Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (May 17-20): An Exhibit About Diseases, Betty Who With an Orchestra, and Bike to Work Day

A collection of HIV Activism material, on loan from the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. Activism, Awareness, Prevention, and Treatment campaigns have changed the conversation about high-risk behaviors. Photograph courtesy of National Museum of Natural History.


FOOD Dine for a good cause at the National Zoo’s annual ZooFari event. Enjoy tastings from over 100 participating restaurants—including Chef Geoff’s, Hank’s Oyster Bar, and Masa 14—as well as beverages from a variety of vintners and distillers. Attendees can also participate in a silent auction for behind-the-scenes zoo tours, nightlife experiences, and artwork created by zoo animals. 21+ only. $200, 6:30 PM.

FILM Over a decade after punk band Jawbreaker broke up, its three members reunited for the documentary Don’t Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker. The film follows the band as they reminisce about their rise to fame and signing with a major label. This screening at the AFI Silver Theatre will include a panel discussion with co-producer Dan Didier, Washington Post writer Chris Richards, New Yorker cartoonist Emily Flake, and Jawbox frontman J. Robbins. $8, 7:30 PM.

FOOD If the embassy open houses earlier this month whet your appetite for international cuisine, then head over to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for the 10th Anniversary Embassy Chef Challenge. Try food and drinks prepared by chefs from over 25 embassies while seeing live music and dancing. 21+ only. $90, 6:30 PM.


BIKE Skip driving or taking the metro on Friday and instead bike during the area’s annual Bike To Work Day. Register in advance and pick up a free T-shirt at one of the 100 pit stops. First-time riders can join one of the local convoys to ride in a group alongside more experienced riders. Pit stop hours vary by location, but most cater to the 9-to-5 crowd. Free.

MUSEUMS The National Museum of Natural History’s newest exhibit, Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World, explores international disease outbreaks. Looking at HIV/AIDS, influenza, and other epidemics as examples, the exhibit shows the cultural and scientific consequences of outbreaks. Through 2021.

FESTIVAL Saint Luke Serbian Orthodox Church in Potomac, MD, is hosting the three-day SerbFestDC, which celebrates Serbian food, culture, and entertainment. Look for traditional Serbian dishes (for both vegetarians and omnivores), desserts, and Serbian beers and liquors. Through May 20. Free.


MUSEUMS The National Gallery of Art is kicking off summer with the Art + Play Community Weekend. Build a communal sculpture, play art pictionary, turn your art into a button, and listen to the music of Afro-Brazilian band Batalá Washington. Through May 20. Free, 11 AM to 5 PM.

BIKE Those who didn’t get enough cycling on Bike To Work day can join in on the DC Bike Ride on Saturday. The 20-mile course is DC’s only closed-road bike ride and ventures around Hains Point and across the 14th Street Bridge before ending with a Finish Festival in front of the US Capitol. Ride starts at West Potomac Park. $70, 8 AM.

WEDDING Watch the royal wedding at a special brunch at the Mansion on O Street. The wedding will be shown on TVs throughout, so browse the mansion’s intricate rooms (and find its secret doors) as you watch actress Meghan Markle say “I do” to Prince Harry. $52, 6 AM.

FESTIVAL The 12th annual Fiesta Asia Street Fair runs on Pennsylvania Avenue NW between Third and Sixth Streets. Celebrate more than 20 cultures with entertainers on five stages, including musicians, dancers, and martial artists. The festival also features shopping, kid-friendly activities, and Pan-Asian cuisine. Free, 11 AM to 7 PM.

MUSIC Pop singer Betty Who will sing with an orchestra for the first time at the “Let’s Misbehave: Cole Porter After Dark” performance at Arena Stage. She will be joined by several Broadway veterans to sing Porter’s hits such as “Anything Goes” and “Love for Sale” with the American Pops Orchestra. $20-110, 8 PM.


BASKETBALL DC’s WNBA team the Mystics opens its 2018 season at home on Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena against the Indiana Fever. The Mystics are led by 2015 MVP Elena Delle Donne, who took the team to the WNBA Semifinals last year for the first time in franchise history. Recent results bode well for the Mystics, since the team defeated the Fever in a preseason game last weekend by 35 points. $18-$55, 1 PM.

MUSIC The Washington National Opera’s annual Opera Gala Concert pays tribute to the centennial of composer Leonard Bernstein’s birth. Performers include Tony and Grammy-winning actress Patti LuPone, actor Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock), and members of the WNO. The one-time performance takes place at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. $49-$250, 6 PM.