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Posted at 12:20 AM ET, 11/30/2009

Free and Easy Events

By Fritz Hahn

Wolf Trap's annual holiday concert features the Marine band, a 400-member chorus and a candlelight procession. (Marvin Joseph -- The Washington Post)

This week's no-cost picks include holiday music, scary movies and a happy hour event that is searching for the meaning of art.

Horror Night at Cafe Saint-Ex
Halloween may be a fading memory, but getting scared is still good fun. Cafe Saint-Ex's Horror Night double feature includes "Them," a 1954 flick about enormous man-eating ants created after early nuclear tests, and "Re-Animator," a 1985 film in which medical school students try to bring the dead back to life. The screening is in the downstairs Gate 54 lounge. Popcorn and admission are free.

"Alexandria Exposed" talk at Morrison House
Lance Mallamo of the Office of Historic Alexandria discusses photos from Alexandria's past and how the images reveal details about the city's heritage. Food and drinks available.

Madrigal concert at St. John's Church
Located just across Lafayette Square from the White House, historic St. John's Church is known as the "church of the presidents." There is a lunchtime concert on the first Wednesday of every month featuring the church's pipe organ. For December, the Madrigal Singers of St. Albans and National Cathedral schools will perform seasonal music.

"Art Is _____" at the Phillips Collection
What is art? The Pink Line Project is trying to find an answer by inviting VJs to "remix" the meaning of art by using museum founder Duncan Phillips's writings and texted-in audience suggestions and then projecting the words on the museum's cafe walls. Avant-electronic musician Yoko K. provides the soundtrack.

Tezuka Family Weekend at the Freer Gallery of Art
Through Dec. 13, the Freer honors Japanese manga and anime artist Osamu Tezuka by showing movies and television episodes and inviting experts to discuss the genres' history. Friday through Sunday, the Freer's family weekend includes "kamishibai," storytelling illustrated by a series of large drawings. Kids can make their own drawings and tour the museum's collection to tell stories based on the paintings they see.

Swingin' in the Holidays at the National Museum of American History
On Friday night, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra plays a $25-a-head concert of holiday favorites by Duke Ellington, Stan Kenton and other big-band notables. On Saturday afternoon, you can catch the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Sextet performing three mini-concerts that draw from the same songbook.

Holiday Singalong at Wolf Trap
The U.S. Marine Band provides the music as the audience and a 400-strong choir give voice to Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs. Traditions include a candlelight procession during "Silent Night" and a "jing-a-long" during "Jingle Bells." (BYO candles and bells.) Parking is limited, so arrive as close to the 3 p.m. opening as you can. The event benefits Toys for Tots, so participants are asked (but not required) to bring a new, unwrapped toy to donate.

-- Fritz Hahn

By Fritz Hahn  | November 30, 2009; 12:20 AM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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