News & Politics

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Tons of Fourth of July parties, fireworks, pool parties galore, a pig roast, the closing of the Folklife Festival and Artomatic, and lots more in this jam-packed weekend guide.

Fourth of July Guide
Where to Watch Fireworks
Fun Ideas for a Bang-Up Fourth 

Thursday, July 2: Bars in DC’s Dupont Circle will host a patriotic bar crawl featuring food and drink specials such as $2 Coors Light, $3 Blue Moon, and half-price burgers, wings, and more. The event starts at Mackey’s Public House at 5 PM and continues to Rumors, Singapore Bistro, Recessions, Black Rooster Pub, James Hoban’s Irish Bar, Madhatter, the Front Page, Ozio, Steve’s Bar Room, and Public Bar. The event costs $13, or $10 if you bring two cans of food, which will be donated to Manna Food Center. You can also pay in advance online for $9 tickets.

It’s the annual Kids in America Independence Day party at the ’80s Dance Party night at Eighteenth and Red. To mark Michael Jackson’s untimely death, lots of the Prince of Pop’s tunes are likely to be played. The $5 cover includes a free shot. Doors open at 9 PM.

The Gibson is celebrating the Fourth early this year. Although its food menu is usually limited to cheese and charcuterie, tonight you’ll find a roasted whole hog and cocktails such as gin rickeys and daiquiris. The menu will include burgers (grilled portobello mushrooms for vegetarians), potato salad, and corn. Also in store are whole watermelons split in half and doused with rum. Dinner, which costs $75 per person, will run from 6 to midnight. Call 202-232-2156 between noon and 5 for reservations.

Feeling hungry? Patriotic? Hungry and patriotic? Then you’ll want to check out the Independence Burger Eating Championship at Z-Burger (4321 Wisconsin Ave., NW; 202-966-1999) today at noon. Sadly, it’s too late to register to compete, but you can still watch the, er, fun for free. Head to the location in DC’s Tenleytown.

Check out up-and-coming skateboarders live on the half-pipe all weekend long in the National Museum of American Indian’s Potomac Atrium. Held in conjunction with the “Ramp It Up: Skateboard Culture in Native America” exhibition, Native Skate Jam features Native American skaters of all ages and celebrates the roles of indigenous peoples in alternative-sport culture. The half-hour sets run today, Saturday, and Sunday at noon and 2. Free.

Friday, July 3: Have the day off today? Head to the Mall for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which continues through Sunday. The event features music, food, dancing, crafts, cooking demonstrations, and exhibits. This year’s themes are Latino music, African-American traditions, and the nation of Wales.

Atlanta Braves fans can get their baseball fix three times this weekend at Nationals Park. With games at 6:35 today, 1:05 Saturday, and 1:35 Sunday, there’s sure to be a slot that fits everyone’s schedule. Click here to buy tickets, which can run $10 and less for the nosebleed sections.

Artomatic’s “Art in Fashion: Celestial Bodies” event promises to be a great time. This indie-art extravaganza celebrates costume-and-fashion design, drag, dance, hair design, tattoo art, mime, body piercing, and more with a runway show, musical performances, side-stage demonstrations, and an after-party. In true carnival spirit, the public, meant to be part of the spectacle, is invited to dress as creatively as desired. Click here for the complete schedule. 8 PM to 2 AM.

Indulge your patriotism (also known as beer-drinking habits) a bit by heading to the Freedom Fest party at Public Bar (1214 18th St., NW) in downtown DC starting at 6 tonight. There are all the important ingredients for a good summer-evening bash: a roof deck (but get there early because it’ll fill up quickly), live music, and drink specials. The cover charge is $5 starting at 6 but will rise throughout the night.
Saturday, July 4: Get ready for a great Fourth of July by checking out our guide for the holiday. We’ve got the scoop on dining specials, tips on how to put together a great picnic, the best spots to catch the fireworks, and more. Check out the guide here.

Palace of Wonders on H Street, Northeast, is the place to be for an alternative Independence Day celebration. Check out the bar/museum’s collection of oddities as you sway to the ska, roots, and reggae music of Johnny2Bad and DJ More Fyah in the 4th of July Reggae Sound Session. There’s no cover, and drink specials include $3 Red Stripes, $4 rum punch, and happy-hour deals on rails and domestics. Happy hour starts at 5, and the music goes from 9 PM to 2 AM. Call 202-398-7469 for more information.

The National Air and Space Museum’s Imax Theater is always a great way to beat the summer heat. This weekend, we recommend revisiting childhood thrills with To Fly!, the Imax classic that sends you soaring through the sky in air balloons, space rockets, and everything in between. Friday, today, and Sunday at 12:35 and 3:25. Click here to buy tickets and view the complete schedule.

This isn’t like the fat camps of days gone by. Brightest Young Things is throwing a “fat camp”-themed party at the Capitol Skyline pool today. For $10 admission, you’ll get access to the pool plus the Fatback DJs, eating contests, dance contests, and lots more.

No one does Independence Day like Washington, and we’ve found plenty of ways to celebrate. Check out our Fourth of July dining guide for meal specials and restaurants with a view of the fireworks.

Sunday, July 5: It’s the last day of Artomatic! If you haven’t made it out to the wacky, anything-goes art show, make sure you do so today. It’ll be open noon until 10.

Up for a drive? The Flying Circus Airshow in Bealeton, Virginia, offers entertainment for the whole family. Watch parachuters cascade to the ground and a wing-walker use no more than her legs to hold on to a biplane’s bottom wing at the Flying Circus Aerodome today. $10 for adults; children ages 3 to 12 $3. Gates and field opens at 11, and the air show begins at 2:30. Insider tip: Bust out Grandpa’s old bird-watching binoculars for a close-up view and sunglasses for reduced glare. For directions, click here.

Sarah is the Editor-in-Chief of Washingtonian Bride & Groom, and writes about weddings, fashion, and shopping. Her work has also appeared in Refinery29, Bethesda Magazine, and Washington City Paper, among others. She is a Georgetown University graduate, lives in Columbia Heights, and you can find her on Instagram at @washbridegroom and @sarahzlot.