Things to Do

Last-Minute Things to Do in the DC Area 8/11-8/14: Food Festivals, Dance Classes, and Earth-Friendly Activities

Plus, a performance by the 257th Army Band.

The 257th Army Band. Photograph by Adam Fagen/Flickr.

No plans this weekend? Here are some last-minute things to do:

Festivals and local events. For a day full of beer, bikes, cars, and raffles, you can head to the Capital Wing “Bikes, Wings & Wheels” Show (Sat, $0+, Culpepper) where you can enter your car or bike for a chance to win an award. Or, enjoy food, live music, games, and more at one of these fun festivals: RTC Streetfest (Sat, free, Reston), Sausage Fest at Wunder Garten (Sat & Sun, free, NOMA), Wave Festival (Sat, free, downtown), Viva Cultura Festival (Sat, free, Arlington), or a festival celebrating Asian art and music (Fri, free, the National Mall). Go for gold at the Lake Anne Cardboard Regatta (Sat, free, Reston) where you can build and sail in a boat you made yourself.

Bust a move. Dance your heart out at the Hip-Hop Block Party (Sat, free but registration required, the National Mall). If you want to learn how to ballroom dance, head to this free salsa dancing class (Fri, free, The Wharf) or this samba class series at the Brazilian-American Cultural Center (Thurs-Mon, $15+, Columbia Heights). Learn how to play the drums and dance at the Brazilian percussion and dance workshop (Sat, free, College Park).

Interesting exhibits. Check out one of these free exhibits happening around town this weekend: Apollo 11 exhibit (daily, free, Tenleytown), People From Away (opens Sun, free, Georgetown), and this free screening of Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art (Sat, free, downtown). You can also take an educational tour at the National Mall History Walk: Enslavement & Emancipation (Sun, free, the National Mall), explore a museum at Discover Summer Museum Day at the Phillips Collection (Sat, free but registration required, Dupont Circle), or search for secret doors at After Hours at the O (Thurs, Fri, & Sat, $35, Dupont Circle). 

Bring the pups. It’s party time for pets at Summer Splash Party (Fri, $15, Park View), where they cool off from the summer heat. You can also take your pet to Yappy Hour (Sun, free, NOMA) or Middle School Mixer Night at Bark Social (Fri, free, Bethesda) where they can make new furry friends.

Shop til you drop. Elevate your back-to-school wardrobe and accessories at the Alexandria Summer Sidewalk Sale (Sat, free, Alexandria) or Summer Aint Over pop-up (Sat, $0+, Clinton). If you’re looking to get some new piercings, head to SHELTER’s Summer of Studs (Sat, free, Union Market).

See a show. Listen to live jazz at Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead Showcase (Thurs & Fri, free, Foggy Bottom) or Jazz in the Park (Sat, free, Dupont Park). Or head to a free performance by the 257th Army Band (Thurs, free, Arlington), or have a laugh at Comedy is Calling (Fri, free, Petworth). 

For a sporty weekend. You can watch the game on the jumbotron at the DC United Watch Party (Sat, free, The Wharf) or see the Nationals take on the Padres (and former teammate Juan Soto) at Nationals Park (Fri-Sun, $12+, Navy Yard). If you are a baseball fan, head to the Baseball Sports Card Collectibles Show (Sat, free, Fairfax) to see (and maybe even buy) some cool cards. 

Enjoy nature. Do your part in helping the planet by attending Shepherd Parkway Community Cleanup (Sat, free, Congress Heights), Alexandria Rivergate Park cleanup (Sat, free, Alexandria), or Open Volunteer Day for Arcadia at Woodlawn (Sat, free, Alexandria). Have an expert guide you through the garden at Exploring the Pollinator Garden at Lake Accotink Park (Sun, free, Springfield) or learn all about butterflies at Monarch Day at Sky Meadows State Park (Sat, $10, Delaplane).

Free flicks. This week’s outdoor 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); 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).

Sophia Young
Editorial Fellow
Maggie Hicks
Editorial Fellow