Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 10/17-10/23: Diwali Festival of Lights, Taco Festival, and DMV Food Recovery Week

Plus, several local ghost tours.

The two-day festival at the National Harbor boasts more than 20 taco trucks and taquerias. Photograph courtesy of Taco Beer Tequila Festival.

Happy Monday, everyone!

There’s a lot of entertaining things to do this week. You can catch the opening night of a women-produced play or celebrate culture and tradition at a festival of lights. Whichever you choose, you’re bound to have a good time.


Best Things to Do This Week

  1. Diwali Celebration. The Mayor’s Office on Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs presents the District’s 8th annual Diwali Celebration. The festival of lights includes a traditional lamp-lighting ceremony, cultural performances, and ethnic food sampling (Thurs, free, Northwest DC).
  2. Taco, Beer, Tequila Festival. Get ready for two days of all-you-can-eat tacos! Sip on beer, cider, and tequila samples, taste fresh guacamole, and finish it all off with churros and chocolate at this year’s festival. There will also be live music (Sat-Sun, $55+, National Harbor).
  3. DMV Food Recovery Week. A number of local groups and organizations are teaming up this week to host events to encourage community members to become more resilient on reducing food waste and increasing food security for all. Participants can learn how to compost, how to properly store and freeze food at home, and how to grow produce from kitchen leftovers (Mon-Sat, free, virtual and various participating locations).
  4. My Body, No Choice. Be enlightened by monologues from eight women playwrights that explain the importance of bodily autonomy and reproductive rights in My Body, No Choice opening this week at Arena Stage (Fri-Sun, $18, Southwest DC).
  5. Fashion at the Smithsonian. View, shop, and wear limited-edition jewelry, clothing, and wearable art from designers from across the U.S. at the Smithsonian Craft2Wear show. The opening night includes a preview benefit show where guests can meet the artists and enjoy drinks and hors d’oeuvres (Thurs-Sat, $10+, National Building Museum).


Want More Things to Do?

Photograph by Susan Bell/Flickr.
Photograph by Susan Bell/Flickr.

Budget-friendly. Shop through a collection of books, CDs, DVDs, and vinyl at Capital Book Fest (Thurs, free, Downtown). Watch a frightful throwback film as part of the Retro Replay series at E Street Cinema (Tues, $7, Northwest DC).

Arts and culture. A new group exhibition of photography, video, sculpture, painting, installations, and live performative works is on display (Wed-Sat, free, Arlington). East City Bookshop is hosting a conversation with economics professor and parenting data expert Emily Oster about her book The Family Firm (Tues, free, virtual and in-person, Southeast DC). Create your own embroidery Halloween-themed stitch (Wed, $45, Union Market) or build an autumn wreath (Wed, $60, Union Market). Explore the 3,000-square-foot exhibit “All American: The Power of Sports(Mon-Sun, free, National Archives).

Theater and shows. Travel to the past for a 1930s-style cabaret at the Classic Theatre of Maryland (Mon, $62, Annapolis). See Heroes of the Fourth Turning before it leaves this month (Wed-Sun, $65+, Northwest DC). The Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington DC is giving tribute to singer Judy Garland. Listen to Garland’s popular tunes “Over the Rainbow” andThe Man That Got Away” at the musical cabaret (Sat, $45, Tysons).

Bites and beverages. Say hello to local food and beverage business owners and sample their products at Union Kitchen’s Meet the Makers (Sat, $20, Northeast DC). Enjoy cheese, drinks, and lots of laughs at the Wine Bar Comedy Show (Tues, $10, Navy Yard). Participate in a Pumpkin Rice Cake Cooking Class at the Chinese Street Market (Tues, $20+, Northwest DC). Indulge in all of your vegan cravings at a dinner and community social (Wed, $30, Northwest DC).

Halloween and history. Take a twilight ghost tour and learn about the capital’s haunted past (Mon-Sun, $30, Northwest DC) or be led through Old Town by lantern light to hear ghost stories, folklore, and tales of romance and angry ghosts looking for revenge (Mon-Thurs, $15, Alexandria). Visit Maryland for a journey through the area’s thrilling past (Thurs-Sun, $15, Frederick). Do you have the courage to take a trip to a haunted farm? If so, have some after-hours spooky fun at Fields of Fear (Fri-Sun, $35, Centreville). Author JoAnn Hill is teaming up with Off the Mall Tours for a Secrets of Alexandria guided tour that explores the historic and spooky sites of the neighborhood (Thurs, $30+, Alexandria).

Music and concerts. Singer-songwriter Cash Langdon returns to the DC scene to perform his latest music at Quarry House Tavern (Mon, $16, Silver Spring). See the Smashing Pumpkins in concert (Tues, $49+, Capital One Arena).

Fun and games. Find a spot on the lawn and enjoy a sundown showing of the classic movie Top Gun (Fri, free, Arlington). Bingo is even better when you play with furry goats! Participate in a game of BINGOAT at a local community center (Sat, $40, Arlington).

Get involved. Ward 1 DC Mutual Aid organization is hosting a clothing drive. Donate gently used and clean winter clothing at Lyman Tavern (Mon, donations welcome, Northwest).

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.