Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 10/20-10/23: Takoma Park Festival, Design Week Block Party, and LGBTQ Awards

Plus, fall festival fun for the entire family.

Takoma Park Street Festival in 2019. Photograph by Sam Kittner.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Have you seen the weekend forecast? There are several outdoor fall festivals you could attend over the next few days to enjoy the beautiful weather. If you’d prefer to stay indoors, you can go to a LGBTQ awards dance party or a lively sandwich shop grand opening.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. Takoma Park Street Festival. The neighborhood festival is back with food trucks, live music, and more than 150 vendor booths. Shop jewelry, home decor, clothing, plants, and more from local artists and makers (Sun, free, Takoma Park).
  2. DC Design Week Block Party. DC Design Week is hosting a pop-up block party with local creative Terratorie Maps + Goods. Guests can create their own custom block-print sketches, tote bags, and T-shirts, and enter to win ticket prizes to Artechouse (Fri, free, Brookland). In addition to the party, there will be wellness and design workshops throughout the weekend (Thurs-Fri, $20+, Downtown and Rock Creek Park).
  3. Fall Harvest Festival at Mount Vernon. Participate in a fall celebration with the entire family featuring 18th-century farming demonstrations. You can navigate through a straw-bale maze, meet General Washington, visit with horses, play 1700’s-era games, eat freshly baked clay-oven bread, and enjoy a drink tasting (Sat-Sun, kids younger than 5 years old are free, $15 for youth, $28 for adults, Mount Vernon).
  4. LGBTQ DC Awards Party. The Washington Blade presents the 2022 Best of LGBTQ DC Awards this weekend. Cheer on the readers’ choice award winners and then dance the night away at the after-party. There will be live performances and two DJs (Thurs, $17, Downtown).
  5. Fight Club DC Grand Opening. Popular sandwich restaurant Fight Club DC has a new home and is celebrating with a “much delayed grand opening.” The Sorry Just Seeing This Text event is taking place on National Mezcal Day, and will offer partiers drink tastings, door prizes, lunchables, and games. Plus, live music with DJ Daniel Biltmore (Fri, $40, Capitol Hill).
Planet Word. Photograph by DuHon Photography.


Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Planet Word is throwing a birthday party and the community is invited. Go on a rooftop blind date with a book, take a tour of the historic building, and complete crafts and crosswords for the family to enjoy (Sun, free, Downtown). Or, have a relaxing workout during Yoga on the Magnolia Terrace before the season ends (Sat, $10, Alexandria).

Arts and culture. The Anacostia Arts Center is collaborating with the Embassy of Serbia to present a new group exhibition, “Finding a Way.” The showcase includes works from nine Serbian artists and a panel discussion (Thurs-Fri, free, Anacostia). Discover the creations of 67 artists in 22 home studios at this year’s 3rd Annual Ch/Art Walk (Sat-Sun, free, Chevy Chase). Attend a panel discussion on Swedish-American relations (Thurs, free, Northwest DC). Sit in on a book discussion with author George Saunders (Thurs, free, virtual and Arlington).

Theater and shows. The classic romance Romeo & Juliet comes to life through ballet and a choral symphony at the Washington National Cathedral (Sat, $20+, Upper Northwest DC). Swiss mask theater troupe Mummenschanz is turning 50 years old and celebrating with a show in DC (Sat, $30+, Foggy Bottom). Grab passes to the Washington DC International LGBTQ Film Festival (Thurs-Sun, $15+, virtual and Northwest DC).

History and heritage. Do you remember the famous presidential flute hit singer Lizzo played last month? You can head to the library and view the same crystal flute that belonged to President James Madison, along with other historic treasures for one night only (Thurs, free but tickets required, Library of Congress).

Festivals and parties. It’s Howard University’s homecoming and the school is hosting its first in-person Yardfest since 2019 (Fri, free, Howard University). See local live bands perform at Songbyrd and stay late for a free Drake playlist dance party (Sat, $7, Northeast DC). Munch on kettle corn and sip on hot apple cider while tapping your feet to the tunes of live bluegrass at the Fall Fest and Bluegrass Jamboree (Sat, free, Dupont Circle). Ride a mechanical bull and line dance at COWPIE (Sat, $25+, Eastern Market). Recognize Día de los Muertos with live music, street food, face painting, and a beer garden (Sun, free, the Wharf). A popular Italian car race comes to Middleburg this weekend and will include a street festival where auto lovers can view vintage vehicles (Thurs-Sat, free, Middleburg, Virginia).

Music and concerts. Don’t stop the music this weekend—you can attend a live piano concert (Thurs, $40+, Kennedy Center) or a family folk music concert (Fri, free, Kennedy Center). Get tickets to Long Live GoGo performances (Fri, $5, Northeast DC). The Washington National Opera is opening its season with a new production, Il trovatore (Sat, $45+, Kennedy Center).

Fun and games. Spend the day with the kids at Climb UPton. Almost all ages can climb the adventure course and practice their swing at mini-golf or at the batting cages (Thurs-Sun, +19, Arlington). Drive to Virginia for family pumpkin fun at Temple Hall Farm (Thurs-Sun, kids younger than 2 are free, adults are $15, Leesburg) or a farm fun day at Halley Rise (Sat, free, Reston). Get into the Halloween spirt at Halloween Family Day (Sat, free but tickets required, Library of Congress). Carnival season isn’t over yet! Indulge in carnival rides, games, and concessions at Country Market Day (Sat, free, Tenleytown). Washington International Horse Show is hosting a Kid’s Day. There will be carousel and pony rides (Sat, free, National Harbor).

Get involved. Party at the historic Dumbarton House to raise funds for the Red Cross. The Dumbarton at Dusk: Fall Festival will include live music from local artists, pumpkin carving, plus free food and candy (Thurs, free, but donations welcome, Georgetown). The 36th Annual Walk to End HIV fundraiser is taking place this weekend (Sat, free, Southeast DC).

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.