Things to Do

36 Best Things to Do in the DC Area This Weekend: NMAAHC Hip-Hop Block Party, DMV Hip-Hop 50 Concert, and Broadway Rave

Plus, a new Afrofuturist mural series.

2022 hip-hop block party. Photograph courtesy of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

If you haven’t heard the news yet, hip-hop turns 50 this weekend, and there are several music-filled ways to celebrate around town. You can attend the second annual Smithsonian Hip-Hop Block Party, or stay cool indoors at a hip-hop showcase for local artists.


Best Things to Do This Weekend

August 10-August 13

  1. NMAAHC Hip-Hop Block Party. This year marks 50 years of hip-hop, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is throwing a massive block party to celebrate. Special musical guests include rapper Remy Ma, MuMu Fresh, DC’s own Sugar Bear, and producer J. Period. There’s also hip-hop yoga, trivia, graffiti art-making, and more activities for families to enjoy (Sat, free, but only waitlist tickets are available, Smithsonian NMAAHC).
  2. DMV Hip-Hop 50 concert. You can keep the hip-hop party going at the Lincoln Theatre’s DMV Hip-Hop 50 concert. More than seven rap artists and DJs from the area including DK Kool and Oddisee will perform hometown hits in honor of the popular music genre turning 50 years old (Sat, free, Lincoln Theatre).
  3. Broadway Rave. If you are into musical theater, this nighttime dance party is for you. The touring Broadway Rave lands in DC this weekend, inviting drama geeks and theater lovers to dress up as their favorite characters, and sing along to beloved Broadway soundtracks. The get-together at Union Stage also features surprise guest appearances from Broadway stars (Fri, $15+, Wharf).
  4. “Mythic Futures” murals. Take a stroll through each of DC’s neighborhood quadrants to view the summer installation of “Mythic Futures.” The new four-part mural series by local artist Antoine Williams showcases Afrofuturist and surrealist paintings that reflect contemporary Black folklore. Every mural is accompanied with augmented reality animation and audio components for spectator interaction via Instagram (closes December 10, free, various locations).

Want More Things to Do?

Summer Block Party installation Look Here in the National Building Museum’s Great Hall. Photograph by Timothy Schenck/Reddymade and the National Building Museum.

Budget-friendly: All ages are welcome to bring their roller skates and glide through Tysons Corner Center (Thurs, free, Tysons). Shop for locally grown fruits and vegetables at FRESHFARM Farm Stand (Sat, free, Anacostia).

Fitness: Add an outdoor cardio workout with a fit coach to your weekend (Sun, free, Tysons). Find your oasis at Sunset Yoga (Sun, free, Arlington). Here’s a twist on yoga: Yoga in the Cemetery (Sat, $10, Southeast DC).

Arts and culture: Learn how to yield a knife in the kitchen with chef Wendi James (Thurs, $45, Capitol Hill). Take a look at footwear in the Anacostia Community Museum’s collection during Coffee & Collections (Thurs, free, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum). YA author Ally Carter chats about her book The Blonde Identity at Politics and Prose (Thurs, free, Union Market). The National Building Museum’s Summer Block Party late night is Las Vegas-themed featuring blackjack, roulette, and card games (Thurs, $20, Penn Quarter). Meet the artists of the new mixed-media exhibit “Three Graces” at Zenith Gallery (Thurs, free, Northwest DC). Creatives can show off their poetry and improv talent at Open Mic Night (Thurs, free, MLK Library), or at the first annual Planet Word JokeFest (Fri, $15, Downtown).

Community and history: Celebrate 50 years of hip-hop at a live mural paint jam and community block party; there will be food trucks and giveaways, too (Sun, free, Capitol Hill). Historian Andrew M. Wehrman discusses the incidence of smallpox during the American Revolution (Thurs, free, virtual, Mount Vernon). Blackberry Acres, in partnership with Network of Support, is providing free dental cleanings, mental health screenings, diapers, school supplies, and more goods for the community at the DC Wave Festival (Sat, free, Downtown).

Theater and shows: This improv comedy production at the Kennedy Center was designed to go wrong (Thurs-Sun, $39+, Kennedy Center). You’re sure to see lots of glitz and glamour in Moulin Rouge! The Musical (through September 24, $45+, Kennedy Center). Local comedian Dom Grayer hosts a funny standup show at Lost Origins Gallery (Fri, $10+, Mount Pleasant).

Music and concerts: Acoustic duo November Morning plays tunes outside at the Boro Tysons (Thurs, free, Tysons). Visit The Modern at Art Place for live music and food truck treats (Fri, free, Fort Totten). Legendary orchestra and 13-piece salsa group El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico performs live (Sun, $59+, Kennedy Center). Country music group Asleep at the Wheel performs live with Michelle Lordi at The Birchmere (Thurs, $39, Alexandria). Hip-hop DJs are spinning anniversary hits at Eaton Hotel (Fri, $20+, Downtown). You don’t want to miss this rare chance to see throwback band Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton (Sun, $95, Lincoln Theatre). Rap star Moneybagg Yo is live in concert (Fri, $55+, Capital One Arena).

Bites and beverages: Participate in a Chef’s Tasting at Cure Bar & Bistro to sample six pepper-inspired dishes paired with wine (Sat, $205, H Street Corridor). Cheers to International Prosecco Day at a WHINO tasting (Fri, $45, Arlington).

Sports: Root on the DC Roller Derby team as they take on the Black Rose Rollers (Sat, $8+, Laurel).

Things to do with kids: Children can participate in brain training STEAM projects at Hill Center (Sat, $30+, Capitol Hill). Take your youngsters on a nighttime exploration of the Natural History Museum to see dinosaur fossils (Fri, $85, Smithsonian Natural History Museum). Browse Frank Stewart’s vintage photographs at The Phillips Collection, and then create your own moody photo story (Sat, $16, free for children, Dupont).

Get involved: Donate back-to-school supplies at Founders Row; there will be lawn games and complimentary snacks and drinks by Lost Boy Cider (Thurs, free, Falls Church).

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.