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The 19 best things to do around NoVA in December

From holiday performances to comedy shows, here are the events worth your while this month.

the pentatonix band
Photo by Chris Haston / NBCU Photobank / NBCUniversal via Getty Images

1. You’ll be rockin’ around the Christmas tree when a cappella group Pentatonix comes to NoVa for A Pentatonix Christmas Tour. The three-time Grammy Award winners recently released their newest Christmas album, The Best of Pentatonix Christmas, which includes classic songs like “Hallelujah” and “Little Drummer Boy” and new covers “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” and “Joyful, Joyful.”  // Dec. 5, 7 p.m.; EagleBank Arena: 4500 Patriot Circle, Fairfax; $64-$720

rhys darby
Photo courtesy of Arlington Drafthouse & Cinema

2. Rhys Darby, best known as ‘Murray’ from the HBO series Flight of the Conchords, is bringing his unique stand-up comedy act to Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse this month. We spoke with the New Zealander about his upcoming performance, here. // Dec. 5, 6 and 7; Arlington Cinema & Drafthouse: 2903 Columbia Pike, Arlington; $25

apple cider doughnuts
Photo courtesy of Sur La Table

3. Learn how to make pastries like a New Englander at Sur La Table’s American Doughnut Workshop. Participants will be making three different doughnuts: a Boston cream pie doughnut, maple bar doughnut and an apple cider cake doughnut, to take home and enjoy. // Dec. 7 & 29, 10 a.m.; Sur La Table: 1101 S. Joyce St., Suite B-20, Arlington; $59

4. Gather at Jammin Java for Todd Wright’s 17th Annual Santa Clauster-f@%! Christmas Spectacular. This ultimate two-day Christmas concert will feature 60 different musicians from a variety of genres, including folk, rock and heavy metal. The catch? They’ll perform without ever rehearsing beforehand. // Dec. 22 & 23, 8 p.m.; Jammin Java: 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna; $20-$40

john waters
Photo by Greg Gorman

5. Director, actor and comedian extraordinaire John Waters presents his one-man show, A John Waters Christmas: Filthier & Merrier, just before the holidays. The Maryland native is best known for directing cult classics Hairspray, Cry-Baby and Pink Flamingos. // Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.; The Birchmere: 3701 Mount Vernon Ave., Alexandria; $55

6. Charles M. Schulz’s iconic A Charlie Brown Christmas is heading to the stage. This classic Peanuts tale, at the Prince William Little Theatre, follows Charlie Brown and Linus as they try to find the real meaning of Christmas. // Dec. 13-15 & 20-22, times vary; Hylton Performing Arts Center: 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas; $13-$20

a couple with their dog
Photo courtesy of Fredericksburg Regional Tourism

7. The People & Their Pets exhibition focuses on the cherished relationship between Fredericksburg residents and their beloved pets. Learn about the city’s history of pet ownership through these cute four-legged friends. // through Dec. 30; Fredericksburg Area Museum: 907 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg; free

8. Laugh off the stress of the holidays at the Last Ham Standing improv comedy show. Those who loved the hit TV show Whose Line Is It Anyway? will get a kick out of the NoVA version. // Dec. 28, 8 p.m.; NextStop Theatre Company: 269 Sunset Park Drive, Herndon; $20

a nutcracker figurine
© christianthiel.net / stock.adobe.com

9. The Fairfax Symphony Orchestra and the Fairfax Ballet are coming together to present Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. This traditional holiday tale is always a family favorite from the dancing Sugar Plum Fairy to the battling Mouse King and toy soldiers. Find other locations across the region that are hosting their own performances of the Christmas classic here. // Dec. 21 & 22, 4 p.m.; George Mason University Center for the Arts: 4373 Mason Pond Drive, Fairfax; $44-$94

10. Join author Ted Merwin for an in-depth discussion of the Jewish deli during When Harry Met Sally: The Jewish Deli in Pop Culture. Participants will learn about the rise of the Jewish deli in American culture during the 20th century. A boxed deli lunch, including a half corned beef sandwich, will be provided before the program. // Dec. 19, 1-3:30 p.m.; Pozez Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia: 8900 Little River Turnpike, Fairfax; $28

ronnie spector in a santa claus outfit
Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap

11. Ronnie Spector & The Ronettes are back at Wolf Trap for the group’s Best Christmas Party Ever! performance. The ’60s girl group will blend classics “Be My Baby” and “Baby, I Love You” with Christmas hits “Sleigh Ride” and “Frosty the Snowman” for an epic holiday party you won’t want to miss. // Dec. 5 & 6, 8 p.m.; The Barns: 1635 Trap Road, Vienna; $52-$57

12. Celebrate Alexandria’s rich, Scottish heritage at the 49th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade. The festivities start with the Taste of Scotland dinner, featuring a Scotch tasting menu and other Scottish delicacies. The jolly weekend continues Saturday with The Christmas Walk Parade and Holiday Homes Tour through some of Old Town’s most elegant homes, all decorated for the holidays. // Dec. 6 & 7; Old Town Alexandria: 323 S. Saint Asaph St., Alexandria; free admission for parade, $40 for homes tour, $110-$290 for Taste of Scotland

arlington national cemetery
Photo by Elizabeth Fraser / Arlington National Cemetery

13. Remember fallen U.S. veterans and honor those who serve by volunteering for Wreaths Across America at Arlington National Cemetery. Participants will help lay 253,000 wreaths on the graves of veterans to pay tribute to their sacrifices. Help the organization reach its goal by sponsoring a wreath online. // Dec. 14, 8:30 a.m.; Arlington National Cemetery: 1 Memorial Ave., Fort Meyer; free 

rose art made out of toilet paper
Photo by Michelle Reiso, Toilet Paper Flowers

14. Explore the amazing world of art at Workhouse Arts Center’s Second Saturday Art Walk. Wander through the 12 campus galleries while discovering new mediums and meeting with the artists behind the creations. // Dec. 14, 6-9 p.m.; Workhouse Arts Center: 9518 Workhouse Way, Lorton; free 

george washington's mount vernon candelight christmas event
Photo courtesy of George Washington’s Mount Vernon

15. See what Christmas was like during the 18th century at the Mount Vernon by Candlelight home tour and celebration. Join Martha Washington and other Mount Vernon residents as they share holiday traditions and stories of the past, while leading you through the historic estate by lantern. // Select dates in December; George Washington’s Mount Vernon: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon; $18-$26

16. Just in time for the holiday season, Synetic Theater presents The Snow Queen. This adaptation of author Hans Christian Anderson’s classic fairy tale follows Gerda as she journeys to the Snow Kingdom to save her best friend from the Snow Queen. // Dec. 3-29, times vary; Synetic Theater: 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington; $15-$30

17. Join artists for the opening reception of the new Winter Light exhibit at Franklin Park Arts Center. The exhibit will feature artwork of all mediums that encapsulate the beauty and magic of winter light, from holiday lights to those cold winter sunsets. This show will run at the center from Dec. 6 to Jan. 5. // Dec. 8, 1 p.m.; Franklin Park Arts Center: 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville; free 

middleburg christmas parade
Photo by Jim Poston

18. Middleburg transforms into a winter wonderland for the town’s annual Christmas in Middleburg experience. Guests can meet with Santa, watch the parade along Washington Street and shop for gifts at the craft fair at this popular, picturesque event. // Dec. 7; 8 a.m.-6 p.m.; Town of Middleburg: 10 W. Marshall St., Middleburg; free admission

19. Take a step back from the craziness of American politics and get your laughs in with Capitol Steps. The satire group’s latest album, The Lyin’ Kings, deals with the upcoming election, Russian interference and the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings. When it comes to the comedians of Capitol Steps, no politician is off limits. // Dec. 15, 6 p.m.; Tally Ho Theater: 19 W. Market St., Leesburg; $30-$35

This post originally appeared in our December 2019 issue. Want more fun things to do? Subscribe to our newsletters.

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