Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 4/20-4/23: Petworth Porchfest, State of the Arts Night, and “Aladdin” the Musical

Plus, a family-fun Earth Day celebration at the Park.

Disney’s Aladdin comes to the National Theatre. Photograph by Deen van Meer/Disney.

Happy weekend, everyone!

The weather is beautiful, and we are encouraging you to enjoy every minute of the sunshine. Go out and have some outdoor fun at Porchfest this weekend, or celebrate Earth Day in Maryland with family and friends.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. Petworth Porchfest. The popular community-led music festival Porchfest  returns to DC’s Petworth neighborhood this weekend. The lineup of eclectic sounds features more than 190 bands across 80 porches. Concertgoers can hear blues, folk, reggae, acoustic pop, R&B, and more tunes performed live by local artists. Visit this event map to locate featured musicians (Sat, free, Petworth).
  2. State of the Arts Night. The European Union is partnering with the Hirshhorn Museum to present an outdoor and indoor after-hours pop-up experience featuring artists from nine European Union member states. The State of the Arts Night will address topics such as climate change, war, and gender through live music, panel discussions, theatrical productions, and augmented reality; the museum is open late to explore, too (Fri, free, but walk-up entry is available on a first-come, first-served basis only, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).
  3. Disney’s “Aladdin,” the musical. Here’s a show the kids will love: Disney’s Aladdin comes to the National Theatre this week. The Broadway musical will feature familiar songs from the movie, and a whole new world of tunes written by award-winning composer Alan Menken. The lively show is filled with comedy, magic, and new set designs (closes April 30, $40+, National Theatre).
  4. Grow Boldly: Earth Day Celebration. Have a family-fun day at Color Burst Park in recognition of Earth Day. Grown-ups can relax and do yoga on the lawn, while children can participate in a tie-dye workshop, story time, flower pot painting, wind chime painting, and other nature-themed entertainment at this outdoor extravaganza. Also, the first 100 guests will be gifted a handheld tree (Sat, free, Columbia).

The Danish String Quartet. Photograph by © Exit Studio/Courtesy of Kennedy Center.

Want More Things to Do?

Arts and culture. Create geometric patterns and meditate at The Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington (Sun, $70, Arlington). Renowned filmmaker and artist John Akomfrah discusses his works on migrant diasporas and climate change (Thurs, free, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden). Watch the futuristic film 2040 (Sat, free, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden). Join the live podcast taping of The Happiness Lab (Thurs, $30+, Northwest DC). Discuss Black culture and dating at Busboys and Poets (Sat, $15, Hyattsville). Participate in cooking demonstrations and a garden workshop at the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum (Sat, free, Anacostia).

Community. Meet food-waste fighters and taste DC’s first bread-to-tap beer at Right Proper Brewing Company in recognition of DMV Food Recovery Week (Sun, free, Northwest DC). Participate in an Earth Day rally and march for the end of fossil fuels (Sat, free, Downtown). Receive a free wildflower seed packet when you attend this environmental meet-up at Alethia Tanner Park (Sat, free, Eckington). Listen to live music and learn about careers in farming and aquaponics at the Global Education Exchange Coalition and Swaliga Foundation Earth Day celebration (Sat, free, virtual, Southeast DC).

Theater and shows. There’s an interactive 4/20-inspired comedy show at the DC Arts Center (Thurs, $15, Northwest DC). The Wilting Point addresses climate issues and culture (through April 30, $50, Dupont). Immerse yourself in  fantastical art installations and live performances at DC Braulesque (Sat, $25+, Northeast DC). Watch the throwback film Clueless at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Sat, $11, Northeast DC, Arlington). It’s your last chance to see the cross-cultural tale of an American conflict photographer in Unseen (closes Sun, $38+, H Street Corridor). The music-and-arts RiverRun Festival closes this weekend (closes Sat, prices vary, Kennedy Center). Political commentator and comedian Bill Maher is live at the MGM National Harbor (Sat, $93+, National Harbor).

Music and concerts. The Monterey Jazz Festival brings a rhythmic ensemble to the Music Center at Strathmore in co-presentation with Washington Performing Arts (Thurs, $38+, Bethesda). Hear Nordic folk music played by the Danish String Quartet (Fri, $45+, Kennedy Center). Instrumentalists Béla Fleck, Edgar Meyer, Zakir Hussain, and Rakesh Chaurasia perform at the Strathmore (Sun, $45+, Bethesda). Dress up in your best mystical character costume and dance at the Spring Fairy Ball (Sat, $30+, Baltimore).

Outdoor fun. Can you survive a zombie apocalypse? Find out on a zombie-themed scavenger hunt around the city (ongoing, $27, Penn Quarter). Celebrate Earth Day by taking a sunrise yoga class (Sat, free, donations welcome, Navy Yard). Take a guided walking tour through U Street’s jazz scene with Off the Mall Tours; a portion of the proceeds will benefit the youth organization Musicianship (Sat, $30, U Street).

Bites and beverages. Experience a nine-course dinner and a burlesque show at Crazy Aunt Helen’s (Thurs, $25+, Southeast DC).

Game night. Learn some ways you can volunteer with Washington English Center during happy hour and trivia at Hook Hall (Thurs, donations welcome, Northwest DC). End the weekend with a game of trivia at Lost Generation Brewing Company (every Sun, free, Northeast DC). Play trivia to win an Atlas Brew Works gift card (every Thurs, free, Ivy City).

Things to do with kids. Young women can learn about STEM careers from industry professionals at this education conference (Sat, free, Bowie State University). Youngsters can ride ponies, get their face painted, and play games at The Farm at Kelly Miller (Sat, free, Northeast DC). The Yards is hosting an Earth Day movie screening of Wall-E; Ice Cream Jubilee will be on site, too (Sat, free, donations welcome, Navy Yard).

Get involved. Have a District Hemp Botanicals cocktail for a good cause on 4/20 at Ciel Social Club; proceeds will help support the nonprofit I-71 Committee (Sun, free entry, Northwest 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.