Best Music

1. National Symphony Orchestra: Christoph Eschenbach conducts the Mozart Requiem, Mahler's "Blumine" and a selection of Schubert Lieder featuring mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, the University of Maryland Concert Choir and guest soloists

Where: Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St NW

When: 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday;

Info: $10 to $85; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

2. Washington National Opera: Angela Meade debuts in the title role of Bellini's "Norma" opposite mezzo-soprano Dolora Zajick.

Where: Kennedy Center Opera House, 2700 F St NW

When: Saturday through March 24

Info: $25 to $300; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

3. Beethoven Orchestra Bonn: Stefan Blunier conducts works by Beethoven with guest pianist Louis Lortie.

Where: George Mason University Center for the Arts, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax

When: 8 p.m. Saturday

Info: $30 to $60; 888-945-2468;

4. Helen Reddy: The Australian-American pop singer and winner of the first Grammy award by an Australian launches her first tour in many years.

Where: The Barns at Wolf Trap, 1635 Trap Road, Vienna

When: 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday

Info: $45; 877-965-3872;

5. Cirque Ziva: The Golden Dragon Acrobats in the Washington premiere of their latest production combining amazing feats, acrobatics, gymnastics and choreography in a modern interpretation of centuries-old Chinese variety art.

Where: The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane, North Bethesda

Info: 8 p.m. Thursday

Info: $25 to $45; 301-581-5100;

Best Family

1. "Pinot and Augustine": Master artists Mark Jaster and Sabrina Mandell of Happenstance Theater re-create the charm of the golden age of the French circus in this endearing duet for clowns. The sweetly silly show bubbles over with physical comedy and surprises, from lyrical melodies on a musical saw to classic pratfalls.

Where: Discovery Theater, Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW

When: 10:15 and 11:30 a.m. Friday

Info: $5 to $12; 202-633-8700;

2. "Little King Mattias": What if an 11-year-old became king? Would he be so bold as to give his ministers the boot and transfer power to the children of his kingdom? He does when Sweden's Backa Teater tells the tale of Little King Mattias in its U.S. premiere.

Where: Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

When: 1:30 and 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Info: $18; 202-467-4600;

3. Saturday Morning at the National: The Bog Band and Shannon Dunne Dance Company: Celebrate the Irish in all of us with a fun-filled St. Patrick's Day show of traditional Irish music and dance. The Bog Band, a group of young musicians totally mad for traditional Irish music, will be joined by the Shannon Dunne Dance Company, which specializes in "old style" dance steps.

Where: National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

When: 9:30 and 11 a.m. Saturday

Info: Free; 202-628-6161;

4. Peeper Prowl: Families with children ages 5 and up. Children must be accompanied by a registered adult. Hop on over and join the fun as you learn about and search for these tiny tree frogs and other amphibians. For more information, call 703-228-6535.

Where: Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington

When: 6:30 to 7:45 p.m. Saturday

Info: $5; registration required : 703-228-4747; program No. 632953-A

5. Nordic Cool 2013: "Legends of Valhalla: Thor" (Iceland): In this animated feature for young audiences, an overconfident teen with a magical weapon and a handful of imperfect gods join forces against an evil queen and her army of giants.

Where: Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: 10:30 a.m. Sunday

Info: $8; 202-467-4600;

Best Outdoors

1. Nordic Cool 2013: Northern Lights: Innovative Danish lighting designer Jesper Kongshaug re-creates the effect of the northern lights on all four sides of the Kennedy Center's facade.

Where: Facade of Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW

When: 5:30 to 11 p.m. through March 17

Info: Free; 202-467-4600;

2. Notable Nature: Terrific Trees: The whole family is invited to gather at Long Branch Nature Center for a lesson in nature journaling. You'll begin by constructing your own nature journal, then head out to reconnect and record nature's wonders, focusing on the shapes and textures of trees, before spring's leaves come in. For more information, call 703-228-6535.

Where: Long Branch Nature Center, 625 S. Carlin Springs Road, Arlington

When: 3 to 4 p.m. Saturday

Info: Free; registration required: 703-228-4747; program No. 632953-I

3. Roads to Diversity: Adams Morgan Heritage Trail: The trail's 18 poster-size, illustrated signs combine storytelling with historic images. Discover the history of this neighborhood known as much for its charming Victorian rowhouses as its ethnic restaurants and bright murals. The two-hour, self-guided tour proceeds north on 16th Street Northwest, then south along Columbia Road, and north again on 18th Street.

Where: First sign located at 16th Street and Florida Avenue NW

When: Any day

Info: Free; 202-661-7581;

4. Lees Woods Trail: Boyhood home of Light Horse Harry Lee: This easy hike is a 2-mile round trip on well-maintained trails. The historic interpretive trail has both Revolutionary War and Civil War points of interest. The park provides guide books at the trail head that lead you along and offer a brief explanation of each site. There have been sightings of bald eagles from the river overlook at the top of the hill.

Where: Woodbridge

When: Year round

Info: Free; Department of Conservation: 703-670-0372;

5. Birding Trip to the Delaware Shore: Take an excursion to the Delaware coast, where stops may include Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Mispillion Light and the Indian River Inlet. A variety of winter waterfowl, including grebes and loons, are possible sightings. Participants should dress for the weather and bring binoculars, a bag lunch, drinks and snacks for the day. For adults, For more information, call 703-228-3403.

Where: Lubber Run Community Center, 300 N. Park Drive, Arlington

When: 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday

Info: $40; registration required: 703-228-4747; program No. 632843-B

Best Brainfood

1. Nordic Cool 2013: Film: Marie Kroyer (Denmark): On a trip to Sicily, as her husband's health begins to fail, a happily married Kroyer falls in love with a Swedish composer. Caught between her own desires and her sense of duty, Marie is confronted with a stark choice.

Where: Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: 9 p.m. Friday

Info: $8; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

2. Dorothy Pitman Hughes, Carole Hart and Barbara Sprung: These authors will discuss their book, "When We Were Free To Be: Looking Back at a Children's Classic and the Difference It Made."

Where: National Archives, William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW

When: Noon, Friday

Info: Free; 202-357-5000;

3. From Screen to Stage: The Making of "Fanny and Alexander": Join this conversation on the process of turning film into theater with director Stefan Larsson, from Sweden's Royal Dramatic Theatre.

Where: Kennedy Center Terrace Gallery, 2700 F St. NW

When: 2 p.m. Saturday

Info: Free, tickets are required; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

4. Nordic Cool 2013: Film: "The Deep" (Iceland): Based on a real incident, the crew of a fishing boat settles in for long night in wintery waters. But the weather turns unexpectedly rough, and the boat capsizes; the crew is quickly lost except for Gulli, alone and adrift miles from shore.

Where: Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: 9 p.m. Saturday

Info: $8; 202-467-4000; 800-444-1324;

5. Nordic Cool 2013: Tero Saarinen Company (Finland): Finland's Tero Saarinen Company makes its Kennedy Center debut with a triple bill of works choreographed by Saarinen.

Where: Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: 8 p.m. Tuesday

Info: $29 to $60; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

Best Gatherings

1. Ayana Mathis, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie": Leaving Georgia for Philadelphia in 1923, 15-year-old Hattie is soon an unhappy wife and then a bereaved mother when her twins die, succumbing as much to poverty as to disease. As much about love as it is about toughness, Mathis' debut novel features powerful storytelling and unforgettable characters.

Where: Politics and Prose Bookstore, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW

When: 7 p.m. Friday

Info: Free; 202-364-1919;

2. Nordic Cool 2013: Film: "The Almost Man" (Norway): In this frequently hilarious, engaging and brutally honest portrait of a 35-year-old man with a definite case of arrested development, Henry has a new apartment, a challenging job and a beautiful pregnant wife, which is where the trouble starts.

Where: Kennedy Center Terrace Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: 1 p.m. Saturday

Info: $8; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

3. "Tin Pan Lady: A Cabaret With Joanne Schmoll": A cabaret piece to honor 20th-century women songwriters of American popular song. All the songs included will be written by women. Some will be very familiar to the audience, while others will be delightful discoveries.

Where: Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW

When: Noon, Wednesday

Info: Free; 202-547-1122;

4. "11th Hour" Poetry Slam: Hosted by 2Deep the Poetess, featuring Carlos Robson.

Where: Busboys and Poets, 2021 14th St. NW

When: 11 p.m. Friday

Info: $5; 202-387-7638;

5. Henrik Vibskov: Known for the twisted yet tantalizing universes he creates, the Danish fashion designer's clothes have been worn by such performers as M.I.A., Kanye West and Bjork. In collaboration with visual artist Andreas Emenius, he has created installations, performances and video self-portraits.

Where: Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, 2700 F St. NW

When: 6 p.m. Sunday

Info: Free; 202-467-4600; 800-444-1324;

Best Theater

1. Nordic Cool 2013: "Fanny and Alexander": Stockholm's Royal Dramatic Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of its stage adaptation of Ingmar Bergman's Oscar-winning film. Set at the turn of the 20th century, this epic drama follows three generations of the well-to-do Ekdahl family, led by an eccentric widow and her three sons.

Where: Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater, 2700 F St. NW

When: 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Sunday

Info: $49 to $80; 202-467-4600;

2. "Dante's Inferno": Adapted and performed by Washington Stage Guild Artistic Director Bill Largess, this one-man journey through the underworld is a physical reimagining of the original dramatization of one of the Western world's greatest texts.

Where: Undercroft Theatre, 900 Massachusetts Ave. NW

When: Through March 17

Info: $40 to $50; 240-582-0050;

3. "The Tempest": Shakespeare's powerful play, in which the aging playwright explores all his favorite themes, is performed without words in a pool of water.

Where: Synetic Theater, 1800 S. Bell St., Arlington

When: Through March 24

Info: $15 to $50; 800-494-8497;

4. "The Convert": Award-winning playwright Danai Gurira returns to Woolly with her play set in 1895 amid the colonial scramble for southern Africa. The play follows Jekesai, a young girl who escapes village life and a forced marriage. However, as anti-colonial sentiments reach a boiling point, Jekesai must choose between her new European God and the spirits of her ancestors.

Where: Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D St. NW

When: Through Sunday

Info: $40 to $62.50; 202-393-3939;

5. "Henry V": Shakespeare's thrilling story of the rise to power on the part of a young king whose ambition reaches beyond the English court to the fields of France.

Where: Folger Shakespeare Theatre, 201 E. Capitol St. SE

When: Through Sunday

Info: $30 to $68; 202-544-7077;

Best Galleries

1. Amy Lin: Diffusion: These meticulous colored-pencil drawings by Amy Lin are inspired by her experiences living in Singapore and Russia.

Where: Addison/Ripley Fine Art, 1670 Wisconsin Ave. NW

When: Through April 27

Info: Free; 202-338-5180;

2. The Phillips Laib Wax Room: The new work by German artist Wolfgang Laib is the first permanent installation at the Phillips since 1960's Mark Rothko Room. The cocoon-like chamber is coated with fragrant beeswax and illuminated by a single bulb.

Where: The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. NW

When: Ongoing

Info: $12; $10 students, seniors 62-plus and military; free for museum members and children 18 and under; 202-387-2151;

3. GA Gardener & Andrei Petrov: Fragmentation and Integration: This joint exhibit showcases abstract paintings by two artists using additive and subtractive processes.

Where: Morton Fine Art, 1781 Florida Ave. NW

When: Through April 2

Info: Free; 202-627-2787;

4. Richard Levine, Aaron Pire and Mark Joseph Williams: A juried show featuring painter/photographer Richard Levine of Arlington, landscape painter Agron Pire of Stone Ridge and oils by Ashburn's Mark Joseph Williams.

Where: Gallery B, 7700 Wisconsin Ave., Suite E, Bethesda

When: Through March 30

Info: Free; 301-215-6660;

5. Home: This collection of recent oil landscapes by Caroline Adams explores the provocative idea that there is a shared iconography of "home" that speaks to all people regardless of origin.

Where: Susan Calloway Fine Arts, 1543 Wisconsin Ave. NW

When: Through March 16

Info: Free; 202-965-4601;