Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Barbecue, jazz in the garden, an ABBA tribute, the Hirshhorn's party and lots more make up this weekend's nightlife picks.

Thursday, June 19: Ooh la la! Bethesda Row boutique Ginger hosts a Paris-themed book party for Kristin Harmel’s latest novel, The Art of French Kissing. It’s the perfect dishy beach read. Pair it with a breezy Christiane Celle Calypso tunic and you’re totally prepped for summer. (Plus, customers get free gift with all Christiane Celle purchases during the party.) RSVP to dcrsvp@thepattongroupinc.com.

Think ‘70s Swedish pop was the best it got? Then you’ll probably be at the 9:30 Club tonight for the Official Abba Celebration Tribute. The fun and campy tribute to the Swedish supergroup will still have you singing along to “Dancing Queen.” $40; 7:30 PM.

Annuals, a six-piece indie-pop outfit from North Carolina, are playing at Iota this evening. We’ve found their lush pop melodies and exuberant songs to be the perfect soundtrack for summer. How can you resist the soaring sounds of this song, for example? Find out for yourself tonight at their show. 9 PM; $12.

Friday, June 20: Tonight at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden and continuing every Friday through August is the popular free series Jazz in the Garden. The concerts take place in front of the Pavilion Café, next to the grand fountain and reflecting pool. The Sculpture Garden is located at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue, NW. Tonight is the modern-jazz ensemble Nasar Abadey & Supernova. Want more free tunes? Read our roundup of free concerts and music in Washington.

Once again, it’s time for the super-popular Hirshhorn After Hours Friday-night party. You probably know the routine by now: You get to browse the Hirshhorn’s recent exhibits, listen to live music and DJs (tonight it’s the band Maxi Geil! & Playcolt), drink from a cash bar, and do some of the best people watching to be found in the city. 8 PM until midnight; admission is $10 in advance, and you should buy tickets beforehand because these events often sell out.

Saturday, June 21: Happy solstice! Why not celebrate with a beer festival? Lucky you: It’s time for the first-ever Northern Virginia Summer BrewFest at Morven Park. For two days starting today, you’ll get more than 40 craft breweries plus tons of vendors selling food and crafts; live music by the groups Road Soda, the Crawdaddies, Everyone but Pete, and Politicks; and a general good time. A $25 ticket gets you access to samples from all the breweries.

The Alliance Française de Washington opens its doors for La Fête de la Musique, a traditional French celebration that marks the summer solstice with dancing and live music. Dozens of music acts, from pop to rock to jazz to more, play on stages in the French Embassy’s gardens between 5 and 10 PM. Admission is $5 in advance, $10 at the door; tickets are here.

What’s not to like about this weekend’s annual Safeway Barbecue Battle on Pennsylvania Avenue? You’ve got BBQ from all over the country, free samples of food and drink, live music from dozens of bands, cooking demonstrations with celebrity chefs, and plenty more. Tickets are just $10.

At Capitol Hill’s Union Pub, dogs are allowed on the patio year-round, but Saturdays are Pooches on the Patio, Saturday happy hours featuring dog treats and water for thirsty pups. Humans get $5 treats, too: mini-corndogs (five per bucket), Flying Dog Tire Bite Golden Ale (which gives a portion of its proceeds to animal charities), and Dogtail Vineyards red and white wine, plus regular light-beer specials. Want more doggie happy hours? Click here.

Sunday, June 22: Through today, the Bethesda Theatre is presenting World of Jewtopia, a 90-minute standup-comedy-meets-PowerPoint-presentation written and performed by two former struggling LA actors, Bryan Fogel and Sam Wolfson. Incorporating scenes from their popular play, Jewtopia, the longest-running off-Broadway comedy in history, their shtick aims to prove that stereotypes are based on truth.

Tonight’s the last night of Movies Under the Moon. Head to Van Dyck Park in Fairfax for a free showing of Transformers or Bee Movie. Screenings start at 8:30, but the grounds open at 6:30 for early birds looking to snag the best spots. Films play rain or shine, though heavy winds and lightning will mean cancellation. Come hungry: The event benefits Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children and will raise money through food sales.

Related:
New Nightlife Guides
Calendar of Events
Our Favorite Margaritas in the Washington Area
Bargain Happy Hours

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