Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 1/9-1/16: Rock the Rink, “Ride the Cyclone,” and “I Dream a World” exhibit

Plus, last chance to visit the Office Experience pop-up.

Capitals Winter at the Wharf. Photograph courtesy of Washington Capitals Photography.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Stay warm this week and explore a number of indoor exhibitions or a new play at Arena Stage. If you are looking for something fun to do outdoors, then sport your best Capitals gear and rock the ice-skating rink at a hockey-themed celebration.


Best Things to Do This Week

  1. “I Dream a World” at the National Portrait Gallery. The first installation of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Brian Lanker’s vintage black-and-white photo collection is set to close this month. I Dream a World: Selections from Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women features an empowering photo collection of impactful women of color including Maya Angelou, Lena Horne, and Oprah Winfrey (through January 29, free, Northwest DC).
  2. Rock the Rink. Calling all Washington Capitals fans: DC’s beloved hockey team is taking over the Wharf through February with team-decorated igloos, game-viewing parties, Capitals-inspired beverages, and music. This week the Rock the Rink party is hosting fans for a skate around the Wharf Ice Rink featuring a DJ and giveaways; the away game will be broadcast on the jumbotron on the Transit Pier floating stage. Wear your best Caps gear to receive $5 off ice rink admission (Wed, $13 for adults, $10 for youth under 12, Wharf).
  3. “Ride the Cyclone.” A new quirky musical about the afterlife opens this week at Arena Stage. Ride the Cyclone involves an interesting and edgy narrative about six teen chamber choir singers whose lives abruptly end in a roller coaster accident. The only way for the youngsters to make it back to life is to sing (through February 19, $66+, Southwest DC).
  4. Office Experience pop-up. The popular Dunder Mifflin office is leaving town. If you haven’t made it to this Instagram-worthy pop-up experience—or maybe you enjoyed the two-story exploration so much you want to visit again— then check out the interactive Office Experience and relive your favorite episodes before it closes (through January 16, $35+, Northwest DC).
This portrait of Rosa Parks is part of I Dream a World at the National Portrait Gallery. Photograph by Brian Lanker.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Sit it on a conversation with artist Eva LeWitt and Hirshhorn curator Anne Reeve about making unique art experiences (Wed, free, but registration required, virtual). Take an architecture or nature walk at the contemporary art museum Glenstone (weekly Thurs-Sun, free, Potomac). The opening reception of Nyugen Smith’s “Bundlehouse: Ancient Future Memory” features live music, food and drinks (Thurs, free, Southeast DC). Work on those new year Gains and Goals (Thurs, free, College Park).

Arts and culture. Escape the work week and join romance author Sarah Echavarre Smith in a discussion about her book, The Boy With the Bookstore (Wed, free, but registration required, virtual). Hear artist Katharina Cibulka and her collaborator Margarethe Causen discuss the cross-stitch “Solange #27” piece featured on the facade of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, along with other projects (Tues, free, but registration required, virtual). View “Let Them Kids Be Kids” by artist Lex Marie (through January 22, free, Arlington). This is the last month to see the exhibit “Assembly(through January 29, free, Arlington). Browse the “Before Nollywood … The Ideal Photo Studio” photography gallery (daily, free, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art). Are you a James Bond fan? Join a discussion about the creation of Ian Fleming’s popular book and film character (Wed, $25, virtual).

History and heritage talks. Learn the history behind sailors singing while working at sea from author Jessica M. Floyd (Sun, $13+, Southeast DC). Or, look at the early life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg at Profs and Pints DC presents: “RBG before she was ‘Notorious(Mon, $13+, Penn Quarter). Busboys and Poets is hosting local author H.H. Leonards for a discussion about her recent title, Rosa Parks Beyond the Bus (Mon, free, Cardozo).

Theater and shows. Don’t miss Theater J’s opening of Two Jews Walk Into a War (through February 5, pay-what-you-can $5+, Northwest DC). Laugh with friends at the Comedy Shuffle (Mon, free, Northwest DC). Listen to stories about welcoming the new and getting rid of the old at Story District’s Firsts & Lasts show (Tues, $25, Southwest DC). The Elvis’ Birthday Fight Club production is back and showing at Gala Hispanic Theatre (Fri-Sat, $30+, Northwest DC).

Music and concerts. Versatile DC musician Ari Voxx kicks off a four-week residency at DC9 (every Wed through February 1, $5, Cardozo). Local groups: Inside Voices, Red Medicine, and Chief Flow are performing live at Pie Shop (Wed, $15, Northeast DC). Dance to Latin music performed by the Meridian Brothers at Songbyrd (Wed, $18+, Northeast DC). Seong-Jin Cho plays Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 (Thurs-Sat, $39+, Kennedy Center). An international breakdancing group of disabled dancers is in town for a special performance, No Excuses, No Limits (Fri-Sun, $20, Kennedy Center). The Post Classical Ensemble presents Amazing Grace: Music for the Spirit (Wed, $45, Kennedy Center).

Dry January. Learn how to make spirit-free cocktails at this two-hour mixology class (Sun, $50, Georgetown). Attend a specialty cocktail-making class featuring an optional mocktail menu at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza & Tap; dinner is included (Mon-Tues, $170, Alexandria).

Things to do with kids. Your child can have story time with a dog at the library (Mon, free, Alexandria). Teenagers can put together a collage of pictures and make their own 2023 vision boards (Sat, free, Alexandria). Watch a Pokemon movie (Wed, free, Mount Pleasant).

Get involved. In honor of Martin Luther King Day of Service, Shirlington Library is hosting a volunteer fair featuring nonprofit organizations that support animals and nature (Mon, free, Arlington).

If you enjoyed these events, please 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.