Things to Do

47 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: National Museum of Women in the Arts Reopens, Boo at the Zoo, and Jada Pinkett Smith Book Tour

Plus, Jessie Ware in concert.

"Indian, Indio, Indigenous" by Juane Quick-to-See Smith. Photograph by Lee Stalsworth/National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Happy Monday, DC!

The much-anticipated opening of the National Museum of Women in the Arts is this weekend, and Rock the Park returns to Franklin Park for two days of live music.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

October 16-October 22

  1. National Museum of Women in the Arts reopening. The National Museum of Women in the Arts will reopen its doors to the public to continue its mission of championing women artists. The grand reveal is slated to have music by Les the DJ, a processional with Batalá Washington’s percussion band, flash tattoos, art-making, a photo booth, poetry, tastings, and an exploration of the new exhibit “The Sky’s the Limit” (opens Sat, free opening day registration, Downtown).
  2. Boo at the Zoo. Take a family-fun adventure through the jack-o-lantern-decorated National Zoo in your favorite spooky outfit. All ages can participate in trick-or-treating, after-hours animal viewing, dancing, and more seasonal cheer at Boo at the Zoo (Fri-Sun, $35, National Zoo).
  3. Jada Pinkett Smith book tour. Actress and talk show host Jada Pinkett Smith shares her new memoir, Worthy, with local fans and book-lovers at Howard Theatre this week. The intimate title reflects on the Hollywood star’s Baltimore childhood and road to fame (Thurs, $20+, Howard Theatre).
  4. LoveLoud DC. In 2017, Imagine Dragons singer Dan Reynolds started LoveLoud festival to support LGBTQ+ communities. This year Reynolds is taking his festival on tour for the first time, and the kickoff location is DC. The concert features a diverse bill of artists such as “On My Mama” singer Victoria Monét, violinist Lindsey Stirling, indie-pop producer Cavetown, and others (Tues, $50+, Wharf).
  5. Jessie Ware in concert. Jessie Ware’s DC concerts are sold out, but you still have an opportunity to witness her pop vocals in-person. A number of ticket-resale sites have seats available at both her 9:30 Club and Lincoln Theatre performances (Tues-Wed, $45+, U Street Corridor).
  6. Rock the Park.  Rock the Park DC WKNDR returns to Franklin Park for a two-day outdoor concert featuring local performers, DJs, and food trucks. This year’s family-friendly lineup lists Trouble Funk band and music artist Rich Medina  (*Sat-Sun, free, Downtown).
  7. “Titanic. The Exhibition.” A new immersive experience is bringing the century-old Titanic shipwreck to life at National Harbor. The traveling pop-up exhibit displays 200 objects and artifacts from the ship’s passengers and crew members, and guests can walk through recreations of the Titanic interior while listening to audio guides (Wed through December 10, $20+, National Harbor).
  8. Lauryn Hill in concert. Ms. Lauryn Hill released her socially conscious rhyme-filled solo album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill almost 25 years ago. In commemoration of the album’s longtime success across the genres of reggae, rap, R&B, and hip-hop, the neo-soul artist is reconnecting with ’90s group Fugees for a multi-city run (Sat, $65+, Capital One Arena).
  9. Harbor Halloween. This annual fall party returns with outdoor activities for families and pets. Kids can go trick-or-treating, take a free ride on the Capital Wheel if they come dressed in costume, watch a showing of Hocus Pocus on the plaza, and cheer on local chefs in a pumpkin-carving contest. For dog lovers there’s a Pet Pawrade (Sun, free, National Harbor).

Want More Things to Do?

Photograph by Jack Grange.

Arts and culture:

  • Award-winning Sudanese writer Leila Aboulela visits American University (Mon, free, Northwest DC).
  • Join Inner Loop for a reading with author Thea Brown (Tues, free, Shaw).
  • Tap into your creative side at Relume’s Pressed Flower Pumpkin Decorating event (Wed, $30, Capitol Hill).
  • Author Tan Twan Eng discusses his book The House of Doors at East City Bookshop (Wed, free, virtual, Capitol Hill).
  • There’s pumpkin making and craft beer in the Heurich House Museum biergarten (Wed, free, Dupont).
  • Former member of Congress Adam Kinzinger examines the January 6 Capitol riots in his new book Renegade (Fri, free, Northwest DC).
  • Attend performances and presentations on Women in Art and Music at this two-part conference (Fri-Sat, free, but registration required, virtual, National Gallery of Art).
  • Spooky Pooch Howl-o-ween at Hillwood is a fun Halloween celebration for humans and their furry friends (Sat, $13, Northwest DC).
  • View artworks from 77 artists at Chevy Chase Art Walk (Sat-Sun, free, Chevy Chase).
  • Observe the works of more than 50 Black male artists in “A Marvelous Black Boy Art Show(Sun, $30+, Northwest DC).

Community and heritage:

  • Hear haunting tales about the National Building Museum on an after-hours tour (select days through November 1, $15+, Penn Quarter).
  • Go on a twilight Soul Stroll through Congressional Cemetery (Fri-Sat, October 27-28, $40 for adults, $15 for children, Capitol Hill).
  • Teens and young children can solve mystery stories at the Library of Congress and hear from storybook authors at Family Mystery Day (Sat, free, but timed-entry passes are required).
  • Take a self-guided tour of seven stunning Reston properties along the Reston Home Tour (Sat, $35+, Reston).
  • Learn about beer traditions at History in a Bottle at Heurich House Museum (Sat, free, Dupont).
  • In recognition of Dyslexia Awareness Month, Planet Word’s new “Inside Look: Dyslexia” exhibit educates museum-goers on the science behind dyslexia (ongoing, free, Northwest DC).

Theater and shows:

  • Randy Rainbow brings his satirical campaign to DC (Fri, $45+, Warner Theatre).
  • Comedy icon George Wallace and his hilarious veteran friends, Chris Paul and Sylvia Traymore Morrison, team up for a live standup show at DC Improv (Fri-Sat, $45+, Downtown).
  • Comedian Deon Cole stops at MGM National Harbor for his “My New Normal” standup (Fri, $39+, National Harbor).
  • Viral #dropchallenge sensation Atsuko Okatsuka plans to make live audiences laugh at Lincoln Theatre (Sat, $40+, U Street).
  • See the world premiere of comedic stage play The Chameleon at Theater J (closes November 5, $69, Northwest DC).

Music and concerts:

  • Local rapper O-Slice throws The Inner Circle 8 concert (Mon, $15+, U Street).
  • Two local musical acts, Jru Anthony and Ari Voxx and The Sad Lads, perform an an after-hours concert at the museum (Fri, free, Smithsonian American Art Museum).
  • Don’t miss Howard University’s homecoming vibes at Reggae Fest (Sat, $25+, Howard Theatre).
  • Composer and trumpet player Charles Tolliver presents Africa/Brass (Sat, $39+, Kennedy Center). 
  • Enjoy a family-friendly musical performance for Halloween and Día de los Muertos by a ghoulish attired National Symphony Orchestra (Sun, $18+, Kennedy Center).
  • Instrumentalist Sam Bush performs bluegrass music at Wolf Trap (Sun, $47+, Vienna).
  • The Cathedral Choral Society pairs up with Washington Bach Consort to play Baroque music (Sun, $20+, Northwest DC).

Bites and beverages:

  • Have A Night of Fine Wine at the French Embassy (Tues, $155+, Georgetown).
  • Make pizza and craft cocktails with friends at The Commentary (Wed, $50, Arlington).
  • Bubbles, brunch, and exercise are a part of Brunch on the Go With The Yards (Sat, $65, Navy Yard).
  • Raise a glass at the Barrel & Bushel Beer garden, watch pumpkin-carving demos, and enter your dog into a Halloween costume contest at Fall Festival (Sat, free, Tysons).


  • Stadiumlinks transforms Nationals Park into a 9-hole golf course where golf players can reserve tee time and access a VIP driving range (Fri-Sun, $84+, Nationals Parks).

Things to do with kids:

  • Pony rides, face painting, and games are highlights of Fall Festival at The Farm at Kelly Miller (Sat, free, Northeast DC).
  • There’s trick-or-treating, a bounce house, pumpkin painting, and dance parties at Lil’ Pumpkin Festival at BlackRock Center for the Arts (Sat, free for all kids activities, $5 for the dance party). 

Get Involved:

  • Play bingo for charity at Nighthawk Brewery & Pizza (Mon, $5 for bingo card, Arlington).
  • Chef Kareem “Mr. Bake” Queeman, Chef Mykie Moll, and Chef Angela Rose are serving soup at Queer Soup Night to help support Harriet’s Wildest Dreams (Mon, suggested donation $10+, Southeast DC).
  • Local singer Rachel Burns is hosting a Living My Breast Life concert at Songbyrd to raise funds for the nonprofit Cancer Culture (Tues, $20, Northeast DC).

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 did not mention that the event is happening on Saturday and 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.