Things to Do

39 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Nicki Minaj Concert, Petalpalooza, and Annapolis Film Festival

Plus, Washington Nationals' opening day.

Enjoy live music at Petalpalooza. Photograph by Austin Tolchin.

Happy April, DC!

There’s a ton of things to do this week to jumpstart April. Spend the beginning of your month with fellow Barbz at a Nicki Minaj concert, or take the family to opening day at Nats Park. Cherry blossom festivities are still going on, too, at Petalpalooza.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

April 1-April 7

  1. Nicki Minaj in concert. Calling all Barbz to Capital One Arena: Nicki Minaj’s world tour is stopping in DC tonight (Mon, $99+, Capital One Arena).
  2.  Petalpalooza. Art, music, and dazzling fireworks are highlights of Petalpalooza. The family-friendly cherry blossom festival will feature a 24-foot rock climbing wall, 3D cherry blossom sculptures, yoga, food trucks, origami crafts, a musical instrument petting zoo from Washington Performing Arts, live performances, and more (Sat, free, Capitol Riverfront).
  3. Annapolis Film Festival. The 12th Annual Annapolis Film Festival spotlights more than 70 films over a span of four days. Opening night boasts a red-carpet  showing of the new film Thelma followed by a dinner and after-party. The remaining days will feature panel discussions with actors, coffee conversations with industry leaders, and documentary and feature film screenings (Thurs-Sun, $125+ for pass, Annapolis).
  4.  Washington Nationals’ opening day. Raise your Nats baseball cap in the air for opening day at Nationals Park. Root on the team as they take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Fans can look forward to a first pitch from former Mayor Anthony Williams, a “play ball” announcement from Mayor Muriel Bowser, new food vendors, helmets stuffed with nachos, a reversible Nats hat giveaway, and a pre-game parade with mascots Screech and Budweiser Clydesdales (Mon, $5+, Nationals Park).
  5. DC History Conference. The DC History Conference is celebrating 50 years of highlighting the District’s past, present, and future. Attend a lecture, seminar, or exhibition to learn more about the area’s history. Some of this year’s topics include Black feminism, LGBTQ elected officials, Black fugitive folklore, Chinese poetry, and tenant organizing (Thurs-Sat, free, MLK Library).
  6. Pink in the Park. Met Park is the launching site for this year’s Pink in the Park. The three-weekend event features pink-themed art activations, live music, family fun, vendors, and more. First, a rescheduled Art of Pink celebrates local artists, makers, and small business owners at Sari Sari Pop-Up Market; there will be food and a live mural painting. Also, families are invited to a splash party at Pink in the Pool. Next week, Pink Beats—an outdoor music festival featuring local bands—will close out the cherry blossom events (Sat, free, Arlington).

Want More Things to Do?

Opening Day at Nats Park is April 1. Photograph courtesy of Gabrielle Scheder‑Bieschin​​​​.

Arts and culture:

  • Words, Beats, and Life Festival brings a week of concerts, literary events, poetry, and parties to the DC area (Mon-Sun,  prices vary, various participating locations).
  • Design-your-own suncatcher with beads and feathers at Shop Made in DC (Tues, $65, Union Market).
  • Learn new Bollywood dance moves with instructor Natasha Sherpa (Tues, $20+, Petworth).
  • Author Vinson Cunningham discusses his debut novel Great Expectations (Tues, free, NoMa).
  • Explore Planet Word’s karaoke gallery, puzzles, and books after hours on Wordplay Wednesday (Wed, free, but registration encouraged, Downtown).
  • Learn how to plant and harvest your own herbs with an expert gardener at Capital Jewish Museum (Wed, $30, Georgetown).
  • Novelist and poet Julia Alvarez will read from and discuss her new bookThe Cemetery of Untold Stories (Fri, free, Northwest DC).
  • The National Gallery of Art is screening three of Japanese filmmaker Kinuyo Tanaka’s timeless movies (Sat-Sun, April 13, free, National Gallery of Art).
  • Reckoning with Remembrance: History, Injustice, and the Murder of Emmett Till” exhibit displays the defaced historical markers from Till’s memorial (opens Sat, free, Smithsonian National Museum of American History, virtual).


Community and heritage:

  • There’s a new promenade in Cleveland Park. Neighbors are throwing a sidewalk party to celebrate (Sat, free, Cleveland Park).
  • Immerse yourself in Mexican food, music, and art at a black tie fiesta. The Mexican Cultural Institute is hosting a gala featuring a live costumed Mariachi troupe, a Mexican buffet, and traditional dancing (Sat, $129, Northwest DC).


Theater and shows:

  • You’ll have to attend this comedy show at Room 808 to discover the surprise celebrity guest performer (Mon, $60, Petworth).
  • The April Fool’s edition of Pay Attention to Us presents live standup sets from comics and pranksters (Mon, $10+, Northeast DC).
  • Brews and the Big Screen movie series kicks off this week with a screening of Dazed & Confused at Angelika Pop-Up (Wed, $13, Union Market).
  • See spoofs of your favorite productions by all-male comic ballet company Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Thurs-Sat, $29+, Kennedy Center).
  • Chuckle with the area’s funniest women and non-binary comics at Yes, Queen! A Femme Comedy Show (Thurs, $20, Northwest DC).
  • Actor Alan Ruck is visiting Warner Theatre for a screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Thurs, $38+, Downtown). 
  • The Arlington Players take on a revival of Broadway stage play The Prom (Fri-Sun, $30, Arlington).
  • The Washington School of Ballet presents a family-friendly Don Quixote (Fri-Sun, $40 for adults, $35 for children under 12, H Street Corridor).
  • Keegan Theatre hosts the DC premiere of a comedic play about the dictionary and profanity (Sat through May 5, $50, Dupont).
  • Sunset Baby by contemporary playwright Dominique Morisseau is showing at Anacostia Playhouse (Sat through April 28, $35+, Anacostia).


Music and concerts:

  • If you want to keep the Pink Friday beats going after Nicki Minaj’s concert, you can party with the rapper’s DJ at Play DC Lounge (Mon, free+, Northwest DC).
  • DC’s tenor vocalist James Murphy sings a blend of gospel and R&B as part of Mars Arts DC concert series (Wed, free, Northeast DC).
  • Singer-songwriter Priya Ragu arrives at The Atlantis (Wed, $20, U Street Corridor).
  • Hardcore rapper Kevin Gates is on tour to promote his fourth album The Ceremony, which features rhymes that touch on themes of healing and redemption (Fri, $59+, Silver Spring).
  • Dance to all your favorite Disney hits from the ’90s and ’00s (Fri, $20+, Howard Theatre).


Bites and beverages:

  • Union Pub is celebrating the end of Lent with Dyngus Day drink specials and a polka band (Mon, free, Capitol Hill).
  • Go on a sensory coffee tasting journey with Rare Bird Coffee (Wed, $10, College Park).
  • Delight in a Night of Fine Wine featuring more than 80 wines at Embassy of France (Fri, $105+, Georgetown).


Things to do with kids:

  • Go on an egg-citing family adventure through the National Zoo on Easter Monday (Mon, free, but timed-entry pass required, National Zoo).
  • Kids Club at the library is creating solar eclipse-inspired art (Thurs, free, Arlington).
  • Prep your kids for next week’s solar eclipse with a fun learning session at National Air and Space Museum (Fri-Sat, free, virtual, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum).


Plan ahead:

  • April’s National Gallery Nights theme is an ode to cherry blossoms. Guests can create wearable floral art, dance, and snap photos in front of a flower wall (April 11, free, but lottery opens Mon, National Gallery of Art).

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.