Events

16 Things You Must Do in DC This December

Published On 11/30/2015 Published On 11/30/2015
Courtesy of Ugly Sweater Run

Welcome winter with open arms because it means holiday beers, warming cocktails, and legitimate reasons to tell grandma you’ve been wearing that hideous sweater she gave you. Best of all, this year, it brings a month-long pop-up at Mockingbird Hill called Miracle on 7th Street that’s different every day of the week. Add that and these 15 other things to your to-do list. 

Greg Powers

Date

Event

Location

Dec 1-24

Countdown to Christmas with cocktails Bibiana seduces with cocktails every holiday season with its 25 Cocktails of Christmas. The bar rolls out one drink per night starting on November 30th and ending on Christmas Eve. All drinks are priced at $12, and highlights include the Fichi with Maker’s Mark, pureed figs, maple syrup, and vanilla sugar; an aged Negroni; classic eggnog with a twist; and the Clementina with Campari, fresh clementine juice, lemon, and prosecco. 

Bibiana

Countdown to Christmas with cocktails Bibiana Bibiana seduces with cocktails every holiday season with its 25 Cocktails of Christmas. The bar rolls out one drink per night starting on November 30th and ending on Christmas Eve. All drinks are priced at $12, and highlights include the Fichi with Maker’s Mark, pureed figs, maple syrup, and vanilla sugar; an aged Negroni; classic eggnog with a twist; and the Clementina with Campari, fresh clementine juice, lemon, and prosecco. 

Joy Asico

Date

Event

Location

Dec 1-24

Play Manischewitz pong at a pop-up Kiss the Mockingbird Hill you know (and love) goodbye for a month. The sherry bar is transforming into a pop-up winter wonderland that rivals the North Pole in terms of festiveness. Each day of the week brings a different delight. Tuesdays=holiday movie night starting at 7pm with free popcorn; Wednesdays=Hanukkah takeover night with Manischewitz pong; and Fridays=Ledroit “Bad Santa Happy Hour” where you can get your photo taken in compromising positions with a too jolly Saint Nick. Expect the month-long drink list of $12 cocktails to match the creativity.

Mockingbird Hill

Play Manischewitz pong at a pop-up Mockingbird Hill Kiss the Mockingbird Hill you know (and love) goodbye for a month. The sherry bar is transforming into a pop-up winter wonderland that rivals the North Pole in terms of festiveness. Each day of the week brings a different delight. Tuesdays=holiday movie night starting at 7pm with free popcorn; Wednesdays=Hanukkah takeover night with Manischewitz pong; and Fridays=Ledroit “Bad Santa Happy Hour” where you can get your photo taken in compromising positions with a too jolly Saint Nick. Expect the month-long drink list of $12 cocktails to match the creativity.

Courtesy of Renaissance Dupont Circle Hotel

Date

Event

Location

Dec 1-31

Celebrate Festivus for the Rest of Us If you were somehow barred from watching TV in the ‘90s, the secular holiday includes a Festivus pole of miracles, the airing of grievances, and feats of strength. The Renaissance Dupont Circle Hotel will take on all of these with a month-long celebration. There will be a carnival high striker, a place to make donations to the Children’s Miracle Network (in exchange for baked goods), a wall to post grievances, and playful food & drink. While meatloaf is the signature dish of Festivus, also expect fried chicken bites, lobster bisque shooters, and risotto balls. 

Renaissance Dupont Circle

Celebrate Festivus for the Rest of Us Renaissance Dupont Circle If you were somehow barred from watching TV in the ‘90s, the secular holiday includes a Festivus pole of miracles, the airing of grievances, and feats of strength. The Renaissance Dupont Circle Hotel will take on all of these with a month-long celebration. There will be a carnival high striker, a place to make donations to the Children’s Miracle Network (in exchange for baked goods), a wall to post grievances, and playful food & drink. While meatloaf is the signature dish of Festivus, also expect fried chicken bites, lobster bisque shooters, and risotto balls. 

Courtesy of Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken

Date

Event

Location

Dec 1 Tue

Devour beer & donut pairings Winter beers paired with doughnuts. Say no more? We will anyway. Penn Social is hosting a beer and donut happy hour with Sam Adams suds and treats from Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. Attendees will get a flight of five Sam Adams seasonal brews, a pour of Sam Adams Merry Maker, donuts, and brewing advice (if that’s your thing). Happy hour runs from 6-8pm and tickets are $13.65.

Penn Quarter

Devour beer & donut pairings Penn Quarter Winter beers paired with doughnuts. Say no more? We will anyway. Penn Social is hosting a beer and donut happy hour with Sam Adams suds and treats from Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. Attendees will get a flight of five Sam Adams seasonal brews, a pour of Sam Adams Merry Maker, donuts, and brewing advice (if that’s your thing). Happy hour runs from 6-8pm and tickets are $13.65.

Courtesy of Buffalo & Bergen 

Date

Event

Location

Dec 2 Wed

Be a good host Mixtress Gina Chersevani doesn't want you to spend your whole cocktail party shaking and stirring something subpar while ignoring your friends. Her December 2nd class will teach you how to be a guest in your own home so you can party, too. Learn easy, stress-free drinks that can be made ahead of time, and of course sample away. The class runs from 6-8pm and costs $45. Call for reservations 202-543-2549.

Buffalo & Bergen

Be a good host Buffalo & Bergen Mixtress Gina Chersevani doesn't want you to spend your whole cocktail party shaking and stirring something subpar while ignoring your friends. Her December 2nd class will teach you how to be a guest in your own home so you can party, too. Learn easy, stress-free drinks that can be made ahead of time, and of course sample away. The class runs from 6-8pm and costs $45. Call for reservations 202-543-2549.

Courtesy of Roadfood

Date

Event

Location

Dec 3 Thu

Eat your way across the USA The Roadfood team is rolling into town to serve a dinner of iconic dishes from across the country like Nashville hot chicken. Hear from Jane & Michael Stern who have netted three James Beard Awards. They’ll share tips on how to find the best food while on the road. The $95 ticket includes a multi-course dinner; unlimited beer and wine; and a copy of the Stern’s book highlighting 900 eateries. Dinner will be served at St. Francis Hall from 6:30-9pm. 

St. Francis Hall

Eat your way across the USA St. Francis Hall The Roadfood team is rolling into town to serve a dinner of iconic dishes from across the country like Nashville hot chicken. Hear from Jane & Michael Stern who have netted three James Beard Awards. They’ll share tips on how to find the best food while on the road. The $95 ticket includes a multi-course dinner; unlimited beer and wine; and a copy of the Stern’s book highlighting 900 eateries. Dinner will be served at St. Francis Hall from 6:30-9pm. 

Courtesy of The National Tree

Date

Event

Location

Dec 3-6

Get lit up Fall Out Boy, Andra Day, and Crosby, Stills & Nash will be among the musicians that will serenade the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 3rd. More info about the event can be found here. Want more holiday cheer? The National Hanukkah Menorah will be lit on Sunday, December 6th at 4pm. Expect hot latkes, donuts, music, and more. Tickets are free, but required. 

White House Ellipse

Get lit up White House Ellipse Fall Out Boy, Andra Day, and Crosby, Stills & Nash will be among the musicians that will serenade the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on December 3rd. More info about the event can be found here. Want more holiday cheer? The National Hanukkah Menorah will be lit on Sunday, December 6th at 4pm. Expect hot latkes, donuts, music, and more. Tickets are free, but required. 

Laura Hayes/Thrillist

Date

Event

Location

Dec 4 Fri

Celebrate like booze just became legal This year’s blowout ball at the historic Carnegie Library commemorates the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Dawn your best 1920s and ‘30s garb and get ready to imbibe. The city’s best bartenders, plus notable guests from out of town, will be there serving recipes they spent weeks perfecting. New this year is a silent auction where you can win rare bottles of Scotch, private cocktail classes, and more. VIP entry ($110) is at 8pm, General admission ($80) is at 9pm, and the party runs until 11pm. 

Carnegie Library

Celebrate like booze just became legal Carnegie Library This year’s blowout ball at the historic Carnegie Library commemorates the 82nd anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition. Dawn your best 1920s and ‘30s garb and get ready to imbibe. The city’s best bartenders, plus notable guests from out of town, will be there serving recipes they spent weeks perfecting. New this year is a silent auction where you can win rare bottles of Scotch, private cocktail classes, and more. VIP entry ($110) is at 8pm, General admission ($80) is at 9pm, and the party runs until 11pm. 

Date

Event

Location

Dec 4 Fri

Drink quite the 12-pack The notoriously festive Black Squirrel is at it again. On December 4th and 5th it'll pour the 12 (or more) Beers of Christmas. There’s a nice mix of Christmas ales, holiday saisons, imperial stouts, and even a quadrupel called Saint Bernardus Christmas ale. The glugging starts at 5pm and don’t be surprised if Christmas cookies, oyster stew, and a special holiday burger make an appearance.

The Black Squirrel

Drink quite the 12-pack The Black Squirrel The notoriously festive Black Squirrel is at it again. On December 4th and 5th it'll pour the 12 (or more) Beers of Christmas. There’s a nice mix of Christmas ales, holiday saisons, imperial stouts, and even a quadrupel called Saint Bernardus Christmas ale. The glugging starts at 5pm and don’t be surprised if Christmas cookies, oyster stew, and a special holiday burger make an appearance.

Courtesy of Flying Dog Brewery

Date

Event

Location

Dec 8 Tue

Attend a beer dinner with cheer Firefly is hosting a 100 Mile Supper Series with Flying Dog featuring the Maryland brewery’s best seasonal beers. The four-course meal starring both boudin blanc and duck breast costs $55 with beer pairings (Counter Culture ale, Pearl Necklace Oyster stout, K-9 winter ale, and Brewhouse Rarities Spiced Pear ale). Dinner runs from 6:30-8:30pm.

Firefly

Attend a beer dinner with cheer Firefly Firefly is hosting a 100 Mile Supper Series with Flying Dog featuring the Maryland brewery’s best seasonal beers. The four-course meal starring both boudin blanc and duck breast costs $55 with beer pairings (Counter Culture ale, Pearl Necklace Oyster stout, K-9 winter ale, and Brewhouse Rarities Spiced Pear ale). Dinner runs from 6:30-8:30pm.

Courtesy of Ugly Sweater Run

Date

Event

Location

Dec 12 Sat

Run a race that’s as Christmas as Home Alone If you’re going to cash in on your couch-to-5k program, this is the race to make your move. The pressure is off given that everyone is wearing the ugliest holiday sweater they own (or um, borrowed), and beer is waiting for you at the finish line. All runners receive a vintage knit hat, all-you-can-drink hot chocolate, one beer, and a winter wonderland of snow blowers and inflatables. Sport your best real or fake mustaches and beards to win prizes. The start time is 9am, and registration costs $40 in advance, $50 day of. 

National Harbor

Run a race that’s as Christmas as Home Alone National Harbor If you’re going to cash in on your couch-to-5k program, this is the race to make your move. The pressure is off given that everyone is wearing the ugliest holiday sweater they own (or um, borrowed), and beer is waiting for you at the finish line. All runners receive a vintage knit hat, all-you-can-drink hot chocolate, one beer, and a winter wonderland of snow blowers and inflatables. Sport your best real or fake mustaches and beards to win prizes. The start time is 9am, and registration costs $40 in advance, $50 day of. 

Courtesy of 3 Stars Brewing Company

Date

Event

Location

Dec 13 Sun

Buy presents that don’t get re-gifted Arts & Artisans is a holiday hat-trick. First, it’s a blast of a party in a brewery where you can indulge in Dirty South Deli, Sloppy Mama’s Barbecue, and Rappahannock River Oysters. Then there’s the fact you can “shop small” and score all of your gifts -- many of them irresistible and edible (which means no re-gifting). Finally a DJ will be spinning tunes and the Bohemian Belly Dance Troupe will perform. Also plan to see Buttercream Bakeshop, Millstone Cellars, WhistlePig Whiskey, Jerkface Jerky, and Qualia Coffee. The event runs from 1-6pm and tickets are $15. 

3 Stars Brewing Company

Buy presents that don’t get re-gifted 3 Stars Brewing Company Arts & Artisans is a holiday hat-trick. First, it’s a blast of a party in a brewery where you can indulge in Dirty South Deli, Sloppy Mama’s Barbecue, and Rappahannock River Oysters. Then there’s the fact you can “shop small” and score all of your gifts -- many of them irresistible and edible (which means no re-gifting). Finally a DJ will be spinning tunes and the Bohemian Belly Dance Troupe will perform. Also plan to see Buttercream Bakeshop, Millstone Cellars, WhistlePig Whiskey, Jerkface Jerky, and Qualia Coffee. The event runs from 1-6pm and tickets are $15. 

Date

Event

Location

Dec 14 Mon

Attend the trump card of tap takeovers Hope you’re sitting down, because this is huge. On December 14th, ChurchKey will pour 35 rare holiday ales on draft and cask from usual suspect countries, plus Norway, France, Denmark, and Canada. The beers will be available from 4pm to close by the pint and by 4oz taster pour, and there’s no cover charge. However, as with previous years, ChurchKey’s holiday shindig doubles as a canned food drive for Martha’s Table. Bring a can or cash donation for a free 4oz taster (priced at $3 or less). Highlights include 8 Maids-a-Milking from The Bruery; Santa’s Butt from Ridgeway; Gingerbread stout from Hardywood; and Christmas Angel from Serafijn.

Location

Attend the trump card of tap takeovers Location Hope you’re sitting down, because this is huge. On December 14th, ChurchKey will pour 35 rare holiday ales on draft and cask from usual suspect countries, plus Norway, France, Denmark, and Canada. The beers will be available from 4pm to close by the pint and by 4oz taster pour, and there’s no cover charge. However, as with previous years, ChurchKey’s holiday shindig doubles as a canned food drive for Martha’s Table. Bring a can or cash donation for a free 4oz taster (priced at $3 or less). Highlights include 8 Maids-a-Milking from The Bruery; Santa’s Butt from Ridgeway; Gingerbread stout from Hardywood; and Christmas Angel from Serafijn.

Courtesy of Mad Fox Brewing Company

Date

Event

Location

Dec 14 Mon

Mix and jingle with brewers Join brewers from the DMV at the Falls Church location of Mad Fox for a festive holiday beer tasting. Breweries will be announced here, and they’ll all be pouring craft winter selections. The tasting is $45 per person and a portion of the proceeds will go to a good cause. Doors open at 6pm and the tasting starts at 7pm.

Mad Fox

Mix and jingle with brewers Mad Fox Join brewers from the DMV at the Falls Church location of Mad Fox for a festive holiday beer tasting. Breweries will be announced here, and they’ll all be pouring craft winter selections. The tasting is $45 per person and a portion of the proceeds will go to a good cause. Doors open at 6pm and the tasting starts at 7pm.

Courtesy of CityCenterDC

Date

Event

Location

Dec 19 Sat

Sing along at CityCenterDC There’s a new tree in town that may make the National Tree a little jealous. The 75-footer can be found in CityCenterDC. See it in its best light on December 19th when Gay’s Men Chorus of Washington performs holiday music starting at 5:30pm. When your toes start to get cold there are plenty of places to duck into for a meal, including top picks Centrolina, Momofuku CCDC, and Mango Tree. 

CityCenterDC

Sing along at CityCenterDC CityCenterDC There’s a new tree in town that may make the National Tree a little jealous. The 75-footer can be found in CityCenterDC. See it in its best light on December 19th when Gay’s Men Chorus of Washington performs holiday music starting at 5:30pm. When your toes start to get cold there are plenty of places to duck into for a meal, including top picks Centrolina, Momofuku CCDC, and Mango Tree. 

Courtesy of Sloppy Mama’s Barbeque 

Date

Event

Location

Dec 30-31

Get smoked in Brookland Fans of Sloppy Mama’s Barbecue rejoice because for five days you don’t have to chase down a food truck to try its sweet, sweet meats. Sloppy Mama's is teaming up with Brookland’s Finest for a collaboration menu including smoked wings, pulled pork, beef brisket, and sides you would expect like cheesy grits and spicy greens. The menu is available a la carte; however, if you swing by on New Years Eve, there’s also a $35 tasting menu available ending with smoked chocolate truffles. 

Brookland’s Finest

Get smoked in Brookland Brookland’s Finest Fans of Sloppy Mama’s Barbecue rejoice because for five days you don’t have to chase down a food truck to try its sweet, sweet meats. Sloppy Mama's is teaming up with Brookland’s Finest for a collaboration menu including smoked wings, pulled pork, beef brisket, and sides you would expect like cheesy grits and spicy greens. The menu is available a la carte; however, if you swing by on New Years Eve, there’s also a $35 tasting menu available ending with smoked chocolate truffles. 

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