Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Weekend (April 11-14): A David Bowie Space Party, Emancipation Day, and the Caps in the Playoffs

The Washington Capitals are defending their Stanley Cup Championship starting on Thursday. Photograph courtesy Washington Capitals/Matt Corrado.


HOCKEY The Metropolitan Division-winning Capitals start their 2019 playoff run on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena; the series continues here on Saturday night before moving south for games 3 & 4. (Game 5, if needed, will be back in DC next Saturday night, April 20th). Get in the spirit on non-game days by visiting the Capitals-themed murals throughout the region: one by artist Matt Corrado has already popped up on H Street NE and another will be installed at Ludlow-Taylor Elementary School on Sunday. Find others in Baltimore and Anacostia. And if you want to show support in your own front yard, you can pick up a “We Are ALL CAPS” lawn sign at the Medstar Capitals Iceplex Team Store. Thursday’s game: $78-280, 7:30 PM.

MUSIC The Damaged City Festival brings hardcore punk bands to the District for the 7th straight year this weekend. Check out bands from around the country (Los Angeles’s Despise You, NJ’s Screaming Females) and world (Japan’s Low Vision & Milk, Sweden’s Rotten Mind, and Colombia’s Raw Brigade) on this four-day festival that kicks off at Slash Run (Thursday) and continues on Friday and Saturday with main shows at the Black Cat and aftershows at the Pinch. The festival closes out with an art show (and concert) at Hole in the Sky on Sunday afternoon. Through April 14. $10-$35.


PARTY Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and the release of David Bowie’s song “Space Oddity” with a Brightest Young Things party at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. Dubbed “Space Oddity: Ground Control to Major Party,” the event will honor Yuri’s Night (a celebration of humanity in space) and feature a Bowie drag revue, a live taping of the podcast AirSpace, and space talks in the Museum’s IMAX Theater. 21+ Only. $65, 8:30 PM.

FESTIVAL DC Web Fest, held at several locations like Google’s DC offices and Makeoffices Glover Park, highlights the intersection of art and technology through screenings, demos, and workshops. Take courses from General Assembly, watch international web series, and chat with podcast experts throughout the weekend. Through April 13. $30-$115.


FESTIVAL Following the National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade on Saturday morning, the Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival will take place along Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets, Northwest. The largest single day celebration of Japanese culture in the US, the festival includes four stages for performances and demos, plus dozens of other vendors selling food and Japanese-inspired hand-made items. $10 for entry or $50 for sake tasting, 10:30 AM.

PARADE DC freed its slaves on April 16, 1862, a day which is celebrated every April as Emancipation Day. This year’s formal festivities will take place on Saturday at Freedom Plaza with a parade (starting at 10th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW) and concert featuring Faith Evans, Doug E Fresh, Mya, and more. Parade: 2 PM. Concert: 3 PM. Free.

CONSERVATION Help preserve Rock Creek Park at Rock Creek Conservancy’s annual Extreme Cleanup event. Volunteers will clean up the creek and its tributaries at over 70 locations along the creek’s 33-mile length. Note that the clean-up isn’t restricted to just the creek: many efforts focus on the litter from surrounding neighborhoods that wash into the storm sewer and make its way to the creek as well. Last year’s event featured over 2,000 volunteers who collected over 1,000 bags of trash and nearly 700 bags of recycling (plus 76 car tires and 5 dockless bikes). Free, various times depending on location.

SHOPPING Support your local record store at this year’s Record Store Day, where shops have tons of new and exclusive releases that can only be found at your independently-owned record store (or, ahem, on eBay afterwards). Different spots have different stock, so pop into any of the local participating stores (including six within the District itself) to find all the special releases. Free to attend.


FESTIVAL Learn about a plant-based lifestyle at the first-ever Fairfax Veg Fest in Herndon (at the parking lot near the Northwest Federal Credit Union). Hear from vendors, speakers, and chefs about the advantages of a plant-based diet both to our own health and to the planet. Free to attend, 10 AM to 5 PM.

OPEN HOUSE Celebrate Shakespeare’s birthday with the Folger Shakespeare Library’s annual Open House Celebration. The event will feature performances and activities such as stage combat demos, a sonnet contest, English country dancing, and a mass performance of the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. In addition, DC Public Library will have its portable reading room on site. Yes, there will be cake. Free, noon – 5 PM.

MUSEUM The National Gallery of Art is opening two exhibits on Sunday: “Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings” features 18 energetic and colorful paintings from the American artist, many of which will be shown publicly for the first time in this exhibit. “The American Pre-Raphaelites: Radical Realists” showcases over 90 paintings and drawings influenced by art critic John Ruskin and his desire for a drastic change in the practice of art, many of which also include deep political commentary as well. Jackson: through September 15. Radical Realists: Through July 21.