Things to Do

38 Best Things to Do in the DC Area This Weekend: Music of “Star Wars,”a Cellphone Exhibit at the Smithsonian, and Columbia Heights Day

Plus, One Journey Festival at Washington National Cathedral.

An illustration rendering of the “Cellphones” exhibition space features interactive displays and cellphone-themed artwork. Rendering courtesy of Smithsonian Institution.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Ring in the first weekend of summer with a live score of your favorite Star Wars tunes at the Kennedy Center, or get connected at the National Museum of Natural History’s new cellphone exhibition.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

June 22-25

  1. Music of “Star Wars.” Take a musical journey to a galaxy far, far away at the Kennedy Center. Conductor Steven Reineke and the National Symphony Orchestra are playing selections from favorite Star Wars movie scenes including John Williams’ compositions from the original lightsaber films and Michael Giacchino’s Rogue One soundtrack (Fri-Sun, $29+, Kennedy Center).
  2. “Cellphone: Unseen Connections” exhibit. Your retro flip phone is now a museum piece. The new “Cellphone: Unseen Connections” exhibition traces the history of the signature device through more than 300 objects. Spectators can check out Motorola’s pioneering brick-like 1983 handheld, as well as specimens of the 65 or so elements found in most mobile phones. This weekend you can chat with museum experts about the exhibit, and stay at the National Museum of Natural History until midnight (opens Sat, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History).
  3. Columbia Heights Day. This summertime neighborhood gathering turns 15 years old this weekend. Columbia Heights Day, at Tubman Elementary Field and Civic Plaza, will bring the community together for a day packed with live music, family-friendly carnival entertainment, and local food vendors (Sat, free, Columbia Heights).
  4. One Journey Festival. Bring your family and friends to the One Journey Festival for an engaging day centered on amplifying the voices of refugees and displaced persons. The event on the Washington National Cathedral lawn will showcase advocacy, art, food, Ukrainian folk music, live Iraqi dance by Hussein Smko, the Batalá Washington Afro-Brazilian women drum band, special guest emcee Tommy McFly, and much more (Sat, free, Northwest DC).

Want More Things to Do?

“Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience” features 360-degree digital art projections. Photograph courtesy of “Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience”/Fever.

Budget-friendly. DMV funk drummer Dave Mooney is spreading good vibes at The Pocket (Sun, free, Union Market). Celebrate Pride at Rockville Town Square with children’s activities, information booths, and live performances (Sat, free, Rockville).

Arts and culture. Drink coffee while crafting your own embroidered vintage postcards at the Art League Gallery (Sat, $12+, Alexandria). Hello Betty’s June Pride pop-up features mocktails and a performance by Absolutely Dragulous (Sat, free, Bethesda). Journey through the Van Gogh Immersive Experience to view 360-degree digital art projections (through August 31, $44+ for adults, $26+ for children, Northeast DC). Experience live painting and violin sounds at Yours Truly’s happy hour (Thurs, free, Dupont). Visit several museums during after hours for Smithsonian Solstice Saturday (Sat, free, various locations). Watch the The Hunger Games with a live score at Franklin Park (Thurs, free, Downtown), or Jurassic World Dominion on the Potomac (Thurs, free, National Harbor).

Community and history. View pre-Civil War photographic portraiture at the new “Duty, Honor, Country: Antebellum Portraits of West Pointers” exhibit (Fri through June 9, 2024, free, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery). Solve clues and explore exhibits at the National Law Enforcement Museum during a True Crime Scavenger Hunt (Sat, $10, Northwest DC). You could learn The Torah of Taylor Swift at Sixth & I (Thurs, $18, Northwest DC). Learn about DC’s basketball history and see the unveiling of an E.B. Henderson statue at University of the District of Columbia (Sat, free, Northwest DC).

Theater and shows. Standup comic Shane Gillis tells jokes at Capital One Hall (Sat, $39+, Tysons). Dance the night away to your favorite Broadway soundtracks at 9:30 Club (Sat, $25, Shaw). Get tickets to One in Two before the play about Black queer men closes (Thurs-Sun, $29+, H Street Corridor). Or, see Rock Paper Scissors while the poetic production is showing at Atlas Performing Arts Center (Thurs-Sun, $25, H Street Corridor). DC’s drag kings present Pretty Boi After Dark at Crazy Aunt Helen’s (Thurs, $40+, Capitol Hill). Laugh out loud with local comedians and eat BBQ at Eckington Hall (Thurs, free, Northeast DC).

Music and concerts. Pay homage to the former Twins Jazz Club at a revival music show at Hook Hall (Sun, $20, Georgia Avenue). Local R&B artist Jarreau Williams sings on the Yards Park boardwalk (Fri, free, Capitol Riverfront). Guitarist Darius Rucker teams up with Americana band Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors at The Anthem (Thurs, $95+, Wharf). Mexican acoustic duo Rodrigo y Gabriela are on a world tour (Sun, $75, Shaw). Charlie Wilson and Babyface are live in concert at Wolf Trap (Fri, $52+, Vienna). Vocalist Sarah Elizabeth Charles performs jazz (Thurs, free, Smithsonian American Art Museum). Indie rockers Weezer play at Merriweather Post Pavilion (Fri, $55+, Columbia).

Bites and beverages. Osteria Morini chefs will teach you how to make gnocchi and cappelletti (Sat, $125, Navy Yard). Experience live drag performances at Le Fantome Food Hall’s brunch (Sat, free, Riverdale Park). Taste aromatic wines from around the world with Amanda of Native Selections (Fri, $59, H Street Corridor).

Exercise and wellness. Get fit for the summer by participating in Tabata and yoga at Westfield Montgomery Mall (Sat, free, Bethesda). Or, join a yoga class at Aslin Brewery with the St. James Performance Club (Sat, $10, Herndon).

Game night. Join a trivia team at Sonny’s Pizza (Thurs, free, Georgia Avenue). The Public Option is hosting Family Feud and a comedy show (Fri, $10, Northeast DC). Eat brunch and guess the lyrics at Cafe Saint-Ex (Sun, free, Northwest DC).

Get involved. Participate in a community blood drive at Worldgate Athletic Club and Spa (Sun, free, Herndon).

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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.