Thursday, July 17: When we got this notice from the chocolate cafe ACKC, we knew we had to pass it on to you. A chance to test out chocolate for free? We’re in! Here are the details for this Thursday’s ACKC chocolate open house: “Our mad scientist chocolatier has been in the laboratory experimenting with flavor combinations for our confections. He’s come up with some we think are real winners. We need your help though. We are looking for guinea pigs to try them out. You are invited to stop by ACKC D.C. to be our guinea pig.” You must RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “guinea pig”; 6:30 PM.
Catch a free James Bond flick in DC’s NoMa neighborhood tonight. Come dressed as your favorite Bond character for a chance to win prizes. Recite a few lines or act out a scene for your best chance. Films start around 8. Tonight it’s Moonraker at the NoMa James Bond Film Fest.
Intrigued by a game with the description “speed bingo meets Chinese Christmas”? We sure are. That’s what Blingo is, and it’s held every Thursday night at the H Street, Northeast, outpost and sushi joint Sticky Rice. The fun starts at 10.
With a track titled “Drinking Song,” do you really have to ask why we think you should go see Jenny Owen Youngs play? This New Jersey songstress, who hits Jammin’ Java this evening, also charmed us with her oddball rendition (and accompanying hysterical video) of Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” which puts Alanis Morissette’s cover of “My Humps” to shame. Check out the funny video herre (and then take off all your clothes—or not). $12 at the door; 7:30 PM.
Friday, July 18: Didn’t get your space fill at the NASA exhibit at the recent Folklife Festival? Then try out Mars Day at the National Air and Space Museum today. From 10 to 3, you can talk with scientists, see a full-scale model of Phoenix, the latest spacecraft to land on the red planet, and see evidence that water once flowed on Mars. There’s a full schedule of events here. Free.
Ben Brenman Park hosts the Comcast Outdoor Film Festival in Alexandria this weekend, benefitting Hopkins House, a local education charity. The screenings are free, but a portion of food sales goes to the charity. Films start at 8:30. Tonight’s film is Bee Movie; Saturday it’s Transformers. For more free films, head to our roundup here.
If you’re stuck finding an idea for a unique and romantic date, try this: During the summer, until September 1, the National Park Service lets folks up to the observation platform of the Washington Monument until 10 every evening. Tickets are still required—you can get them by waiting in line at the Monument Lodge on 15th Street, NW, or by reserving them online here.
Saturday, July 19: Since the Missouri band Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin last stopped in town, “Modern Mystery” has become a staple in our pop playlist. The band makes its return tonight at the Black Cat, and its upbeat, catchy tunes will have you toe-tapping and grinning. As a bonus, local popsters Bellman Barker will be opening. $12; 9 PM.
Do you yearn for a time when comedy was slapstick (and silent) and didn’t involve fart jokes or misogyny? Then you might want to check out Slapsticon this weekend. It’s a four-day film festival at the Rosslyn Spectrum showcasing films and clips from early-20th-century comedy stars like Charlie Chaplin and the Three Stooges. It starts Thursday and goes through Sunday. It’s $30 for a one-day registration, $99 for all four days. Check out the full schedule and price details here.
Artscape in Baltimore is worth heading out of town for. The free, huge arts festival (the largest in the country, in fact) has lots of exhibits, music, dancing, general wackiness, and visual fun, and more. Check out the Web site for more details and directions. Noon to 10.
Sunday, July 20: Today’s the last day to catch “The Rolling Exhibition,” a photography show in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States. Legless photographer Kevin Connolly literally rolled through 15 countries on a skateboard, then snapped the people who gawked at him. Free; 10 to 10.