Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 10/13-10/16: Kennedy Center Block Party, Shaw Arts Walk, and PorchFest

Plus, it's National Boss's Day.

Artist Chris Pyrate will be a part of the first annual Shaw Arts Walk. Photograph by Nathan Mitchell.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

There are so many things to celebrate in DC this weekend. Hispanic Heritage Month is wrapping up and there are a number of major outdoor music and art parties to enjoy in the warm autumn weather.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. Shaw Arts Walk. Pop-up art galleries, musicians, DJs, vinyl shops, local retailers, and artisans will set up at three locations within a quarter-mile loop in the Shaw and U Street neighborhoods for the first annual Shaw Arts Walk (Sat, free, Shaw).
  2. Kennedy Center Block Party. Close out the weekend at Jacqueline and Jason’s Block Party! All ages are welcome to partake in family-friendly food, fun, and music at the REACH plaza. There will be performances by the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir and DuPont Brass band,  jazz and go-go by Sweet Cherie, and more. Plus, enjoy sidewalk chalk, hula hoops, and jump rope and skate demos (Sun, free, Kennedy Center).
  3. PorchFest. Attention all music lovers, Adams Morgan PorchFest is finally here! The rescheduled event is bringing an estimated 70 local bands to 17 porches, stoops, and patios. In addition to the nonstop music performances, attendees can pick up event maps and wristbands to score discounts at nearby restaurants (Sat, free, Adams Morgan).
  4. DC History Center Open Day. Browse through history collections, and play, eat, shop, and dance with your neighbors at the DC History Center’s community Open Day. There will be family story time, local author spotlights, walking tours, dancing on the lawn, a scavenger hunt, and bingo (Sat, free, Mount Vernon Square and Downtown).
  5. National Boss’s Day. Did you know its National Boss’s Day this weekend? In honor of the day set aside to show your boss some love, you can walk-through the interactive The Office Experience DC. Sit at Michael Scott’s desk and snap photos of memorabilia from the NBC hit sitcom. Tickets are discounted in appreciation of bosses everywhere (Sun, $39+, Northwest).


Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Go to the DC Record Fair and pick up some old-school or new-school vinyls (Sun, free, Downtown). Watch a mid-day movie indoors (Thurs, free, Southeast). Paint a pumpkin or carve one, your choice (Thurs, free, Chevy Chase). Here’s more pumpkin painting, but creepy movies are included (Thurs, $15, Northwest).

Arts and culture. Don’t miss the reopening of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (Fri, free, National Air and Space Museum). Bring a blanket and a hot beverage to the MLK library garden for a spooky ghost story time (Thurs, free, MLK Library). Socialize with marketing and communications professionals over drink and snacks at A Digital Social: Live! (Thurs, $20, Library of Congress). Shop Black-owned brands and enjoy art and music at a neighborhood pop-up (Thurs-Sat, free, Northwest). Hear about food writer Naomi Duguid’s new salty book (Fri, $20+, Mount Pleasant).

Theater and shows. The book Sleepover at the Museum comes to life in concert with live narration (Sat, $18+, Kennedy Center). See the latest local and national talents on a big screen at an independent film showcase (Sat, $30, Kennedy Center). Spend the night laughing at a stand-up comedy show (Fri, $35+, Howard Theatre) or a boutique comedy show (Thurs, $15, U Street). Watch Refuge: A Story About Fear And Love In The American South at the Washington Film Festival (Thurs, $25, Tysons). Capture the evolution of tango through singing and dancing (Sun, $49+, Northwest).

History and heritage. Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close this weekend, but there’s still time to celebrate. Go to the Latin Rhythms Festival to shop Latino-owned businesses and dance to live music performances (Sat, free, Germantown). Meanwhile, a new sensory museum is celebrating and educating visitors on the essence of “Black Girl Magic(Fri-Sun, children $15 and adults $28, Union Market). Cook up history with Julia Child Award recipient Grace Young. Guests will learn how to prepare fried rice with Chinese barbecued pork. Yum! (Fri, free, National Museum of American History). Join the National Park Service for Frederick Douglass Family Day. There will be 19th century lawn games, bike rides, yoga, and live music (Sat, free, Anacostia). Highlight Asian culture and cuisine at Night Market; there will be a live DJ and carnival games (Sat, free, Arlington).

Music and concerts. Get ready for a traditional Spanish flamenco experience of vocals and choreography by the Royal Opera of Madrid (Fri-Sun, $49+, Southeast). Dance the night away at Hocus Floatus silent disco (Sat, $30, Kalorama). Participate in a blend of innovation and music at Octoberpus Tour (Thurs, $15, Alexandria). Tap into your inner singer superstar at Afro karaoke (Sat, $15+, Northeast).

Fun and games. Popcorn, pizza, and candy! Trick-or-treat your way to a screening of the classic horror film The Shining (Thurs, $5, Northwest). Take the kids to a 4D oceanic exploration of octopus at the National Aquarium (Thur-Sun, $5, Baltimore). Teens are invited to make arts and crafts at the library—choose between a DIY nicho box workshop inspired by the Dia de los Muertos holiday (Thurs, free, MLK Library) or decorate a haunted house (Thurs, free, MLK Library).

Get involved. Volunteer to help keep trash out of the Anacostia River at the Clean Waterways Cleanup (Fri, free, Anacostia).

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.

An earlier version of this post misidentified the photographer of the lead photo. 

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.