Things to Do

42 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Burna Boy Concert, James Bond Exhibit, and Awesome Con

Plus, a Women's History Month HerStory 5K Run.

Attend a Burna Boy concert. Photograph by Nee.

Happy Monday, DC!

Commemorate International Women’s Day at a museum party or 5K run. Or, don your best anime cosplay outfit to a fun-packed Awesome Con.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

March 4-March 10

  1. Burna Boy concert. Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu MFR, who per­forms as Burna Boy, was the first Nigerian artist to sell out New York’s Madison Square Garden. After a full-house performance at Capital One Arena in 2022, the Afrobeats king is back in town for a highly-anticipated show in promotion of his 2023 album, I Told Them . . . (Thurs, $79+, Capital One Arena).
  2. James Bond exhibit.  James Bond fans can view iconic vehicles from the movies at the International Spy Museum’s new “Bond in Motion” exhibit; browse sporty cars, motorcycles, submarines, and more in celebration of 60 years of action and entertainment from agent 007 (through April 2025, $28+,  Southwest DC).
  3. Awesome Con. Calling all anime fanatics and comic book lovers to Awesome Con at Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The local phenomenon features three days of exhibitions, screenings, cosplay meet-ups, book readings, dance parties, and special appearances from celebrity pop culture actors and actresses (Fri-Sun, $45+, Mount Vernon Square).
  4. Rolling Cocoa Festival. A new Ghanaian music festival is coming to DC in commemoration of Ghanaian Independence weekend. Prepare to move your hips to the beats of R2bees, Efya, and Kwesi Arthur, and more African artists at Rolling Cocoa Festival (Sat, $69+, Wharf).
  5. Embassy Chef Challenge. The DC Embassy Chef Challenge returns this week to celebrate international cuisines and cultures at the annual one-night tasting experience. Chefs from 24 embassies will compete in a friendly culinary competition to show off flavors from their home countries. Guests of the food battle will get a chance to sample bites and beverages from China, Cuba, Guatemala, Barbados, and more, and then vote for their favorite (Thurs, $150, Union Station).
  6. “Star Power” exhibit. Photographer George Hurrell’s images from Hollywood’s golden age are the subject of this new exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. The MGM portraitist—who helped capture the likes of film royalty Joan Crawford and Clark Gable—now has his most enchanting photographs from the ’30s and ’40s on display in “Star Power(through January 5, 2024, free, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery).
  7. Taste of Iceland. You don’t have to travel to Iceland to experience the fullness of Icelandic culture.  The Taste of Iceland two-day festival transports locals to the European country with an array of cultural events. From cooking classes and music to visual arts presentations and a crime fiction book talk, there will be a number of ways to indulge in the heritage of Iceland (Sat-Sun, free, various participating locations).
  8. HerStory 5K. Mayor Bowser’s 6th Annual FITDC HerStory 5K kicks-off at Freedom Plaza this weekend. The 5K welcomes families and pets to participate in a jog through downtown to celebrate the 350,000 women and girls who reside in the District. This year’s fitness festivities include the first-ever HerStory Kids Dash, in which children 12 and under can run a modified race. Also, there’s a pre-race keynote speaker, free event T-shirts for all ages, giveaways, and pop-up exhibits to discover along the race route (Sat, free, but registration required, Downtown).

Want More Things to Do?

NMWA Nights. Photograph by Derek Baker.

Arts and culture:

  • Xochitl Gonzalez is at Politics and Prose to talk about her new novel, Anita de Monte Laughs Last, which tells the story of a forgotten artist whose work is discovered by a student (Tues, free, Northwest DC).
  • Explore eclectic pieces of contemporary Japanese metalworking in “Striking Objects (daily, free, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).
  • CIA Chief of Disguise Jonna Hiestand Mendez discusses her undercover career in her new book True Face at the Spy Museum (Tues, free, Southwest DC).
  • Anonymous writer Lamya H recently published a coming-of-age memoir that details her story as a queer hijabi Muslim immigrant. You can hear all about her latest read at a virtual talk presented by Lost City Books (Tues, free, virtual).
  • March’s NMWA Nights theme is “Aye Girl.” Dance to live tunes, and discover art from LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities (Wed, $25, National Museum of Women in the Arts).
  • Wordplay Wednesday is an after-hours puzzle and word games exploration at the Planet Word Museum (Wed, free, but registration required, Downtown).
  • Local Black artist Sydney Vernon presents collages, drawings, and paintings at Phillips@THEARC (Wed-June 6, free, Anacostia).
  • RuPaul discusses his latest memoir The House of Hidden Meanings at Warner Theatre (Fri, $53+, Downtown).
  • The Smithsonian American Art Museum unveils the social justice paintings of William H. Johnson (Fri-September 8, free, Smithsonian American Art Museum).
  • Attend the opening reception of Dupont Underground’s thought-provoking women’s exhibition (opens Fri, $8, Dupont).
  • Artechouse celebrates our beloved pink flowers with an immersive digital art installation inspired by anime, “ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds” (Sat-June 1, $25+, Southwest DC).


Community and heritage:

  • International Women’s Day Agora at The Ven features live painting, keynote speeches from women leaders, and woman-owned vendors (Thurs, free, Dupont).
  • Relax at a yoga class, get a flash tattoo, and explore women’s artworks for International Women’s Day (Fri, free+, National Museum of Women in the Arts).
  • Hotel Zena is serving signature cocktails, poetry, and empowering conversations for International Women’s Day (Fri, free, Downtown).
  • Participate in a St. Patrick’s Day-themed fun run at Ireland’s Four Courts (Sat, free, Arlington).


Theater and shows:

  • The comedic Broadway musical The Book of Mormon takes the National Theatre stage (Tues- March 17, $89+, Downtown).
  • Penelope tells the truth about the Trojan War in this one-woman show (Tues – April 21, $66+, Arlington).
  • Shakespeare Theatre Company stages a Macbeth-themed Mock Trial (Tues, $25 for virtual, $60 for in-person, Penn Quarter).
  • Ted Lasso TV producer and comedian Jamie Lee headlines a standup show at DC Improv (Fri-Sat, $25+, Downtown).
  • GALA Hispanic Theatre presents the bilingual, family-friendly, music-filled play Quijote y Sancho Panza, nuevas andanzas (Sat, March 16 and 23, $12 for adults, $10 for children, Columbia Heights).
  • Sultry performances return to DC for another The Sweet Spot Burlesque show (Sat, $40+, Wharf).
  • The Washington National Opera reimagines Songbird—a New Orleans-based jazz comedy (Sat- March 23, $69+, Kennedy Center).


Music and concerts:

  • Indie rockers The Beaches perform in front of a sold-out crowd this week at Howard Theater. There’s still time to snag a seat to the show via a third-party seller (Mon, $61+, U Street Corridor).
  • Grammy-winning blues group Tedeschi Trucks Band has a three-night run at Warner Theatre (Tues-Thurs, $64+, Downtown).
  • DC’s powerhouse quartet Moonshine Society sings smooth blues tunes at Songbyrd (Wed, free, but registration required, Northeast DC).
  • Veteran rock band the Mother Hips makes groovy music that listeners can vibe out to at the Hamilton (Thurs, $20+, Northwest DC).
  • Eight-time Grammy Award nominee Ledisi arrives at the MGM National Harbor to stun audiences with her jazz vocals (Fri, March 15, $59+, National Harbor).
  • Celebrate an early St. Patrick’s Day at an outdoor happy hour featuring a performance by the Culkin School of Traditional Irish Dance (Sat, free, Silver Spring).
  • Former comedian Hannibal Buress raps over beats from his latest projects at Capital Turnaround (Sat, $35+, Southeast DC).
  • Husband-and-wife duo Karen Ashbrook & Paul Oorts play a mix of a mix of Irish, French, and Flemish melodies at Old Brogue (Sun, $21+, Great Falls).


Get Involved:

  • Help raise funds for Girls Rock! DC at a Spice Girls-themed party featuring a Spice Girls playlist, live bands, and on-theme cocktails (Wed, free, but rsvp required, Navy Yard).
  • St. Baldrick’s Day returns to Boundary Stone this weekend to help raise funds for childhood cancer research. You can enter a raffle to score a trip for two to Ireland (Sun, donations welcome, Northwest DC).


Things to do with kids:


Plan ahead:

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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.