Things to Do

Things to Do in the DC Area 8/8-8/14: Dance Parties, Watercolor Classes, and a Sausage-and-Beer Festival

Plus, lots of fun activities for your pets.

Participants race in the Lake Anne Cardboard Boat Regatta in 2019. Photograph by Charlotte Geary.

Go for gold. Get creative and hit the water at the annual Lake Anne Cardboard Regatta (Sat, free, Reston). If you’re looking for a drier race for a cause, try out the Run for Abortion Rights (Mon, free, Cardozo).

Dance it out. Celebrate the first anniversary of the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap with performances, activities and presentations at the Hip-Hop Block Party (Sat, free but registration required, the National Mall); show off your skills at a salsa dancing class (Fri, free, The Wharf); or hit the dance floor while enjoying food trucks and mocktails at the Yacht Rock Dance Party (Wed, free, National Landing).

Fun and food. Enjoy lots of sausage and beer from local breweries at the Sausage Fest at Wunder Garten (Sat & Sun, free, NOMA), or if you’d prefer to compete for your food, you can go to the DC Food Challenge and Race (Sat, $30, Rosslyn). Watch your favorite soccer team on a 14-foot jumbotron at the DC United Watch Party (Sat, free, The Wharf) or hit your favorite bars on this DC 90s Crawl (Sat, $20+, various locations).

Learn something new. Head to the Virtual Master Class: Game Design and Coding Using Scratch (Mon, free, virtual) to learn how to create your dream video game yourself. If you love art, you can make a masterpiece at the Watercolor Workshop: Colors of Collioure (Tues, $95+, virtual). Or do the same with a drink at this Wine & Watercolors class (Fri, $20, Georgetown) or the Clay & Cocktails class (Sat, $75, Georgetown). Other fun classes include Spotlight on Design: Folger Shakespeare Library Renovation (Mon, $10+, National Mall) for those interested in architecture; this herbalism workshop (Mon, $0+, Present Plains) that teaches you how to source herbs sustainably; or the BBQ Boot Camp (Sun, $100, Capitol Hill) where you can learn the proper way to cook brisket.

  • Fun exhibits. Take a look back at the historic mission at the new Apollo 11 exhibit (daily, free, Tenleytown). You can also take a tour through all 50 states at the People From Away (opens Sun, free, Georgetown) or hear from a wrought-iron expert at this Cathedral Ironwork Tour (Mon, $25+, Cathedral Heights).

Kids corner. Take your kids for a fun day at the museum at the Play Date at NMNH: Investigating Insects (Tues, free, National Mall) or Discover Summer Museum Day at the Phillips Collection (Sat, free but registration required, Dupont Circle). The whole family can enjoy live entertainment at Family Fundays (Sun, $5, Park View), Storytime with DC Public Library (Tues, free, Union Market), or the The Uncle Devin Show (Tues, free, Bellevue). To prepare them for the school year, head to the Back to School Vaccine Clinic (Wed; free but open only to children of hospitality, restaurant, and nightlife industry workers*; Park View) for Covid-19 vaccines and free ice cream cones.

Shopping day. Browse a variety of local vendors at the Alexandria Summer Sidewalk Sale (Sat, free, Alexandria). Attend a piercing party and “ear curation experience” at SHELTER’s Summer of Studs (Sat, free, Union Market).

See a show. There’s no need for a poker face when you can see some of your favorite songs performed live with Lady Gaga at Nationals Stadium (Mon, $72+, Capitol Riverfront). If you prefer to be on stage rather than in the audience, you can perform at College Night Open Mic (Fri, $7.36, University Heights) or the 9th Hour Poetry Slam (Fri, $7.36, Cardozo). Enjoy more live music at Legendary Nights XV (Sun, $48+, National Harbor) or Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Showcase (Thurs & Fri, free, Foggy Bottom).

Have a laugh. Enjoy an impressive lineup of comedians at Summer Heat Comedy (Thurs, $10, NOMA) or save some money and head to Comedy is Calling (Fri, free, Petworth). 

Find your zen. Celebrate wellness and self-care with fitness classes, free school supplies, food, and music at the Wave Festival (Sat, free, downtown). You can also get in some relaxation with Sundeck Salutation Series yoga (Tues, free, National Yards), Yoga at The Wharf (Tues & Sun, free), Pints and Poses (Wed, $20, Langdon), or a virtual guided meditation (Wed, free, virtual). 

Free flicks. This week’s screenings include Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Fri, free but registration required, National Landing); Nanny McPhee (Sun, free, National Harbor); Singin’ in the Rain (Thurs, free, National Harbor); Spiderman: No Way Home (Thurs, free, The Wharf); Boss Baby (Wed, free, Rockville);Minari (Sat, free, Arlington); Dirty Dancing (Fri, free, Union Market); and Encanto in either Georgetown (Tues, free), the Mosaic District (Thurs, free), or Arlington (Fri, free)

*An earlier version of this post incorrectly implied that the vaccine clinic was open to any child, but it is not, and that it was open on days other than Wednesday.

Sophia Young
Editorial Fellow
Maggie Hicks
Editorial Fellow