Things to Do

39 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: DC/DOX Film Festival, Columbia Heights Day, and “Collecting Memories” at Library of Congress

Plus, Innovations in Flight Day at Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center.

Attendees at Live! At the Library events get special access to the Thomas Jefferson Building reading room. Photograph by Alvin Robinson/Flickr.

Happy Monday, DC!

There’s an eclectic lineup of fun activities on this week’s schedule. You can binge-watch documentaries at the DC/DOX Film Festival, attend a new exhibition opening at the Library of Congress, or celebrate a local neighborhood at Columbia Heights Day.

Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

June 10-June 16

    1. DC/DOX Film Festival. Over the span of four days, during the second edition of the DC/DOX Film Festival, moviegoers can view full-length documentaries and short films representing 17 different countries, and sit in on conversations with filmmakers. Opening night at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History screens the biographical film Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story (Thurs-Sun, $10+, various DC locations).
    2. Columbia Heights Day. In 2006 Columbia Heights Day began as a grassroots festival to highlight the neighborhood’s fun and diversity. Now, the day-long event continues at Harriet Tubman Elementary with family-friendly music, art, double dutch, an eating contest, a salsa workshop, and carnival entertainment (Sat, free, Columbia Heights)
    3. “Collecting Memories” at the Library of Congress. The Library of Congress is opening the David M. Rubenstein Treasures Gallery with an inaugural exhibit, “Collecting Memories.” The new gallery displays unique objects and artifacts such as Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, a map from the Lewis and Clark expedition, and original lyrics from The Sound of Music (Thurs, free, but timed-entry passes required, Library of Congress).
    4. “Portraits” by Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. Portraits is a new nine-movement performance by the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. Watch the vibrant performance group’s examination of the human experience, culture, and identity through visual art, dance, and music (Sun, $25+, Kennedy Center).
    5. Innovations in Flight. The National Air and Space Museum’s popular aviation event returns to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center this weekend. Innovations in Flight is a family-friendly celebration where all ages can discover engineering and design innovations, and meet pilots. More than 50 aircrafts will be on display outside of the center, while visitors can learn about air mobility inside the museum (Sat, free, but outdoor tickets sold out, tickets aren’t required for indoor activities, Chantilly).
    6. Friday Night Dancing. There are movies, concerts, and now dancing at the Wharf this summer. Put on your dancing shoes, and join the outdoor party. The all-ages dance nights begin this Friday with a live country line dance lesson taught by DC Rawhides. Practice your two-step to the tunes of Human Country Box (Fri, July 12, August 9, October 4 free, Wharf).

Want More Things to Do?

Photograph of Peso Pluma by John Rodriguez.

Arts and culture:

  • Historian Laura Beers chats about her book Orwell’s Ghosts at Busboys and Poets (Wed, free, Shaw).
  • Curators and collectors lead a conversation about Influence and Collecting at the National Museum of Women in the Arts (Wed, $20, Downtown).
  • Make a new friend, find a new book, and chat with authors at Lost City Books Summer Salon (Wed, free, Northwest DC).
  • Bring a blanket or a lawn chair to a screening of The Marvels at Franklin Park (Thurs, free, Downtown).
  • One of our favorite ’00s flicks is showing at the Wharf this week. Watch a sunset screening of Mean Girls with your friend group (Thurs, free, Wharf).
  • Editors James Spooner and Chris Terry discuss their anthology Black Punk Now at the DC public library (Thurs, free, MLK Library).
  • Take your dad to the luxury *The Capital car show this Father’s Day weekend. At CityCenterDC, spectators can view a collection of rare vintage vehicles (Sat, free, Downtown).

Community and heritage:

  • Black-owned community hub Sycamore & Oak turns one year old this weekend. The celebration will include a pop-up market, food and wine tastings, a moon bounce, and go-go performances (Fri-Sun, free+, Congress Heights).
  • There’s a fireworks show and history lectures at Scotland Juneteenth Heritage Festival (Sat-June 19, free+, Bethesda, Potomac).
  • All ages can participate in storytime, crafts, and a book signing, and listen to live jazz at the Smithsonian’s Juneteenth Community Day (Sat, free, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture).
  • Go on a Father’s Day Bird Walk through Fort Totten Park (Sun, free, Fort Totten).

Theater and shows:

  • An evening with Chamber Dance Project’s Patric Palkens invites enthusiasts to watch two dance film shorts, and participate in a dance workshop (Mon, $25, Penn Quarter).
  • Attend AirOtic Soiréea sensual burlesque cirque-style cabaret at Hook Hall (Thurs-Fri, $70+, Georgia Avenue).
  • Attend a variety show with Seth Meyers writers this month (Fri-Sat, $35+, Kennedy Center).
  • Comedian Tom Papa has a live standup show at the Warner Theatre (Sat, $41+, Downtown).
  • The Pan American Symphony Orchestra and flamenco dancer Maria Juncal present Pasión y Fuego: The Music of Spain (Sat, $55+, Kennedy Center).

Music and concerts:

  • Sunset Sounds concert series at Alethia Tanner Park kicks off with The Experience Band (every Tues through July, free, NoMa).
  • Mexican music superstar Peso Pluma arrives in DC to promote his latest album, Éxodo (Wed, $39+, Capital One Arena).
  • Danish rock duo the Raveonettes celebrate the 20th anniversary of their debut album at Black Cat (Wed, $30, Shaw).
  • Bachata group Aventura performs a reunion show at Capital One Arena (Wed, $84+, Capital One Arena).
  • Eat lunch while listening to live music in Franklin Park by Washington Performing Arts-Men & Women of the Gospel Choir and King Street Sax (Thurs, free, Downtown).
  • Soul and funk singer Frankie Beverly is on a farewell music tour (Fri, $134+, Capital One Arena).
  • Country singer Arlo McKinley plays at Capital One Hall with rock singer Calista Garcia (Sat, $20, Tysons).
  • Commemorate Black Music Month with the return of Go-Go on the Rooftop. This weekend’s concert at the library is headlined by go-go groovers Black Alley (Sun, free, MLK Library).

Bites and beverages:

  • Celebrate all things watermelon with more than 25 fruit carvings at the first annual Watermelon Festival (Sat, free, Cathedral Commons).


  • Watch more than 30 matches at the Major League Pickleball by Margaritaville tournament (Thurs-Sun, $40+, Southeast DC).
  •  Fútbol legend Lionel Messi leads Argentina in a friendly match against Guatemala (Fri, $95+, FedEx Field).

Get involved:

Plan ahead:

  • Don’t miss next week’s Jazz in the Garden Juneteenth celebration. You can hear tunes by Muneer Nasser Quintet (free, lottery for June 21 closes Fri, National Gallery of Art).

Things to do with kids:

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An earlier version of this post called this event CarCoterie, but it is presented by CarCoterie. We regret the error.

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.