Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: September 18 to 21

Pups and Pilsners in Crystal City, the H Street Festival, and a celebration of all things bacon.

Bring your dog to Crystal City's Festival Grounds on Sunday for Pups and Pilsners. Image via Shutterstock.

Thursday, September 18

COMEDY: After Class, a semi-educational comedy night at Science Club, continues tonight. By semi-educational, I mean that if you’re looking to learn lots of facts about fake things or lots of fake facts about real things, you’ve come to the right place. Free. 8:30 PM.

MUSIC: Jazz in the Garden is sadly over, but you can still catch Smithsonian-sponsored jazz at the Take Five! show at the American Art Museum’s monthly concert series. This month, to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Blue Note Records, Pete Muldoon’s group will perform the works of Grant Green. ArtJamz will provide canvases in case you feel inspired to paint during the performance. Free. 5 PM.

Friday, September 19

ART: The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library hosts a preview of “Uncensored,” an art show that celebrates the kickoff of Banned Books Week in the city. There’ll be live music, cocktails inspired by the banned books in question, and lots and lots of art. Tickets ($50) are available online. 7 PM.

DANCE: Simian Mobile Disco is the Bon Iver of the electronic music world: For its last album, the band disappeared into the middle of the desert and recorded an eminently danceable album using only modular synthesizers. You can hear it at U Street Music Hall this weekend. Tickets ($20) are available online. 9 PM.

BURLESQUE: There’s an Orange Is the New Black-themed burlesque show at Black Cat, brought to you by the same dancers who usually do these themed burlesque nights. There’s a costume contest, as well, which I assume will be won by someone wearing an orange jumpsuit—check your discount prison surplus stores now! Tickets ($12) are available online. 9 PM.

PRE-FESTIVAL: The big event this weekend is the H Street Festival, which has apparently gotten so big that some participating bars are hosting pre-parties for it. Check out Sticky Rice, Impala, Red Rocks, and most of the other neighborhood spots—they’re all doing something special. Free. 5 PM to close. 

Saturday, September 20

FESTIVAL: Ah, here it is. The H Street Festival, which has been one of the best neighborhood festival in DC for a few years running, happens this weekend. Ten blocks of H Street will shut down, new bars and restaurants will have previews, old bars and restaurants will take to the streets, and you can finally get a glimpse of the streetcars. Fair warning: There will also be approximately a million of your closest friends, family, and strangers there. Free. Noon to 7 PM.

DOGS: The Wiener Dachshund Dash & DC Oktoberfest party is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a race between a whole bunch of Dachshunds, plus a lot of beer. You can bring your dog to Woodrow Wilson Plaza to race on a 50-foot piece of Astroturf—if he or she is fast, you can win $150. Spend it on dog treats because your pup deserves it. Tickets ($20) are available online. 1 to 4 PM.

BACON: There’s not much that can compete with H Street Festival, but if there’s something, it’s probably the Capitol Bacon Festival at the Fairgrounds outside of Nats Park. Entry gets you three bacon samples and the chance to try many, many more. You can also listen to live music, hit the full-service bars, and pick up some bacon-themed souvenirs to take home. Tickets ($20) are available online. 1 to 7 PM.

BEER: Many of the District’s best breweries will be at the Heurich House Museum for Oktoberfest. The DC Brewers’ Guild will serve homemade German soft pretzels, sausages, and lots of sauerkraut. Oh, you want to know about the beer? Have unlimited Oktoberfest-inspired brews from DC Brau, Bluejacket, Right Proper, Atlas Brew Works, Chocolate City, and more. Tickets ($60) are available online. 1 to 4 PM.

Sunday, September 21

FOOD: I have no idea whose idea this was, but the Festicle is a cookoff to see who, exactly, can cook the most delicious testicles. Yes, really: Spike Mendelson, Erik Bruner-Yang, and Tim Ma will all be cooking some form of Rocky Mountain Oysters, and there’ll be circus performances and live music from four local bands. Tickets ($15 to $25) are available online. 1 PM.

BEER: Crystal City’s Festival Grounds (near Long Bridge Park) hosts Pups and Pilsners, a beer festival at which dogs are obviously welcome—as are lots of Crystal City restaurants, local brewers, and you, of course. Tickets ($20) are available online. 2 to 6 PM.

DANCE: Dirty Bar’s Sunday Rooftop has been keeping you hungover on Mondays all summer—but it’s unfortunately about to end. For the last edition before next spring, the place has brought in Rampue, a deejay from Berlin, Nadav from New York, and two DC deejays to keep you dancing all afternoon and part of the night. $5. 2 to 11 PM.

Know of something cool going on around town? E-mail Jason Koebler at, or find him on Twitter at @jason_koebler

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