Things to Do

Things to Do in the DC Area 8/15-8/21: Restaurant Week, a Frida Kahlo Exhibit, and the Arlington County Fair

Plus, environmentally friendly happy hours.

The Arlington County fair will offer food events, rides, shopping, and more this weekend. Photograph by Dennis Dimick/Flickr.

Arlington County Fair. The fair opens this week and there are lots of fun events planned (Wed-Sun, free entry, Arlington). Aside from the carnival rides, some highlights this year include the fair’s opening ceremonies (Wed, free), a new night market with local vendors (Thurs, free), a bingo game (Fri, free), and goat yoga (Sat & Sun, $40)

Summer Restaurant Week. Restaurant Week is here! Check out 22 of our food critic’s top restaurant picks, 11 new restaurants for this year’s event, and 15 patios and rooftops we recommend. You can also catch up on the latest before you head out to feast with our most recent food critic chat.   

Feeling artsy. Mexican Geniuses: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience opens this week featuring a 360-degree art installation (Opens Fri, $14+ for children, $25+ for adults, Brentwood). You can also enjoy extended museum hours, live performances, and public art at this month’s ArtWalk Dupont (Thurs, free, Dupont). 

  • Behind the scenes. If you’re looking to learn a little more about the stories behind the art, head to a discussion with a curator at the Phillips collection (Thurs, free, virtual), the NMWA Art Chat (Fri, free but registration required, virtual), or an artists talk with local DMV artists (Fri, free, Spring Valley). 
  • Art classes. If you want to create something yourself, you can attend a Watercolor Floral Postcard Workshop (Wed, $40, Noma) or a Tie Dye Candle Making Class (Sun, $40, Noma). 

Expand your mind. Learn more about the English language at Ellen Jovin’s Grammar Table at Planet Word (Sat, free, Downtown), take a tour of Korean Fashion at the Textile Museum (Fri, free but membership required, Foggy Bottom), or head to Dumbarton House for Dolley Day (Sat, free, Georgetown). You can also head to an open house for the Library of Congress’ Not an Ostrich Exhibit (Thurs, free, Capitol Hill).

  • Virtual lectures. If you’re staying in but still want to learn something new, tune into Castle Stories: Where It All Began to learn more about the Smithsonian Castle (Mon, free, virtual), a lesson on French fairy tales (Mon, free, virtual), a poetry workshop focused on Black women and beauty (Wed, free, virtual), the Secrets of the Sommelier series (Fri, $65+, virtual), a lecture from security studies professor Kevin P. Riehle on Russian Intelligence (Thurs, free but registration required, virtual), or a virtual salon on Mapping Women’s Suffrage (Wed, $0+, virtual).

Live music. Jam out to music and take Bachata dancing lessons at the Live music pop-up fiesta (Thurs, free, Franklin park), head to the World Reggae Festival (Sat, $70+, Anacostia), or spend the day listening to go-go at Chuck Brown Day (Sat, free, Langdon). You can also attend one of these free concerts: Junior Bryce Band at Capitol Cider House (Sat, free, Petworth), or R&B in the Fort concert (Sat, free, Fort Dupont Park).

Kids corner. If you’re looking for some fun activities with the kids, head to the Mermaid Landing Beach Club party for crafts, treats, and more (Wed, free, National Landing). You can also head to the Unicorn Kids Club for kids with dyslexia (Sat, free, Fort Stanton), Mandarin Story Time (Sat, free, Adams Morgan), or Kids Yoga (Wed, $10+, Mt Pleasant).

For nature lovers. Show your garden some love by attending a plant care basics workshop (Thurs, $28, Bethesda), a mini-succulent kokedama workshop (Fri, $28, Foggy Bottom), a floral design lecture (Fri, $12, virtual), an expert talk at the US Botanic Garden (Thurs, free but registration required, virtual), or the Pints and Plants Succulent Workshop (Sun, $55, Park View). 

Get moving. Have fun and break a sweat with a sunrise hike (Sat, $55+, Great Falls), yoga through the Sundeck Salutation Series (Tues, free but registration required, The Yards), an REI hiking tour of White Oak Canyon (Sun, $75+, starts in Fairfax), an Irish dancing class with your pup (Sat, $15+, Bethesda), a dance class for Parkinson’s Disease, or a kayaking class (Sun, $95+, Gaithersburg). 

Outdoor films. Soak up some summer air with an outdoor movie this week including Rear Window (Fri, $5+, Forest Hills), In the Heights (Thurs, free, National Harbor), Crazy Rich Asians (Thurs, free, The Wharf), Bridesmaids (Tues, free, Georgetown), Flags of Our Fathers (Thurs, free, Penn Quarter), Angola Do You Hear Us? Voices From a Plantation Prison (Thurs, free, Foggy Bottom), and Under The Stadium Lights (Thurs, free, the Mosaic District).

  • Bring the kids. Family-friendly movies this week include Annie (Sun, free, National Harbor), The Secret Life of Pets (Wed, free, Rockville), Coco (Wed, free, Arlington), and The Princess and The Frog (Fri, free, Arlington).
  • LGBTQ film series. Catch a showing of Sweetheart as part of the International Monthly LGBTQ Flim Series (Thurs – Sun, $10+, Penn Quarter or virtual).

Maggie Hicks
Editorial Fellow
Sophia Young
Editorial Fellow