Things to Do

41 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Around the World Embassy Tour, Flower Mart, and M3 Rock Festival

Plus, Anacostia River Festival.

Take your kid to the Anacostia River Festival this weekend. Photograph by Caitlyn Johnstone/Chesapeake Bay Program/Flickr.

Happy Monday, DC!

May is starting off with a ton of fun activities to do around town. You can shop for beautiful flowers at Washington National Cathedral’s Flower Mart, go on an Around the World Embassy Tour, and rock out to veteran bands at the M3 Rock Festival this week.


Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

April 29-May 5

  1. Around the World Embassy Tour. Travel around the globe without leaving the city this month during Passport DC, which will feature dance showcases, concerts, art programs, and more. This weekend, the Around the World Embassy Tour opens up more than 55 embassy doors for guests to experience the delights of Peru, Thailand, Cameroon, and other countries (Wed through May 31 for Passport DC, Sat is Embassy Tour, free, various participating embassies and institutions).
  2. Flower Mart. Flower Mart is back at the Washington National Cathedral. The family-friendly event features orchestra performances, dance, and a chance to shop flowers and plants to help support the cathedral’s gardens and grounds (Fri-Sat, free, Northwest DC).
  3. M3 Rock Festival. The M3 Rock Festival turns 15 years old this spring. To mark the occasion, metal fans will fill Merriweather Post Pavilion to watch veteran acts such as Queensrÿche, Bret Michaels, Stephen Pearcy, and Night Ranger play their head-banging hits (Sat-Sun, $50+, Columbia).
  4. International City Food Festival. Taste new dishes and meet expert foodies during International City Food Festival. Attendees can play throwback arcade games, and munch on international treats from more than 23 food vendors (Fri-Sat, free, Downtown).
  5. Anacostia River Festival. This family-friendly event celebrates the Anacostia River and the outdoors. The all-day jamboree features free fishing workshops, a vendor pop-up market, art exhibitions, games, and a live concert where go-go groups Junkyard Band and Experience Band will perform (Sat, free, Anacostia).
  6. The Capital Rare Book Fair. Book-lovers can nerd out over antique manuscripts, historic documents, and unique maps at The Capital Rare Book Fair. The event kicks off with a preview party featuring literary-themed cocktails, canapés, and live entertainment. The following days invite esteemed collectors, writers, and archivists to the fair to deliver keynote speeches while guests gain access to browse notable pieces of work (Fri-Sun, $15 general admission, $50 for opening night).
  7. Smithsonian Craft Show. Explore jury-selected ceramics, furniture, glass, metal, leather, wearable art, basketry, and more at the Smithsonian Craft Show. The National Building Museum will host 120 artists to commemorate the theme of “Celebrating Joy” in craft and design (Wed-Sun, $20 general admission, $250+ for preview party).

Want More Things to Do?

Passport DC 2023 at the Korean Culture Center. Photograph by Danielle Lee.

Arts and culture:

  • Make a new friend at Creative Grounds DC’s Friend of a Friend Social (Wed, $5, Eckington).
  • Venture after hours through three floors of puzzles, word quizzes, and books at Planet Word (Wed, free, Downtown).
  • Author Viet Thanh Nguyen gives fans a look at how his novel The Sympathizer became an HBO espionage thriller series (Wed, free, but registration encouraged, Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art).
  • Mark the end of Passover at the Mimouna Festival. There will be tasty Moroccan dishes to try, and musical performances (Thurs, free, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art).
  • Author Karen Valby tells the story of five Black ballerinas who made history at Dance Theatre of Harlem in her book, The Swans of Harlem (Fri, free, Northwest DC).
  • Author Nicole Chung is in conversation with local bookstagrammer Lupita Aquino at East City Bookshop (Fri, free, but registration required, virtual, Capitol Hill).
  • Boat enthusiasts can set sail along National Harbor for the 2nd annual DC Boats Show (Fri-Sun, $30+, National Harbor).
  • Nancy Pelosi, Jake Sullivan, Bradley Whitford, and other guests are on the speaker lineup for the Financial Times Weekend Festival at The REACH (Sat, $149 for in-person, $109 for virtual, Kennedy Center).
  • Amy Tan discusses her bird watching devotional The Backyard Bird Chronicles at Politics and Prose (Sat, free, Northwest DC).
  • Shop jewelry, candles, plants, and more at the Market on the Street pop-up (Sun, free, Takoma Park).


Community and heritage:

  • Meet up with environmental enthusiasts at a Green Drinks DC networking evening (Tues, donations welcome, Park View).
  • Author Erik Larson examines Abraham Lincoln’s presidential election and the days leading up to Fort Sumter (Wed, $50, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History).
  • Commemorate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month at the National Archives. Journalists and historians will be discussing the impact AAPI voices have made in media (Wed, free, virtual, Downtown).
  • Meet the soldiers encamped at Mount Vernon, and watch 18th-century military reenactments during Revolutionary War Weekend (Sat-Sun, $35, Mount Vernon).
  • Take a guided tour of historic Congressional Cemetery (Sat, $5, Southeast DC).
  • Put on your sombrero, and celebrate Cinco De Mayo at Clarendon Ballroom’s Taco, Tequila, Taps Festival (Sat, free, Arlington).



  • Play Star Wars-themed trivia with friends at The Collective Offshore (Tues, free, Columbia).
  • Play golf or trivia at Rudy’s Golf and Sports Bar (Tues, free for trivia, Alexandria).
  • Compete in a round of movie trivia at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema (Wed-Thurs, free, Arlington, Northeast DC).
  • Learn the process of game design at this library workshop (Wed, $10, Northwest DC).


Theater and shows:

  • Womansplaining comedy show features a ladies cast of standups (Tues, $10, Navy Yard).
  • Binge-watch several new films at the 25th Annual Maryland Film Festival (Wed-Sun, $20+ for individual passes, $100 for multi-pass, Baltimore).
  • DC TV star Count Gore hosts a retro movie screening of Forbidden Planet at AFI Silver Theatre (Sat, $15, Silver Spring).


Music and concerts:

  • Andrew Cushin sings indie tunes at DC9 Nightclub (Mon, $15+, U Street Corridor).
  • Grammy-winning multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier performs at The Anthem (Wed, $50+, Wharf).
  • Express your inner rock star at Slash Run’s karaoke night; there’s an anniversary after party, too (Tues, free, Petworth).
  • CSS brings their 20th anniversary tour to Black Cat (Fri, $30+, Shaw).
  • Rock group Chastity Belt plays tunes from their latest album, Live Laugh Love, at Black Cat (Sat, $20, Shaw).
  • DC band Flowerbomb will open up for PACKS’ DC9 Nightclub show (Sun, $15+, U Street Corridor).


Get involved:

  • Laugh at a comedy show, and see live storytelling for a good cause. Hopin’ Mic’s comedy event helps raise funds for Grassroots Comedy to support causes in need (Thurs, donations welcome, Northwest DC).


Plan ahead:

  • NMWA Nights late-night soiree returns in May to celebrate the “New Worlds” exhibit. Tickets to these after-hours parties go fast so be sure to snag an entry pass this week (tickets on sale Wed, $25, Northwest DC).


Things to do with kids:

  • Enjoy Star Wars-themed music, character appearances, balloon twisters, caricaturists, face painters, and more at the Nationals’ Star Wars Weekend (Fri-Sun, $16+, Nationals Park).
  • Asia on the Creek is a family-friendly commemoration of culture, food, dance, and music (Sat, free, Frederick).
  • Your kid can learn what it takes to start their own business at Takoma Park Children’s Business Fair (Sat, free, Takoma Park).


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.