Things to Do

34 Best Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Pink, National Book Festival, and LEGO Discovery Center

Plus, local group exhibit "Re/envisioning."

Photograph courtesy of Lego Discovery Center.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Start your week with Pink at Nationals Park (unfortunately, the forecast is calling for severe storms, so be careful out there), and then meet the nation’s top authors and browse a ton of books at the National Book Festival.


Best Things to Do This Week

August 7-August 13

  1. Pink. This major outdoor concert is a part of Pink’s Summer Carnival tour. The highly-anticipated show will include highlights from the pop star’s Trustfall, accompanied by performances from special guests: classic rock duo Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo, alternative rockers Grouplove, and DJ Kid Cut Up (Mon, $45+, Nationals Park).
  2. National Book Festival. Attention bookworms: The National Book Festival arrives at Walter E. Washington Convention Center this weekend. The day-long annual event boasts a packed schedule of author talks, zine making, catalog exploring, Braille-based activities, storytelling, and more reading fun. This year’s special guest speakers include Elliot Page, Joy Harjo, R.K. Russell, and Meg Medina (Sat, free, in-person and virtual, Mount Vernon Square).
  3. LEGO Discovery Center. Children and adults can create and play together at the new LEGO Discovery Center at Springfield Town Center. At around 32,000 square foot, the indoor playground uses more than two million bricks to generate kid-friendly adventures like DC landmark-inspired Mini World, a 4D Cinema, the Imagination Express train, and masterclass building workshops (opens Thurs, $28+, Springfield).
  4. “Re/envisioning” exhibit. Visit the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities building to view an imaginative multi-media group show on politics, nationhood, and identity before it closes. The “Re/envisioning” exhibit curated by Nicole Dowd and Allison Nance presents an alternative perspective to history and culture narratives through the eyes of six artists (through August 18, free, Southeast DC).

Want More Things to Do?

The 2022 National Book Festival at the Washington Convention Center. Photograph by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress/Flickr.

Fitness: Break a sweat at an instructor-led pure barre class (Mon, free, Arlington). Or, bring a journal and a mat to yoga in the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington galleries (every Sat, $10+, Arlington).

Arts and culture: Watch award-winning films from the Thomas Edison Film Festival (Sat, free, National Gallery of Art), or “Portraiture and Short Visual Diaries” from the gallery’s 16mm film collection (Sun, free, National Gallery of Art). Local photographers have more than 50 nature and landscape images on display at Green Spring Gardens Horticulture Center (daily through September 17, free, Fairfax). View Zaq Landsberg’s popular Reclining Liberty installation on the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington front lawn (through July 28, 2024, free, Arlington). Author Casey McQuiston discusses her romance book Red, White and Royal Blue (Tues, free, but registration required, Library of Congress). Express yourself with textile flower pounding (Mon, $40, Capitol Hill). Novelist James McBride shares his latest work The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store with readers at Sixth and I (Wed, $18+ for in-person, $12 for virtual, Northwest DC).

Community and history: The new “Dap Is a Love Language” multi-media exhibit shows appreciation for the Black community’s familiar greeting and hand gesture (daily, free, Anacostia). Browse the Library of Congress’ collection of LGBTQIA newspapers and magazines (Tues-Thurs, free, Library of Congress).

Theater and shows: It is the last call for Signature Theatre’s Disco Fever featuring Donna Summer and Gloria Gaynor retro hits (through August 13, $45, Arlington). The Shininga classic horror flick inspired by a Stephen King bestselleris showing at Angelika Pop-up in DC (Mon, $13, Union Market). Musical romance The Bridges of Madison County opens this week at Signature Theatre (Tues through September 17, $53+, Arlington). The Theatre Lab students present Carrie: the Musical at Atlas Performing Arts Center (Thurs-Sat, $15, H Street Corridor).

Music and concerts: Go to an immersive candlelight concert to hear Bach melodies and songs by the Beatles (Thurs, $40+, Capitol Hill). The final punk rock lineup at Fort Reno is this week boasting Java Sparrow, Trash Boat and the Ambush, and Cinema Hearts (Mon, free, but donations are welcome, Tenleytown). Punk band Sweeping Promises performs at Songbyrd (Mon, $18+, Northeast DC). Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni takes center stage at Wolf Trap (Fri, $27+, Vienna). Dance all night at this Prince-themed purple party (Fri, $15+, Northeast DC). Pop soul artist Emma G headlines the AdMo Vibe family night (Wed, free, Kalorama). Alternative music trio Death Grips plays at the Anthem (Tues, $45+, Wharf). 50 Cent is on his Final Lap Tour at Jiffy Lube (Tues, $29+, Bristow).

Bites and beverages: Create-your-own pizza with Chef Wahiba at Nicoletta Italian Kitchen, and eat your personal pie with friends (Sat, August 26, September 9 and 23, $45, Mount Vernon). You can add to the Pink excitement at Royal Sands Social Club with a pre- and post-concert party featuring colorful glitter drinks and pink bites (Mon, free, Navy Yard).

Game night: This trivia night at the Exchange Saloon is all about DC Housing (Mon, free, Downtown). Find clues and decipher codes with your besties at Escapology Escape Room (daily, $50, National Harbor).

Things to do with kids: Explore the NASA Goddard Visitor Center sensory-friendly exhibit spaces (Sat, free, but registration required, Greenbelt). Youngsters are invited to give martial arts a try for a week at Life Champ Martial Arts (Mon-Fri, free, Alexandria).

Get involved: Local celebrity chefs Kevin Tien, Tim Ma, Ari Augenbaum, and Susan Bae are curating an intimate food experience to help raise support for CCI Health Services and Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate (Wed, $250, Silver Spring).

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.