Things to Do

Interactive Exhibits, French Cooking, and National Coffee Day: Things to Do in DC, September 27-29

Plus: Salsa dancing lessons with sangria

Illustration by Melissa Santoyo.

Hey y’all!

We’ve got interactive exhibits, a French cooking class, and National Coffee Day.

If y’all wanna know how to dance like this, you should take advantage of those free salsa lessons.

Here’s what you should check out this week:

Brain blast: ARTECHOUSE’s new exhibit “Life of a Neuron” combines neuroscience data and digital art to demonstrate how the brain shapes the universal human experience. Visitors can walk through a virtual neuron and observe the lifespan of that neuron. The projection will also demonstrate the effect of common human experiences on the nervous system, such as death, laughter, and sadness. There are also smaller interactive digital pieces on how addiction affects the brain, how the brain processes images through our eyes, and the effect of stress on our nervous system. Monday 9/27 through Sunday 11/28; $17-$24, buy tickets here.

Cook with a pro: In this virtual cooking class, culinary teacher and journalist Susan Hermann Loomis will be discussing the significance plat du jour, or dish of the day, in French cuisine. Her latest book Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy explores ways to make cooking French cuisine more approachable without eliminating the authenticity of the dish. She will also prepare a few dishes from her latest book Plat du Jour: French Dinners Made Easy. Tuesday 9/28 from 6:30 PM to 8 PM; $25, register here.

Take a coffee break: Celebrate National Coffee Day on Wednesday with a cup of warm (or iced) coffee from one of the city’s many coffee shops. Washingtonian editorial fellow Maya Pottiger put together this great list of places to find cozy fall drinks that you can explore here.

Dance the night away: The Ballston BID is hosting their first “sip & mingle” event in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The night will include salsa lessons, sangria, and free food tastings from restaurants in the Ballston Quarter Market. Wednesday 9/29 from 5 PM to 7 PM; $20, register here.

Keeping it real: The Olney Theatre Center is opening up their new season with award-winning playwright Larissa FastHorse’s satirical production The Thanksgiving Play. The play pokes fun at “white wokeness” as four White people attempt to put on an inclusive and culturally-sensitive play about Thanksgiving while balancing angry parents and being historically correct. Wednesday 9/29 through Sunday 10/31; $49-$54, buy tickets here.

Under the sea: The National Museum of Natural History is debuting their new interactive, augmented-reality exhibit, “Critical Distance,” that explores the connection between humans, orca whales, and the ocean. Visitors can interact with a holographic pod of endangered orcas and learn about their habitat, as well as ways to support marine conservation. Wednesday 9/29 through June 2022; Free, learn more here.

Both National Coffee Day and International Coffee Day are this week, so take advantage of the opportunity to drink as much coffee as you can without any judgement. You may need it to get through this week.

Thanks for reading! Tell me 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.