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Posted at 11:59 PM ET, 01/24/2010

Free and easy events

By Stephanie Merry

Bid farewell to Tai Shan on Saturday with traditional Chinese entertainment, an exhibition of panda photos and other surprises. (Susan Biddle - The Washington Post)

This week, pay nothing to sip wine and nibble chocolate, check out a rare 400-year-old map or bid adieu to one of the National Zoo's most beloved residents.

Monday
Euan Morton at Millennium Stage
The Tony Award nominee and theatrical standout on and off-Broadway performs the one-man show "Burns' Night in America" to commemorate the birthday of Robert Burns, the 18th-century poet and lyricist who penned "Auld Lang Syne" and who, like Morton, hailed from Scotland.

Tuesday
Chocolate and wine-tasting at ACKC
The destination for delicious confections is celebrating its recently acquired liquor license by pairing red, white and sparkling wines with chocolates that run the gamut from dark to floral.

Wednesday
Matteo Ricci World Map at the Library of Congress
You don't have to be a cartographer to appreciate this rare 400-year-old map on exhibit in North America for the first time. At more than 12 feet by 5 feet, the display is the first known Chinese depiction of the Americas.

Thursday
"Extending the Book: The Art of Extra-Illustration" at Folger Shakespeare Library
Opening Thursday, this show looks at books decorated by their owners, a trend that grew in the late 18th century. This selection emphasizes Shakespearean works that readers embellished with art.

Friday
Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists at Georgetown University
The next installment of the Free Friday Music Series kicks off with young opera singers performing duets and arias.

Saturday
Tai Shan Farewell Celebration at the National Zoo
Our little butterstick is all grown up, and it's time (sniff!) to wish the now giant panda a fond farewell before he heads to China. The festivities include talks by zoo veterinarians, pictures of some of Tai Shan's memorable moments and traditional Chinese entertainment.

Sunday
Card-making at Del Ray Artisans
Get inspired to make a one-of-a-kind Valentine's card at this gathering for DIY crafters ages 12 and older. Art materials will be provided, but organizers welcome participants who bring some to share, too.

-- Anne Kenderdine and Stephanie Merry

By Stephanie Merry  | January 24, 2010; 11:59 PM ET
Categories:  Events, Free and Cheap  
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