Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Squeeze in some final cherry-blossom activities this weekend, party with apes at the zoo, head to the Newseum, play beer pong for a good cause, and lots more.

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Thursday, April 10: The National Zoo parties tonight at Grapes With the Apes, a winetasting happy hour where you’ll get exclusive access to the Great Ape House. (Not sure exactly what exclusive access implies, but we’re betting you won’t be getting behind the glass.) There’ll also be live music, appetizers, and more. 6 to 9 PM. Tickets are $40 for FONZ members, $55 for nonmembers; purchase them here.

One of the year’s most buzzed-about bands will play the Black Cat tonight. When Yeasayer came to town a few months ago, it immediately sold out the backstage of the Black Cat, annoying the hordes of music lovers who weren’t able to get tickets. With an appearance on the main stage, there should be plenty of room for everybody—but we still suggest getting tickets early or else you might just miss one of the best live acts we’ve seen in ages.

It’s hard to come away from the Smithsonian Craft Show without new ideas. The artisans, whose work is for sale, approach their media—fiber, wood, glass, precious metals, and stones—in unconventional ways. For instance, Virginia Rose Kane—who lives in Boonsboro, Maryland—uses cutouts of old engravings, stamps, maps, and paper money to make collages that look like botanical illustrations. The show starts today and goes through Sunday. Click here for details and pricing.
Friday, April 11: It’s here! The much-anticipated Newseum reopens today on Pennsylvania Avenue in downtown DC. Though there will normally be a $20 entrance free, the museum is letting everybody in for free today. Open daily 9 to 5; for tickets, call 888-639-7386 or go to newseum.org.

We put VHS or Beta in our Listen Up! post earlier this week, and that recommendation still holds—for a fun show of poppy dance rock, head out to see them at the Rock and Roll Hotel. 8:30 PM. $15; buy tickets here.

Saturday, April 12: The two-week stretch of cherry-blossom madness wraps up today with the always entertaining Cherry Blossom Parade and Sakura Matsuri Street Festival. To catch the parade, head to Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th streets, Northwest, at 10 AM and grab a perch on the curb to watch the floats and marching bands. Afterward, head to the street festival at Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street. Get ready to take in a lot—there will be Japanese street food, sake, dancing and music, manga, anime, and lots more. The festival goes from 11 AM to 6 PM.

You can pretty much take any activity and use it to raise money for a good cause. Case in point: PhilanthroPONG, a 32-team beer-pong tournament taking place from 4 to 9 PM at R.F.D. (810 Seventh St., NW). If you want to play, a ticket will run you $75 (this includes beer specials and giveaways); if you’re just there to watch, $30 will do you. Proceeds go to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. To reserve a slot for the beer pong, e-mail philanthropong@yahoo.com with both your and your team members’ names.

Sunday, April 13: We raved about local folky rockers These United States when we saw them at South by Southwest in Austin. Now’s your chance to see them when they return from touring to play a hometown show in DC at the Black Cat’s backstage. $10; 9 PM.

Why not take in some local theater this weekend? We’ve reviewed a bunch of area shows­—The Happy Time at Signature Theatre, The History Boys at Studio Theatre, and more. Click here for our theater section.

For more posts on nightlife, arts and events, and bars, click here. Or try out our handy calendar of events.

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