- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Christmas the Washington way

Mount Vernon continues its annual holiday tradition tomorrow night when it starts offering nighttime candlelight tours of the presidential estate. Visitors can learn about Washington’s Christmas traditions and tour the rarely seen third floor. Tours take place from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 11. Admission is $8 to $15. South end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway. 703/573-7328.

Fun with turntables

It was a love of electronic music that brought McRae Reed and Dave Ruin — two childhood friends from Chicago — together to form the DJ duo known as Grayarea. Known mostly for their remix tracks, the duo’s debut album is set for release this spring. They will preview tracks on Saturday at the 9:30 Club. Tickets are $25. Doors open at 7 p.m. 815 V St. NW. 202/393-0930.

Philly’s finest

The Philadelphia Orchestra makes the trek to Washington on Monday for one night of classical music at the Kennedy Center. Acclaimed conductor and musical director Christopher Eschenbach leads the orchestra, while the great percussionist Colin Currie supplies the beats. Tickets are $40 to $95. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. F Street and New Hampshire Avenue Northwest. 202/467-4600.

A hundred years

What are the secrets to living a long life? Is it genetic fortune, a good diet or an active lifestyle? Last year writer Dan Buettner and photographer David McLain sought the answers for National Geographic. They reveal their findings Wednesday at the National Geographic Society. “Secrets of Longevity” starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Grosvenor Auditorium. Tickets are $14 to $17. 1600 M St. NW. 202/857-7700.

Go medieval

The Walters Art Museum offers a close look at one of Russia’s oldest medieval cities — Veliky Novgorod or Novgorod the Great — with its newest exhibit, “Sacred Arts and City Life: The Glory of Medieval Novgorod.” The exhibit, in its only U.S. showing, features 291 objects including 35 icons. Admission to the exhibit is included in the regular admission ($2 to $10). Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. 600 N. Charles St., Baltimore. 410/547-9000.

Trains and one big tree

The Norwegian Embassy takes over Union Station once again for its ninth annual Norwegian Christmas celebration. The always popular model train will be on display, along with a 30-foot Christmas tree in the main hall. The official tree lighting ceremony is on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Six-time New York Marathon winner and world champion runner Grete Waitz will flip the switch on the 8,000 lights, and the Cathedral Choral Society will sing Norwegian and American Christmas carols. The 2005 Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots campaign will also be collecting toys through Christmas. The Norwegian Christmas exhibit runs through Jan. 8. 50 Massachusetts Ave., NE. 202/289-1908.

Fancy feet

On Saturday, Irish dance star Michael Flatley returns to the stage with his explosive new dance program, “Celtic Tiger.” The original star of “Riverdance” and creator of “Lord of the Dance” once again blends traditional Irish dance with modern dance movements in this new production at George Mason University’s Patriot Center. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $49.50 to $79.75. 4400 University Drive, Fairfax. 202/397-SEAT.

English star

Much as fellow British acts Coldplay and Keane, Aqualung — aka Matt Hales — is set for big things in the American music scene. His soft-spoken delivery paired with his simple but honest lyrics has connected with fans all across the country. After a near-sellout show several months ago, Mr. Hales returns to the District on Wednesday for another intimate gig at the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s Frances and Armand Hammer Auditorium. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets are $32. 17th and New York Avenue Northwest. 202/397-SEAT.

Thomas Walter

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