Things to Do

Ten Under $10

Tax Day deals, movie screenings, a garden tour, and more for $10 or less.

In case you forgot, let this be your last reminder: Tax Day is Thursday, April 15. For some of you, that means excessive cursing and a frantic last-minute run to H&R Block. For the rest, feel free to relax at any of three DC lounges with discounted food and cocktail specials. Helix Lounge, Bar Rouge, and Topaz Bar are offering special 1040 menus named after that income-tax form you probably didn’t fill out correctly. The price? You guessed it—$10.40.

Thursday, head over to the Busboys and Poets at Fifth and K streets, Northwest, to check out the opening night of the Dance Is the Answer festival, 2½ weeks of dance activities that kicks off with the first of seven flash-mob dances. 5:45.

You can’t get in to most concerts these days for less than ten bucks. An exception is the Velvet Lounge, where the funky indie band Mi Ami plays Thursday for $8. The performance starts at 9.

Listen to smart people discuss important things at the Future of Museums panel discussion at the American University’s Katzen Arts Center. The topic: a museum’s purpose in a wired world. 7 PM; $10.

James Cameron’s (kind of overrated) epic movie Avatar premieres this Friday at the Arlington Cinema ’N’ Drafthouse. In case you missed it in theaters, this might be your last chance to see it on the big screen—and here it’s only $5.50. Friday night is Wine Night, with tastings and experts from the Washington Wine Academy. The doors open at 6:15, and the movie begins at 6:45.

The Freer and Sackler Galleries are holding their 2010 Korean Film Festival in the Meyer Auditorium, and Friday, you can catch With a Girl of Black Soil at 7. The acclaimed film explores a small Korean mining town and its residents. Free.

Saturday is Record Store Day, a chance to recognize local independent record stores. To celebrate, exclusive vinyl and CD releases are available at certain stores, and special events are being held in cities across the country. DC’s event is benefit concert at St. Stephen’s Church. Tickets are $10 or $5 with a Record Store Day receipt. Click here for a list of participating stores.

Remember the freighter captain who was captured by Somali pirates? You know, the story that ended with a serious dose of sniper action? Well, get the rest of the story when Captain Richard Phillips discusses his new book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, Saturday at 2 at the Borders in Bailey’s Crossroads (5871 Crossroads Center Way, Falls Church; 703-998-0404).

Head to Bethesda anytime this weekend for the town’s 11th annual literary festival. Author readings, workshops, and children’s activities are happening in several venues, bringing together the area’s best writers for a celebration of literature. For more information, go here.

Take a tour of the White House gardens Saturday at 10 and Sunday at 11. This event has been an annual tradition since 1972, with visitors viewing the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, the Children’s Garden, and more. Free; tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 8 AM both days at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (15th and E sts., NW; 202-456-7041). 

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Staff Writer

Michael J. Gaynor has written about fake Navy SEALs, a town without cell phones, his Russian spy landlord, and many more weird and fascinating stories for the Washingtonian. He lives in DC, where his landlord is no longer a Russian spy.