Things to Do

Things to Do in the DC Area 9/12-9/18: Smithsonian Museum Day, New Exhibits, and a Plant Conference

Plus, an opportunity for free burgers.

See new exhibits at the National Gallery of Art this weekend or attend the Smithsonian's annual Museum Day. Photograph by Phil Roeder/Flickr.

New exhibit. The National Gallery of Art’s new exhibit Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South opens this weekend and features work from Black artists through the Souls Grown Deep Foundation (opening Sun, free, National Mall).

Festivals and festivities. For some fun in the sun, try out the Final NaLa Beach Club event (Wed, free, Arlington). Other festivities this week include the Festival Hispano Georgetown (Sun, free, Georgetown), the U.S. Air Force 75th Anniversary Tattoo (Thurs, free but registration required, Southwest Waterfront), and the Smithsonian’s 18th Annual Museum Day (Sat, free, multiple museums participating).

Fun food events. Foodies can head to the Paella Fest Kick-Off Party (Sun, $60, Bethesda), get some free burgers at Mélange (Mon, free, Mt. Vernon Triangle), attend an Intimate Evening with Uncle Nearest Whiskey and Drunk Chicken Cigars (Wed, $229, West End), relive an iconic decade at an 80’s themed dinner party (Wed, Georgetown), try out Le Petit Chef: An Immersive Dining Experience (Thurs, $179, Downtown), or spend a Special Evening with Chefs Vishwesh Bhatt and Kristen Essig (Mon, $20+, Mount Pleasant). You can try out Nobu’s new brunch menu at its brunch launch (Sun, West End). 

Expand your mind. Learn about American history at a talk with Senator Patrick Leahy (Mon, $20+, National Mall), or head to the 2022 Plant Humanities Conference to learn more about environmental issues and the relationship between humans and plants (Thurs-Sat, free, Georgetown). Or head to the Dumbarton House to hear more about Herring Hill and Georgetown’s African American community (Sat, free with admission, Georgetown).

Have a drink. Bring your friends to the Disco Natural Wine Party (Sat, $65+, Park View), try out Negroni week at Red Hen and All-Purpose (Mon-Sun, multiple DC locations), celebrate October a little early at Hoptoberfest (Sat, $2, Vienna), or head to the RPM vintage wine launch party (Tues, $95, Mt. Vernon Triangle).

Attend a pop-up. Learn some new moves at the “Takeoff to Takeover” pop-up dance workshop (Sun, $30+, Franconia) or find a new look at the Rent the Runway Georgetown pop-up (Opening Fri, Georgetown).

Jam out. If you’re looking for a music-filled week, head to the Community Choral Festival (Sun, $10+, Vienna), Friends of Lombardi Concert Event White Ford Bronco (Thurs, $25+, Navy Yard), or the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performance (Thurs, free but registration required, Rockville). You can also see Florence & The Machine at Capital One Arena (Mon, $40+, Penn Quarter), Julia Jacklin at 9:30 Club (Thurs, $20, U St. Corridor), Phoenix at the Anthem (Fri, $55+, The Wharf), or Echo & The Bunnymen at Lincoln Theatre (Sat, $55, Cardozo).

Head to Mount Vernon. Experience Washington’s former home, including a Colonial Market and Fair (Sat-Sun, $0+, Mount Vernon), Luke Adams Glass Art Signing (Sat, free Mount Vernon), and a George Washington Whiskey Tasting (Sat, $50+, Mount Vernon).

Calling all art lovers. Improve your artsy skills and knowledge at a Play with Prints workshop (Sat, $0+, Dupont Circle), an Art Chat at NMWA (Fri, free but registration required, virtual), a Collage Techniques workshop (Mon, free but registration required, virtual), or a hanging frames workshop (Sat, $45+, Hillwood Estate). You can also spend an Evening with The Washington Ballet (Wed, $30+, Wolf Trap).

Get moving. Break a sweat at the Open Studio with the artists-in-residence at WPA (Sun, free but registration required, U St. Corridor) or Yoga on the Great Lawn (Sat, free, Cathedral Heights).

Catch a movie. See Spiderman No Way Home (Fri, free, Arlington), the premiere of “The Woman King” (Sat, $15, Brandywine), or Soul (Wed, free, Van Ness). 

Maggie Hicks
Editorial Fellow
Sophia Young
Editorial Fellow