Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 10/10-10/16: International City Food Festival, The Wharf’s Birthday Party, and Georgetown Harvest Market

Plus, a number of cool film festivals.

Photograph courtesy of The Wharf.

Happy Indigenous People’s Day!

Whether you are beginning the week with a day off in commemoration of the holiday, or you are in full work mode starting today, be sure to take some time this week to experience all the exciting things to do around DC. There’s a huge birthday party happening at the Wharf and worldwide food fun coming to town.


The Embassy Chef Challenge as part of the 2019 International City Food Festival. Photograph courtesy of Events DC.

Best Things to Do This Week

  1. The Wharf’s anniversary celebration. It has been five years since the Wharf opened in Southwest, and the Wharf is commemorating the special occasion, along with the completion of the waterfront, with its very own birthday party. Everyone is invited to enjoy live music, restaurant and retailer specials, as well as a fireworks finale over the Washington Channel (Wed, free, Wharf).
  2. International City Food Festival. Immerse yourself in a global three day food story that explores the delicious culture and traditions of food. Festival-goers can root for embassy chefs as they compete in a cooking challenge, be entertained by drinks, music, and games at Oktoberfest, or honor Día de los Muertos at an interactive film screening (Thurs-Sun, prices vary, various participating locations).
  3. Georgetown Harvest Market. Bring the whole family to Georgetown’s two-day Fall-themed market full of outdoor dining, shopping, pumpkin painting, face painting, art, live music, and more (Sat-Sun, free, Georgetown).
  4. Investigative Film Festival. Check out the first-of-its-kind festival dedicated to investigative storytelling on film in America. The Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival & Symposium included four days of screenings and a conference that brings together watchdog journalists and filmmakers who are interested in investigative reporting (Thurs-Sun, $95+, virtual and various participating locations).
  5. Immigration Film Fest. Guests can view 37 films virtually or see four in-person screenings and panels during the 10-day festival. This year’s festival explores the nature of home through the theme, “Unsettled: Finding Home in a World of Migration(Thurs-Sun, $65, various participating locations).


Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Learn about the astronomy findings of the James Webb Space Telescope in an engaging talk with Space Telescope Science Institute astronomer Steph LaMassa followed by drinks and star sightseeing on a rooftop (Mon, free, Northwest). It’s the last chance to view the art of women from across the UAE on display at the exhibit, “While the Coffee Grounds Settle: Stories from Women in the UAE(Fri, free, Georgetown).

Arts and culture. Take a look at street photography in DC and learn behind the camera tips and tools from photographers. Guests will be able to participate in a gel plate printing activity after the panel discussion (Sat, free, Mount Pleasant). Understand the different ways our brains are wired at a book discussion with author Temple Grandin (Tues, $12+, Northwest). Munch on charcuterie and make fresh candles at a workshop (Sun, $55, Springfield). Create your own photo embroidery project while sipping on cocktails (Sun, $90, Union Market). Sit in on a lecture with art critic and writer John Yau (Wed, free, virtual and The Smithsonian American Art Museum).

History and heritage. Watch a film in recognition of Indigenous Peoples’ Day as part of the AFI Latin American Film Festival (Mon, $15, Silver Spring). Acknowledge the indigenous people with ancestral homelands in DC at a storytelling program for toddlers (Wed, free, Northwest).

Theater and shows. Experience new ballets from The Washington Ballet this week at the NEXTsteps program (Wed-Sun, $50+, Penn Quarter). Or get tickets to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s World of Dance (Thurs-Sun, $25+, Bethesda and Baltimore). See the classic Tony-winning Broadway show Guys and Dolls (Tues-Sun, $59+, Kennedy Center). Get tickets to No Place to Go before it is gone (Tues-Sun, $40+, Arlington). Be afraid—or thrilled—at the stage play adaptation of Dracula (Fri-Sun, $15, Arlington).

Music and entertainment. Pop singer Demi Lovato is on tour and stopping in DC for a live concert (Mon, $70+, Southwest). As part of the second annual Truth and Service Classic Howard University vs. Harvard University football game, there will be a number of community events going on this week. From a panel discussion with radio personality Angie Ange to a gospel music brunch and comedy show, guests can be a part of the sports action (Fri-Sun, prices vary, Audi Field). Party at Rock the Core Cider Fest at Hook Hall (Sat, $25+, Northwest). Unwind at a midweek R&B and rosé happy hour (Wed, free, Downtown).

Movies and fun. Have a movie night in Virginia with the kids: see a screening of Disney’s Coco (Tues, free, Arlington) or see an outdoor showing of Minions: The Rise of Gru (Fri, free, Arlington). Make your way to President Lincoln’s Cottage to see the 1984 version of Ghostbusters (Fri, free, Petworth). Sing along to Encanto at Movies on the Lawn (Sat, free, Northwest). Go to an Angelika film pop-up for a showing of Rope during the Hitchcocktober series (Wed, $11, Northeast). Enjoy a day of Halloween fun at the amusement park at this season’s Kids BOO Fest (Sat, $39+, Bowie).

Exercise and wellness. Breathe and move your body to popular hits at R&B Yoga (Wed, $25, Downtown) or participate in Hatha Yoga and vibe out to the beats of the local drum circle (Sun, free, Meridian Hill Park). Take a guided Forest Bathing walk through the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens (Sat, free, Northeast).

Get involved. Prepare to witness the cutest dog race of all time! The Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash is back for its 10th year. The dogs will race a 70 yard sprint on the District Pier’s race track. All proceeds for dog contestant entries are donated to Rural Dog Rescue (Sun, free, Wharf).

If you enjoyed these events, don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign-up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.