Things to Do

42 Best Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Broccoli City Festival, Capital Fringe Fest, and Barbie Parties

Plus, a roundup of free outdoor concerts.

Barbie film. Photograph courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Happy Monday, everyone!

You can start the Barbie world fun early at Wunder Garten this week, see Ice Spice in concert at Broccoli City festival, or view an array of theater productions at the Capital Fringe Fest.


Best Things to Do This Week

July 10-July 16

  1. Broccoli City festival. Now a local institution, Broccoli City returns to the RFK Festival Grounds with another lineup of top R&B and hip-hop artists, including rapper Lil Uzi Vert, R&B singer Jazmine Sullivan, rap star Ice Spice, and hip-hop group City Girls. Day two includes a number of DC and Maryland artists: Brent Faiyaz, Fat Trel, and Tre’ Amani are on the bill, along with a go-go Battle of the Bands showdown (Sat-Sun, $149+, Northeast DC).
  2. Capital Fringe Fest. The area’s favorite fun and quirky theater festival returns this week with a playful theme: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The Capital Fringe Fest lineup of mostly local performers will offer a wide range of shows, including standup comedy, improv, storytelling, and a two-person version of Romeo and Juliet (Wed through July 23, $15, Georgetown). 
  3. Barbie Parties at Wunder Garten. Come on Barbie, let’s go party! Wunder Garten is jumping into the Barbie spirit ahead of the popular movie premiere with two weeks of colorful parties. Fans can dress up in pink and attend the opening dance party, be-your-own-Barbie at a runway show for fashionistas, soak up the sun at a pool party, celebrate Ken with fellow admirers, and take part in other Barbie world excitement (Fri through July 29, free, NoMa). (Want more Barbie-themed events? We’ve pulled together a list.)
  4. Best of Washington. Join us at Washingtonian’s much-anticipated Best of Washington tasting event. The evening at the Anthem features unlimited cuisine and treats from more than 50 favorite restaurants, an open bar, and live entertainment all night (Thurs, $195 for general admission, $240 for VIP, Wharf).

Want More Things to Do?

Photograph courtesy of Broccoli City Festival.

Budget friendly: Burn calories at a barre workout at National Landing (Mon, free, Arlington), or a sunrise barre workout at Met Park (Wed, free, Arlington).

Arts and culture: Author and playwright Haley Jakobson discusses her book Old Enough at As You Are (Mon, free, Capitol Hill). Hear from author Marita Golden on how to set healthy boundaries at Solid State Books (Tues, free, H Street Corridor), or at Busboys and Poets (Sun, free, Columbia). New Black-woman-owned Chela Mitchell Gallery opens its inaugural fine art photography exhibit (Wed-Sat, free, Union Market). Japanese film Destroy All Monsters screens at the Smithsonian (Wed, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art). Check out short films, and sit in on discussions with filmmakers at DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival (Thurs-Sun, prices vary, various locations). Explore oil paintings and porcelain sculptures in the “At One with the Elements” exhibition (Sat, free, American University).

Bastille Day: Celebrate Bastille Day at Opaline Bar and Brasserie with French cocktails and music (Fri, free entry, Downtown). Dress in your best Emily in Paris outfit at Central Michel Richard’s week full of Bastille festivities (Mon-Fri, free entry, Downtown). There’s a live accordion player, face painter, balloon twister, and more French fun at Le Diplomate (Fri-Sat, free entry, Northwest DC).

Theater and shows: Attend a retro screening of ’80s thriller An American Werewolf in London at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Mon, $11, Northeast DC). See a drag revue of pop legends at Gateway Park (Thurs, $10, Arlington). Attend a Barbie-themed drag show at Red Bear Brewing (Fri, free, NoMa). See Tony Award-winning  musical Fun Home (through August 27, $55+, Logan Circle). The Shakespeare Theatre Company Academy performs Measure for Measure, and the musical Twelfth Night (through July 22, $15, George Washington University). 

Outdoor concerts: Listen to Pebble to Pearl live at Alethia Tanner Park (Tues, free, Northeast DC). Marylander Deanna Dove sings rock and country-soul outdoors at Founders Row (Sat, free, Falls Church). Vienna School of Rock performs at Mosaic District (Sat, free, Fairfax). Celebrate summer with music by Vertigo Red at Annapolis Town Center (Fri, free, Annapolis). Jam to pop throwbacks at Tysons Corner Center (Sat, free, Tysons). The 19th Street Band rocks City Ridge (Fri, free, Northwest DC). Go-go group Still Familiar kicks off Wilson Plaza’s concert series (Mon, free, Downtown). The American Pops Orchestra plays at City Center (Thurs, free, Downtown).

More music: Soul icon Erykah Badu arrives in DC for the Unfollow Me Tour (Thurs, $29+, Capital One Arena). Rock band Counting Crows have a show at Merriweather Post Pavilion (Wed, $55+, Columbia).

Game night: Play trivia at Metrobar (Thurs, free, Northeast DC). Compete in trivia to win prizes at Wunder Garten (Mon, free NoMa), or test your music knowledge (Wed, free, NoMa). Team up with neighbors and play trivia at Breadsoda (Mon, free, Georgetown). Grab a bite to eat and play to win at Atlas Brew Works (Thurs, free, Ivy City). Bring a blanket and play a relaxing round of trivia on the Hi-Lawn rooftoop (Mon, free, Northeast DC).

Things to do with kids: Observe portraits of Jimi Hendrix and make art with your youngsters at the National Portrait Gallery (Wed, free, virtual). There’s a magic show for kids and princess-themed face painting at Westfield Montgomery Mall’s Touch a Truck community day (Sat, free, Bethesda). Children can experience Disney princess magic music at Wolf Trap (Wed, $29+, Vienna).

Get involved: Join the Friends of Mount Vernon Trail in cleaning up invasive vegetation and trash near the trail entrance (Tues, free, Arlington). Get a ticket to the Congressional Women’s softball game to help raise funds for the Young Survival Coalition (Wed, $10, Capitol Hill).

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.