Things to Do

Film Festivals, Leather-Themed Dance Parties, and a Vaccination-Themed Brunch: The Best Things to Do in the DC Area, 1/10-1/16

Plus a polar plunge, s'mores and skating, and maple sugaring

Happy January

​​Hello Neighbor, 

Stay warm out there! 


So, What Should You Do Jan 10 – 16?

For your convenience, this newsletter includes emojis to help you during these unprecedented times: 

  • The 🛋 indicates an event is happening in-person inside.
  • The 🌲 indicates an event is happening in-person outside
  • The 💻 indicates an event is happening virtually. 
  • The 💉 indicates an event requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test
  • And lastly, the 🆓 indicates an event is  free. 


Top Picks of the Week

1. Two Black women who choose to live on opposite sides of the color line. 🤎🤍 Join director and writer Rebecca Hall and actresses Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga to discuss their new movie Passing. The film is available to stream on Netflix (Thurs, free, 💻️).

2. Jewish and Black solidarity. ⛪️ 🕍 Before MLK weekend, Rabbi Aaron of Sixth & I and Reverend Doctor D.K. Kearney of Turner Memorial AME Church lead a text study and conversation about faith and justice (Wed, free, 💻️️). 

3. Twenty-Sixth annual Festival of Films from Iran. 🇮🇷🎞 The popular annual festival will be in a hybrid format, with films available on the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art’s video-on-demand platform (starts Fri, free, 💻️️), and some titles being shown in-person at AFI Silver Theatre. The festival is in two parts, with the first including feature films from January 14 to January 30. 

4. A Vaccination-themed brunch. 🍽 Celebrate the contribution of immigrants to the science of vaccines. The Immigrant Food brunch will feature injected croquettes, syringe-filled cocktails, and filling churros with chocolate (Sat/Sun, $, 🛋/💉, downtown). 

5. The great outdoors at home 🐴⛺️🌲 Did you know there are more than 80,000 wild horses on our federal lands and more than 50,000 in holding facilities? If you didn’t, consider watching this documentary (anytime, $12, 💻️️), hosted by Miracle Theatre. Or join REI and discover the 211-mile John Muir trail, also known as Nuumu Poyo (Wed, free, 💻️️️); or brush up on some Winter Camping Basics (Thurs, free, 💻️️️). Learn about maple sugaring with the U.S. Botanical Gardens (Fri, free, 💻️️️).


Everything Else This Week

  • Chilly time to go swimming. 🧊 Watch a polar plunge to raise money for the Special Olympics of Virginia (Sat, free entry, 🌲, Mosaic District). 
  • The DC South Asian Film Festival. 🎬 Starting Sunday, enjoy a virtual film festival for the remainder of the month highlighting 37 films by emerging and contemporary filmmakers from South Asia (starts Sun, $5+, 🌲, 💻️️️). 
  • The world of Dune. 🐛 Explore the religion and race in Dune (Mon, $13, 🛋/💉, Dupont Circle).
  • China, Olympics, Uyghur. 🇨🇳 Considering the upcoming winter Olympics, learn about China, Sports and Power (Tues, $13, 🛋/💉, Georgetown). Or learn more about the Uyghur minority group and the forced labor camps providing American goods in a virtual book talk for Made in China (Tues, free, 💻️️️). 
  • The business of journalism. 📰 Join Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward in a conversation about Bernstein’s new memoir, Chasing History (Tues, $5, 🛋/💉, Chevy Chase). Or uncover the erosion of trust (Fri, free, 💻️️️) between the press and the government.
  • Black female artists. 🖼 Discover Washington Color School’s Alma Thomas’s (Thurs, free, 💻️️️) techniques and art materials. Celebrate the birthday of Edmonia Lewis (Wed, free, 💻️️️), including with a specialty cocktail demonstration. 
  • Welcome to the Black parade. 🎸 I’ll be dusting off my Hot Topic gear and heading to Emo Night Brooklyn (Fri, $15, 🛋/💉, Shaw). 
  • Get your leather. 🌈🖤 The Mid-Atlantic Leather Weekend is coming up. There’s a few dance parties including Furball DC (Fri, $20, 🛋/💉, 14th St.), DistrktC (Sat, $50, 🛋/💉, 14th St.), and BENT: Leatherette (Sat, $25, 🛋/💉, Shaw), which features performances by Pussy Noir. 
  • The LGBTQ community in Roanoke. 🌈 There’s a new book release about Living Queer History (Mon, free, 🛋/💉 , Adams Morgan).
  • For those with little ones. 🧸 Enjoy an outdoor family movie night (Sat, 🌲/💉, Edgewood). Join the Arts & Industries Building’s Future Exhibit for a We Dream Family Day (Sun, free, 🛋/💉, National Mall). Maybe learn how to draw cute animals like hedgehogs, bunnies, or cats (Wed, free, 💻️️️), or learn how they keep warm in winter ($7 for age 7 and up, 🌲, Arlington)
  • War, pride, and tourist dollars. 🇰🇭 Uncover the modern history of Cambodia’s Angkor temples, starting in the mid-19th century (Mon, free, 💻️️️).
  • Make Caps s’mores at the Capitals campfire at the Wharf. 🏒 While watching the Capitals take on the NY Islanders, skate at the Capitals-inspired Wharf Ice Rink. There will be gear giveaways and a visit from Slapshot (Sat, $5 off skate rental with Capitols gear, 🌲, The Wharf).
  • Harp yoga. 🧘🏻‍♀️ Hosted at Lost Boy Cider, this yoga flow inspired by live harp music is sure to be soothing (Tues, $35, Alexandria).


Your Neighbor, 

Jade Womack (@clockoutdc

Jade Womack is an energy economist by day, and an events blogger by night. She started her blog, Clockout DC, when she was moonlighting as a bartender in 2019. She grew up in Arlington, and currently lives in Adams Morgan with her dog.