Things to Do

41 Best Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: City Fest DC, Comedian Ali Wong, and Arlington County Fair

Plus, SQFT art show.

The Arlington County fair will offer food events, rides, shopping, and more this weekend. Photograph by Dennis Dimick/Flickr.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Fair season is afoot! The entire family can enjoy funnel cakes, carnival rides, and other amusements at two local fairs this week. Meanwhile, comedian and Netflix star Ali Wong is performing at the Kennedy Center.


Best Things to Do This Week

August 14-August 20

  1. City Fest DC. A vibrant community festival for creatives arrives at Culture House this week with a packed lineup highlighting the area’s local talent and vendors. Festivalgoers can view art, dance to musical performances and DJ sets, and munch on bites from food trucks at City Fest DC (Sat, $10+, Southwest DC).
  2. Comedian Ali Wong. Laugh out loud with comedy star and Netflix actress Ali Wong at the Kennedy Center. The almost-sold out show will give audiences a chance to hear Wong’s honest comedy off the big screen and up close at Concert Hall (Tues, Thurs, $150, Kennedy Center).
  3. Arlington County Fair. Kick-off fair season at The Arlington County Fair. The free fair has fun for the entire family to enjoy, including pie- and pizza-eating contests, magic shows, a beer garden, yummy treats along food truck alley, and plenty of amusement rides (Wed through Sun, free, rides are ticketed, Arlington).
  4. SQFT art show. This two-day contemporary art pop-up curated by Peter Chang (of the Redeye Night Market) and Jason Bowers (of JAB arts) will feature more than 100 pieces of 1’x1′ work from more than 50 local artists. The first annual SQFT show at Asian Fusion Gallery is a celebration of established and emerging artists (Fri-Sat, free, Northwest DC).
  5. Montgomery County Agricultural Fair. The Montgomery County Agricultural Fair is back with a ton of entertainment. From monster truck and derby demolition shows to carnival thrill rides and slides, there’s excitement for everyone (through Sat, $12+, Gaithersburg).

Want More Things to Do?

Artist Trap Bob. Photograph courtesy of SQFT art show.

Exercise and wellness: Recover from work burnout with an Evolving Minds mindfulness and gratitude training (Tues, $7, MLK Library). Find your zen at an Equinox yoga class (Sat, free, Northwest DC). Stretch and relax at National Building Museum while experiencing a sound bath (Sun, $30, Penn Quarter). There’s also R&B Yoga led by an instructor at Eaton DC (Wed, $25, Downtown). The Mosaic District hosts yoga in the park (Tues, free, Fairfax). You can even bring your dog to a Barkfit exercise class (Sat, $15, Georgia Avenue).

Arts and culture: Join local activist and author Barbara Amaya for a book reading at Busboys and Poets (Wed, free, Shirlington). Creative Mornings DC discusses pride for this month’s breakfast lecture (Fri, free, Kennedy Center). Attend an interactive art and fashion show at 100 Light Street (Thurs, free, Baltimore). Browse jewelry, candles, paintings, and more finds at the Capital Arts Collective pop-up (Wed, free, Penn Quarter). Visit the Mobile Art Lab at William Ramsay Recreation Center to explore local projects (through Fri, free, Alexandria). *Learn about the book that inspired Studio Theatre’s Fun Home at Little District Books (Wed, free, Capitol Hill). Washington Post comics editor Hannah Good leads a drawing workshop at Rubell Museum (Wed, free, Southwest DC).

Community and history: Learn how therapy changes the brain from a psychiatry professor (Mon, $14, Penn Quarter). Participate in a Protest Art Class in celebration of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (Fri, free, Logan Circle). There’s family yoga, pony rides, wellness workshops, and more at Watermelon Festival (Sat-Sun, $30 for adults, $3 for kids, Upper Marlboro).

Theater and shows: Comedian Maria Bamford performs (Sat, $35+, Kennedy Center). Fun Home the musical closes soon at Studio Theatre (closes August 27, $55+, Logan Circle).

Music and concerts: David Thong plays pop favorites at Rock The Dock (Wed, free, Wharf). Award-winning jazz musician Chief Xian aTunde Adjuah performs at Kennedy Center (Fri, $35+, Kennedy Center). ’80s rocker Melissa Etheridge has a concert at Maryland Hall (Tues, $85+, Annapolis). Keep the retro tunes going with Lionel Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire (Fri, $25+, Capital One Arena). Masters of the Mic: Hip Hop 50 Tour arrives at Wolf Trap (Thurs, $48+, Vienna). Folk rock duo Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová play at The Anthem (Tues, $55+, Wharf). Grab a partner and take a Cuban Salsa Dance Class (Sat, $15, Chevy Chase). The Hula Monsters band performs a combination of Hawaiian and swing music at Glen Echo Park (Thurs, free, Glen Echo). Local artist Jeremy Ray and Nora Kelly Band are in concert at Pie Shop (Mon, $15+, H Street Corridor). Move your hips to Novalima’s Afro-Peruvian music at Union Stage (Wed, $25, Wharf).

Sports: Head to the Wharf for a lively DC United game day watch party (Sun, free, Wharf). Watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup championship match into the early morning at Atlas Brew Works (Sun, free entry, Navy Yard). And just in time for the start of American football season: A special edition of local sports trivia at Atlas Brew Works (Thurs, free, Ivy City).

Things to do with kids: Have a family movie night on the waterfront with a screening of Ratatouille (Thurs, free, Wharf). Kids can cool off on the Color Burst Park splash pad (through August 31, free, Columbia). Children are welcome to join educational workshops about animals and pet adoption at Color Burst Park (Sat, free, Columbia). Arts on a Roll for all ages with hands-on activities (Sat, free, Suitland). Go on an archaeological expedition in the Tudor Place garden (Sat, $5+, Georgetown).

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.

An earlier version of this post said guests can meet the author, but that is not correct. We regret the error.

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.