News & Politics

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

A sundress bash, a PostSecret party, embassies opening their doors, and lots more in this weekend’s nightlife guide.

Cinco de Mayo Events
Great Outdoor Bars
Happy Hour Finder

Thursday, April 30

The rock band the Kills, known for its sleazy guitar riffs and lead singer Alison Mosshart’s sexy voice, plays at the 9:30 Club along with the Horrors and the Magic Wands. Tickets ($20) can be purchased here. Doors open at 7.

Bird Fest 2009, the National Zoo’s celebration of International Migratory Bird Day, begins with a talk by conservationist Nigel Collar in the zoo’s visitor’s center from 7:30 to 8:30. Collar, who has worked with BirdLife International for the past 30 years, will discuss his work with threatened species and his latest book, Birds and People: Bonds in a Timeless Journey.

Come springtime in the Washington area, the one thing we can’t get enough of is outdoor drinking locations. Tonight, we add this to our arsenal: The Arts and Innovations Building in Rockville will launch SkyAtFive, a weekly rooftop happy hour, at 5 PM. Want more outdoor drinking options? Check out our guide.
Friday, May 1

 Can you believe that the confessional-postcard site (one of our “can’t-miss clicks”) PostSecret is releasing its fifth book? To celebrate, Hillyer Art Space is hosting “PostSecret: Confessions on Life, Death, and God.” The exhibit, which runs through June, will features more than 100 postcards from the upcoming book. Author Frank Warren will be at tonight’s opening reception. $5; 6 PM.

Food writer Mary Beth Albright will give a lecture on the “urban locavore” lifestyle at CulinAerie (1131 14th St., NW). She’ll give strategies for shopping at farmers markets and talk about buying seasonal, local produce. The talk, which includes a three-course lunch with wine, starts at 12:15 and costs $45. Call 202-587-5674 for reservations.

Artist Jean Shin discusses her installations of found objects for a new exhibit opening at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Her works take everyday objects such as lottery tickets and broken umbrellas and repurposes them for large-scale statements about identity and community. There will be a reception after the discussion. 7 PM; free.

Who doesn’t enjoy singing along to a rousing rendition of “Sweet Caroline”? Are you with us? You’re pretty much guaranteed that tonight at a concert by Super Diamond, the “alternative Neil Diamond experience,” at the 9:30 Club. 8 PM; $22.

Saturday, May 2

Horses! Hats! Sundresses! Epic amounts of alcohol! That just about sums up the fun that is the Gold Cup, taking place today in The Plains, Virginia. If you don’t have a tent, cozy up to someone who does; if you don’t have a ride, check out Lindy Promotions’ buses.

For more than a week, many of DC’s embassies will open their doors to the public for PassportDC, a massive festival that features street fairs, dance and music performances, food tastings, and art exhibitions. Today is the Embassy Open House, when more than 30 embassies will be open with special activities. Tour embassies from 10 to 4; get more details here.

We’ve spent lots of time this spring being charmed by the quirky, lovely folk music from the band Vetiver. Catch the band live tonight when it plays Iota in Arlington. 9:30 PM; $15 at the door.

Each year, the National Cathedral Flower Mart draws thousands of people to the grounds of Washington National Cathedral. Held on the west lawn, festivities include music, puppet shows, games, and rides for the kids; more than a dozen food vendors and 50 booths with items for sale; used and rare books; and of course, lots of plants. Be sure to pop inside the cathedral’s nave to see floral arrangements by embassies from around the world. The best part: Admission is free. The festival continues Sunday. 10 to 6 on Saturday; 10 to 5 on Sunday.

Detox from the fast pace of Washington life by heading to one of several participating yoga studios during the fourth annual DC Yoga Week, which kicks off today and goes through May 9. Studios will be offering free and $5 yoga classes throughout the week, so whether you’re a down-dog newbie or a yoga expert, it’s worth your time to check it out. Get schedules and more info here.

Sunday, May 3

The Wonderland Ballroom’s annual Sundress Fest is today, and we can’t think of a better way to spend a sunny Sunday. With a pig roast, drinks, and specials for anyone (man or woman) donning a sundress, it’s a guaranteed good time. Don’t own a sundress? There’ll be some available for $10, with all proceeds going to local charities. 4 PM; $10 donation suggested.

The 18th annual Cinco de Mayo festival at the Sylvan Theater on the Mall will have food, live music, and dance performances, including one by the Maru Montero Dance Company. The event, which runs from noon to 6, will also have workshops and other activities for children. Get more Cinco de Mayo events in our roundup. Also, get the recipes for two Cinco de Mayo cocktails here.

If you’re looking for a good dose of ’90s nostalgia, Gavin Rossdale (formerly of Bush) will be playing his new solo material at the 9:30 Club. We can’t say we’ve actually heard any of his new stuff, but isn’t the hope that he might play “Glycerine” reason enough to go? 7 PM; buy tickets ($25) here.