Besides the usual weekend picks, we’ve got plenty of other nightlife ideas you should check out. Get our guide to debate-watching parties for Friday, find out where to watch your hometown football team in the area, pick an Oktoberfest event, or find an unusual movie theater around town.
Thursday, September 25: Who doesn’t love cupcakes? Better yet, who doesn’t love free cupcakes? Get yourself to the Washington Club tonight for DC’s first-ever cupcake contest, where anyone can enter his or her best cupcakes and the audience can sample them, drink from a cash bar, and mingle at the same time—sounds like a perfect Thursday night to us. Get more details on how to enter and attend here.
If you enjoy the smooth sounds of bands like the Doobie Brothers and Steely Dan, the Yacht Rock DJ party tonight at Café Saint-Ex’s Gate 54 might be the place for you. Dress up in your finest nautical gear, and get there early—the last Yacht Rock party was a huge success and packed to the gills. 10 PM; free.
More museums are catching on to the idea of hosting happy hours to show off their exhibits to a young crowd. The Corcoran is hosting Thursday Power Hours through December 18 in celebration of its excellent “Richard Avedon: Portraits of Power” exhibit. The $25 happy hour runs from 5:30 to 7:30 and will get you two glasses of wine, snacks, and entrance to the exhibit. Not a bad deal, considering normal entrance would run you $14.
Friday, September 26: Dead set on watching the debate? Check out our guide to parties and bars where you can do so.
If you always wanted to learn how to brew your own beer but were kind of scared of what might come outta that bathtub, you can get the lowdown tonight when ten local homebrewers come to the Studio Gallery in Dupont to talk about the craft. 6 to 10 PM; call 202-232-8734 for more info.
A new exhibit opens today at the Smithsonian American Art Museum: “Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams: Natural Affinities.” It explores the focus on nature in both artists’ work and their relationship to each other. Bonus: Today at 6:30, SAAM chief curator Eleanor Harvey and curator of photography Toby Jurovics will host a discussion about the exhibit.
Burned out from the election already? Get some political-comedy relief with the last weekend of POTUS, Washington Improv Theater’s interactive event, where the audience picks both the presidential platform and the candidates. You’ll be laughing your election anxiety away by the end of it. Today and Saturday at 8 PM at the Source. $15.
Saturday, September 27: Visit the Museum of Natural History for the grand opening of Sant Ocean Hall, the museum’s largest permanent exhibition. It features the seven-foot-tall jaws from a prehistoric shark, a 45-foot-long full-scale model of a North Atlantic right whale, and a 24-foot-long giant squid. The museum will also host two related lectures in the Baird Auditorium, “Bringing the Ocean to Life” at 1 and “Tracking Ocean Giants” at 3. A signing with Smithsonian Ocean author Deborah Cramer will take place in the store at 4. Exhibit open from 11 to 5.
The fall fun and celebrations continue with Clarendon Day in Arlington. Usual neighborhood party activities abound—live music, food, crafts, moon bounces, and more. Noon to 7; free.
If you’d rather be in DC but are still in a festival mood, try Rock Creek Park Day for a celebration of the park’s 118th birthday. There will be plenty of family activities and entertainment throughout the day. Free.
Or you can go Greek this weekend. It’s time for Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral’s Fall Greek Festival. There are lots of fun activities, from live music to dancing to crafts to tours of the cathedral. But you can also go for the food alone—Greek pastries, souvlaki, and gyros, plus Greek wine and beer . . . mmm. Noon to 9 (the festival also takes place Friday and Sunday; hours are the same). Free.
Sunday, September 28: Show some love for local designers and artists at the Crafty Bastards festival at the Marie Reed Learning Center in Adams Morgan. The event showcases handmade alternative arts and crafts by independent artists from DC and beyond. You can buy everything from screen-printed shirts to punk-rock baby clothes. 10 to 5; free.
The 33rd annual Virginia Wine Festival, hosted by the Vinifera Wine Growers Association, will take place at the Prince William County Fairgounds. The festival goes from 11 to 6 on Saturday and Sunday and costs $25 per tasting ticket and $15 per nontasting ticket. In addition to tastings, there will be wine seminars, food-and-wine-pairing demonstrations, children’s programs, and an array of arts and crafts. Click here for more information and call 703-922-7049 for tickets. (Interested in more foodie events? Make sure to check out Table to Table, our new weekly feature listing all the food-related events you’d ever want to know about. It’s on Washingtonian.com every Monday.)