Things to Do

34 Things to Do in the DC Area This Week: Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Quarterfest Crawl, and “Funny Girl” Musical

Plus, Lavender Con book festival.

Photograph courtesy of Ballston Quarter plaza.

Happy Monday, DC!

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival and Quarterfest Crawl return to the DC area this weekend. Also, you can see a new musical at the Kennedy Center.

Best Things to Do This Week and Weekend

June 24-June 30

    1. Smithsonian Folklife Festival. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival returns to the National Mall to uplift Indigenous voices of the Americas. Families can learn about Indigenous heritages and communities through music, food, dance, and hands-on activities. Also, there are concert performances by Nadia Larcher, Pamyua, Doc Native & Spencer Battiest, and other artists (Wed-July 1, free, National Mall). (For a guide to five things we are most looking forward to at the festival this year, click here.)
    2. Quarterfest Crawl. Indulge in food specials and samples from neighborhood eateries, and groove to live music along Ballston Quarter at this weekend’s rescheduled Quarterfest Crawl. There will be family-friendly games and activations, crafts and entertainment from Grace Community Church and the Washington Capitals, and live music on the outdoor plaza by DJ Ricky, Bobby McKeys Dueling Pianos, and other music acts (Sat, free, Arlington).
    3. “Funny Girl”. A revival of the popular Broadway musical Funny Girl opens at the Kennedy Center this week. You can expect to see performances of some of the production’s classic songs such as “Don’t Rain On My Parade” and “I’m the Greatest Star” as the musical narrates the Broadway career of Fanny Brice (Tues-July 14, $49+, Kennedy Center).
    4. Lavender Con. Find a new read this weekend at Lavender Con—a book festival celebrating LGBTQIA+ authors and stories. Book lovers can sit in on panel discussions with writers including Aaron Hamburger, Diane Billas, and Karmen Lee; attend book signings; and shop for books at a pop-up market (Sat-Sun, $35+, Penn Quarter).
    5. Blackstar Symphony: The Music of David Bowie. David Bowie’s final music release was Blackstar. Now, the jazz quartet that worked on the album with Bowie is joining the National Symphony Orchestra for a special performance of new arrangements from that project (Fri-Sat, $29+, Kennedy Center).
    6. “Forensic Science on Trial” exhibit. The new “Forensic Science on Trial” exhibit at Smithsonian National Museum of American History looks at 150 years of trials that were decided by science. You can explore arsenic testing, the first polygraph test, and devices that are used to test bite marks on cadavers (opens Fri, free, Smithsonian National Museum of American History).

Want More Things to Do?

Photograph by Victoria Pickering/Flickr.

Arts and culture:

  • It’s the last chance to see “Photographic Images and Matter: Japanese Prints of the 1970s(closes Fri, free, Northwest DC).
  • View environmental photos by Sarah Hood Salomon at Multiple Exposures Gallery (closes Sun, free, Alexandria).
  • Observe prints and mural art by Nigerian printmaker Bruce Onobrakpeya  in “The Mask and the Cross(through January 21, 2025, free, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art).
  • Play a Pride-themed game of trivia at the National Portrait Gallery (Tues, free, Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery).
  • Put your vocabulary to the test at an Adult Spelling Bee (Tues, free, Alexandria).
  • Attend the opening reception of “A Toast to the Boogie” to view archival pieces from funk music icon George Clinton (Tues, free, Navy Yard).
  • Solve trivia questions about The Princess Bride (Tues, free, Arlington).
  • National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo discusses her latest novel Family Lore at Kennedy Center (Wed, free, Kennedy Center).
  • Author Tomi Adeyemi discusses her book Children of Anguish & Anarchy at MLK Library (Wed, free, MLK Library).
  • Work on your craft, photography, or writing with fellow creatives at this mixer (Wed, $10+, Downtown).
  • Watch an outdoor movie screening of the romantic comedy 50 First Dates on Transit Pier (Thurs, free, Wharf).
  • You can find your next read and sip cocktails at Books & Booze (Sun, $10, Petworth).

Community and heritage:

Theater and shows:

  • Khaled Hosseini’s best-selling novel The Kite Runner comes to life on stage in a new production at the Kennedy Center (Tues-Sun).
  • Laugh out loud at a live sketch comedy performance (Wed, $5 for virtual, $10 for in-person, Northwest DC).
  • See podcasters from the How Long Gone show live at The Atlantis (Thurs, $25+, U Street Corridor).
  • Local ballet troupe Chamber Dance Project presents a stirring bluegrass performance in Ramblin’ (Thurs-Sat, $60+, Penn Quarter).
  • Broadway stars Laura Benanti and Jordan Fisher headline Broadway in the Park (Sat, $33, Vienna).

Music and concerts:

  • Brazilian music group Os Mutantes performs at the Black Cat (Tues, $30+, Shaw).
  • Sarah and the Safe Word plays cabaret-rock (Wed, $15+, U Street Corridor).
  • Mdou Moctar plays at 9:30 Club (Thurs, $28, Shaw).
  • Post-punk band Les Savy Fav arrives in DC to promote their latest project, Oui, LSF (Fri, $25+, Shaw).
  • Alternative rock star Alanis Morissette brings her Triple Moon Tour to Merriweather Post Pavilion this month (Sat-Sun, $39+, Columbia).
  • South African country star Orville Peck brings his Stampede Tour to The Anthem (Sun, $59, Wharf).

Bites and beverages:

  • Stitch & Sip Happy Hour invites knitters and crocheters to make crafts, and enjoy drinks at Paragon Thai (Tues, $10 suggested donation, Cleveland Park).


Things to do with kids:

  • Participate in summer fun with games, art, and music at Met Park with the entire family (Sun, free, Arlington).

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.