The holidays are here, bringing with them plenty of parades and Christmas concerts — including one featuring hundreds of tuba and euphonium players. But there are also less traditional takes on December festivities, including Christmas-themed bar crawls, yoga with goats in ugly sweaters and a “Frozen” tea party. Check out a talk on the Christmas story in art at the National Gallery or glide around a giant outdoor menorah on ice skates. Other top picks include a one-woman show on the dark depths of Wikipedia, a truly creative gingerbread house contest and “kitten meditation.”
Friday, Dec. 8
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Cathedral Chorus’s “Messiah” at Washington National Cathedral
When it comes to “Messiah,” no other concert venue in Washington offers an atmosphere like Washington National Cathedral. The Cathedral Chorus and its Baroque Orchestra join forces for four performances, including an abbreviated family-friendly version. Concerts are also streamed through the cathedral’s website on a “pay what you wish” basis. Through Dec. 10; family performance Dec. 9 at noon. $59-$104; $35-$55 for family edition.
24th annual Gingerbread House Contest and Show at Darnall’s Chance
Darnall’s Chance, a historic home in Upper Marlboro, is closed for restoration this fall but is making an exception for its Gingerbread House Contest and Show. The annual display features whimsical structures made from completely edible materials — you won’t even find lollipop sticks — dreamed up by adults, children and families working together. Last year’s entries included a wedding scene, a retro camper and even a miniature Darnell’s Chance. Cast your vote in a viewer’s choice competition, but remember: No sampling. Through Dec. 10; noon to 5 p.m. $2 (cash only); free for children 4 and younger.
Bingoat: Ugly Holiday Sweater Edition
Yoga teacher Beth A. Wolfe offers yoga classes with goats, but she also organizes “Bingoat,” which is actually what it sounds like, bingo with goats. The December session of Bingoat is special, because the goats from veterinarian Maureen Roberts’s Walnut Creek Farm will be all dressed up in little holiday sweaters, scarves and hats. Wear your own ugly holiday sweater for an amazing photo opportunity with a herd of goats who look like Santa’s little helpers. Children must be 10 or older and accompanied by an adult. 6 to 7 p.m. $40.
Lights and Ice: Hanukkah Skate Night
Glide around the outdoor menorah at Canal Park Ice Rink’s Hanukkah celebration. The first 150 attendees get free skate rentals, but the live DJ music, Hanukkah-themed doughnuts and hot cider are available to all. The official menorah lighting takes place at 7 p.m., and registration is recommended. 6 p.m. Free; skate rentals for a fee.