Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 4/17-4/23: Filmfest DC, District Day, and DC Wine Fest

Plus, the Living Earth Festival at the Smithsonian.

Catch Kelvin Harrison Jr. in the film "Chevalier" at Filmfest DC. Photograph by Larry Horricks. Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2022 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved.

Happy Monday, everyone!

There’s a variety of fun things to do this week. You can binge-watch international movies at Filmfest DC, or celebrate Earth Day at the museum with the entire family.


Best Things to Do This Week

  1. Filmfest DC. The 37th Annual DC International Film Festival returns this week with a packed movie lineup. The 12-day motion picture event is in person this year and will spotlight 65 films from 30 countries including the new films Chevalier and BlackBerry, and the comedy Mediterranean Fever. You can visit Politics and Prose to check out the store’s curated book list based on the featured films. There’s also an outdoor movie showing and post-screening parties (Wed through April 30, $14 single tickets, $100 for director’s pass, various locations).
  2. District Day at the Smithsonian. DC Emancipation Day festivities are not over yet. The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is hosting a full day of kid-friendly activities and learning opportunities to recognize the more than 3,000 enslaved persons set free in 1862. Visitors can enjoy a special menu from Sweet Home Café, join guided history conversations, see live performances, and watch the Afrofuturism: The Origin Story documentary on District Day (Mon, free, but registration required, NMAAHC).
  3. DC Wine Fest. Stimulate your taste buds with a variety of pours at the DC Wine Fest. The event at Union Market’s Dock 5 spans across three ticketed sessions featuring live music from artists Tejas Singh, Darcy Dawn, and Rebecca McCartney; food vendors will be on site, too (Sat, $35+, Northeast DC).
  4. “Nosebleed” stage play. This is the final week to see the comical and chaotic stage play The Nosebleed at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. Playwright, director, and performer Aya Ogawa takes theatergoers on an autobiographical exploration of cultural identity, family trauma, and forgiveness in this portrayal of their broken relationship with their deceased father (closes Sun, pay-what-you-can, Northwest DC).
  5. Living Earth Festival. Spend Earth Day at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian to learn how Native nations are confronting the issues of climate change. Through educational farming and aquaculture presentations, weaving, paper-art-making stations, and panel discussions, the Living Earth Festival shares the ways Indigenous communities are working to preserve land and resources (Sat, free, Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian).

It’s your last chance to see Angels in America at Arena Stage before the show closes on Sunday. Photograph courtesy of Arena Stage.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Record label executive Nabil Ayers talks about his memoir My Life in the Sunshine with DC’s own Chad Clark (Sat, free, Edgewood).

Arts and culture. It’s the last chance to observe the “Black Like Me” group exhibition at Zenith Gallery (closes Sat, free, Northwest DC). Artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah discusses his works on climate, social, and political crises (Thurs, free, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden). Baker Natasha Pickowicz celebrates her More Than Cake cookbook at Lutèce (Thurs, free entry, reservations recommended, Northwest DC). Food styler Elle Simone Scott gives tips on making spreads at Busboys and Poets (Sun, free, Northwest DC). Learn how to make fresh macarons at Black Lion Coffee (Fri, $109, Silver Spring). Browse through the collections at the Library of Congress and enjoy happy hour drinks and food (every Thurs, free, but pass required, Library of Congress). Learn how to care for your own ecosystem at a Terrarium Class at Colada Shop (Sun, $72, Dupont).

Community talks. Sen. John Hickenlooper discusses urban and rural agriculture at City-State Brewing’s Defend Our Beer event (Wed, free, Edgewood). California congresswoman Rep. Katie Porter gives us a look into her life as a politician in her book I Swear: Politics Is Messier Than My Minivan (Wed, $12 for virtual, $20+, Northwest DC).

Theater and shows. See the revival of the classic drama Angels in America, Part One: Millennium Approaches before the show closes at Arena Stage (closes Sun, $51+, Southwest DC). Watch The Magic Duel contestants try out new magic tricks at DC Arts Center (Wed, Fri-Sat, $15+, Adams Morgan). Have a night of laughter with local comedians at The Living Room Show (Fri, $10, Northwest DC). Attend live readings of new plays during the Keegan Theatre’s Boiler Room Series (through May 15, free, Northwest DC). The final show of Atlas Performing Arts Center’s Intersections Festival explores the human condition through dance (Sat, $27, H Street Corridor). Here’s a quiet show: Grab tickets to a screening of silent film Our Dancing Daughters (Sun, $25, H Street Corridor). The Emilio and Gloria Estefan story takes the stage in On Your Feet (Fri-Sun, $63+, Tysons). Chris Tucker is in town for a stand-up comedy show (Fri, $68+, MGM National Harbor).

Music and concerts. Sit in on a jazz jam at Hank Dietle’s Tavern (every Mon, free, Rockville). Black Belt Eagle Scout performs songs inspired by Indigenous heritage at Songbyrd (Tues, $15+, Northeast DC). Indie rock musician Tamino is live in concert at (Tues, $26, Howard Theatre). Violinist Martha Psyko plays at the Quadrant (Fri, $80+, Northwest DC). The Taiwan Philharmonic team up with Washington Performing Arts for a concert with violinist Paul Huang (Wed, $45+, Kennedy Center). Rap star Lil Wayne arrives at The Fillmore Silver Spring for a lively concert (Tues, $275+, Silver Spring). Rock group Xiu Xiu plays at the Black Cat (Tues, $20, Cardozo). Experience opera, flamenco, and acting in the Post Classical Ensemble’s Entwined: A Double Feature with playwright and director Derek Goldman (Wed, $45, Kennedy Center).

Outdoor fun. Watch the movie Men of Honor at the U.S. Navy Memorial (Thurs, free, Penn Quarter). Or, go to a drive-in movie showing of A League of Their Own at Union Market (Fri, $20 parking per car, Northeast DC). Walk the trail at the U.S. National Arboretum to view the colorful azaleas collection (through June, free, U.S. National Arboretum). Run the Pike’s Peek 10K Race and hang around afterwards for family fun, music, and food at the festival (Sun, $20+, Derwood).

Things to do with kids. Take your kids to a screening of Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax (Sat, free, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden), or assemble art pieces from the Art Cart (Thurs, free, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).

Get involved. Donate gently-worn sneakers in the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema lobby to support the local community (through Thurs, donations welcome, Crystal City, Northeast DC).

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.