Things to Do

36 Best Things to Do in the DC Area This Weekend: MLS All-Star Week, Lotus and Water Lily Festival, and Yayoi Kusama’s Hirshhorn Exhibit

Plus, a round-up of outdoor movies.

"Pumpkin," at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts © Yayoi Kusama. Photograph by Cathy Carver.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Soccer fans are in for a treat as the MLS All-Star group makes it way to town this weekend. Also, there’s still time to tour Yayoi Kusama’s “One With Eternity” polka-dotted exhibition before it closes.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

July 13-July 16

  1. MLS All-Star Week. The 2023 Major League Soccer All-Star kick-off arrives in town this weekend, bringing a schedule of entertainment for sports fans ahead of the big game next week. The Wharf is hosting a free all-ages MLS All-Star Soccer Celebration called Beats, Cleats, and Eats. The event features special guest appearances by MLS players, music and other performances, culinary offerings, a watch party experience for MLS matches, and more (Sat-Sun, free, Wharf).
  2. Lotus and Water Lily Festival. Discover the beauty of Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens during the Lotus and Water Lily Festival. Visitors to the national park can browse these blossoms in peak bloom, join painting classes, participate in a drum circle, take guided tours with a park ranger, listen to local music groups, and dance with instructors over the span of the eight-day festival (Sat-Sat, free, Kenilworth). (You can also find more highlights here.)
  3. Yayoi Kusama’s “One With Eternity.” Since the ’90s, The Hirshhorn has collected works from inventive Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. Now, Kusama’s vibrant and eccentric works are on display in “One with Eternity.” Museum-goers can view glowing Infinity Mirror Rooms, sculptures, an early painting, and photographs of the artist before the popular exhibition closes this weekend. Free next-day timed passes are available; available passes are also distributed each day (closes Sun, free, Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).
  4. Bastille Day at Le Diplomate. Dine with family and friends at French brasserie Le Diplomate in commemoration of Bastille Day. The annual red, white, and blue extravaganza will run for two days and include a live accordion player, face painter, balloon twister, food specials, brunch, a mobile photo booth, an on-site cartoonist, and more French entertainment (Fri-Sat, free entry, Northwest DC).

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Bastille Day at Le Diplomate. Photograph courtesy of Le Diplomate.

Outdoor movies: Pack a picnic and watch the classic version of Space Jam at Met Park (Fri, free, Arlington). This weekend’s Movies Under the Stars feature is Top Gun Maverick (Fri, free, Potomac). Watch Sing with your family on the Black Rock Center for the Arts lawn (Fri, free, Germantown). Leashed pets are welcome to watch Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope with you at Penrose Square (Sat, free, Arlington). The whole family can see a screening of Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (Fri, free, Arlington). Watch a sunset showing of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade at Franklin Park (Thurs, free, Downtown).

Arts and culture: Nicole Flattery discusses her debut novel Nothing Special at Old Town Books (Thurs, free, Alexandria). View an array of DC artist Kasey O’Boyle ‘s colorful collages at Shop Made in DC (Fri, free, Georgetown). Dance with friends at a Latin social pop-up at the Lincoln Memorial (Sun, free, National Mall).

Community and history: Participate in a model rocket contest at the Goddard Visitor Center (Sun, free, but registration required upon arrival, Greenbelt). Sip champagne and eat an elegant seated dinner in celebration of Bastille Day at the Embassy of France (Sat, $275+, Georgetown). Chow on French foods and play lawn games at Bastille Day at the Park (Sat, $5+, Tenleytown). There’s music, food, and art at the Moroccan Heritage Festival (Sun, free, Alexandria).

Theater and shows: The Capital Fringe Fest features standup comedy, improv, storytelling, and lots more (Wed through July 23, $15, Georgetown). The Prom musical promises to make you laugh at Broadway celebrities (Thurs-Sat, $15, H Street Corridor).

Music and concerts: Broccoli City returns to the RFK Festival Grounds with another lineup of top R&B and hip-hop artists (Sat-Sun, $149+, Northeast DC). Snap your fingers to the jazz sounds of Julian Berkowitz Quartet at Met Park (Thurs, free, Arlington). Bring your voice, or your acoustic instrument to participate in a community sing-along at School of Musical Traditions (Sun, free, Takoma Park). Don’t miss a lunchtime concert at Franklin Park with Blacc Print Experience (Thurs, free, Downtown). The U.S. Navy Band plays country bluegrass at Yards Park (Thurs, free, Navy Yard). Illenium will perform EDM hits at Merriweather Post Pavilion (Sat, $49+, Columbia).

Bites and beverages: A Rock n’ Roll Brunch with indie music is happening at The Pocket (Sat, $15+, Truxton Circle). Attend the grand opening of Alexandria Bier Garden for happy hour and live music (Fri-Sat, free entry, Alexandria). Tap into your coffee curiosity at this brewing workshop (Sat, $45, Georgetown). The Commentary hosts “Brunchin’ with The Queens” drag brunch (Sat, $20+, Arlington).

Sports: If you’re a fan of wrestling, you’ll enjoy this WWE Supershow at Eagle Bank Arena (Sat, $20+, Fairfax).

Things to do with kids: Local artist Pamela Garrido displays kid-friendly art in the “Warts and Whimsy” exhibition (Sat, free, Germantown). Take your youngsters to Art Play Learn for a movie sing-along and crafts (Fri, $5, Laurel). Celebrate Bastille Day with a moon bounce, photo booth, petting zoo, face painting, music, and more all-ages fun (Sat, free, Falls Church). Join a Kids Cooking Class at Maggiano’s (Sun, $15+, Springfield). Kids can experience a live magic show and music bingo at Shipgarten’s Kids and Paws Festival (Sun, free, McLean). Children can sit in on story time at the Capital Jewish Museum (Thurs, free, Northwest DC).

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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.