Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do this Weekend

Memorial Day weekend brings a pool party, outdoor concerts, festivals, and, um, Samurais.

Thursday: Take a look at the renovated outdoor space at the Washington Hilton by attending this month’s Homo Hotel Happy Hour. The event, held every third Thursday of the month at a different hotel, raises funds for various LGBT organizations. The happy hour starts at 6. For more information about Homo Hotel Happy Hour, click here.

Washington Samurai Week continues with a Samurai Film Fest at the Japanese Information & Cultural Center at the Embassy of Japan. Thursday’s showing is The Hidden Blade, the sequel to the Oscar-nominated Twilight Samurai and part of a trilogy exploring the fading samurai profession. Friday’s movie is Samurai X: The Motion Picture, an animated film about a retired samurai’s return to battle in a revolution against the new government. Both are free and begin at 6:30. Reservations are required; call 202-238-6949 or e-mail

Bentzen Ball, the comedy and music show led by the talented musician Matthew Hemerlein, is at the Gibson Showroom (709 G St., NW) for its latest show. On the bill: local comedian Will Hessler, hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon, New York City-based comedian/actress Brooke Van Poppelen, and Hemerlein. Tickets are $10; doors open at 8.

Arena Stage is holding a special concert preview of its new sci-fi rock musical SkinDiver at Busboys and Poets Thursday. The show combines technology, mechanical manipulation, a deadly computer code, and a fight for justice. Free. 7 PM.

Friday: It’s officially summer: Jazz in the Garden kicks off tonight with a performance by jazz vocalist Leslie Summey. Those familiar with the Washington institution know to arrive early at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden and stake out a good spot close to the action. 5:30 to 8:30.

Budding oenophiles can learn the basics of wine with a beginner’s class at Bell’s Wine & Spirits (1821 M St., NW; 202-223-4727). Attendees will learn about the major styles of wine, how to properly taste it, and the best way to buy it in stores and at restaurants. The two-hour class, $75 per person, begins at 6:30. Click here for more.

The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival continues with free screenings in Gateway Park at dusk. This year’s theme is I Love the ’90s, and Friday brings Adam Sandler’s (arguably) finest film, Happy Gilmore, about a down-and-out hockey player who takes up golf.

The local indie rockers Greenland are performing at Velvet Lounge Friday for the very indie-rock price of $8. The show begins at 9.

Saturday: The folks behind BrightestYoungThings and their many followers take over the Capitol Skyline Hotel for Camp Camp, a tacky (in a good way) pool party. Entertainment is provided by a slate of DJs including Tom Lim, Exactly, and DJ Cale. There’ll be drink specials and tasting, courtesy of Jeremiah Weed sweet-tea vodka, and guests are encouraged to “get trashy” in a hotel room after the party, with room specials starting at $89. For more information about the party, click here.

Head to Rockville’s Hometown Holidays, an annual festival featuring concerts, arts and crafts, kids’ rides, dance stages, and more. The festival is at the Rockville Town Center through Monday. Free. Saturday and Sunday 1 to 10, Monday 9 to 1.

PassionFish executive chef Chris Clime teaches how to make family-friendly summer meals with a cooking class at the restaurant. Participants will learn to prepare a three-course meal that includes gazpacho with jumbo-lump-crab ceviche; baby-arugula salad with aged balsamic vinaigrette; and grilled whole red snapper with salsa verde. The class, $75 per person, runs from 11 to 1. Contact Jillian Zins at to reserve a space, or click here for more information.

Sunday: Aloha, Washington! Take a walk on the tropical side with a three-day festival celebrating Hawaiian culture in honor of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The Celebrate Hawai’i Festival at the National Museum of the American Indian features Hawaiian cooking demonstrations, short films from the state, hula lessons, and more. 10:30 to 4:30.

Staying in town over Memorial Day weekend? Take a look at our comprehensive guide of events, which includes concerts, parades, and outdoor food extravaganzas.

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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.