Unleash your inner jock or hippie this weekend by cheering on the Capitals at a hockey game or attending a wellness festival at the National Mall. Then end the weekend in the holiday spirit at the annual tree lighting and fireworks festival at National Harbor.
Washington Capitals vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
The Capitals hit the ice against the most recent Stanley Cup champions for their 17th game of the season. There are plenty of restaurants around the Capital One Arena, located in the Chinatown neighborhood, for a night out before the game starts. If you’re all about the Caps, see if the team bounces back from their loss to the Penguins in October. If you’re not the sporty type, you’ll still love the electric atmosphere in the 20,000-seat arena, merchandise stores and a wide variety of food vendors. Whether or not you watch sports regularly, the on-ice fights, food and fanfare will make for a fun Friday night.
Capital One Arena, 601 F St. NW. 7 p.m. Tickets start at $57.
Catharsis on the Mall: A Vigil of Healing
Following the eco-friendly and inclusive principles of the annual Burning Man Festival in the Nevada desert, Catharsis on the Mall is a vigil of healing. This event will have lectures, discussions, workshops, community art, music and safe spaces to focus on “healing wounds of society.” These smaller events culminate to the Temple Burn, the burning of a 30-foot-tall wooden temple, Saturday night. Catharsis has been the first and only event allowed to burn a structure and play amplified music from sunrise to sunset on the National Mall since it started three years ago.
National Mall between Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument. All day. Free.
National Harbor Tree Lighting Ceremony
If you want to get a head start on the holiday season, attend a tree lighting and firework show at National Harbor, a 300-acre waterfront development, this weekend. The day is packed with shopping, performances, Santa photos and “A Muppet Christmas” screening all leading up to the main event: the tree lighting with fireworks over the Potomac River. The lighting and fireworks are followed by a performance from Maryland orchestra Radio King Orchestra. You can even ride the Capital Ferris Wheel for an aerial view of the holiday festivities.
National Harbor, 165 Waterfront St. National Harbor, Md. 2 to 8 p.m. Free.