Things to Do

37 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Black History Month Events, Seth MacFarlane and Liz Gillies at Kennedy Center, and Lunar New Year Family Festival

Plus, "The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes" opens at Woolly Mammoth Theatre.

Photograph by Colleen Dugan/National Museum of Asian Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Happy Monday, DC!

As January comes to a close and we slide into February, there are lots of local happenings, well, happening. Black History Month events kick off this weekend at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, and award-winning entertainer Seth MacFarlane arrives at the Kennedy Center.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

January 29-February 4

  1. Black History Month at NMAAHC. Throughout February, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will offer a mix of in-person and online events exploring the theme of African Americans in the arts. Chefs will offer special menus at Sweet Home Cafe; kids can meet Black divers and beekeepers and participate in STEM activities; and adults are invited to join author talks, print gel plates, browse exhibits, and more (starts Fri, free+, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture).
  2. Lunar New Year Family Festival. Celebrate Lunar New Year at the National Museum of Asian Art with museum activities and attractions for everyone. All ages can watch cultural performances, attend chef talks, take a gallery tour, and participate in hands-on crafts (Sat, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).
  3. Seth MacFarlane and Liz Gillies in concert. Have a unique evening of comedy, music, and glamour with Seth MacFarlane and Liz Gillies at the Kennedy Center. The powerhouse entertainers are teaming up with the National Symphony Orchestra for one night of orchestral jazz and laughter (Fri, $69+, Kennedy Center).
  4. “The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes” play. The Woolly Mammoth theater company specializes in presenting original works by diverse writers. This weekend, its Penn Quarter venue will host the world premiere of The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes, a play written by Virginia-born Vivian J.O. Barnes. The production—which features an all-Black women cast—tells the story of an HBCU dance team as they prepare for a major homecoming performance (Sun through March 3, pay-what-you-will tickets available, Southwest DC).
  5. “Next to Normal” play. Round House Theatre presents the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal, which depicts a family struggling to overcome mental illnesses. The production features modern rock music, and a book by playwright Brian Yorkey (Wed through February 25, $46+, Bethesda).

Want More Things to Do?

“The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration” exhibit. Photograph by Hannele Lahti. Art by Phaan Hwong.

Arts and culture:



  • Visit Tysons Corner Center to see a fashion show, a magic show, and several cultural dance performances in recognition of the Lunar New Year (Sat, free, Tysons).


Theater and shows:

  • Tickets are selling fast for Broadway star Audra McDonald‘s concert (Tues-Wed, $49+, Kennedy Center).
  • This Much I Know takes audiences on a philosophical love quest at Theater J (Wed through February 25, $5+ pay-what-you-can, Downtown).
  • Comedic stage play Morning After Grace follows the narratives of three baby boomers managing love, loss, and aging. You can see the show at Anacostia Arts Center (Fri-Sun, $20, Anacostia).
  • Keegan Theatre takes on a revival of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth’s Merrily We Roll Along (Sat through March 3, $60, Dupont).
  • Comedian Majah Hype headlines a stand-up show at Howard Theatre (Sat, $35+, Howard Theatre).
  • Roll into the aisles with laughter at Matteo Lane’s live comedy show. This show is selling fast so snag a ticket soon (Sun, February 10, $39+, Kennedy Center).
  • Actor and comedian Tom Segura tells jokes at Live! Casino and Hotel Maryland (Sun, $74+, Hanover).


Music and concerts:

  • Rock quintet Band of Horses play at The Fillmore Silver Spring (Tues, $45, Silver Spring).
  • Snap your fingers along to the melody of jazz and R&B in an intimate theater-style concert at Synetic Theater (Thurs, $20+, Arlington).
  • Acclaimed singer and actress Linda Eder performs Broadway hits at Wolf Trap (Thurs, $52, Vienna).
  • Listen to a combination of gospel and opera with bass vocalist Morris Robinson and a host of friends (Sat, $35+, Takoma Park).
  • Spoken word, dance, and live music are highlights of Washington National Cathedral’s evening commemoration Onward and Upward (Sat, free, virtual, Northwest DC).
  • Washington Bach Consort performs classical sounds at Dumbarton United Methodist Church (Sat, $14 for virtual, $48 for in-person, Georgetown).
  • Don’t Mute DC in collaboration with the Go-Go Museum performs a free sold-out show at the Kennedy Center (Sat, free, limited tickets available at the door, Kennedy Center).



  • The Wizards Friday Night Concert Series returns this weekend. Basketball fans can enjoy a 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Tribute after Friday’s game (Fri, $21+, Capital One Arena).


Bites and beverages:

  • Play Vanderpump-themed trivia and enjoy a Bravo-inspired drink menu at Lulu’s Winegarden (Tues, free, U Street).
  • Dine, play, and dance at National Harbor during Fooduary (Fri through February 11, prices vary, National Harbor).
  • In France Crêpe Day marks the halfway point between winter and spring. You can celebrate at Hillwood with sweet treats and storytelling (Sat-Sun, $18, Northwest DC).
  • Atlas Brew Works’ most popular seasonal beer is back, and the brewery is offering unlimited sips to celebrate (Sat, $35, Navy Yard).
  • There are five rounds of drinks and seafood at Hank’s Oyster Bar’s Beer v. Spirits showdown (Sun, $75, Alexandria).


Things to do with kids:

  • A live experience of the popular children’s show Paw Patrol is coming to EagleBank Arena (Fri-Sun, $25+, Fairfax).
  • Kids can practice motor skills and problem-solving through hands-on play at National Children’s Museum’s new Shaun the Sheep exhibit (closes May 12, $19, Downtown).

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.