1. They fetch your newspaper, lick your stamps, and got that cutie in the park to actually talk to you, so isn’t it time you gave something back to your dog? Walk man’s best friend to Barkley Square Dog Bakery (2006 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria; 703-548-3644) for Barktoberfest this Thursday from 5 to 9. The $5 suggested admission gets you complimentary pretzels, bratwurst, and hot dogs, while your leashed companion munches on free treats. Beer and wine will be available for $4, and dogs and cats will be up for adoption from the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.
2. What would happen if MGMT conceived a child with U2 in Brooklyn? Amazing Baby! Part psycho-electronic, part up-tempo vocals, and far more impressive than your infant, Amazing Baby has been featured in MTV’s Buzzworthy blog and is bringing its space-age guitar riffs to DC9 on Thursday at 9. Tickets cost $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Must be 18 or over to enter.
3. Pre-game for the weekend at DC’s first gay sports bar, Nellie’s , with it’s Beat the Clock Happy Hour. Starting at 5, the watering hole offers its house-brewed Nellie Beer, Miller Lite, and bottled beers for just $1 with prices increasing by a dollar until 8. The special repeats each weekday, so stumble out Thursday night, find a comfy curb, and get ready for round two Friday.
4. Apocalypse meets watercolors at the Flashpoint art gallery . Saturday is your last chance to marvel at Bradley Chriss’s doomsday palette during his free “Visions From the End of the World” exhibit. Inspired by the notion that “humanity is ultimately powerless,” Chriss’s sunny subjects include storm clouds pouring rain on bloody skeletons and young ghouls buried anonymously in a forest.
5. Culture your palate with the Peak Organic beer tasting at Westover Market (5863 Washington Blvd., Arlington; 703-536-5040) on Friday starting at 4. Raise your elbow for free with tastes of the Vermont-based organic brew and four wines from Argentina. There’ll also be six beers on draft for $4 to $10, live music, and food.
6. Loosen your belt and shuttle from Lebanese shawarma to Spanish paella to Argentine steak at the 20th annual Taste of Bethesda on Saturday from 11 to 4. Last year, more than 40,000 people came to get their fill, and this year’s bash promises four stages for entertainment, 50 restaurants, and a Kid’s Corner to keep the youngsters occupied while you stuff your face. A bundle of four tickets costs $5 (food servings require one to four tickets).
7. Dixie Liquor (3429 M St., NW; 202-338-3494) has been a Georgetown mainstay for decades, getting our parents plastered before we were even a twinkle in their eyes. Yet Pilsner Urquell has been getting our ancestors housed since the 1840s. What better way to bridge the generation gap than by heading to Dixie Liquor on Saturday night between 7 and 9 when the staff blows out the candles for Pilsner’s birthday, passes out free beer samples, and cuts into a Pilsner Urquell cake? Who knew a Saturday night with the family could be so much fun?
8. Remember that adorable cat or dog you adopted on Thursday at the Barktoberfest (see above)? Well, now it’s time to make sure Fifi doesn’t burn in hell. Leash up your pet and take it to the Blessing of the Animals at Washington National Cathedral on Sunday at 2:30 for a traditional St. Francis of Assisi blessing. Cathedral reps say that “any animal is welcome, as long as it’s under control.”
9. You’ve gotten massaged in their baths, swished their teas around in your mouth, and wanted more. Well, now’s your chance at the annual Turkish Festival in DC Sunday from 10 to 6 in front of Freedom Plaza. Sip Turkish coffee and get your fortune read from the shapes the coffee grinds make in your demitasse cup, haggle for bargains at the Turkish Bazaar, or just taste Turkish food from DC restaurants at the free event.
10. Find your best tie-dye shirt, rev up your push mower, and get ready for a day of earthy fun at the Takoma Park Folk Festival. Washington’s most bohemian suburb celebrates arts, crafts, and music at the 28th annual event this Sunday from 10 to 5. Shop for hand-made jewelry, soap, pottery, and hand-blown glass, and more, or sit and listen to 18 musical groups on three stages. The free event takes place rain or shine.