The final sprint to Christmas includes some events that have become seasonal fixtures in Washington: Singing along to “Messiah” at the Kennedy Center, caroling in the Willard’s lobby, and walking or driving through festive light displays. Coming days also include watching holiday movies while wearing ugly sweaters, seasonal happy hours with free or discounted drinks, an Afghan-flavored Christmas pop-up bar, seven days of Kwanzaa fun at the Anacostia Community Museum, and chances to hit the dance floor with DJs from both sides of the Atlantic.
Thursday, Dec. 21
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Caroling at the Willard InterContinental Hotel
Now in its 22nd year, Willard InterContinental’s caroling program plays host to various performers nightly through Dec. 23. The final performances include the all-woman vocal ensemble Philomela; an Austrian traditional choir called the Alpine Singers; and the City Singers, a small chorus that’s part of the City Choir of Washington. Decked out in Christmas decor and watched over by a massive tree, the hotel’s lobby is transformed into a stage — and a bar. The Moët & Chandon pop-up, which has champagne, seasonal drinks and zero-proof options, is meant to help meet outsize demand during the holiday season, when hotel guests and locals alike pop in and out for performances. Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday at 6 p.m. Free.
Miracle on Chicken Street at Lapop
One of the more unusual holiday pop-up bars in D.C. is Lapop’s Miracle on Chicken Street, which opened Tuesday and runs through Saturday in the lounge below Adams Morgan’s Lapis restaurant. The name is inspired by Kabul’s Chicken Street, a popular shopping area at the holidays. Beyond the decorations, look for tasty cocktails like the Cardamro Shakerato, an espresso martini alternative made with cardoon, allspice dram and espresso, or a tiki concoction with old tom and sloe gins, pomegranate, and mint. Some dishes from Lapis are also available, and tickets include a welcome drink from a featured distiller. Through Saturday. 5 to 9 p.m. $5 per person; reservations recommended.
‘Elf’ Ugly Sweater Party at Arlington Drafthouse
Arlington Drafthouse is dedicating its movie screen to holiday films this week, with “Miracle on 34th Street,” “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Die Hard” all on the schedule. But “Elf” is the real star, thanks to an ugly sweater party that also includes trivia, costume contests and themed cocktails. 7 p.m. $10.