Things to Do

Outdoor Volunteering, Frog Counting, and New Exhibits: Last-Minute DC-Area Weekend Ideas 2/17-2/21

Plus, fun and free things to do Presidents' Day Weekend

Photograph by South_agency/E+ via Getty Images.

Happy Presidents’ Day

Hello Neighbor,

Have a great long weekend! At the end of the week, the sun will be setting around 5:52 pm (exciting!). On Monday, we will finally have 11 hours of daylight (even better!).


 So, What Should You Do?

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. 
  • And lastly, the 🆓 indicates an event is free. 
  • The 💉 indicates an event requires proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test


Your Last-Minute Weekend Plans

1. Visit a newly opened museum exhibit. 🎨 Stop by the National Geographic Museum’s “Once Upon a Climb: Stories from Everest” exhibit, which transports visitors to the legendary slopes (starts Wed, 🆓 but timed passes required, 🛋/💉, Dupont Circle). The Phillips Collection will be opening an exhibit with op artist Bridget Riley, who was inspired by work by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (ongoing, $, 🛋/💉, Dupont Circle).

2. Celebrate Black history. 🤎 KAMA DC is hosting a stories-of-Black-immigrants roundtable under the theme of vulnerability (Thurs, $5+ donation, 🛋, Silver Spring). Or stop by 3 Stars Brewing Co. for a Black Rock Star Super Hero Marketplace (Sun, 🆓, 🛋/💉, Lamond Riggs). There are also a few art exhibits featuring Black artists such as 11:Eleven gallery’s “Pantone Black (Sat, 🆓, 🛋, 💉, Truxton Circle), the Ven’s “The World In My Mind(ongoing, 🛋, Dupont Circle), and Gallery Y’s “IMPACT: resilience of the Black community.”

3. Grab a drink. 🍸 The DLight coffeeshop and bar in Adams Morgan recently reopened after having to close for repairs due to an arson. Head there for some Saturday night cocktails such as habanero margaritas, popcorn whiskey sours, and green park fizzes. For those looking for beer, head to cozy Jackpot in Chinatown, which has a wide selection of craft beers and a generous late happy hour till 8 pm (tip: they don’t have any food but let you bring in whatever food you want to the bar). And, for those who want a brewery, DC Brau’s taproom has officially reopened.

4. Volunteer outside. 💚 The Friends of the Mount Vernon Trail will be removing invasive honeysuckle near Theodore Roosevelt Island (Sat, 🆓, 🌲, Theodore Roosevelt Island) and picking up trash at Gravelly Point (Mon, 🆓, 🌲, Gravelly Point). The Potomac Conservancy will be hosting a trash cleanup at Four Mile Run Park (Sat, 🆓, 🌲, Alexandria) and DC’s Chapter of Surfrider is hosting a trash cleanup along the Capital Crescent Trail (Sun, free, 🌲, Georgetown). 

5. Hot girl robotic exoskeletons and exosuits. 🤖 Curious what our bodies (Thurs, 🆓, 🛋/💻) may someday look like? The FUTURES exhibit is hosting a panel of experts who have an idea how technologies can complement and enhance our biomechanics and musculoskeletal system.

6. A ribbet-ing time. 🐸 The DC Department of Energy and Environment, in partnership with Kingman and Heritage islands, is hosting an orientation for those interested in joining this year’s FrogWatch. The amphibian conservation program collects data on calling frogs and toads at streams, ponds, and wetlands in and around the city (Thurs, 🆓, 💻).


What Is on Our Radar: Presidents’ Day Weekend

Here some ideas we have to celebrate George Washington or make use of your Monday off. 

  • Visit Mount Vernon for free. 🐎 For Presidents’ Day weekend, Mount Vernon will be open free to the public. Although tickets are sold out for Monday, free tickets are available for Tuesday (Monday/Tuesday, free, 🛋/🌲, Mount Vernon). 
  • The mind of George Washington. Profs and Pints is hosting a lecture surveying President Washington’s accomplishments in governance and on the battlefield, and exploring this founding father’s intellectual life (Monday, $13, 🛋, Dupont Circle).
  • Birthday parade. 🎂 Head to Old Town Alexandria for a parade celebrating George Washington along Fairfax and Royal streets (Monday,  free, 🌲, Alexandria).
  • The oldest Black cemeteries in DC. 🤍 The historic Mount Zion and Female Union Band Society cemeteries are hosting three tours about their role in the Underground Railroad (Mon, donations encouraged, 🌲, Georgetown). 
  • See Washington’s portrait. 🖼 Although closed on Presidents’ Day, the National Portrait Gallery is a great place to visit over the weekend for the following reasons: 1) You can visit George Washington’s portrait; 2) There’s a fascinating exhibit about the namesakes of DC’s streets, avenues, and neighborhoods; and 3) a courtyard of orchids. (Thurs-Sun, free, 🛋, Chinatown). 
  • Leave town! 🚗💨💨💨 See Washingtonian’s guide for some last-minute nearby getaways. For those looking for outdoor day trips, REI hosts a variety of workshops and classes


Your Neighbor,

Jade (@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.