Things to Do

Things to Do in DC This Labor Day Weekend (August 29-September 2): A LEGOLAND Preview, a Great Big Pig Out, and the Library of Congress National Book Festival

Visitors explore family friendly activities on the expo floor at the National Book Festival, September 1, 2018. Photo by David Rice/Library of Congress.


DISCUSSION The Phillips Collection is hosting a panel discussion related to its current exhibit “The Warmth of Other Suns: Stories of Global Displacement.” Hear from two artists about how they’ve maintained their cultural heritage through migration and how this has influenced their work. Performance and graphic artist Sheldon Scott has Gullah roots, and Beirut-born artist Helen Zughaib’s work follows the forced migration of Syrian refugees. The two will be in conversation with Vesela Sretenović (senior curator of modern and contemporary art at the Phillips) and Juanita Hardy (co-founder of the Millennium Art Salon). Free, 6:30 PM.

BOOKS Physician Kelli Harding noticed an odd factor in lab rabbits in a cholesterol study: those who received affectionate care from a nice post-doc were less likely to have heart attacks than other rabbits in the study. She has continued to do research on the effect of kindness and happiness on physical health, compiling her findings into her new book, The Rabbit Effect: Live Longer, Happier, and Healthier with the Groundbreaking Science of Kindness. Harding will speak at Politics and Prose on how embracing kindness can have a positive impact on physical wellness. Free, 7 PM.


LEGOS LEGOLAND New York Resort is scheduled to open in the Hudson Valley next Spring, but they’re previewing some of the fun at National Harbor over the long weekend. Get up close to the ride vehicle the Dragon Coaster and large-scale LEGO animals, try your own skill with LEGO building activities, and watch The LEGO Movie 2 on the Plaza on Sunday at 6 PM. Through September 2. Free, 10 AM – 7 PM.

PARTY Eat, drink, and dance at the French Embassy. Lessons for tango, salsa, and Viennese Waltz will start at 7 PM, with an open dance floor at 8:30 PM (the instructors will still be on hand if you need pointers!). French wine and desserts will be available for purchase. Note that this is not a seated event. $35, 7 PM.


BOOKS Check out dozens of authorsfrom novelists to poets to children’s writers—at the Library of Congress National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The schedule features a variety of author talks including Ruth Bader Ginsburg (11:30 AM), José Andrés (1 PM), and Joyce Carol Oates (7 PM). There will be two stages for children’s book presentations, a stage for teen book discussions, and multiple tables for author signings. Free, 8:30 AM.

THEATER The Kennedy Center’s annual Page to Stage Festival runs this weekend. Created as a way to workshop new plays, more than 60 DC-area theater companies will host free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals. There are detailed schedules for Saturday, Sunday, and Mondayone highlight is a concert spotlighting woman-identifying musical theater songwriters and composers, “Airquote ‘Ladylike’ – Vol. 2:  A Concert of Women Musical Theater Creators,” on Saturday at 6 PM. Through 9/2. Free.


BARBECUE Pig out (literally) at American Ice’s Great American Pig Out. They’ll roast a pig, and you can drink beer and listen to live bluegrass from Fifteen Strings on the patio. $25 (all you can eat) – $50 (all you can eat and drink), 1 PM.

MUSIC Despite all the memes about “Red Red Wine” (hello, UB40), the song was actually originally written and recorded by Neil Diamond in the 1960s. British reggae group UB40 made it a #1 hit in 1983, and it became their best-known cover. Hear that alongside their other familiar covers—such as “Kingston Town” and “Can’t Help Falling in Love”—at Wolf Trap with Shaggy and Nkula. $40-$60, 7:30 PM.


MUSIC Singer YK Osiris was just named in XXL Mag’s Freshman Class, an annual list of up-and-coming hip-hop artists; previous years have featured Wale, Meek Mill, Nipsey Hussle, and Lupe Fiasco. From his early teenage years, YK Osiris used social media to spread his music, eventually leading to a record deal with Def Jam. He’s celebrating the release of his debut album with a matinee show at the Howard Theatre. $40, 3 PM.

COMEDY Ease back into the workweek with the Jokes On Tap Open Mic Showcase at Union Stage. Try your hand at stand-up in this low-stakes open mic format, or just listen to local comics hone their craft. Free, 8 PM.

LAST CALL: Here’s what’s closing this weekend

“Enrico David: Gradations of Slow Release” closes 9/2 at the Hirshhorn.

“Tiffany Chung: Vietnam, Past Is Prologue” closes 9/2 at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.