Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Beaujolais arrives with loads of parties, great bands play the Black Cat, ice skating season starts, a theater hosts an open house and lots more in this weekend's picks.

You might also like . . . Recession Deals at Restaurants | Happy Hours on Saturday and Sundays

Thursday | Friday | Saturday | Sunday

Thursday, November 20: The third Thursday of November marks the release of the 2008 Beaujolais Nouveau harvest—and French law says the bottle can’t be corked before then. The anticipation is killing us, so we’ve rounded up a few local spots that will toast the special occasion.

You’ll get a French happy hour mixed with music and art tonight at the Phillips Collection’s Soiree Carte Blanche event. Bring your iPod to join in a music-mixing contest with a great prize: a free series of classes at the Alliance Française and a Phillips Collection membership. The fun, food, and Frenchiness gets started at 6 PM; admission is $12 at the door.

Friday, November 21: The National Museum of American History is finally reopening after months of delays. Celebrate its newly renovated digs at a ribbon-cutting ceremony this morning from 8:30 to 10. A grand-opening festival commences at 10 and continues throughout the day and weekend. Jazz, blues, classical, and Latin music will be played, and actors will recreate important scenes from American history, including the creation of “The Star Spangled Banner” and sit-ins during the Civil Rights movement. Visit for details.

From 7 to 11 PM, come out to Fashion Forward, a charity fashion show to benefit the Hoop Dreams Scholarship Fund. Runway models, Redskins cheerleaders, and Washington Wizards Girls will show off the fall 2008 collection of the DC-based brand iKY Clothing. The event, held at Shadow Room, will feature a two-hour open bar with hors d’oeuvres and cupcakes by Georgetown Cupcake. Tickets are $50 in advance and $60 at the door. Visit for tickets and more information.

The French Kicks have since moved to NYC, but the band started out as a DC group, so we’re still going to claim its dreamy, poppy tunes as coming straight out of the District. Check out the band’s lovely songs for yourself when it plays the Black Cat tonight. $13; 9 PM.

Are you a fan of our weekly Blogger Beat feature, where we introduce you to some of our favorite bloggers around town? Then you’ll definitely want to head to Bourbon tonight at 8 PM, where there’ll be a DC Blogger Happy Hour hosted by two of our Blogger Beat subjects, Lemmonex and Arjewtino. Bloggers galore and their fans will be there.

Saturday, November 22: As far as we can tell, These United States is one of the hardest-working bands in Washington. It’s been on tour for months and months in other parts of the country, but lucky for us, the band makes its return to DC tonight with a homecoming show at the Black Cat. Come check out the twangy rock when the band hits the stage this evening at 9;  $10.

We’re not exactly sure why Tonic decided to make theme of its fifth anniversary “Pig Tails and Plaid Skirts,” but hey, as long as we can drink, no complaints from us. Drink specials and other fun will take place in this Mount Pleasant institution from 8 PM on.

Hey, why should bar crawls be limited to downtown DC? Bethesda gets in on the action tonight with a Fall Bar Tour. Sign up at Tommy Joe’s, then head to any of the eight participating bars for specials such as $2 Miller Lites. The fun starts at 1 PM and goes until 9; $10 cover.

Sunday, November 23: Theater lover? Celebrate today with Activate: The Source Grand Opening at the Source. The 14th Street theater has been renovated and is hosting an open house, classes, and more. Get the full schedule of events here.

It’s finally gotten a bit chilly out there, hasn’t it, Washington? Time to break out the skates! The lovely outdoor rink at the National Gallery is open, and you can skate to your heart’s content. Find more places to skate in our guide to area rinks.

More>> After Hours Blog | Arts & Events | Happy Hour Finder | Calendar of Events