2. A new season of American Idol is almost upon us. You can test your own auditioning skills at Logan Circle’s 1409 Playbill Café, where Monday and Thursday karaoke, which kicks off at 9:30, is encouraged by $4 pints of Bass Ale and select vodka and rum drinks.
3. Pre-game for Halloween by heading to Policy on Thursday for the free Just the Tip Halloween Throw Down. Five DJs will spin, beers are $3, and shooters cost $4. The party starts at 9:30. Come dressed to frighten.
4. ’Tis the (dark and scary) season. The October Man, the latest free flick at the National Gallery of Art’s Brit Noir film series, screens Friday at 3. The 1940s mystery tracks a troubled chemist who fears he’s become a psychotic killer.
5. Start Halloween and your weekend shopping early at Eastern Market’s (Seventh St. between C and D sts., SE) free Hilloween at Halloween on Friday. Starting at 5:30, you can listen to live music, take a hayride on a horse-drawn wagon, and shop for produce and meat at DC’s oldest fresh-food emporium. The market closes at 7; festivities continue outside until 7:30.
6. You’ve seen Searching for Bobby Fischer, practiced your bishop-to-rook sweep, and are ready to dominate your opponent—or at least have fun. The National Chess Academy is sponsoring a free chess tournament Saturday at Gallaudet University for all ages. Registration begins at 9:30, and the tournament, structured in the four-round Swiss system, kicks off at 10:30. Trophies and medals will be awarded to top competitors in each age group.
7. Listen to Beethoven, Haydn, and Bartók when the US Air Force String Quartet plays a free show Saturday at 1:30 in the Anderson House ballroom . Anderson House—funded by the Society of the Cincinnati and dedicated to perpetuating the memory of the American Revolution—will hold two more free Saturday concerts on November 28 and December 12.
8. All dressed up with nowhere to go? Join fellow ghost, goblins, and ghouls at the Rock and Roll Hotel’s free Zombie Dance Party Saturday night at 9:30. Rave to electronica, slam to indie, and groove to hip-hop guaranteed to sweat the fake blood off your face. Cheap beers, which include $5 24-ounce Tecates, $4 Bacardis, $3 Red Stags, and $1 PBRs, should get you in the dancing spirit. Must be 21 or over.
9. See the only Frida Kahlo on display in DC this Sunday at the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ Free First Sunday program from noon to 5. The NMWA, the only museum dedicated exclusively to women artists, is currently displaying a haunting “Telling Secrets” exhibit, featuring work by Native American painter Jaune Quick-to-See Smith.
10. Couldn’t quite finish the Marine Corps Marathon last weekend? Grab the family and get back on your feet with the US National Arboretum’s 5K race on Sunday. It costs $25, but the race’s Family Fun Run, where families enjoy a crisp fall morning with a one-mile walk around the Capitol Columns, costs $10. All participants get free T-shirts and can partake in free cooking demonstrations (with samples), crafts, and yoga following the race. Registration begins at 8, the Family Fun Run at 9:15.