Things to Do

47 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Snallygaster, Adams Morgan PorchFest, and Nightmare at the Museum

Plus, Halloween fun at Markoff's Haunted Forest.

Photograph by Chris Knowles/Markoff’s Haunted Forest.

Happy Monday, DC!

Have a frightful time this week at Nightmare at the Museum or Markoff’s Haunted Forest. If you prefer to skip the Halloween haunts, you can grab a ticket to Snallygaster or groove to Adams Morgan PorchFest tunes.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

October 9-October 15

  1. Snallygaster. It’s been 11 years of Snallygaster and enthusiasm for the craft brew festival remains strong: VIP tickets are already sold out. This weekend, the big beer event returns with at least 350 beers on draft, food trucks, and two stages of live bands (Sat, $65+, Downtown).
  2. Adams Morgan PorchFest. Fall PorchFest will be a neighborhood-wide music showcase in Adams Morgan. The treasured local lineup—bumping a mix of rock, funk, go-go, classic, pop, and jazz tunes—boasts about 100 bands across 20 porches, business patios, parks, and for the first time, two main stages (Sat, free, Adams Morgan).
  3. Nightmare at the Museum. Get ready to monster mash in your best Halloween costume on the National Gallery of Art dance floor during Nightmare at the Museum. This after-hours party includes a movie screening of Ghostbusters on the 4th Street Plaza, and scary art stories and face painting inside the East Building (Thurs, free, but lottery is closed, first come passes available at the door, National Gallery of Art).
  4. “POTUS” at Arena Stage. This new comedy by playwright Selina Fillinger arrives in DC after a raved-about run on Broadway. The full title of the show, set at the White House, sums up the satirical plot full of political shenanigans: POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive (Fri through November 12, $56+, Southwest DC).
  5.  Markoff’s Haunted Forest. Spooky season is afoot at Markoff’s Haunted Forest. Prepare to be frightened by ghouls and goblins along the mile-long haunted trail, and warm up near the creepy giant bonfires at Midway. On some nights, the attraction features live bands and fire spinners (Fri-Sun through October 31, $25+ for attractions, Dickerson).
  6. DC Wine Fest. Sip samples of wine with friends this weekend at DC Wine Fest. The tasting experience includes drinks from a curated list of vendors and food including seafood and baked goods from restaurants. There’s also a new artist performing music during each tasting session (Sat, $39+, Union Market).
  7. “Etched by Light” exhibit. Discover the historic process of photogravure in the new exhibit “Etched by Light.” The National Gallery of Art display presents 40 photogravures and four bound volumes illustrated with photogravures from the the late 19th and early 20th centuries (opens Sun, free, National Gallery of Art).
  8. Kim Petras in concert. Kim Petras samples with Europop and ’90s house music on her new album, Feed the Beast, teaming up with major musicians such as Nicki Minaj and Sam Smith on hit tracks “Alone” and “Unholy.” Audiences can expect to hear a mix of glossy songs from the album at the live show (Thurs, $59+, Wharf).

Want More Things to Do?

Photograph courtesy of the National Gallery of Art.

Arts and culture:

  • Watch a screening of Japanese horror film Cure at the museum (Wed, free, but registration required, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).
  • Join the Horror Book Club at Solid State Books to read novels by Stephen King and Christopher Golden (Wed, October 18, free, H Street Corridor).
  • New pop-art installation “Overboard” displays 280 Nike Air Jordan sneakers fashioned from recycled materials (opens Fri, free, Tysons).
  • The Washington Writers’ Publishing House launches this year’s poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction books at Politics and Prose (Sat, free, Northwest DC).
  • Watch a mix of rare and retro film noir movies during Noir City festival (Fri through October 26, $15+, Silver Spring).
  • Observe massive and mini block and letterpress prints in the “Big and Little Inks” exhibition at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center (Fri through November 26, free, Hyattsville).
  • Meet hip-hop legend LL Cool J and get an autographed copy of his new book at Mahogany Books (Fri, $55 for ticket and book, National Harbor).
  • View jewelry, mixed-media artworks, photography, and more at Bethesda Row Arts Festival (Sat-Sun, free, Bethesda).
  • The Lucketts Fall Vintage Market returns to Clarke County Fairgrounds featuring vintage finds, live music, and a beer garden (Fri-Sun, $15+, Berryville).


Community and heritage:

  • Learn about the archaeology history of Alexandria’s waterfront from local experts (Sat, free, Alexandria).
  • Take a meditative forest bath walk on the grounds of the National Arboretum (Mon through November 11, $35, Northeast DC).
  • Celebrate National Fossil Day at the Natural History Museum (Wed, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History).
  • National Museum of the American Indian panelists discuss Indigenous Peoples’ Day (Thurs, free, virtual).
  • Discover the DC History Center’s exhibits at their annual On the Square community day (Sat, free, Northwest DC).


Theater and shows:

  • Movie favorite Mrs. Doubtfire comes to the stage (Tues-Sun, $51+, National Theatre).
  • See a modern take on Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth character in Macbeth In Stride (Tues through October 29, $49+, Northwest DC).
  • The Mountaintop is a reflection on the life of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (Wed through November 5, $39+, pay-what-you-can tickets available, Bethesda).
  • Ballet Theatre of Maryland performs The Firebird—a Stravinsky ballet based on Russian folklore (Fri-Sun, $55 for in-person, $33 for virtual, Annapolis).
  • The GALA Hispanic Theatre presents Picasso (Sat-Sun, October 21, $12, Columbia Heights).
  • Baltimore dance group Gilded Lily leads a burlesque show at Dance Place (Sat, $10+, Northeast DC).


Music and concerts:

  • Indie pop guitarist Jonah Kagen sings at DC9 Nightclub (Mon, $18+, U Street Corridor)
  • Hear live go-go music from the Take Ova Band—better known as TOB—at Throw Social (Mon, $35+, Ivy City).
  • British rapper Little Simz brings her No Thank You Tour to The Fillmore (Wed, $35, Silver Spring).
  • Bhajan Bhoy plays at Rhizome (Wed, $10+, Takoma).
  • Nontraditional music ensemble Emo Orchestra will play with Hawthorne Heights at Warner Theatre (Thurs, $19+, Downtown).
  • Listen to the SunSquabi band’s electronic-funk music at The Atlantis (Thurs, $25+, Shaw).
  • Tickets are selling fast for electro-funk duo Chromeo (Thurs, $16+, U Street Corridor).
  • Bill Charlap Trio performs jazz tunes at Blues Alley (Fri-Sat, $40, Georgetown).
  • Don’t miss the outdoor music and wine block party Back Dat Jazz Up (Sat, $25+, Anacostia).


Bites and beverages:

  • There’s a Death at the City Tavern, and guests are invited to sip spirits while creating a 19th century-style mourning pendant (Fri-Sat, $45, Alexandria).
  • Visit Mackintosh Fruit Farm to pick-your-own apples, sip wine slushies, and eat ice cream (Thurs-Sun, prices vary, Berryville).
  • Feeding Hope Festival features unlimited food tastings, beverages, and cooking demos from the World Central Kitchen community (*Sun, $100, Union Market).



  • Cheer on DC United as they take on Medeama SC; there’s a week-long lineup of activities ahead of the big match (Mon-Sat, $10+ for game tickets, Audi Field).


Things to do with kids:

  • Go to Oktoberfest for Kids with Paw Patrol characters, face painting, and a magic show (Sun, free, McLean).
  • Visit Pumpkin Hill with the entire family to climb the pumpkin fort (daily, free, Alexandria).
  • Adventure through a corn maze and pet farm animals at Fall Fun Fest (through October 31, $21+, Frederick).
  • Children can participate in a painting class at DAR Museum (Sat, free, Downtown).


Plan ahead:

  • Tickets are on sale for Reston Home Tour where you can take a self-guided tour of seven stunning Reston properties (October 21, $35+, Reston).
  • Jazz star Branford Marsalis performs at Wolf Trap with his quartet (October 17-18, $68+, Vienna).


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 listed this event date for Saturday, but it is on Sunday. 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.