1. Help celebrate the YWCA’s annual Week Without Violence campaign by learning how to fight. Starting at 6 on Thursday, men and women are invited to the Penn Quarter YMCA (624 Ninth St., NW) for a free one-hour self-defense workshop with Sara Salam. The class will cover both holistic and physical ways to channel fear into strength in order to confront attackers.
2. You’re young, ambitious, and working to change the world. Isn’t it time society gave something back to you other than a barely livable wage? Following the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network gala at the White House on Thursday, BlackFinn American Saloon is throwing an after-party for Washington’s young nonprofit workers and their friends starting at 6. A $5 donation is suggested at the door; Miller Lites are just $2, and glasses of house wine, Champagne, and rail drinks are $3. BlackFinn will provide free food. The networking is up to you.
3. The Bethesda-based Chic Physique fitness club is kicking off its grand-opening weekend with a free Friday-night Sexy Halloween Party at 7, followed by a free pole-dancing demonstration at 9 by Jessalynn Medairy, who teaches the gym’s Ooh La La Lap Dance classes. The fitness center is also offering free trial lessons from noon to 5 on Saturday and Sunday. Classes include Pole Tease, Lap Dance, FlirTease, and Hot Hips.
4. Take the edge off after a long week with a free winetasting at Zola Wine & Kitchen on Friday at 5:30. Doug Mohr of the Country Vintner will pour Honig Sauvignon Blanc and Robert Sinskey Merlot from Napa along with Alois Legeder and Peter Zemmer Pinot Grigios from Italy.
5. Dai che ci divertiamo! Throw on your thick-rimmed Prada glasses, hop on your Vespa, and head to the newly renovated Eye Bar on Friday night for its no-cover Italian Party from 9 to 2. Sip Italian beer served by Peroni models and enjoy Italian music. You’ll have no trouble learning to talk with your hands to members of the Italians in DC group after several $5 Negroni specials. You must RSVP here in advance.
6. Saturday-morning cartoons may have given way to Japanese anime, but children can still get their dose of weekend magic with the National Theatre’s free Saturday Morning series. This week, master puppeteer Chris Hudert brings Aesop’s Fables to life at 9:30 and 11. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis 30 minutes prior to the performance. Children must be accompanied by an adult, and there’s a limit of one ticket per person in line.
7. With a Bed Bath & Beyond and now a Heritage Trail, DC’s Columbia Heights has officially arrived. Join DC councilmembers Jim Graham and Mary Cheh and local author Marita Golden for the unveiling of the Columbia Heights Heritage Trail this Saturday, followed by a free neighborhood celebration from 1 to 4. Listen to the Malcolm X Drummers, wander the trail, and catch music and dance performances in the Civic Plaza. Free snacks and samples will be provided by CommonWealth Gastropub, the Heights, and Taqueria Distrito Federal.
8. Get to know your favorite local artists by visiting them in the flats, studios, and converted dining rooms where they work. Saturday and Sunday mark the free fall Mid City Artists’ Open Studios weekend, when nearly 20 artists open their doors to promote their work. Click here for a downloadable map, a list of artists, and schedules.
9. What better way to work off that Saturday-night hangover than by watching some of the world’s fittest athletes run 26.2 miles early Sunday morning in the Marine Corps Marathon? At 8 AM, 30,000 runners will tear through Rosslyn, into Georgetown, past the Capitol, and on to the finish line at the Marine Corps War Memorial. A variety of bands and entertainers will line the race route. For a full list, check here.
10. Are you more into spatial photography than Sunday-night football? From 7 to 2, head to Hudson Restaurant & Lounge, where World Bank employee and photographer Julius Gwyer will show images taken during his recent travels to Southeast Asia, France, Italy, and Mexico. The Pete Muldoon Trio will provide a jazzy soundtrack, and the artist will be on hand to talk about his work.