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Despite the government shutdown, the lights are staying on at the Zoo! (Image: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/ DC Refined)

Weekend Report: 8 pre-New Year's Eve events

Friday, December 28

Zoolights: Despite the government shutdown, the lights are staying on at the Zoo! More than 500,000 lights have been installed in the National Zoo for their annual ZooLights event, which runs until Jan. 1. And don't miss out on this year's new attraction-- the gingerbread village at the elephant outpost, where you can frost some cookies and take a pic on the gingerbread throne. Free to attend.

Literary Cocktails: For a special edition of Literary Cocktails at Petworth Reading Room, bartending genius Chantal Tseng has created a stellar menu dedicated to literary giant and murder mystery maven, Agatha Christie. She'll perform a special reading of "Hercule Poirot's Christmas." Free to attend.

Timbaloo Live: If your little one has show interest in the musical world, the Kennedy Center is the place to be this weekend. Grammy Award–winning clarinetist and composer Oran Etkin will help the little ones tap into the power of their own imagination through the music of Mozart, Willie Nelson, Herbie Hancock and others. Tickets start at $20.

Ghosts & Gargoyles Tour: There's more than angels at the National Cathedral! Join a tour led by the son of the Greek artist who spent 20 years of his life carving the stones of the church. He'll share the spooky stories that only someone intimately familiar with the building and its history could know. Tickets are $25.

Saturday, December 29

The Play That Goes Wrong: What would happen if Sherlock Holmes and Monty Python had an illegitimate Broadway baby? You’d get Broadway and London’s award-winning smash comedy The Play That Goes Wrong! Tickets start at $49.

Maker Mornings at the Hirshhorn: The best way to experience the Hirshhorn Museum's exhibit "Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse" is hands-on. This is the last Saturday to create an illustration of your heartbeat using biometric technology or make a paper luminary. Free to attend.

Sunday, December 30

Sweaters and Show Tunes Brunch: The only thing that can make a hot chocolate and cider bar at The Riggsby better is nonstop show tunes bumping in the background! And if you wear an ugly holiday sweater, you can enjoy a free eggnog. Free to attend.

Aquaman Screening: Catch up on the origin story of half-human, half-Atlantean Arthur Curry as he takes on the journey of a lifetime—one that will not only force him to face who he really is, but to discover if he is worthy of who he was born to be -- a king.