Things to Do

National Dance Day, Crab Feast, and Tons of Festivals: Things to Do Around DC, September 16-19

Plus: A pop-up roller skating rink

Illustration by Melissa Santoyo.

Hey y’all!

We’ve got a National Dance Day celebration, Crab Feast, and tons of festivals.

Are y’all pumped for National Dance Day?!

Here’s what you should check out this weekend:

Movin’ and groovin’: The Kennedy Center is partnering with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton to throw a National Dance Day celebration to commemorate the joy of dance and movement. The day will be filled with DJ sets, dance performances, and several dance classes teaching Latin, hiphop, Afrobeat, and contemporary moves. And it wouldn’t be Dance Day without a flash mob, so be prepared to learn a dance routine to Ariana Grande and Zedd’s “Break Free” taught by the American Dance Movement. Thursday 9/16 through Saturday 9/18; Free, find out more here.

A bookworm’s paradise: The National Book Festival is making a comeback on Friday with both in-person and virtual events. The festival will showcase more than 100 authors and poets, including Silva Moreno-Garcia, Kazuo Ishiguro, and Lupita Nyong’o. There will be live question and answer sessions, podcasts, and kid-friendly programming from children’s books authors, such as Jerry Pinkney and Kansas Rep. Sharice Davids. Friday 9/17 through Sunday 9/26; find out more here.

Rollin’ around: DowntownDC is hosting a pop-up roller skating rink in Penn Quarter this weekend. But that’s not all: there will be performances, movie screenings with silent disco headphones, snacks from Shake Shack, and a DJ. BYO skates if you can, but leave your hockey sticks and pucks at home. Registration is required. Friday 9/17 through Sunday 9/19; Free; register here.

Hidden art: As part of its 40th anniversary celebration, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Hyattsville is opening the exhibition “Reflecting Back to the Future.” The exhibition features works from the archive that were made from a printmaking and publishing residency that ran from 1981 to 2007. Many of these prints, which have been in storage for decades, will be for sale. Saturday 9/18 through Sunday 11/14; Free, register here for opening weekend.

Yum: It’s not too late for one last crab feast. In addition to crustaceans, the Capital Pride Alliance and DC Preservation League are serving shrimp, corn, hot dogs, DC Brau brews, ice cream, and more at their annual Crab Feast. The event will be held at the historic Washington Canoe Club, so canoes and paddle boards will be available for some water adventures. Saturday 9/17; $75; buy tickets here.

Peek-a-boo: It’s not what’s behind the curtain, but what’s peering around it. Swiss artist Nicolas Party created an 829-foot mural, with 360-degree visibility, around the Hirshhorn Museum called “Draw the Curtain,” which shows faces looking out. The work, which covers up temporary scaffolding, will be viewable through Spring 2022 while the museum undergoes renovations. Saturday 9/18; Free; learn more here.

Driving momentum: Check out Otro Tiempo, the first solo exhibition from MichaelAngelo Rodriguez, at Transformer in Logan Circle. The art installation features images from various series that portray the artist’s interest in “capturing the essence of the moment.” The GWU graduate often takes his photos while driving because the car “creates an adventure.” Saturday 9/18 through Saturday 10/23; Free, learn more here.

Yes, and…: The District Improv Festival is back after a year-long hiatus. The one-day-only festival will be held entirely outdoors at the Kennedy Center’s REACH Plaza with several improv troupes, headlined by Asian AF, the hit Asian-American comedy variety show in Los Angeles and New York. Sunday 9/19; $20-$40; buy tickets here.

Hispanic Heritage: Hispanic Heritage Month started yesterday, and there are a bunch of ways to learn about and celebrate Hispanic and Latino culture. See film screenings, history talks, and more in Washingtonian’s roundup here.

See ya later!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you’re up to by dropping me a line at

Damare Baker
Research Editor

Before becoming Research Editor, Damare Baker was an Editorial Fellow and Assistant Editor for Washingtonian. She has previously written for Voice of America and The Hill. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, where she studied international relations, Korean, and journalism.