Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 5/22-5/29: National Memorial Day Parade, The Walkmen, and AAPI Cocktail Week

Plus, Brew at the Zoo festival.

The Walkmen. Photograph courtesy of Kip Kouri.

Happy Monday, everyone!

AAPI Cocktail Week is making a local debut with Asian sips and a drink-making competition. Plus, you can snag tickets to see popular DC rock band The Walkmen at one of their homecoming shows.


Best Things to Do This Week

  1. National Memorial Day Parade. Honor the sacrifice of America’s soldiers and service members at the National Memorial Day Parade. The parade will march down Constitution Avenue, with spectators being able to watch the live on the street, or on a television broadcast. The pre-parade show includes live music performances by Craig Morgan, Colbie Caillat, and more special guests (May 29, free, Downtown).
  2. The Walkmen. Some of our favorite St. Albans graduates are back in DC for a run of reunion shows after a decade hiatus. The 9:30 Club will welcome rock group The Walkmen for this special homecoming concert (Tues-Fri, $40, Shaw).
  3. AAPI Cocktail Week. The area’s first Asian American and Pacific Islander Cocktail Week highlights AAPI bartenders and Asian spirits. More than 20 bars are participating in the celebration; there’s a bartender competition at Maketto, a cocktail class at Moon Rabbit, a party and game night at Sparrow Room, plus karaoke and more fun (Mon-Fri, prices vary, various locations).
  4. Brew at the Zoo. Spend Memorial Day weekend at the Maryland Zoo for two days of unlimited drink tastings, round-the-clock live music, and animal activities. The Brew at the Zoo festival helps raise funds for the zoo’s operations, wildlife, and educational programs (Sat-Sun, $30+, Baltimore).
  5. “Beetlejuice” the musical. Tim Burton’s funny, ghostly film Beetlejuice makes a lively appearance at the National Theatre. See Lydia Deetz and her wild demon companion before the musical closes. This show is not recommended for children younger than 13 years old (closes Sun, $45+, Northwest DC).

Want More Things to Do?

National Memorial Day Parade in 2017. Photograph by S Pakhrin/Flickr.

Budget-friendly. Play a game of chess with neighbors (Fri, free, Capitol Hill). Astronomers chat about space at DC9 Nightclub (Mon, free, Northwest DC).

Arts and culture. Trailblazing politician Stacey Abrams will be in conversation with journalist Tiffany Cross at Sixth & I (Tues, $36, virtual, Penn Quarter). Novelist Abraham Verghese discusses his new book The Covenant of Water at Sidwell Friends School (Mon, $40, Northwest DC). View the new oil painting exhibition “Colorful Ukraine in Expressive Paintings of Volodymyr Patyk(Thurs, free, Adams Morgan). Hear about the summer’s best reads from DC Bookstagrammers at Politics and Prose (Thurs, free, Northeast DC). Participate in a candle-making workshop (Fri, $65, Silver Spring). Artbae is hosting a Little Mermaid-themed art market at Metrobar (Sat, free, Brentwood). Sit it on a live taping of the Amicus podcast (Wed, $40, Penn Quarter). Meron Engida Hawke’s art exhibition “Hummingbird” at Morton Fine Art explores Ethiopian identity (through June 9, free, Northwest DC). Paint watercolors and sip cocktails at Yours Truly Hotel (Tues, $85, Downtown). The Heurich House Museum’s first exhibit since 2018, “Working Title,” is now open (varies every Thurs-Sat, $10 for tours, DuPont). Artist Baseera Khan talks about 3-D sculpting (Thurs, free, Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).

Community and history. Honor America’s service members at the Memorial Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony (Sat, free, virtual, Northwest DC). Learn about the Forgotten Women of Arlington National Cemetery on a guided walking tour (Sat, $40+, virtual, Arlington). Diia—a new app connecting Ukrainians to government services—debuts in DC (Tues, free, Warner Theater).

Theater and shows. It’s the last call to learn about the Holocaust in Here There Are Blueberries  (through May 28, $35+, Penn Quarter). Illusionist Brice Harney shows off Smoke and Mirrors magic tricks at Miracle Theatre (Thurs, $40+, Capitol Hill). Work Sucks at this live comedy special (Sat, $10, Penn Quarter). The Helen Hayes Awards returns at the Anthem with an evening of theater performances and dinner (Mon, $65+, Wharf). See the classic Paris romance La Bohème before it leaves town (Wed, Fri-Sat, $45+, Kennedy Center). Get tickets to the opening of the satirical stage play Incendiary at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (May 29  through June 25, $29+, Northwest DC).

Music and concerts. Experience live jazz at Eastern Market Metro Plaza Park (every Fri through July, free, Capitol Hill). Local Latin pop band Ocho de Bastos performs outdoors at The Streetery (Fri, free, Bethesda). The National Symphony Orchestra closes out their Beethoven & American Masters concert series with George Walker’s Sinfonia No. 2 (Wed-Thurs, $15+, Kennedy Center). The National band rocks Capital One Arena (Tues, $56, Capital One Arena). Punk group Off is live at Union Stage (Tues, $25, Wharf). R&B vocalist Chrisette Michelle sings live at The Birchmere Music Hall (Wed, $69, Alexandria).

Outdoor fun. Take a yoga class with your puppy at Park View (every Sat, $15, Northwest DC). Go on a spy-themed walking tour of Embassy Row (Sun, $35, Dupont). Don’t miss Adams Morgan’s opening outdoor movie night; the feature film is This is Spinal Tap (Tues, free, Adams Morgan).

Bites and beverages. Discover the world of pinot noir at Café du Parc’s Wine 101 class (Thurs, $150, Penn Quarter). Shop a pop-up Chinese street market in support of Common Good City Farm (Tues, $45+, Northwest DC). Allegory teams up with cocktail bar Trick Dog for a spirited masterclass (Mon, free, Downtown).

Game night. Test your trivia knowledge at Wunder Garten (every Mon, free, NoMa), and then return for musical trivia (every Wed, free, NoMa). Join Capital City Showcase’s trivia action at Reliable Tavern (Wed, free, Petworth), or at Last Call Bar (every Tues, free, Northeast DC). Win prizes at the H Street Country Club’s bingo night (every Thurs, free, H Street Corridor).

Things to do with kids. There’s a dance battle, live music, and under-the-sea-inspired decorations at Westfield Wheaton Mall in celebration of the new Little Mermaid movie (Sat, free, Wheaton).

Get involved. The Foster and Adoptive Parent Advocacy Center is hosting a gala with dancing and hors d’oeuvres to support foster care (Thurs, $100+, MLK Library).

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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.