Things to Do

43 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: DC Beer Fest, Adams Morgan Porchfest, and Día de los Muertos Festival

Plus, Leesburg Halloween Parade.

Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery's 2022 Día de los Muertos festival. Photograph by Matailong Du.

Happy Hallow-eve, DC!

There’s more scary things to do in celebration of Halloween this week. You can get into the spooky spirit at a community costume parade, or watch a horror movie at the Smithsonian. Also, DC Beer Fest returns this weekend to Nationals Park.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

October 30-November 5

  1. DC Beer Fest. Gather your buddies for a day of unlimited brew tastings and eats from area food trucks. This weekend the DC Beer Fest returns to Nationals Park featuring samples from more than 80 breweries, plus bites along food truck alley, and music from the dueling piano bar (Sat, $50+, Nationals Park).
  2. Adams Morgan Porchfest. The rescheduled fall PorchFest will be a neighborhood-wide music showcase in Adams Morgan. The 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. Día de los Muertos Festival. The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s annual Día de los Muertos Festival returns with family-friendly after-hours music and crafts. Museum visitors will have the opportunity to create calaveras and papel picado to decorate the community altar in honor of their ancestors, watch a folk dance performance, get their face painted, and view a projection of “La Común Unidad: Caminando con los Ancestros” by video artists MasPaz and Guache (Thurs, free, National Portrait Gallery).
  4. Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival. Investigative reporting and visual storytelling come together at this film festival for journalists and filmmakers. The opening night film selection is the DC premiere of Locked Out—an investigative documentary exploring the racial gap in homeownership. Most of the screenings will take place at MLK Memorial Library; there will also be symposiums led by industry experts on the topics of voting rights, AI, storytelling, and more (Thurs-Sun, $85+ pass, Northwest DC).
  5. Leesburg Halloween Parade. This community parade has been happening since the ’50s. The Kiwanis Club of Leesburg organizes the march, which heads from Ida Lee Park down King Street to Fairfax Street every year. Candy is distributed to spectators while the Grand Marshal leads the stroll of marching bands, antique cars, and costumed residents along the parade route (Tues, free, Leesburg).
  6. Halloween Screening of ‘Ringu.’ Don’t miss the chance to watch the 25th anniversary screening of Japanese horror flick Ringu—better known as The Ring— this Halloween. The National Museum of Asian Art is opening its auditorium to costumed guests for a frightful late-night 4K movie showing, sweet treats, and giveaways (Tues, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).
  7. “Simone Leigh” exhibit. Renown ceramicist and sculpturist Simone Leigh has some of her popular contemporary works on display at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The new exhibition is the first-of-its-kind comprehensive survey of Leigh’s visual and material art contributions from the past 20 years including work from the Venice Biennale presentation (Fri through March 3, 2024, free, Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).
  8. Romanian Film Festival. “Reinventing Realism—New Cinema from Romania” is the motto behind the Romanian Film Festival arriving in DC this weekend. Curated by Romanian film critic Mihai Fulger, the program will highlight six original productions accompanied by post-screening Q&A discussions with audiences and conversations with award-winning directors (Thurs-Sun, free, Penn Quarter).


Want More Things to Do?

Satellite by Simone Leigh at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Photograph by Rick Coulby/Hirshhorn.

Arts and culture:

  • Explore a collection of 400 miniature buildings from around the world at the National Building Museum (ongoing, $10, Penn Quarter).
  • Play a Bravo-inspired game of trivia in your best Bravo celebrity costume at Lulu’s Winegarden (Tues, free, Cardozo).
  • Local author Laurence Leamer chats about his latest book Hitchcock’s Blondes at Politics and Prose (Tues, free, Northwest DC).
  • Trade is hosting a viewing party of drag reality competition The Boulet Brothers’ Dragula, and a dance party in celebration of Halloween (Tues, free, Logan Circle).
  • Two new exhibits showcase contemporary works at The Rubell Museum (Wed-Sun, pay-what-you-wish, $15 on Sat-Sun, Southwest DC).
  • Celebrate Día de los Muertos at the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington with food trucks, family-friendly art-making, music from Grupo Fénix, and a live dance performance (Wed, free, Arlington).
  • Attend a poetry workshop at the museum with award-winning writer Celeste Doaks (Thurs, free, Smithsonian American Art Museum).
  • If you’re a stamp collector, this lecture with Cheryl Ganz at the Postal Museum is for you (Thurs, free, virtual, National Postal Museum).
  • Sit in on a hip-hop master class with music legend Grandmaster Flash (Fri, $30+, Kennedy Center).
  • Bring a writing journal and a mat to unwind at Yoga in the Galleries (Sat, $10, Arlington).



  • There will be plenty of candy, games, and good times at The PARC’s community Halloween jamboree (Tues, free, Tysons).
  • Aerialists, magicians, balloon twisters, and more will be a part of the Side Yards entertainment (Fri, free, but registration is required, Navy Yard).
  • The National Museum of Asian Art is throwing an after-hours Diwali festival with food vendors, coloring crafts, pop-up dance performances (Sun, free, but registration encouraged, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).
  • A multi-day exhibition of art, panel talks, and activations by the The National Women’s History Museum will accompany an unveiling of “Dendrofemonology: A Feminist History Tree Ring” sculpture on the National Mall (Wed-Sat, free, National Mall).


Theater and shows:

  • You can see a special Halloween night showing of the new comedy POTUS while dressed in your best festive costume (Tues, $41+, Southwest DC).
  • Actors from the ’70s classic horror musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show are set to appear at Lincoln Theatre for a showing of the film, and a costume contest (Tues, $55+, Lincoln Theatre).
  • Psychological thriller Solas Nua: The Honey Trap opens at Atlas Performing Arts Center (Thurs through November 19, $5+, H Street Corridor).
  • Comedian and podcaster Maz Jobrani tells jokes at the Kennedy Center (Fri-Sat, $39+, Kennedy Center).
  • The Washington National Opera and Shakespeare Theatre Company collaborate for a romantic production of Romeo and Juliet (Sat, $45+, Kennedy Center).
  • Multicultural dance, music, and theater showcase Fuego Flamenco Festival returns to GALA Hispanic Theatre (Sat through November 19, $35+, Columbia Heights).
  • Folger Theatre takes on a revival of Shakespeare’s fairy tale stage play The Winter’s Tale (Sat through December 17, $20+, Southeast DC).
  • It’s the last call to see civil rights-themed stage play The Mountaintop at Round House Theatre (closes Sun, $39+, pay-what-you-can tickets available, Bethesda).


Music and concerts:


Bites and beverages:

  • Try a variety of plant-based bites at Mixt Food Hall’s Vegan Curious Festival (Sat, free, Brentwood).
  • During the Smithsonian’s Food History Weekend, hear from women beer-industry leaders about the climate of American brews, and taste drink and food samples at the Smithsonian (Fri, $40, Smithsonian American History Museum).
  • Have date night at a blind wine tasting (Sun, $10, Park View).


Things to do with kids:

  • Youngsters can give pumpkin-themed bowling a try at Montpelier Farms (Tues, $14+, free for children 2 and younger, Upper Marlboro).
  • Wear a costume to Mosaic’s Spooktacular Halloween trick-or-treating and movie event (Tues, free, Fairfax).
  • Little ones will learn about bats at this Natural History Museum family play date (Tues, free, Smithsonian Natural History Museum).
  • Kids can listen to a reading of Itsy Bitsy Spider by Emily Bannister at the museum’s Halloween-themed storytime (Wed, free, Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden).


Get Involved:

  • Chefs for Equality tasting event gathers more than 150 local bakers, mixologists, and chefs together to help raise funds for the Human Rights Campaign Foundation (Mon, $325+, Penn Quarter).


Plan ahead:

  • Enter the lottery to win tickets to the 101st National Christmas Tree Lighting on November 30 near the White House at President’s Park (lottery is November 1-8, free, White House).

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.