Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do this Weekend

Free films, art walks, concerts, and more are all on tap this weekend in Washington.

Thursday: The Capitol Riverfront’s Ultimate Underdog Movie Festival continues at Canal Park (200 M St., SE; 202-465-7093) with a screening of Shrek. The movie starts at 8:45, but attendees are encouraged to arrive as early as 7:30 for games and giveaways. Get there before 7 and you can pick up picnic items from the area’s farmer’s market (New Jersey Ave. and M St., SE). Free.

The embassies of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden have organized an evening of Nordic jazz on the House of Sweden’s rooftop. There’ll be small food items and a cash bar. Tickets ($25) can be purchased here.

It’s not Top Chef (which, BTW, we’re covering extensively with interviews, recaps, predictions, etc.), but at least you get a vote: Brightest Young Things is holding its first annual Amateur Cheeseburger Grilling Competition at Jimmy Valentine’s (1103 Bladensburg Rd., NE; 202-555-1212) Thursday at 7. The competition is part of a series of events organized by the scenester Web site to celebrate the relaunch of its calendar of events. Ballots are $7.

Eleven art galleries along the H Street, Northeast, corridor open their doors from 5 to 7:30 for a special neighborhood art walk. Attendees are given an ARTventures “passport” to be stamped at each stop. Every stamp counts as a discount at nearby restaurants, such as Sticky Rice, H Street Country Club, and the Argonaut. For more details about the walk, click here.

Check out the National Museum of the American Indian’s annual Indian Summer Showcase, a festival featuring the art, culture, food, and dance of native communities across the Americas. This weekend, pottery, weavings, paintings, and other various works from indigenous groups from the lowlands of Bolivia are on display. A dance group from the island of Taquile in Lake Titicaca is performing. For a schedule of events, click here.

Friday: The 20th annual Taste of Reston festival is this weekend at Reston Town Center. There’ll be live music, games, and of course, samples of local food, wine, and beer. Saturday at 5, a carnival and chili cook-off between the Fairfax County police and fire-and-rescue departments takes place. Friday 3 to 11, Saturday noon to 11, Sunday 10 to 6. Tickets are $1 each or $20 for a sheet of 24. Click here to buy tickets online.

Maison, DJ Shea Van Horn’s popular dance party usually held at Napoleon, is switching it up for the summer: Through September, the party is the third Friday of the month on the Donovan House’s rooftop. No cover. 8 PM.

The Freer Gallery’s 15th annual Made in Hong Kong Film Festival kicks off this evening with a screening of John Woo’s epic Han Dynasty battle flick, Red Cliff. A shortened version was released in the US in 2009, but movie buffs can catch the full version tonight. Tickets are first come, first served. 7 PM.

For an evening of unusual—and free!—theater, head to the Kennedy Center for a performance from Deviated Theatre. The group, comprised of more than two dozen actors and dancers, is known for producing original, unexpected work. The performance starts at 6 on the Millennium Stage.

Didn’t get your fix of drag queens last weekend? The Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival at Gateway Park is showing Mrs. Doubtfire, starring Robin Williams and Sally Field, as part of its I Love the ’90s series. The movie shows at dusk (approximately 8), but guests are encouraged to arrive early for ’90s-themed games and giveaways. Free.

Saturday: This weekend brings the 15th annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival in Arlington (South Walter Reed Dr. and Columbia Pike; 703-892-2776). Listen to local and national musicians as you check out the wares and food from local businesses. Saturday 1 to 8.

Holy Ghost!, an indie-disco duo that honed its sound working alongside LCD Soundsystem and has released hit remixes for artists such as MGMT and Phoenix, plays at U Street Musical Hall. Tickets are $10. The extra-long concert starts at 7 PM and runs until 3 AM.

The intersection of fashion and technology is the subject of discussion by a group of panelists as part of Digital Capital Week. The discussion is at the UMC Conference Facility (900 Massachusetts Ave., NW), and members of the panel include Christine Brooks-Cropper, president of the Greater Washington Fashion Chamber of Commerce, and Betsy Lowther, former editor of Fashion Washington. The discussion, which starts at 2:15, is free, but you must register here.

The Paint Alexandria festival, sponsored by the Art League, features guided sessions in painting, drawing, and photography. All skill levels and art admirers are encouraged to attend. Click here for the full schedule and locations. 9:30 AM to 8:30 PM.

Sunday: Sou’Wester at the Mandarin Oriental hotel celebrates dads with a cooking demonstration and lawn party with chef Eric Ziebold. Fare includes grilled steak, sausages, vegetables, and variety of summer salads and desserts. Go for lunch at 11:30 or dinner at 6—each is $75 per person. A bluegrass band plays from 6 to 8. Call Celia Laurent at 202-787-6068 or e-mail for reservations.

Lots of other area restaurants are offering specials for foodie dads this Father’s Day. Get the rundown in our Father’s Day dining guide.

Summer Guide 2010 
Father's Day Gift Guide 

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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.