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The List for Nov. 22

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Entertainment

Best Music

1. Chanticleer: The Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble rings in the holiday season with its beloved Christmas concert of ancient hymns, sacred works, traditional carols and holiday favorites.

Where: George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Info: $24 to $48; 888-945-2468; cfa.gmu.edu

2. John Eaton: The piano player, vocalist, musicologist and humorist presents "Cotton Club Blues & Concert Hall Rhapsodies," an evening of classics by George Gershwin and Harold Arlen.

Where: The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna

When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

Info: $25; 877-WOLFTRAP (965-3872); wolftrap.org

3. The Grandsons: The rock 'n' roll quartet, winner of a 2007 Wammie for Best Roots Recording for "Live at the Barns- The Legendary Wolf Trap Recordings, Volume Two," mixes R&B, rockabilly, swing and country two-step.

Where: The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna

When: 8 p.m. Friday

Info: $18; 877-WOLFTRAP (965-3872); wolftrap.org

4. The Seldom Scene and the Dry Branch Fire Squad: The old-time bluegrass favorites give thanks for a multitude of fans.

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

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Info: $35; 800-745-3000; birchmere.com

Best Galleries

1. Current Recorder: Artist Billy Friebele's "kinetic, found object sculpture" is powered by an outdoor windmill as well as indoor motion sensors that keep it churning out abstract drawings of spheres at a rate of one per day. Each day's drawing will be a record of how much physical activity occurred within the gallery.

Where: Hamiltonian Gallery, 1353 U St. NW

When: Through Dec. 29

Info: Free; 202-332-1116; hamiltoniangallery.com

2. Fabulous! Portraits by Michele Mattei: Michelle Mattei's bold, dynamic portraits of musicians, sculptors, dancers and designers pay tribute to some of the women whose labors have shaped modern culture.

Where: National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Ave. NW

When: Through Jan. 22

Info: $10, $8 seniors (65+) and students, free for members and visitors 18 and under; 202-783-5000; nmwa.org

3. Per Kirkeby: Paintings and Sculpture: The most expansive U.S. survey to date of Scandinavia's most celebrated living artist, who also happens to be a trained geologist. The dialogue between art and science reverberates throughout these 26 paintings and 11 bronzes.

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

When: Through Jan. 6

Info: $12, $10 students and seniors (62+), free for members and visitors 18 and under; 202-387-2151; phillipscollection.org

4. Political Wits, 100 Years Apart: This collection of political cartoons by Honore Daumier and Patrick Oliphant finds thematic connections in the works of two of the sharpest political wits of the 19th and 20th centuries, respectively.

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

When: Through Jan. 20

Info: $12, $10 students and seniors (62+), free for members and visitors 18 and under; 202-387-2151; phillipscollection.org

5. Ripple Effect: Currents of Socially Engaged Art: "Temporary urban actions, humorous and subversive social experimentations, and collaborative pedagogy" is the prescription for this selection avant-garde work, curated by Raquel de Anda, which boasts an international cast but a special emphasis on artists from the D.C. region.

Where: Art Museum of the Americas, 201 18th St. NW

When: Through Jan. 13

Info: Free; 202-458-6016; museum.oas.org

Best Outdoors

1. Winter Lights Festival Preview Weekend: A 3.5-mile drive, 380 illuminated displays and 60 animated vignettes that include Teddy Bear Land, Victorian Village and the North Pole. Proceeds will benefit local charities.

Where: Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg

When: 6 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; after Nov. 30 open nightly except Christmas through Dec. 31

Info: $12 to $15; 301-258-6350; dnr.state.md.us

2. Reston Holiday Parade: This year's theme is "Come out to Play!" with floats, costumed characters, community groups, antique cars and Santa and Mrs. Claus in a horse-drawn carriage in an hourlong procession along Market Street. Holiday gingerbread village on display in Hyatt Regency Reston lobby.

Where: Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St., Reston

When: Friday: parade at 11 a.m.; photos with Santa from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m.; tree lighting at 6 p.m.; carriage rides from 6:30 to 10 p.m.

Info: Free; 703-689-4699; restontowncenter.com

3. Harpers Ferry Harvest: Fall is the most beautiful time of year for ziplining and outdoor activities. The Harpers Ferry Harvest has all the thrills to fill your needs:Aerial Adventure, Harvest Hayride and more.

Where: River Riders, 408 Alstadts Hill Road, Harper's Ferry, W.Va.

When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (see website for times) through November

Info: See website for prices; 800-326-7238; riverriders.com

4. Full Moon, Poetic Nights: Enjoy a short hike by the light of the full moon as winter stars begin to rise. You'll share poems inspired by the night, as well, from nursery rhymes to sonnets. B.Y.O.F.N.P (favorite night poems). Adults and teens. For information, call 703-228-3403.

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

When: 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday

Info: Free; registration required: 703-228-4747; program No. 612842-D

5. Scavenger Hunt of the Smithsonians: Hunt for the moon rock, the Ruby Slippers, dinosaurs and the Hope Diamond. This popular scavenger hunt takes place throughout several Smithsonian museums. Look for items, answer trivia, get exciting pictures and win big prizes!

Where: Smithsonian Museums; meet outside Ben and Jerry's, Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

When: 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Info: $25; thingstododc.com

Best Family

1. Gingerbread Man Mile for Kids: Once you've stocked the refrigerator with turkey and pumpkin pie leftovers, kick off the 2012 holiday season by having the kids run in the Gingerbread Man Mile for Kids! The course covers a 1-mile loop around Reston Town Center. After the kids finish, they can enjoy delicious gingerbread cookies and take part in the Reston Town Center Holiday Festival. Packet pick-up and late registration are 7 a.m. Friday at the Potomac River Running Store at the Reston Town Center.

Where: Reston Town Center, 11900 Market St., Reston

When: 8 a.m. Friday

Info: Free; prraces.com

2. "Little Red and the Gingerbread Man": The duo run away in this show, presented by Barefoot Puppets. Best for ages 4 to 8.

Where: Discovery Theater, S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW

When: Through Friday

Info: $3 to $12; 202-633-8700; discoverytheater.org

3. Still Feeling Full? Let's Hike!: Unlike most animals getting ready for winter, humans seem to want to burn off the calories. Join together for a late fall hike to see what's happening in the woods. Ages 6 and up. Register children and adults. For information, call 703-228-3403.

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

When: 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday

Info: Free; registration required: 703-228-4747; program No. 612852-N

4. "The Nutcracker": "The Nutcracker" is the festive story of Clara-Marie's favorite toy and their adventures together in the land of the Sugarplum Fairy. Music from Tchaikovsky's famous ballet blends with marionettes and costumed characters to create this unique production.

Where: The Puppet Co., Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo

When: Friday through Dec. 30

Info: $10; 301-634-5380; thepuppetco.org

5. S'more Lights: Be whisked away to the magic of Toyland on an open-air trolley. Once there, take a magical walk among the toys, then toast your marshmallow, add chocolate and graham crackers and enjoy the melted warmth of a s'more.

Where: Seneca Creek State Park, 11950 Clopper Road, Gaithersburg

When: 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday; last transport leaves at 8 p.m.

Info: $10 for nonresidents, $8 for residents, free for children under 4; 301-258-6350; gaithersburgmd.gov

Best Gatherings

1. Thanksgiving Day Swing Dance Party with Doc Scantlin's Palmettos: Come dance off the turkey and stuffing with a festive program featuring swing music and dancing. Free swing dance lessons with Gottaswing prior to the performance at 5 p.m.

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

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

Info: Free; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324; kennedy-center.org

2. City of Alexandria Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony: The festivities include a visit from Santa, a performance of "Santa's Frosty Follies" by the Metropolitan Fine Arts Center, and caroling and a community singalong.

Where: Market Square Alexandria, 301 King St., Alexandria

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Info: Free; 703-746-5592; alexandriava.gov

3. Frederick Festival of Greens and Stockings: Nearly 100 decorated wreaths and trees, ranging from fancy to funky, are on display. Silent-auction bids on the wreaths close Dec. 3 at 5 p.m.

Where: Frederick County Cultural Arts Center, 15 N. Market St., Frederick

When: Friday through Dec. 1

Info: Free; 301-662-4190; frederickartscouncil.org

4. American Stories: A cross-section of the museum's vast collection of artifacts shows how stories and history have shaped our national identity.

Where: National Museum of American History, 10th Street and Constitution Avenue NW

When: Through Dec. 12

Info: Free; 202-633-1000; americanhistory.si.edu

5. Andrew Zimmerman: Cold River: Large black-and-white photographs reveal the frozen Colorado landscape.

Where: The Art League Gallery, 105 N. Union St., Alexandria

When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. Sunday; through Dec. 3

Info: 703-683-1780; theartleague.org

Best Brainfood

1. Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: An eye-opening look at the largely unknown cultural history of the Arabian Peninsula, this exhibition draws on recently discovered archaeological material never before seen in North America.

Where: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. SW

When: Through Feb. 24

Info: Free; 202-633-1000; roadsofarabia.com

2. Judy Jashinsky: 13 Days + 13 Nights, 1962: The Cuban Missile Crisis: Paintings and installations commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Where: Civilian Art Projects, 1019 Seventh St. NW

When: Through Dec. 1

Info: Free; 202-607-3804; civilianartprojects.com

3. African Cosmos: Stellar Arts: Ninety works illustrate the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy.

Where: National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Ave. SW

When: Through Dec. 9

Info: Free; 202-633-4600; africa.si.edu

4. Out of the Vault: Early Prints and Drawings, Benjamin Abramowitz, 1917-2011: View lithographs and drawings by the artist whose work was commissioned by the Works Progress Administration and Federal Art Project.

Where: Women's National Democratic Club, 1526 New Hampshire Ave. NW

When: Through Wednesday

Info: Tours by appointment only; 202-232-7363; democraticwoman.org

5. Faces of the Middle East: Photos document the region and its cultures.

Where: Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW

When: Through Tuesday

Info: Free; 202-387-7638; busboysandpoets.com

Best Theater

1. "Jekyll & Hyde": This pre-Broadway production is based on Robert Louis Stevenson's famous novella about a brilliant scientist who discovers his evil side. The musical stars Constantine Maroulis and Deborah Cox.

Where: Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

When: Through Sunday

Info: $25 to $115; 202-467-4600; kennedy-center.org

2. "Altar Boyz": The inspiring story follows five small-town boys trying to save the world one screaming fan at a time. Things get harder when they head for the Big Apple. With angelic voices, sharp parody, spectacular dancing and a touching story, "Altar Boyz" is destined to rock the masses of all ages and all denominations.

Where: 1st Stage, 1524 Spring Hill Road, McLean

When: Friday through Dec. 30

Info: $15 to $30; 202-854-1856; 1ststagespringhill.org

3. "The Night Before Christmas": Theater Alliance delivers Scottish playwright Anthony Neilson's darkly hilarious adult holiday play. Late on Christmas Eve, a burglar is caught breaking into a London warehouse. He claims to work for the International Gift Distribution Agency as an ... elf.

Where: H Street Playhouse, 1365 H St. NW

When: Friday through Dec. 29

Info: $15; 202-241-2539; hstreetplayhouse.com

4. "A Broadway Christmas Carol": This lively cross between the classic Dickens tale and parodies of your favorite Broadway show tunes is sure to delight.

Where: MetroStage, 1201 N. Royal St., Alexandria

When: Through Dec. 23

Info: $25 to $55; 703-548-9044; metrostage.org

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