Things to Do

Where & When: What to Do This Weekend

Cate Blanchett comes to town, U Street Corridor’s annual sidewalk sale, and the National Aquarium’s 30th birthday bash

Discount shoppers look forward to U Street Corridor’s Sidewalk Sale all year long—and it's finally here!

Thursday, August 4
SHOPPING: A host of restaurants, stores, and clothing boutiques will offer tempting discounts and specials during U Street Corridor’s Dog Days Sidewalk Sale. Caramel, Rue14, DC Noodles, Twins Jazz, Flow Yoga Center, and Cake Love are just a few of the stores getting in on the action. Be sure to check the event site for the entire list of participating venues. The sale lasts through Saturday.

FILM: It’s the first night of Comcast’s Outdoor Film Festival at the Universities at Shady Grove. Tonight’s free screening is Oscar nominee True Grit, the story of a rugged US marshal (Jeff Bridges) who helps a young girl (Hailee Steinfeld) track down her father’s murderer. The films are free, and a portion of food and beverage sales will benefit various National Institutes of Health children’s charities. The festival runs through Monday, and the weekend is full of family favorites—including Tangled on Friday, Up! on Saturday, and Toy Story 3 on Sunday. Grounds open at 6:30 PM, Films begin at 8:30.

MUSIC: Typhoon was named one of the best new indie bands in Portland by Willamette Week’s 2010 list, and lucky for the DC hipster scene, they’re performing at Sixth and I Historic Synagogue tonight. You can sample tracks from the group’s latest album, A New Kind of House here. Tickets ($10 in advance, $12 day of) can be purchased at the event Web site. Doors open at 7 PM, 8 PM.

THEATER: Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett is bringing her star power to DC for the Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Uncle Vanya. Directed by Tamás Ascher, the smash hit tells the story of Uncle Vanya (Richard Roxburgh) and his niece Sonya (Hayley McElhinney) as they work tirelessly to keep their farm afloat. But things change quickly after Professor Serebryakov (John Bell) and his wife Yelena (Cate Blanchett) return for a visit. Tickets ($59 to $135) can be purchased at the Kennedy Center’s Web site. 7:30 PM.

Friday, August 5
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is turning 30 this week, and to celebrate they’re hosting a free festival. The birthday bash will feature everything from music and dance to crafts and face-painting. Spongebob Squarepants will be making an appearance at noon. And be sure to stop by on August 8 for a free cupcake. The festival is free, but regular ticket fees apply for aquarium admission. Today’s festival hours are noon to 7 PM.

FILM: The Freer Gallery’s free Made in Hong Kong Film Festival continues with tonight’s screening of La Comédie Humaine. The high-energy comedy is about a Chinese hitman who becomes friends with a geeky Hong Kong screenwriter. You can watch the trailer here. The film is in Cantonese with English subtitles. 7 PM.

SHOPPING: We recommended Middleburg as a great nearby getaway in our June issue, and the town is having its own Sidewalk Sale. Participating stores include Barrel Oak Tasting Room, Lou Lou, The Corner Garden, The Magic Wardrobe, and more. Click here for a complete list of participating venues. Friday hours are 10 AM to 5 PM; The sale lasts through Sunday.

ART: If you haven’t already, spend an afternoon at the National Air and Space Museum’s “NASA Art: 50 Years of Exploration” exhibit. The collection features about 70 works capturing some of NASA’s greatest moments. Featured artists include everyone from Andy Warhol and Annie Leibovitz to William Wegman and Alexander Calder. Free; The exhibit runs through October 9.

Saturday, August 6
Start your Saturday off on the right foot at the Girls Rock the Deck Dance Party. More than 12 of DC’s hottest female DJs will be spinning tunes on three floors at the Dunes. Plus, there will be barbecue on two decks, along with three full bars. Proceeds will benefit Girls Rock DC, a program that creates a safe place for girls to build self-confidence, community, and rock out. Tickets ($10) can be purchased at the door; 1 to 6:30 PM.

FESTIVAL: The North Capitol Main Street Art and Music Walk is back for an afternoon of—you guessed it—music and art! More than 20 homes throughout Bloomingdale, Eckington, and Truxton Circle will turn their front lawns into temporary stages and galleries. Musicians include Wytold, Corurtney Dowe, and Djesben, to name a few. You can sample the bands’ tracks by clicking on their names. Free; Noon to 6 PM.

COOKING: Channel your inner-Emeril at Cajun Experience’s White Linen Block Party. Executive Chef Thomas Schoborg will show attendees how to make Cajun dishes including Boudin Balls, Seafood Gumbo, and Bread Pudding. Chefs-in-training will get to take home menus and recipe packets. White linen attire is encouraged. Tickets ($25) can be purchased by calling Cajun Experience at 202-670-4416. 4 to 6 PM.

DANCE PARTY: Where can you find Lady Gaga, Britney, and Madonna all in one place?
At the 9:30 Club’s queen of pop dance party. DJ Lil’ E will be spinning the ladies’ hits all night long. Tickets ($15) can be purchased at the event Web site. Doors open at 8 PM.

Sunday, August 7
Death Cab for Cutie are dropping by the Merriweather Post Pavilion tonight, and tickets are still available. The Grammy-nominated band’s most recent album, Codes and Keys, was given an “A” by Entertainment Weekly. You can listen to the album here. Tickets ($35 to $45) can be purchased at the event Web site. Doors open at 6 PM.

LEGO FESTIVAL: Pint-sized architects won’t want to miss the last day of this year’s BrickFair Lego Festival at the Dulles Expo Center. More than 500 Lego fanatics from across the country will be displaying their creations. Kids can build their own masterpieces, catch a few animated Lego films at the BrickFilms theater, and enter for a chance to win their own Lego sets. Tickets ($9) can be purchased at the door; Food will be available for purchase. 11 AM to 4 PM.

CHOCOLATE TOUR: Take a peak inside Spagnvola’s chocolate factory. Bring the whole family to the Maryland chocolatier to learn about the art of candy making. Best of all, attendees can snag a few samples to take home. The free tours are offered every weekend from noon to 7 PM.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Follow Washingtonian on Twitter

More>> After Hours Blog | Arts & Events | Happy Hour Finder | Calendar of Events