden Court colorful foliage and flowers featuring economic and ethno-botanical plants used in products that provide our fibers, food, beverages, cosmetics, wood, and more. In the Jungle, you'll find a tropical rainforest overtaking an abandoned plantation.

Where: Conservatory, National Botanic Gardens, 100 Maryland Ave. SW

When: The Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park are open every day of the year.

Info: Free;

5. Christmas on the Potomac and ICE!: Adults and children will enjoy Gaylord National's popular winter holiday attractions. ICE! returns featuring DreamWorks' Shrek the Halls. The animated holiday TV special will be brought to life in an interactive world of colorful ice sculptures including incredible 20-foot-tall ice slides carved from two million pounds of ice.

Where: Gaylord Resort, 201 Waterfront St.

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: 301-965-2000;

Best Family

1. Kristmas Kaboose: Families can watch trains come into the railroad, play games, and listen to stories. Best for ages 1 to 10.

Where: Bowie Railroad and Huntington Museum, 8614 Chestnut Ave., Bowie

When: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday

Info: 301-809-3089;

2. "A Brown Bear, a Moon, and a Caterpillar": Treasured Stories by Eric Carle. This Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia production featuring Carle's beloved The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, and Papa,Please Get the Moon for Me, is the perfect children's introduction to theater.

Where: Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: $18; 202-467-4600;

3. "Winter Break Week Special Programs": Kids can try out painting charcoal drawing (Thursday) and pen and ink drawing (Friday).

Where: National Portrait Gallery, 8th and F streets NW

When: 1 to 4 p.m. through Friday

Info: Free; 202-633-1000

4. "See, Hear, Sketch: Owls in the Winter Night": Arlington's three owl species are active hunters in the winter months. You will learn about their cold-weather habits and make detailed drawings of some of their most unique features: feathers, eyes, and feet. Art supplies will be provided, but feel free to bring your own sketchbook and pencil. For info, call 703-228-3403. For kids ages 5 to 9.

Where: Gulf Branch Nature Center, 3608 Military Road, Arlington

When: 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday

Info: $5; registration required: 703-228-4747; program No. 622823-S

5. New Year's Eve Stroll & Campfire: Families. Children must register with an accompanying adult. Explore the park as the last night of the year settles in. Then ring out the old and bring in the new by tossing your resolutions into a "wishing campfire." Bundle up and bring a flashlight. For info, call 703-228-3403.

Where: Gulf Branch Nature Center, 3608 Military Road, Arlington

When: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Monday

Info: $5; Registration required: 703-228-4747; program No. 622853-H

Best Theater

1. "A Midsummer Night's Dream": Mismatched lovers Hermia, Lysander, Demetrius and Helena flee to the forest outside Athens, but they run into a supernatural squabble that will alter their destinies forever. Will mischievous Puck create harmony or cacophony within the forest? Will Bottom and his Mechanicals put on a successful show for the Duke? Love, magic and wonder fill the air as dreams blend with reality in this must-see Shakespeare classic.

Where: Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: 202-547-1122;

2. "A Christmas Carol": Join the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as they lead the miserly Ebeneezer Scrooge on a journey of transformation and redemption. This music-infused production captures the magic and joy of Dickens's Yuletide classic. Acclaimed Washington stage actor Edward Gero returns to play Scrooge.

Where: Ford's Theatre, 511 10th St. NW

When: Through Sunday

Info: $67.50 to $97.50; 202-347-4833;

3. "Altar Boyz": Musical about five young men, a heavenly guy-group. Full of sharp parody and irreverent humor, this spoof is a mix of clever songs and energetic dancing.

Where: 1st Stage, 1524 Springhill Road, McLean

When: Through Sunday

Info: $15 to $30; 703-854-1856;

4. "Les Miserables": Cameron Mackintosh presents this mega-hit with new staging and scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo.

Where: National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

When: Through Sunday

Info: $40 to $118; 800-447-7400;

Best Galleries

1. Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture: Arguably Scandinavia's most celebrated living artist, Per Kirkeby is also a geologist, and his paintings and sculpture can be interpreted as a kind of dialogue between art and science. This collection of 26 paintings and 11 bronzes is the most comprehensive showing his work has yet received in the United States.

Where: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: $12, $10 students, seniors 62+, military, free for museum members and youth age 18 and under; 202-387-2151;

2. John Sapp: A Retrospective: These peaceful rural scenes comprise the first public exhibit of the work of 79-year-old self-taught painter John Sapp, who also happens to be a naval aviator, former C.I.A. operative and chef.

Where: Studio 1469, 1469 Harvard St. Rear NW

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: Free; 202-518-0804;

3. A/way Home: Curated by Jarvis DuBois, this show interrogates the concept of "home," something many of us can't help but do during the holidays.

Where: District of Columbia Arts Center, 2438 18th St. NW

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: Free;

4. Felipe Pereira Goncalves: MAGIC: This site-specific multimedia window installation by Baltimore artist Felip Pereri Goncalves gives the gallery storefront space on P Street the appearance of a frozen cave, beckoning with mystery.

Where: Transformer, 1404 P St. NW

When: Through Jan. 5

Info: Free; 202-483-1102;

5. Washington: Symbol and City: This holiday week is your last chance to check out this examination of how Washington, DC's architectural realities live up to the city's grand aspirations. It closes New Year's Day.

When: National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW

When: Closing Tuesday

Info: Free; donations accepted;

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