Things to Do

38 Best Things to Do in the DC Area This Weekend: International Colombian Festival, SAAM Arcade, and a Barbenheimer Dance Party

Plus, Jurassic Park in concert.

Photographs courtesy of Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures.

Happy Barbie weekend, everyone!

Whether you’re entering Barbie world, or partying with fellow Oppenheimers, be sure to have a lot of fun. If you are looking for something else to do, then take the entire family to the International Colombian Festival for food and music.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

July 20-July 23

  1.  International Colombian Festival. This growing event celebrates Colombia and Latino culture with live folklore music, salsa and merengue performances, lots of food, and other fun outdoor attractions. The day-long event will take place at Catholic University. This year, Mexico will be featured as a “guest country,” so expect an even bigger crowd than in the past (Sat, $20+, free for children under 12, Brookland).
  2. SAAM Arcade. There’s a free arcade for all ages happening at the Smithsonian American Art Museum this weekend. Gamers and art lovers can play classic console and arcade games from MAGFest, play Side Quest, journey through the museum on an art quest, chat with indie game developers, and listen to video game music. The special events are in connection with the museum’s new “Musical Thinking” exhibition (Sat, free, Smithsonian American Art Museum).
  3. Barbenheimer dance party. Here’s a great way to join the double-header movie amusement this weekend: DC9 is throwing a dance party for Barbies, Kens, and Oppenheimers. Come dressed in your best costume to earn food and drink discounts, and then snap an Instagram-worthy picture in the Barbie photo booth; the first 100 guests get pink glasses (Fri, free for first 50 guests, $5+ for general admission, U Street).
  4. Jurassic Park in Concert. You can watch Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning Jurassic Park to the tune of a live orchestra this weekend. The National Symphony Orchestra will perform the score of the popular dinosaur movie while it screens in high definition on the Wolf Trap lawn and indoors (Sat, $40, Vienna).

Want More Things to Do?

Whatch the FIFA Women’s World Cup this weekend. Photograph by IQRemix/Flickr.

Budget-friendly: Watch an outdoor screening of Fantastic Mr. Fox at the REACH (Fri, free, Kennedy Center). Black-owned food trucks are cooking up creative dishes at Sandlot Anacostia (Fri, free+, Anacostia).

Arts and culture: Take a self-guided stroll through Dupont Circle galleries (Thurs, free, Dupont). Hear former Navy SEAL Remi Adeleke discuss his new thriller Chameleon at Spy Museum (Thurs, free, but registration required, virtual). Laugh at jokes that are still in The Womb at Busboys and Poets (Thurs, $20, Takoma Park). Read your zine aloud at Fantom Comics (Sat, free, Dupont). Shop luxury finds, streetwear, vintage clothing, and more goods at the Get Flee pop-up market (Sat, free, Georgetown).

Community and history: Learn classroom skills and pick up ideas from professionals at the Smithsonian National Education Summit (Thurs, free, virtual, Arts and Industries Building). Attend a Ballpark Shabbat with Rabbi Aaron and musicians Sarah Fredrick and Jeff Geld (Fri, $35, Nationals Park). Hear professor Rachel L. Swarns talk about the history of the 272 enslaved people sold to fund what is now Georgetown University (Thurs, free, but registration required, virtual, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture).

Theater and shows: Lauren Yee’s musical Cambodian Rock Band at Arena Stage jams to the sounds of ’60s and ’70s Cambodia (through August 27, $66+, Southwest DC). It’s the last call to see The Last Improv Show at the Kennedy Center (closes Sun, $49+, Kennedy Center). The Play That Goes Wrong is a murder mystery that guarantees lots of laughs (Thurs through August 13, $39+, Kennedy Center). Washington Improv Theater puts on a spontaneous production at Studio Theatre in Tumbleweed (Fri, $15+, Logan Circle). Dance on the Lunar Lawn at Hillwood showcases contemporary West African dance (Thurs-Sat, $2+, Northwest DC). Faust—an opera about youth and love—is showing at Wolf Trap (Fri through July 29, $38+, Vienna).

Music and concerts: The National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute Orchestra closes out its music festival (Sun, free, virtual, Kennedy Center). Thad Wilson Orchestra plays jazz at Met Park (Thurs, free, Arlington). Nanna sings indie folk songs at Howard Theatre (Thurs, $31, Howard Theatre). The Starlight Anthem plays the lawn at City Ridge (Fri, free, Northwest DC). Bring your own canned beverage and a picnic blanket to the Kreeger Museum for its outdoor Summer Jazz Celebration (Sat, $35, Northwest DC). Petworth Jazz Project presents live music for the entire family (Sat, free, Petworth). British band BBMak is in concert at Jammin Java (Sun, $30, Vienna). Turn up the summer energy with live DJs and theatrical performers at the Heist day party (Sun, July 30, August 6, $30+, Wharf).

Sports: The FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off this weekend. Cheer your favorite team to victory at Wunder Garten (Fri, free, but ticketed, NoMa), or at Johnny Pistolas (Fri, free, Adams Morgan).

Bites and beverages: Learn the art of food and drink infusions in a class at Dovetail led by chef James Gee (Sun, $60, Logan Circle). There are food and drink specials for humans, and puppucinos for dogs at Hilton McLean’s Yappy Hour (Fri, free, McLean).

Game night: Compete in a round of Simpsons-themed trivia at Atlas Brew Works (Thurs, free, Ivy City). Drop some knowledge to win a tab discount at Lost Generation Brewing Company (Sun, free, Eckington).

Things to do with kids: Honor Brewing Kitchen is throwing a family-friendly Summer Block Party with a moon bounce and face painting (Sat, free, Fairfax). Barbies and Kens can dress up, dance, and sip mocktails at this Glam Bash (Sat, $20+, Waldorf). Take your kids to see the play La gallina y la tortilla de maíz at Peirce Mill (Sat, free, Rock Creek Park). Common Good City Farm is hosting little ones for a day of art-making (Sun, free, LeDroit Park).

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.