What to Do This Weekend: April 12 to 15

Nationals opening day, the Cherry Blossom parade, and various bar crawls.

By: Jason Koebler

Thursday, April 12

BASEBALL: Head to Nationals Park to get your first look at the Nats at home. They made some big acquisitions during the offseason and are off to a decent start, with many national publications expecting them to be in the hunt come playoff time. But most of all, it's a time-honored tradition to take a half day off--or at least a super-long lunch. Thousands of tickets are available for near face value on Stubhub. 1 PM.

FILM: Since 1987, Filmfest DC has been bringing you independent films from around the world. This year, things kick off with Starbuck, a Canadian film that follows David Wosniak, a 42-year-old screw-up whose world gets rocked when he finds out his sperm bank donations were used to conceive more than 500 babies--and a bunch of them are looking for Daddy. Afterwards, head from the Gallery Place Regal Theaters to Bar Louie for a Filmfest kickoff party. Buy tickets ($25) online. 7 PM.


Friday, April 13

GHOSTS: It's Friday the 13th, so things are gonna get a little creepy--head out of the city to the Weems-Botts Museum in Dumfries for a special ghost walk around town. Afterward, listen to ghost stories and roast marshmallows around a bonfire. Tours are $5; call 703-221-2218 to reserve.Visit the website for times.

LAUGHS: If even a family ghost walk has you spooked, AFI Silver is screening Monty Python and the Holy Grail . The midnight screening of the most popular Monty Python movie features everything you'd expect, including Trojan rabbits and limbless knights. Buy tickets ($11.50) online. Midnight.

PARTY: The Smithsonian is really stepping up its cool factor lately, and Friday night's Visio-Disco proves it knows how to throw a party. The National Portrait Gallery's Kogod Courtyard gets turned into a bumpin' club, complete with international deejays, dancers, art, and plenty of drinks. Tickets ($35, including one drink) are available online. 9 PM.


Saturday, April 14

PARTY: They've taken over the dining and party scene in DC, why not the airwaves? Thievery Corporation are launching ESL Radio, an Internet radio station that'll make you feel like you're in the trippy confines of the Eighteenth Street Lounge 24/7. To kick things off, Eric Hilton is making a rare deejay appearance at ESL, and he's gotten DJ Will Eastman (owner of U Street Music Hall) to spin in the other room. Bounce back and forth all night, and expect sore legs in the morning. 9 PM.

CULTURE: When's the last time you went to Anacostia? Never? Well it's time to start--all day Saturday celebrate one of Washington's most overlooked neighborhoods with LUMEN8 Anacostia--12 hours of art, culture, music and food. Local artists, musicians, and actors will show off their stuff at art galleries, vacant lots, and unused commercial space. Free. Noon to midnight.

PARADE: Yes, we've been putting our heads down and pretending the Metro isn't way worse this time of year, too. The cherry blossoms bring in tons of money for Washington, but they also bring in allergies, long lines, and lots of lost tourists. So we're not too sad to see the festival begin to wind down with the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade. The show includes (get ready) finalists from American Idol, The Voice, and America's Got Talent, Japanese dancers, performers, and drummers, marching bands, Miss America, the Wizards and Redskins cheerleaders, Olympians, astronauts, ambassadors, and Alex Trebek. What more could you ask for? Free. 10 AM.

CULTURE: After the parade, head to 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue for the Japanese Street Festival, featuring booths from 25 Japanese and Asian restaurants around town, musical and cultural performances, and authentic Japanese vendors. Buy tickets ($5) online or at the gate, where it's cash only. 11 to 6.

GOLF: If you are really cherry-blossomed out, head back to the area where you probably work (at least the area where I probably work) for a bar crawl and mini golf tournament at some of DC's finest watering holes and happy hour spots, including Mackey's, Recessions, Public, and more. Though you may now have Masters-level talent, you deserve to drink $2 beers and other specials all afternoon and finish it up with what's sure to be a hazy party at Rumors. Tickets ($11 for a single, $33 for a foursome) are available online. 2 PM.


Sunday, April 15

CRAWL: By this point you might actually be on your hands and knees--so just keep crawling with a hip-hop bar crawl around U Street. Starting at Tabaq Bistro, each bar will focus on a different aspect of hip-hop--at one you'll get old-school West Coast hits, at another you'll be in an Empire State of Mind (right?). For $5 you'll get a wristband that lands you drink specials at each bar. 2 PM.

FAIRY TALES: It's tough to imagine Sleeping Beauty performed without a beauty or anyone who's asleep, but master storyteller David Gonzalez turns the classic into a one-man show at the Kennedy Center with the help of a projector and some music. He's made the story rhyme, so it should be a good time. I'll stop rhyming now. Tickets ($18) are available online. 1:30 and 4 PM.