Thursday, October 18: TasteDC.com hosts its First Annual German Beer Festival, at the Whittemore House (1526 New Hampshire Ave., NW). The $65 ticket will grant you access to more than 50 beers, a German-style buffet, and general Oktoberfest good times. 6:30 PM to 9 PM. Reserve tickets here.
Friday, October 19: Tons of fun Howard University Homecoming activities this weekend. There’ll be musical events and parties at bars; celebrities like LL Cool J, Erykah Badu, and P. Diddy will be in town for performances. To see the full schedule and details, check out the homecoming Web site. More party and event information can be found here.
Looking for more events and things to do? Don't forget to check out our calendar of events or our Happy Hour Finder, and plan your week, weekend, and beyond. Head to Ventnor’s Sports Cafe (2411 18th St., NW) in Adams Morgan for a happy hour with heart. The Habitat Happy Hour, starting at 7 PM, will offer raffle items, door prizes, and drink specials—and your $10 cover goes to DC Habitat for Humanity.
Learn about DC’s haunted spaces on a Ghost Story Tour. The interactive tour begins at Lafayette Square, across from the White House, where participants meet the costumed spirits rumored to haunt it. Characters along the way will share spooky tales about historic spots. 8 PM. Tickets are $10; $5 for under age 17. McPherson Square Metro, Vermont Ave. and I St., NW; 301-588-9255; historicstrolls.com.
Saturday, October 20: It’s time for another local designer showcase, STYLEistics, hosted by the BrightestYoungThings.com folks. On Saturday, October 20, at the Rock and Roll Hotel (1353 H St., NE), lots of local designers will show their wares from 7 to 10 PM. There also will be free Champagne for part of the evening, giveaways, and plenty of DJ sets to get you dancing. Free before 10 PM, $10 after.
Hear ye, hear ye: Today is the very last day of the always campy, always fun Maryland Renaissance Festival. Don’t miss your chance for solid weekend entertainment; you can’t do better on a fall Saturday afternoon than to be sipping a cup of mead, gnawing on a turkey leg, and watching guys in ridiculous getups joust each other. Time, pricing, and location can be found here.
Sunday, October 21: Catch an afternoon matinee of Taming of the Shrew at the Shakespeare Theatre (450 Seventh St., NW). Our theater critic says it’s a “wicked, witty, and visually gorgeous production.” Order tickets here.
Peer into the gorgeous homes in and around Dupont Circle with the area’s annual Dupont Circle House Tour. In addition to touring several gorgeous homes, you can participate in an afternoon Victorian tea at the Hotel Palomar. Tickets are $30, $25 in advance. Purchase them here. More information and details can be found here.
Get out into the country—and up into the air—at the Shenandoah Valley Hot Air Balloon and Wine Festival, Friday through today. You can watch the balloons launch, try out foods and crafts, go on a hayride, and taste wine. For your own balloon ride, contact the companies listed on the pilots section of the festival’s web site before heading to the festival. 830 Long Branch Lane, Millwood. $5 on Friday; $10 on Saturday and Sunday. 7 AM to 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday.