Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 1/26-1/29: Ne-Yo at the Kennedy Center, “This is Britain” exhibit, and a Hot Drinks, Beer, and Cider Festival

Plus, an Iranian film festival.

Singer-songwriter Ne-Yo. Photograph by Chris Stanford.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

From live concerts to outdoor drinking and Lunar New Year festivals, there’s plenty of exciting things to do around town this weekend.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. Ne-Yo at the Kennedy Center. Three-time Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Ne-Yo arrives in DC this weekend for an evening of live music with the National Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Steven Reineke. You don’t want to miss the versatile artist perform his best hits in a new way in the Concert Hall (Sat, $114, Kennedy Center).
  2. “This Is Britain” at the National Gallery of Art. A group of socially conscious photographers captured the life and culture of Britain during the ’70s and ’80s and now their works are on display in a new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. “This Is Britain: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s” features 45 prints and the film Handsworth Songs to showcase the country’s national identity during a time of major societal changes (opens Sun through June 11, free, National Gallery of Art).
  3. Hot Drinks, Beer, and Cider Festival. Warm up this weekend with hot chocolate, spiked eggnog, and more cozy drinks at Shipgarten. The festival includes more than 40 beer and cider samples, a photo booth, games and prizes, outdoor attractions, live music, and food. Also, there’s a kids corner with a moon bounce and face painting, and a special dog menu for your furry friends (Sat, free, McLean).
  4. Festival of Films from Iran. The 27th Annual Festival of Films from Iran returns to the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium with a lineup of screenings—both in-person and virtual—highlighting Iranian cinema. Documentaries, shorts, and full-length movies will be available to watch in-person through February 12 at Meyer Auditorium, and from January 28 through April 10 at AFI Silver Theatre. The program of virtual screenings runs February 13 through 26 (through April 10, free, virtual, Silver Spring and Southwest DC).
  5. Lunar New Year Festival at DAR Museum. Continue the Lunar New Year festivities with games, food, and live performances at the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum in collaboration with Asian Fusion Gallery. You can watch a lion and dragon dance, experience kung fu, indulge in free snacks, and participate in traditional calligraphy and string lion puppet dance games (Sat, free, Northwest DC).
This photograph is featured in “This Is Britain: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s.” Photograph by Vanley Burke.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. The Way Down Wanderers will perform live at Pearl Street Warehouse (Fri, free, Wharf). Wear a onesie and groove to retro hits at Metrobar (Sat, free, Northeast DC). Learn about DC’s performance oversight process (Thurs, free, virtual).

Arts and culture. MSNBC anchor and attorney Ari Melber discusses the book January 6 Report (Thurs, $30 for book and ticket, $12 for virtual ticket, Northwest DC). Have your home treasures and fine arts appraised at St. Clement’s Island Museum (Sat, free, Coltons Point). “Ringgold and Saar: Meeting on the Matrix” exhibition opens this weekend at the David C. Driskell Center (through May 22, free, College Park). Attend a meet-and-greet with photographer and author Patricia Z. Smith at Hemphill (Sat, free, Northwest DC). View the outdoor installation “Brier Patch” by Hugh Hayden at Dumbarton Oaks Garden (through May, free, Georgetown). Be a part of an art discussion with McLean Project for the Arts (Thurs, free, virtual). Mingle with neighbors and nibble on small bites while exploring the Anacostia Community Museum’s recent exhibit, “The Utopia Project,” at this after-hours event. Utopia After Dark is sold out, but walk-ins are available (Thurs, free, Anacostia). Learn about the National Academy of Sciences’s latest exhibition, “Arctic Ice: A Visual Archive,” with the artists and researchers who contributed to the project (Thurs, free, Northwest DC). “Emmett Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See” opens this weekend at the library (through March 12, free, MLK Memorial Library). Sip and paint with artist Justin Q Young (Thurs, $35, Waldorf).

History and heritage. Discover the history of DC and visit local bars on a walking tour (Thurs-Sun, $72, Northeast DC). Local graduate students are invited to celebrate the Lunar New Year with food and cultural activities at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (Sat, free, Northwest DC). Watch film selects from Haiti, Brazil, Jamaica, and the US that explore Afro-descendant spiritual practices; the screening is followed by a panel discussion (Thurs, free, Northeast DC).

Theater and shows. See the live-recorded performances of Straight Line Crazy at Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Harman Hall (Sat, $20, Northwest DC) or Much Ado About Nothing (Sat-Sun, $20, Northwest DC). Experience the Ballet Theatre of Maryland in Momentum: A Mixed Bill (Sat, $40, Largo). Attend an art showcase in celebration of Indigenous communities at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (Sun, free, Northwest DC). See the DC premiere of The Lifespan of a Fact (through February 25, $50, Northwest DC). Five storytellers share an adult version of the Pied Piper fairytale (Sat, free, virtual). There’s comedy and a magic show at Anacostia Arts Center (Sat, $10, Anacostia). Laugh into the weekend at a comedy show by Capital Showcase (Sat, free, Northwest DC), or at Comedy Club DC (Fri-Sat, $10+, Adams Morgan).

Sports. Monster trucks will race at full-throttle at Monster Jam (Sat-Sun. $25+, Capital One Arena). Play golf and eat unlimited wings at City Swing (Thurs, $40, Northwest DC). Box at this trans+ and queer empowerment boxing class hosted by Georgetown University Club Boxing; allies are welcome (Fri, free, donations welcome, Georgetown).

Music and concerts. Listen to the vintage sounds of the John Ingram Band (Sat, free, Wharf) or classical selections by the Parker Quartet (Sat, $25, Takoma Park). Channel your inner superstar and jam out at late-night karaoke (Wed, free, Cardozo). Get tickets to Art Sherrod Jr. to hear soulful hits at Blues Alley Jazz (Sat, $35, Georgetown). Pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin plays classical songs (Sat, $75+, Kennedy Center). Grammy-award winning Silkroad Ensemble has a show at George Mason University (Sun, $33+, Fairfax). Get tickets to Greensky Bluegrass (Fri-Sat, $45, Wharf).

Game night. Put your thinking caps on for trivia night at Metrobar (Thurs, free, Northeast DC) or trivia at Lost Generation Brewing Company (Sun, free, Eckington). This trivia night includes arts and crafts (Sat, $40, Baltimore). Play cards, board games, musical chairs and more fun at Adult Game Night (Sat, $75, Bowie). Play to win prizes at City-State Brewing (Thurs, free, Northeast DC). Solve a murder mystery during trivia night at this live interactive show hosted by DC Improv’s Rob Maher (Thurs, $22, Northwest DC).

Things to do with kids. Observe award-winning African artist Georges Adéagbo’s new exhibit at President Lincoln’s Cottage, and create your own self-portrait (Sat, free, Northwest DC). Children can learn about feelings and emotions at the National Children’s Museum’s “XOXO: An Exhibit About Love & Forgiveness(through May 14, $16, Downtown). Go ice-skating at Cameron Run (Sat, $12+, Alexandria). Watch a screening of Encanto (Sun, free, Northeast DC).

Get involved. Network with young professionals at a Winter Happy Hour hosted by care provider SOME. You can donate scarves, hats, and gloves at the event. Also, the ticket cost covers light appetizers, a door prize raffle, and a tax-deductible donation (Thurs, $20, Northwest DC).

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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.