Thursday, July 24
HAPPY HOUR: We had that whole “colonies” thing going on here for a while, and then the “Revolutionary War,” but these days, we get along with Great Britain just fine. Celebrate that with the Transatlantic Toast to Liberty happy hour at Bier Baron tonight with the Young Britons’ Foundation and America’s Future Foundation, where you’ll meet people from both countries. Maybe you can talk about accents and adding the letter “u” to words like color. Free. 6 PM.
FILM: Bethesda’s outdoor movie festival is all this week, and there’s not really any theme to it. Tonight, you get arguably the greatest piece of American cinema with Citizen Kane; tomorrow you get the equally classic a cappella college movie Pitch Perfect, featuring that dude from Workaholics. Choose wisely. Free. Around 8 PM.
BEER: Rustico in Ballston is going to crack open ten different beers from SweetWater Brewing Company, an Atlanta brewery we don’t see all that much up here. Proceeds from the night will help raise awareness for Potomac River preservation, so we can keep that (uhh, relatively) sweet water flowing for years to come. There will also be lots of giveaways. Free. 6 PM.
Friday, July 25
ART: The Freer and Sackler Galleries stay open late so you can take a look at scenes from 1870s Tokyo in “Kiyochika: Master of the Night,” which closes this weekend, and “An American in London: Whistler and the Thames.” Afterward, there’s a screening of Tokyo Twilight, which follows a woman and her young daughter who flee her abusive husband to start a new life. Free. 5:30 to 8:30 PM; film starts at 8.
FILM: The Drive-in Movie series continues at Union Market with Wes Anderson’s The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. The movie is free if you walk up and cheap if you drive; get there early for activities and all the snacks you’d expect from an event at Union Market. $10 per car; free otherwise. Gates open at 6 PM; film begins at 8:15.
GHOSTS: The National Building Museum isn’t just home to our Best of Washington event—it’s also home to some unsettled spirits. That’s right, the museum is haunted, and every so often this summer, you can seek out the otherwordly occupants with the museum’s ghost tours. Tickets tend to go fast, so grab yours quick. (Also it’s not so scary that you can’t bring the kids.) Tickets ($25) are available online. 9:30 PM.
MUSIC: Jeff Mangum and his seminal indie band Neutral Milk Hotel get out of the stuffy auditoriums and out to Merriweather, where songs like “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” were made to be heard. Tickets ($36) are available online. 6:30 PM.
Saturday, July 26
CHRISTMAS: If you went straight from complaining about the long winter to complaining about the oppressive summer humidity, remind yourself of cooler times with Alexandria’s Christmas in July party, which is exactly what it sounds like. There’ll be storytelling and cookies for the kids at Union Street Public House, and drink specials for you. Also swing by the Christmas Attic for discounts, photos with Santa, and face painting. Free. 10 AM to 3 PM.
BEER: Sample more than 50 brews at the Drink the District Beer Fest on New York Avenue, Northwest, between Fifth and Sixth Streets. There’ll be live music, lawn games, food, and all-you-can-drink booze—all for 30 bucks. Tickets ($30) are available through Groupon. 1 to 4 PM and 6 to 9 PM.
ALIENS: Astrobiologist David Grinspoon and space science curator Ka Chun Yu explore the possibilities of extraterrestrial life with a seminar/performance this weekend at the Navy Memorial. The House Band of the Universe provides live funky jazz for an evening the organizer promise will be “psychoastrobiofunkiliscious.” Tickets ($42) are available online. 7 PM.
AIR GUITAR: Every year, the US Air Guitar Championships come through 9:30 Club, and every year, it’s completely ridiculous and always fun. You’ll watch a bunch of people play their invisible six strings; it’s like karaoke for people who can’t sing. Tickets ($20) are available online. 8 PM.
Sunday, July 27
THEATER: Fringe Festival is almost over, but if you haven’t yet, you should check out The Monster Songs—part cabaret, part storytelling—featuring “Dr. Dour” and “Peach” as they recount their experiences with zombies, mummies, giant lizards, and all sorts of other mythological (?) beasts. Tickets ($17) are available online. 6 PM.
FILM: Double down on two of the Coen brothers’ best films—A Serious Man and The Big Lebowski—at the Washington Jewish Community Center. It’s what The Dude would do. Tickets ($12) are available online. The Big Lebowski: 12:15 and 4:30. A Serious Man: 2:15 and 6:30.
Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at firstname.lastname@example.org, or find him on Twitter.