Things to Do

What to Do This Weekend: January 15 to 18

A wintry beer fest, a hand dance workshop, and a talk about the NSA.

Try alcoholic snow cones at Yards Park's Ice Yards this weekend. Image via Shutterstock.

Thursday, January 15

DANCE: Haven’t you heard? Disco is back—and Wonderland Ballroom is making sure it stays back with its Disco Made Me Do It series, featuring local deejays who spin a new breed of house and old-school funk and disco. Free. 9 PM.

FILM: Black Cat hosts a screening of Records Collecting Dust, a look at the record collections of alternative musicians and the music that inspired them. In many cases, the records are long lost, so it’s an interesting look at a world that existed before Spotify. Tickets ($7) are available online. 8 PM.

Friday, January 16

DANCE: When he’s not being part of Jimmy Fallon’s house band or touring with the Roots, or deejaying in Brooklyn, or cultivating his absurd vinyl collection, legendary drummer Questlove likes to take his show on the road. He performs at the Howard Theatre, which is always worth catching. Tickets ($20) are available online. 9 PM.

FILM: The Library of Congress is screening Streets of Fire, a dystopian rock-and-roll fantasy from the mid-’80s starring Willem Dafoe and Diane Lane. It’s a kitschy cult classic—check it out. Free. 7 PM.

COMEDY: DC Arts Center presents Wintry Mix, in which the Washington Improv Theatre will perform an entire show based on one single audience suggestion. It’s like normal improv, but instead of 15 audience members shouting out silly suggestions, you only get one—which is nice, assuming whatever they pick isn’t too bad. Tickets ($15) are available online. 7:30 and 10 PM.

Saturday, January 17

DRINK: Outdoor beer festivals are super-popular in the summer, but the winter? Yikes. Yards Park hosts Ice Yards, which will feature ice bars, a beer garden, alcoholic snow cones, video games, food trucks, and, thankfully, fire pits and hot tubs. Free. 2 to 6 PM.

DANCE (WITH HANDS): Even if you step on people all the time when you dance, you may very well be good at hand dancing, which is a whole different proposition. In any case, you won’t injure anyone doing it (I don’t think). Try it out at the RISE Demonstration Center, where the National Hand Dance Association (it’s a thing) hosts a workshop and performance. Free. 3 PM.

DANCE (WITH FEET): Black Cat hosts Common People, an occasional ’90s alt-pop dance night featuring deejay lil’e, who has really made a name for herself in a she-throws-super-fun-dance-nights kind of way. Tickets ($7) are available online. 10 PM.

Sunday, January 18

ART: Blind Whino hosts the Amazing Art Jam II, which, obviously, is the second Amazing Art Jam. It features local art, cosplay, video games, fashion, music, books, etc. It’s also got food, a full bar, and a Super Smash Bros. and Mario Kart tournament, so what more could you want, really? Tickets ($10) are available online. Noon to 7 PM (also Saturday noon to 1 AM).

POETRY: Once a month, the Busboys and Poets on 14th Street hosts Sunday Kind of Love, a poetry reading featuring two fairly well-known national poets, followed by an open-mike night for others to share their work. This month, you get Elmaz Abider, author of This House My Bones, and Venus Thrash, author of The Fateful Apple. $5. 5 PM.

FILM: The DC Public Library is teaching people how to avoid the NSA—and some more general things about surveillance in America—next week. To kick off the series, called Orwellian America, there’s a screening of The Internet’s Own Boy, a documentary about Aaron Swartz, who helped start Creative Commons and RSS feeds, and was an influential partner at Reddit. He committed suicide while under federal indictment for a very controversial data theft charge. Free. 8:30 PM.

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