Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 3/27-4/2: “Afrofuturism” Exhibit, Pink in the Park, and the Play “The Jungle”

Plus, a new exhibition about local Black feminists.

"Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures." Photograph by Josh Weilepp/NMAAHC.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Wrap up Women’s History Month at the National Women’s History Museum’s Black feminist exhibition opening this week, and then dive into more history at the new “Afrofuturism” showcase. Or, you can celebrate the cherry blossoms at an outdoor pink party.

Best Things to Do This Week

  1. “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures.” The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture’s much-anticipated new exhibition is open for a year-long showing. “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” connects the use of Afrofuturist art, music, and activism to Black history and pop culture. Viewers can browse items such as a Black Panther costume, and learn about the social justice movement with objects such as Trayvon Martin’s flight suit from Experience Aviation (through March 24, 2024, free, National Museum of African American History and Culture).
  2. Pink in the Park. Cherry blossoms are blooming and the National Landing BID is throwing an outdoor extravaganza with food trucks, art installations, and music to mark the spring occasion. Pink in the Park is headlined by DC’s Black Alley band and hosted by actor and comedian Orlando Jones. During the first half of the event, kids are welcome to participate in kite- and origami-making, face painting, and giveaways, and eat sweet treats at the Long Bridge Aquatics Center swimming pool (Sat, free, Arlington).
  3. “The Jungle” play. This new stage play co-produced by Shakespeare Theater Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is set in a French refugee camp. Playwrights Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson portray the dramatic experiences of refugees waiting to find safety across the English Channel in The Jungle (Tues through April 16, $35+, Northwest DC).
  4. “We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC.” The National Women’s History Museum and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library team up to present a new exhibition about 20th century Black women activists. Curated by historians Sherie M. Randolph and Kendra T. Field, “We Who Believe in Freedom: Black Feminist DC” displays the impactful histories and voices of local feminist leaders Anna Julia Cooper, Mary Church Terrell, Eleanor Holmes Norton, and several more. The opening event includes a performance by singer Rochelle Rice, and snacks from DC Central Kitchen (opens Thurs, free, MLK Memorial Library).

Pink in the Park. Photograph courtesy of the National Landing BID.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. See a showcase of local drag performers at DuPont Italian Kitchen (every Mon, free, Dupont).

Arts and culture. Journalist Ari Shapiro discusses his new memoir about his journalism career, The Best Strangers in the World (Mon, $12+, virtual, Northwest DC). Solid State Books’ book club discusses local fantasy author Leslye Penelope’s historical fantasy about U Street’s Black Broadway, The Monsters We Defy (Tues, free, virtual). Artist Baseera Khan’s “Cloak and Dagger” exhibit brings a Muslim Femme experience to the Maria and Alberto de la Cruz Art Gallery at Georgetown University (through April 5, free, Northwest DC). View more than 150 paintings and drawings of modern artist Philip Guston (through August 27, free, National Gallery of Art). “Plantfluencer” Hilton Carter discusses his new book Living Wild: How to Plant Style Your Home and Cultivate Happiness (Sat, free, but registration required, National Gallery of Art). Author Alma Katsu talks about her thrilling novel Red London at the Spy Museum (Mon, free, but registration required, virtual). Learn how to propagate plants at this greenery workshop (Tues, $35, Northwest DC).

History and community. Chat with women entrepreneurs at the mayor’s office InnovateHERs networking event (Tues, free, Southeast DC).

Theater and shows. Dancer Sara Baras embraces the lively art of flamenco (Wed-Thurs, $25+, Kennedy Center). Get tickets to see the drama about the AIDS crisis, Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches (through April 23, $56+, Southwest DC). There’s an ’80s-style burlesque and acrobatics show paired with a four-course menu at Harlot (Wed, $99, U Street). Attend a play reading of the new comedy about grief and friendship Behave Yourself (Mon, free, virtual, Arlington). The Northeast Performing Arts Group presents The Wiz Dansical at the THEARC (Fri, $20, Southeast DC). Local comedians share a lineup of jokes at Cafe Saint-Ex (Sat, donations welcome, Northwest DC). Don’t miss the opening of the dark comedy Jennifer Who Is Leaving at Round House Theatre (Thurs through May 7, $46+, Bethesda).

Music and concerts. Wunder Garten is hosting their Cherryfest and this week’s lineup features a Nicki Minaj-themed dance party (Fri, free, NoMa). Experience an evening of French chamber music at the Embassy of France (Thurs, $15+, Northwest DC). Bel Cantanti Opera celebrates the 150th anniversary of Sergei Rachmaninoff with a live concert and art recital (Fri, $40, Rockville). Yoko Miwa Trio plays jazz at Blues Alley (Sun, $30+, Georgetown). Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band make a rocking tour stop in DC (Mon, $124, Capital One Arena).

Outdoor fun. Take a private boat cruise along DC’s waterfront with a group of friends (daily, $50 per person, minimum group of 8, Navy Yard).

Exercise and wellness. Strengthen your mind and body at a vinyasa flow yoga class; guests are encouraged to bring a journal, too (Tues, $15, Congress Heights). Learn the latest soulful line dances (every Mon, $6, District Heights).

Game night. Compete in trivia night at Metrobar (every Thurs, free, Brentwood). Bring the entire family to a fundraising game night at Jersey Mike’s; proceeds will go to youth development nonprofit Powerful Beyond Measure (Wed, free, Brentwood). Play trivia and win prizes at Wunder Garten (every Mon, free, NoMa), or play musical trivia at Wunder Garten (every Wed, free, NoMa). Play pub trivia with a team at Across the Pond (Wed, free, Northwest DC). Compete in multiple rounds of fun at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema’s Think-N-Drink Trivia (every Wed, free, Northeast DC). You can win a $50 Dacha Beer Garden gift card at Cap City Trivia (every Mon, free, Navy Yard).

Things to do with kids. Stargaze through a telescope at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in recognition of the 65th anniversary of the proposal to create NASA (Sun, free, Southwest DC). The Sakura Sunday festival hosts book readings, Japanese performances, and martial arts (Sun, free, National Harbor).

Get involved. Help cleanup the 4 Mile Run trail at Barcroft Park (Sun, 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.