Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (January 24-27): Monster Trucks, a Comedy Competition, and the DC Record Fair’s 10th Anniversary

Monster Jam runs on Saturday and Sunday at Capital One Arena. Photograph courtesy Feld Entertainment, Inc.


FILM Can’t get enough of Planet Earth? If you’re an avid nature fan, head to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Landmark’s E Street Cinema. Film subjects include nature, conservation, climate change, wildlife, and environmental justice; the festival is a fundraiser for Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, a nonprofit that seeks to restore the Chesapeake and its rivers and streams. $30, 6 PM.

BENEFIT If these brisk winter temperatures don’t faze you, try dunking into the chilly Chesapeake Bay during the 2019 Polar Bear Plunge, which takes place near Annapolis at the Sandy Point State Park. The event, sponsored by the Maryland State Police, benefits nearly 8,000 Special Olympics Maryland athletes. Through January 26. $75; plunge times vary depending on group registration.


THEATRE The Chinese Performing Arts Agency will present Image China: Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage, the first traditional concert drama performed by the China National Traditional Orchestra (CNTO), this weekend at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House. Follow the story of a Buddhist monk traveling the Silk Road across China on a pilgrimage to India in search of religious texts. Performed with an 80-piece orchestra, Xuanzang’s Pilgrimage features exotic instruments (such as dulcimer, zither, and Chinese harp) and elaborate traditional costumes. Through January 27. $70-$200.

ART The Smithsonian Museums and National Gallery of Art remain closed due to the federal government shutdown, but there are still plenty of other places around the area to see new art exhibits. In honor of Black History Month, Arlington’s Fred Schnider Gallery of Art is hosting a retrospective of local artist Allen “Big Al” Carter’s work, which includes paintings that reflect on African-American society. The exhibit will include several rarely-seen pieces from his daughters’ private collection. Through March 3. Opening reception 1/25, 6 PM – 8 PM.


PERFORMANCE Watch monster trucks race and compete in freestyle competitions at the Monster Jam at Capital One Arena. Featuring trucks like Grave Digger, Stinger, Scooby-Doo, and Pretty Wicked, the show will include stunts such as backflips(!) and vertical two-wheel competitions; fans can even vote for the winner in real-time in-stadium voting via smartphone. For the serious monster fans, get up close to these trucks with the special Pit Party pass that allows early access for photos and autographs. Through January 27.  $15-$125.

BENEFIT Children’s National’s annual charity gala Dancing After Dark will be on Saturday night at Union Market’s Dock 5. Donate money to help every child receive care, regardless of illness or ability to pay, in exchange for an open bar, live music, and hors d’oeuvres. $100, 8 PM.

MUSIC Loved the Pitch Perfect movies? Check out the competition series that inspired the films: the International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella (ICCAs), whose Mid-Atlantic quarterfinals will be at George Washington’s Lisner Auditorium. 10 different groups from local or nearby schools (Georgetown, George Mason, James Madison, Catholic, George Washington, University of Mary Washington, and Frostburg State) will compete with short, timed sets. The two winning groups will advance to the ICCA Mid-Atlantic Semifinal in Wilmington, Delaware in March. Expect to hear popular songs covered with rich vocal harmonies and expressive choreography. $20-$25, 7 PM.


RECORDS The DC Record fair is celebrating its 10th anniversary at Penn Social on Sunday afternoon. Browse the inventory of 40+ vinyl vendors from all over the East Coast, find special book signings, and listen to the DJs spinning tunes all afternoon. $5 for early bird admission (11 AM) or $2 for regular admission (noon).

COMEDY The DC Improv periodically hosts stand-up tournaments of local DMV comics. On Sunday night, eight winners of these previous contests will return for a bracket-style tournament of champions: each match will feature two comics in a head-to-head battle performing five-minute sets. The audience will choose one comic to advance and at the end of the night, a champion will be crowned. This show will feature Rahmein Mostafavi, Wendy Wroblewski, Natalie McGill, Dominic Rivera, Eddie Morrison, Tommy Sinbazo, Lafayette Wright, and Violet Gray. $17, 7 PM.

OUR EVENT You’re engaged?! Celebrate with us at Love Unveiled, the ultimate wedding showcase for all couples on January 27 at Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC. Visit for tickets before it sells out!