LifestyleThings to Do, DMV: Weekend Rundown, Dec. 28-31

Things to Do, DMV: Weekend Rundown, Dec. 28-31

Check out a handful of the many events happening in the DMV this weekend. To keep up with all the fun, don’t forget to check out the Washington Informer Calendar. 

Maintain a vibrant outlook and remember, there’s always something happening in the DMV to keep your spirits and social life buzzing. We’ll see you in 2024. 

Thursday, Dec. 28


Time: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. | $6

Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, 3001 Connecticut Ave, Washington, D.C., 20008

Now in its 15th year, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in Washington, D.C., invites visitors to its celebrated holiday tradition, ZooLights. This annual event transforms the zoo into a winter wonderland with dozens of brilliant displays and over 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights along its pathways.

Guests can explore immersive lantern displays that showcase various habitats – rainforests, grasslands, deserts, oceans, and polar regions – and the animals that inhabit them. The event also features live music, a range of delicious treats, and ample holiday shopping opportunities.

Underground Comedy at Hotbed

Time: 8 p.m. | Free with recommended registration

Underground Comedy, 2477 18th St NW, Washington, D.C., 20009

Underground Comedy, known for its seven-year run at Big Hunt and shows at The Wonderland Ballroom has launched its own comedy club, Hotbed. On Thursdays, the club hosts a dynamic show featuring rapid-fire performances from 10 to 15 comics.

The Washington Post has praised the group as “Washington’s laugh leader.” Seating is on a  first-come, first-served basis, with standing room available once seats are taken. No registration is required for entry, but arriving early is advised as shows can reach capacity. Doors open 20 minutes before the show, and guests must be 21+ to enter.

Friday, Dec. 29

Kikombe Cha Umoja/Unity Cup Designing Workshop with Camilla Younger

Time: 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Free with registration

Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl SE, Washington, D.C., 20020

Join artist and former Washington, D.C., educator Camilla Younger for a workshop focused on Ujamaa, an important principle of Kwanzaa. Participants will design and decorate a kikombe cha umoja, or unity cup, used during the Kwanzaa celebrations.

Each day of Kwanzaa, a libation of water, wine, or juice is poured into the unity cup, from which everyone sips to symbolize family and community unity. The workshop includes a discussion on African American historical figures, aligning with the tradition of sharing knowledge after drinking from the cup.

Backyard Band

Time: 9 p.m. | 35+

The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Maryland, 20910

Since their memorable summer performance on Noochie’s front porch, Backyard Band (BYB) has been active, inaugurating the stage of the mobile Go-Go museum and holding regular shows at Ivy City Smokehouse. Catch their dynamic performance with more room to enjoy at The Fillmore.

Saturday, Dec. 30

Kwanzaa & Watch Night: Visions of Freedom

Time: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Free w/ Registration

National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, D.C., 20560

Explore the connection between Afrofuturism, Watch Night, and Kwanzaa in a unique event that encourages African Americans to envision their own freedom. The event highlights Watch Night, commemorated on the eve of January 1, 1863, when African Americans awaited the enactment of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Echoing the words of Frederick Douglass, an early Afrofuturist, who yearned for “a future with hope,” participants are invited to create scrapbooks using images from the Museum’s collection. This activity honors the tradition of scrapbooking among African Americans, who used it to affirm self-worth and envision a better future.

Kwanzaa, established in 1966, reinforces African American cultural roots and community strength. This event focuses on the last three Kwanzaa principles: Kuumba (creativity), Imani (faith), and Nia (purpose). Including scrapbooking, participants can engage in various activities that celebrate these principles.

Rebirth Brass Band

Time: 8 p.m. – 11 p.m. | $35+

The Hamilton, 600 14th St NW, Washington, D.C., 20005

For nearly four decades, the GRAMMY-winning Rebirth Brass Band has captivated audiences with their vibrant live performances and extensive musical catalog. Celebrating the New Orleans brass band tradition, their sound is a fusion of jazz, funk, soul, R&B, and local street music.

Having shared stages and collaborated with artists including the Grateful Dead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Maceo Parker, Green Day, U2, James Brown, 311, G-Love, MuteMath, Juvenile, Train, Big Freedia, Ani DiFranco, Galactic, Allen Toussaint, the Neville Brothers, Quincy Jones, and Trombone Shorty, they’re a powerhouse of musical talent. Fans of area brass music may recognize their rendition of Chuck Brown’s “Bustin Loose” from the movie “Chef” soundtrack.

Sunday, Dec. 31

Ring in the New Year with Hiraya!

Time: 5 p.m.  –  6:30 p.m. & 7:15 p.m. – 11 p.m. | $95.00 to $150.00

Hiraya, 1250 H St NE, Washington, D.C., 20002

On New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2023, Hiraya Cafe & Restaurant DC is offering two exclusive dinner experiences to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Guests have the opportunity to preview the new upstairs restaurant, opening Jan. 20.

The first seating features a five-course tasting menu from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., priced at $95 per person. Optional beverage pairings are available for an additional $55. The second seating offers a seven-course tasting menu from 7:15 p.m. to 11 p.m., priced at $150 per person, which includes a champagne toast at midnight. Beverage pairings are also available for an additional $55.

Dinner highlights include A5 Wagyu Bistek, Nata De Coco with squid, squid ink, and tobiko, Sarong Sugpo with prawns in a calamansi vinaigrette, and a decadent Mont Blanc dessert by renowned pastry chef Pichet Ong.

Oh He Dead – New Years Rockin’ Eve

Time: 7 p.m. | 35+

Union Stage, 740 Water Street SW, Washington, DC, 20024

Washington, DC-based indie soul band Oh He Dead, known for their eclectic blend of R&B, rock, and soul, is set to perform in their hometown. Founded in 2015 by lead singer CJ Johnson and Andy Valenti as an acoustic folk duo, the band has since expanded to include Alex Salser, John Daise on bass, and Adam Ashforth on drums.Fans can look forward to hearing tracks from their albums, including the self-titled “Oh He Dead” and “Blood in the Water.” Popular songs like “This Time Around,” “Lonely Sometimes,” and “Do You Ever Wonder?” are also expected to feature in what promises to be an engaging hometown show.

Source: Washington Informer

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