Ten Under $10

Have lots of fun this weekend without emptying your wallet.

By: Eliot Stein

The weekend is fast approaching, which means it’s time to put your credit card down, kick your feet up, and pamper yourself in (recession) style. From free wine tastings to blues concerts, we’ve scoured the area to come up with Washington’s best budget bets in this week’s Ten Under $10.

Fiesta! Enjoy traditional Panamanian salsa and tamborito music in the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum courtyard on Thursday at the Fiesta de las Americas from 5 to 8 PM. Free

Those who aren’t busy transforming into a werewolf should join the Washington Area Bicyclist Association and City Bikes on Thursday night for a full-moon bike ride along the Capital Crescent Trail starting at 8:15 PM. The ride concludes with a barbecue for all cyclists. Non-WABA members should show up an hour before the ride, pay the $5 sign-up cost. Bring a helmet and a reflector or bike light.

Poste’s garden courtyard hosts its popular happy hour (4 to 7 PM) on Friday. Red and white wines, beer, and truffled frites all cost $5.

Don a black beret, paint on a mustache, and lift your elbows at the Touchstone Gallery’s  free wine tasting on Friday from 6 to 8 PM. The event marks the closing of the gallery’s “My Space on 7th” exhibition, which features 90 local artists.

Believe it or not, Washington used to be at the forefront of the country’s blues scene. The hard times and love lost haven’t disappeared completely, though. For a free taste, head to the 21st annual DC Blues Festival Saturday from noon to 7:30. Besides, where else can you catch free live music, attend an instrument petting zoo, and get your face painted?

Your backstroke is tight and your swimmies are inflated, which means you’re so ready to hit the final edition of the Brightest Young Things’ Capitol Skyline Hotel pool party Saturday from noon to 8. The $10 admission is your ticket to all-day swimming plus the sounds of four DJs..

The annual Page to Stage Festival is back at the Kennedy Center. Starting Saturday at 2, this three-day festival features more than 40 Washington theater and musical companies. There are no tickets required—seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis.

You’re going to need some serious time in the gym to prep for Midtown Loft’s Saturday night Power Hour. Draft beers (Midtown Amber, Peroni, and Miller Lite) start at $1 at 8 PM and pump up a dollar an hour until 11. Bring your own protein shakes.

Dust off your high-school French textbook and journey back to 1961 with a free screening of the visual-art film Last Year at Marienbad at the National Gallery of Art at 2 and 4 PM Saturday and 2 on Sunday. In French with English subtitles.

Make believe you live in Victorian England and learn how to waltz to live music with lessons at Glen Echo Park Sunday from 3 to 6 ($8). Those wishing to gin up on something a bit more Americana can come from 7 to 10:30, when the Folklore Society of Greater Washington puts on contra and square dance lessons ($9 for FSGW members, $12 for non-members).

More>> After Hours Blog | Arts & Events | Happy Hour Finder | Calendar of Events