<cal2>Trip to Longwood Gardens. A charter bus will depart at 7:45 a.m., from the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. S.E., and return at 8 p.m. Includes guided tour of the gardens and the Peirce-du Pont House, lunch, organ recital, conservatory visit and evening walk through the gardens decorated for the holidays. Cost is $55 for Vienna residents and $69 for out-of-town participants. For more information, call 703-255-6360.
Santa Jam 7. To benefit Northern Virginia shelters for homeless and battered women, local musicians The Nighthawks, Tommy Lepson Band, Radio Mosaic, Perry, Polman & Gamble, Bob Shellhouse, Tom Principato Band, Mary Shaver Band, Robert Lighthouse, Linwood Taylor and Jimmy Carpenter will perform, 8 p.m.-1 a.m., at The State Theatre, 220 N. Washington St., Falls Church. Admission is $10 minimum donation or one unwrapped toy presented at the door. For more information, visit www.thestatetheatre.com.
The McLean Community Center will offer a class in making a holiday gingerbread house on Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 6:30-8 p.m. $36 per family, $40 for nonresidents, $20 for each additional house. Families participate together to create a gingerbread house. The houses are provided, and the family assembles them. Call 703-790-0123 for more information.
“The Nutcracker.” Reston Conservatory of Ballet at Reston Community Center, 2310 Colts Neck Road, Dec. 10-14. Show times are Wednesday-Friday, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, at 11 a.m., 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, at noon and 3:30 p.m. Tickets range in price from $12-$15. Call 703-476-1111.
Preschool Story Time — Winter Stories. Children and their parents can listen to stories and make an animal ornament to take home. Ages 3-5. 10-10:45 a.m. or 1-1:45 p.m., at Riverbend Nature Center, 8814 Jeffrey Road, Great Falls. 703-759-9018. Reservations and advance payment required. $5.
Pocket Animals. 10:30 a.m., at Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. Kangaroo stories and activities. Ages 2-3 with adult. Call 703-356-0770 to register.
Larry Keel will be performing bluegrass at Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave. E., in Vienna. Larry Keel is a two-time Telluride Flatpicking Champion. He is supported by his wife, Jenny, on bass and David Vandevender of fiddle. Tickets are $12. Call 703-255-1566 or visit www.jamminjava.com.
The McLean Photo Club will have its next regular meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 10, at the McLean Community Center. Meet and greet from 7-7:30 p.m. Meeting starts at 7:30 p.m.
The McLean Unit of the Fairfax Area League of Women Voters will meet Wednesday, Dec. 10, at 12:30 p.m., at the McLean Community Center. The group will work on program planning for next year. The public is welcome. Call 703-448-8711 for further information.
<cal2>Estate Planning Seminar. Learn effective estate planning centered around the revocable living trust with the law firm of Steffan & Macdonald. 10 a.m.-noon at the Sheraton Premiere, 8661 Leesburg Pike, Tysons Corner. Free. For more information, call 703-691-4310.
Lisa Mosciatello will perform acoustic music at 8 p.m., at Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Ticket price is to be announced. Visit www.jamminjava.com, or call 703-255-1566, Ext. 8.
Country Christmas: Enjoy an old-fashioned evening of family holiday fun. Visit Santa in the mill and peek at antique toys under the country Victorian Christmas tree. Activities include holiday crafts, caroling and roasting marshmallows. 3-6 p.m. Colvin Run Mill, 10017 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls. 703-759-2771. $4/adults, $3/children.
Stories for All Ages. 10:30 a.m., at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Call 793-938-0405 to register.
The Newcomers Club of Vienna and Friends luncheon meeting. 12 p.m., at the Marco Polo Restaurant in Vienna. Includes a buffet lunch. For reservations and information, call 703-560-4437 or 703-938-3505.
The James Madison High School Concert Orchestra performs its holiday concert on Thursday, Dec. 11, in the school auditorium. Admission is free.
<cal2>Holiday cookie decorating for sixth-graders. 4:30-5:30 p.m., at Club Phoenix Teen Center in the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. S.E., Vienna. All materials will be provided. Free. For more information, call 703-255-6360.
The Lunch Pack. 12:30 p.m., at Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. Bring a lunch and listen to stories. Ages 2-6 with adult. Call 703-356-0770 to register.
John Austin and Erin Echo, singer-songwriters, perform selections from their new album, "Austin Echo," at 8 p.m., at Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. The Throes open the show. Tickets are $10. Call 703-255-1566, Ext. 8, for tickets.
<cal2>Live concert for high-schoolers. 7-11 p.m., at Club Phoenix Teen Center in the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. S.E., Vienna. Admission is $5. For more information, call 703-255-6360.
The Vienna Choral Society presents its "Season's Greetings" concert on Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., at the Vienna Baptist Church, 541 Marshall Road, Vienna. Tickets for adults are $15 at the door, $10 in advance; tickets for seniors and students are $10 at the door, $9 in advance. Family tickets are $25. For information, call 703-255-5508.
Eileen Ivers and Immigrant Soul, "Celtic Christmas." Eileen Ivers, violinist and chief instrumentalist of "Riverdance," leads a program infused with Irish roots, African percussion and tap dance rhythms. Tarik Winston, also a "Riverdance" alum, enhances the performance with Irish step- and tap-dancing. Tickets are $24, $34, $21. 8 p.m. at the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax. Call 703-993-2787.
Country Christmas. Enjoy old-fashioned holiday fun, 3-6 p.m., at Colvin Run Mill Historic Site. Visit Santa at the mill and peek at antique toys under the country Victorian Christmas tree. Activities include crafts, caroling and roasting marshmallows. Shop in the Colvin Run General Store. $4 adults, $3 children 3 and up. For more information, call 703-759-2771. Colvin Run Mill Historic Site is located at 10017 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls.
Annie Bear Visits Santa's Workshop. 2 p.m., at Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. Puppet show provided by Kaydee Puppets and sponsored by Friends of the Dolley Madison Library. All ages. Call 703-356-0770 to register.
Owners of Jammin’ Java, Luke and Daniel Brindley — performing as The Brindley Brothers — will host their CD release party for their latest album "Playing with the Light" at 8 p.m., at Jammin’ Java, 227 Maple Ave., Vienna. The show will be opened by Anthony Fiacco. Cost: $10. There will be door prizes, free giveaways and discounts on merchandise to celebrate the new CD. For tickets call 703-255-1566, Ext. 8.
Noted Virginia mediator Charles P. Lickson, J.D., Ph.D., returns to Freedom Hill Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, to share stories about historic first ladies. Meeting is on Saturday, Dec. 13, 12 p.m., at the American Legion Post 270, 1355 Balls Hill Road, McLean. The public is invited to attend. For membership information, call 703-356-2370 or view the Web site at http://users.erols.com/denwards/.
Pet Pictures with Santa. 12-2 p.m., at Lake Accotink Park, 703-569-0285. Bring a dog, cat or other furry friend to Lake Accotink Park for pictures with "Santa Claws." A souvenir digital photo will be recorded on a disk to take home. Cost is $5 per picture. Register early by sending name, address, phone number, program title and a check payable to Lake Accotink Park, 7500 Accotink Park, Springfield, VA 22150, or call 703-569-0285 for credit card registrations or more information. Refunds for inclement weather only. Pets must be leashed. Remember to bring a pooper scooper.
The National Council of Negro Women, Dulles Section, will host its annual Christmas luncheon at 11:30 a.m., at Marco Polo Restaurant, 245 Maple Ave. W., Vienna. Cost is $20; reservation is required. Call Shirley Downes at 703-723-5544 or Ponda Townsend at 703-648-1442. Members will bring voluntary, unwrapped donations for the Embrey Rucker Community Shelter in Reston.
The Northern Virginia Model Railroaders Inc. will be holding an open house on Saturday, Dec. 13, from 12-4 p.m. Come and see the action on Northern Virginia’s largest fixed operating "HO" scale model railroad. Featuring award-winning scenery, digital control, sound, smoke, Christmas specials. The club is located in the historic Washington & Old Dominion Railroad station, 231 Dominion Road in downtown Vienna. Admission is free; however, donations at the door will benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Fairfax. Additional information and directions can be obtained by going to www.nvmr.org, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling 703-938-5157 on the day of the open house.
Scandinavian Christmas Bazaar and Festival. Saturday, Dec. 13, 1-6 p.m. Enjoy gifts and foods from Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The program from 3-6 p.m. includes Scandinavian carols, Santa's visit, folk dancing, goodies and a St. Lucia Fest. The event takes place at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, 1545 Chain Bridge Road, McLean. Admission: $6 adults, $3 ages 6-12, $1 ages 2-5, under 2 free. $17 maximum per family. 703-734-0319.
<cal2>Fairfax Music Concert. 5 p.m., at the Sanctuary of Fairfax Presbyterian Church, 10723 Main St., Fairfax. The Sanctuary Choir of Fairfax Presbyterian Church will perform Part I of Handel's "Messiah." Free. Reception to follow. For more information, call 703-273-5300. Child care provided.
The Little Falls Chancel Choir, soloists and string ensemble will present the "Magnificat" by Francesco Durante at 8:30 and 11 a.m. This piece is a setting of Mary's song from Luke 1:46-55. From the fifth century, the Magnificat was used daily in the evening service of Vespers. The Anglican Church adapted its use for evening prayer, and various settings of the Magnificat have become an important part of the English tradition of Choral Evensong. Child care provided. Little Falls Church is located at 6025 Little Falls Road in Arlington. For more information, contact 703-538-5230. The event is free.
Tea Program. "Legends, Myths, Folklore: Holiday Stories." 1-3 p.m., at Historic Green Spring, Alexandria, 703-941-7987. Listen to stories from around the world relating to the holiday season. Stories are brought to life by storyteller Margaret Chatham, a member of Voices in the Glen. An English tea follows the program. Reservations required. $22.
Trip to Constitution Hall. The Vienna Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor a trip to Constitution Hall to enjoy a holiday concert by the U.S. Army Band with guest artist Lou Rawls on Sunday, Dec. 14. A charter bus will leave at 1:30 p.m., from the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. S.E., and return at 6 p.m. Tickets are free; transportation is $10 for Town of Vienna residents and $15 for out-of-town participants. For more information, call 703-255-3630.
18th-Century Wassail. In the dead of winter the apple trees at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm need encouragement to bear well in the coming year. Gather in the orchard to wassail the trees with singing, dancing and chants. Enjoy hot cider, sugar cakes, Colonial games and a roaring bonfire. Weather permitting. 1-4 p.m., at the Claude Moore Colonial Farm, located on Colonial Farm Road, at 6310 Georgetown Pike, in McLean. The admission of $3 for adults and $2 for children 3-12 and senior citizens includes light refreshment. For more information, call 703-442-7557, or visit www.1771.org.
"Christmas Oratorio." The 230-voice New Dominion Chorale and Orchestra present J.S. Bach's “Christmas Oratorio” Sunday, Dec. 14, at 4 p.m., at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center, 3001 N. Beauregard St., Alexandria, on the campus of Northern Virginia Community College. The performance is conducted by Thomas Beveridge, artistic director of the New Dominion Chorale, who has prepared an English translation of Bach's retelling of the story of the birth of Jesus. The audience is encouraged to sing along in the various chorales. The featured soloists include soprano Katie Katinas, alto Barbara Hollinshead, tenor Ole Hass and bass James Rogers. Advance tickets to the Dec. 14 concert are $22 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for students. Prices at the door are $2 higher. Tickets may be ordered from New Dominion Chorale at 703-442-9404. Parking is free. For more information and directions, visit www.newdominion.org.
Winter Holiday Concert. McLean Symphony’s program includes seasonal symphonic favorites such as Handel’s "And the Glory of the Lord," Jose Feliciano’s "Feliz Navidad" and Leontovich’s "Carol of the Bells." Another special attraction is the appearance of the Langston Hughes Middle School Advanced Orchestra under the direction of Irene Kohut Illchyshyn. Join the McLean Symphony Orchestra and The Lanston Hughes Middle School Advanced Orchestra on Dec. 14, at 7 p.m., at Alden Theater, located in the McLean Community Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave., McLean. For more information, check out www.mclean-symphony.org, or e-mail email@example.com. Tickets are $18/adults, $14/seniors and students. Children under 12 admitted free. For ticket information, call 703-790-0123.
Steven Gellman CD release concert. On Sunday, Dec. 14, Gellman, an artist from Germantown, Md., will release his new album, "Love Loss Longing," with a concert at 7 p.m., at Jammin' Java, 227 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $15 at the door, $12 in advance, available by calling 703-255-1566.
<cal2>Sweet Dreams. 7:30 p.m., at Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. Come in pajamas and bring a favorite stuffed animal. Ages 2-6 with adult. Call 703-356-0770 to register.
Book Discussion. 7:30 p.m., at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. "The Coalwood Way," by Homer Hickam. Adults. Call 703-938-0405 to register.
Oakton Band Holiday Concert. 7 p.m., at Oakton High School, 2900 Sutton Road, Vienna.
<cal2>Book Discussion Group. 10:30 a.m., at Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. Ask for this month's title at the information desk. Adults Call 703-757-8560 to register.
Lap Time Tales. 10:30 a.m., at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Stories and activities. Ages 13-23 months with adult. Call 703-938-0405 to register.
Never Grow Old will meet on Tuesday, Dec. 16, at 11 a.m., to celebrate Christmas with special music provided by the children of Wesley Preschool. Meet in the Fellowship Hall of Wesley United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Spring and Moore Streets in Vienna. In place of the usual gift exchange, bring an unwrapped children's gift ($1 value). The gifts will be added to others and given to the students at Ketcham Elementary School in Washington, D.C. All Vienna-area residents are invited to come. Bring a side dish or dessert for the shared luncheon if able. No registration necessary. 703-938-8700.
"Adoption Support Meeting: What Your Adoptee Knows That You Probably Do Not." Alix Shutello, adoptee and member of the Adoption-Birth Mother Support Network (ABSN), hosts an adoption meeting for adoptive parents looking to learn more about adoption psychology and issues all parents should be aware of as their adoptee grows up. Discussion includes how to talk to children about adoption and other issues such as problems in school, birth parent searches and more. All parents, not just adoptive parents, are encouraged to attend. Do not bring children younger than 18. The meeting is Tuesday, Dec. 16, 7-9 p.m., in the meeting room at the Patrick Henry Library on Main Street, Vienna, near Whole Foods. Coffee and cake will be served. R.S.V.P. to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 703-217-7904.
Holiday Visit. The Garden Group of the Great Falls Woman's Club visits the National Mall, Smithsonian Museum and Botanical Garden in Washington, D.C., to enjoy the Christmas exhibit of flowers and the colorful glow of the decorative lights while meeting new friends. For further information, contact Carol Lloyd at 703-759-3336, or Anna Savini at 571-434-9493 or email@example.com.
<cal2>Story Stampede. 10:30 a.m., at Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. Rubber stamp a favorite story. Ages 3-5 with adult. Call 703-356-0770 to register.
Tales for Twos. 10:30 a.m., at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. Age 2 with adult. Call 703-938-0405.
<cal2>Winter Wonders. 2 p.m., at Great Falls Library, 9830 Georgetown Pike, Great Falls. Seasonal stories and activities. Ages 2-5 with adult. Call 703-757-8560 to register.
Book Discussion. 1 p.m., at Patrick Henry Library, 101 Maple Ave. E., Vienna. "Bel Canto," by Ann Patchett. Adults. Call 703-938-0405 to register.
Holiday Bubbly Party. 5:30-7 p.m., at the Bailiwick Inn, 4023 Chain Bridge Road, Fairfax. Sample five different glasses of bubbly to taste — two sparkling wines and three champagnes. The Fairfax Choral Society provides a carol serenade while hors d'oeuvres are passed in the parlors. The cost is $49 in advance and $55 day of event. Call 703-691-2266 with questions or to make reservations.
<cal1>Friday, Dec. /19
<cal2>McLean NARFE Chapter 489 will have its annual prepaid holiday buffet luncheon at 11 a.m., at the Culinary Institute of Stratford University, 7777 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church. Attendees and their guests should arrive at 10:45 a.m. The installation of 2004 officers will follow the meal. The cost is $15 per person, payable by Dec. 10. For details and payment instructions, call 703-560-8648.
"Movie Star Night" dance. Middle-school students can come dressed as a favorite movie star. 6-10 p.m., at Club Phoenix Teen Center, located in the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. S.E. The $5 admission includes DJ, refreshments, games and a caricature artist. For more information, call the Vienna Parks and Recreation Department at 703-255-6360.
Charity Citrus Fruit Sale. Friday, Dec. 19, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 20, 8 a.m.-noon, at American Legion Post 270, 1355 Balls Hill Road, McLean. Proceeds support local community youth, patriotic and veteran needs. Ruby red grapefruit and navel oranges are featured. Visit www.mcleanpost270.org or call 703-356-8259 for additional details.
<cal2>The McLean Community Center will host Breakfast with Santa, Saturday, Dec. 20, from 9-10:30 a.m. $20 per family of four, $25 nonresidents. Registration is required for this event for preschoolers to 6-year-olds. No tickets will be available the day of the event. Call 703-790-0123 for more information.
Tea Program — Family Santa Tea. 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Historic Green Spring, Alexandria, 703-941-7987. Did you know that in Norway holiday gifts are brought by an elf named Julebukk? Or that the arrival of Lan Khoong and his reindeer in Hong Kong is celebrated by decorative streamers and paper chains? Sinterklaas, La Befana and Pere Noel are all names for the same mysterious gift-giver known as Santa Claus. Learn how other children from around the world celebrate the holidays and the gift-giving tradition. For children 5 and older. An English tea follows the program. Reservation required. $22.
Hershey Park trip. The Vienna Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor a trip to Hershey Park on Saturday, Dec. 20. A charter bus will leave at 12 p.m., from the Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St. S.E., Vienna, and return around 10 p.m. See the holiday lights on Candy Lane and more than 600 animated displays on the drive-through Sweet Lights display. The cost of $42 for Town of Vienna residents and $52 for nonresidents includes transportation and admission to all rides and three holiday shows. For more information, call 703-255-3630.
Living Nativity. On Saturday, Dec. 20, from 6-8 p.m., Great Falls United Methodist Church will stage a living nativity on the front lawn of the church, 10100 Georgetown Pike. This is an interactive nativity where visitors can pet the animals and speak with the participants, all while enjoying live Christmas hymns. Call the church at 703-759-3705 with questions.
"The Nutcracker." Swan Ballet Dance Schools present this holiday classic on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 1:30 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m., at the Northern Virginia Community College Ernst Theatre. Pre-sale tickets are $16/adults, $12/children and seniors; tickets at the door are $19/adults, $15 children and seniors. Group rates available. For more information, call 703-425-9400. Groups, ask about a special meet and greet with the Snow Queen and Snow King.
Charity Citrus Fruit Sale. Friday, Dec.19, 8 a.m.-6 p.m., and Saturday, Dec. 20, 8 a.m.-noon, at American Legion Post 270, 1355 Balls Hill Road, McLean. Proceeds support local community youth, patriotic and veteran needs. Ruby red grapefruit and navel oranges are featured. Visit www.mcleanpost270.org or call 703-356-8259 for additional details.
Annual Christmas Ball with Colvin Run Dance Band. Enjoy ballroom dancing and the Big Band sound at Colvin Run School House, 10201 Colvin Run Road, Great Falls, 9 a.m.-midnight. $12 per person. For information, call 703-430-3342.
<cal2>"The Nutcracker." Swan Ballet Dance Schools present this holiday classic on Saturday, Dec. 20, at 1:30 and 7 p.m., and Sunday, Dec. 21, at 2 p.m., at the Northern Virginia Community College Ernst Theatre. Pre-sale tickets are $16/adults, $12/children and seniors; tickets at the door are $19/adults, $15 children and seniors. Group rates available. For more information, call 703-425-9400. Groups, ask about a special meet and greet with the Snow Queen an Snow King.