Events

Actually Fun (And Safe) Things to Do in DC This Weekend

Celebrate MLK Day with thank you notes, virtual events, and a new beer.

National Museum of African American History
National Museum of African American History | Flickr/Brook Ward
National Museum of African American History | Flickr/Brook Ward

We’re all still reeling from last week’s events. Yes, it’s only been a week since the historic deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol. But there has been some positive news. COVID-19 vaccinations are being distributed throughout the country—prioritizing healthcare and frontline workers and the elderly—and the inauguration of a new administration is right around the corner. A long weekend is always a welcome gift, giving us an extra day to reflect, recharge, and relax. From sending thank you notes to Capitol custodial staff to virtual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, this list of things to do this weekend will ease your mind, fill your stomach, and nurture your soul.

Send thank you notes to Capitol staff

Friday, January 15 - Sunday, January 17
Home
In the aftermath of the riots that broke out at the Capitol on Wednesday, January 6, the building’s custodial staff, many of whom were also inside the Capitol and fearing for their lives on that day, have cleaned the monument so that lawmakers can return to work. One local teacher came up with a campaign to write letters of appreciation to the custodial staff. Show your appreciation for those individuals who’ve no doubt been working tirelessly to clean up the damage. 
Cost: Free
 

Enjoy an inauguration-themed meal

Friday, January 15 - Sunday, January 17
Capitol Hill
There are many ways to recognize the introduction of a new administration, many of which include food. Check out Fight Club DC’s inauguration day sandwich and drink specials. Try a Biden’s Bobby, the restaurant’s take on President-elect Joe Biden’s regular sandwich order at Delaware sandwich chain Capriotti’s (basically Thanksgiving leftovers on a hoagie roll). In honor of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, order the VP Tuna Melt sandwich, inspired by her recipe. All specials are available for patio service, carryout, and delivery.   
Cost: Prices vary
 

Try a new beer

Friday, January 15 - Sunday, January 17
Halethorpe, Maryland
With how the past few weeks have been going, you may need a beer or two this weekend. Try the latest limited-edition brew from Guinness Open Gate Brewery called See Us. The brown ale with sweet potato, lactose, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and vanilla was created by Black beer enthusiasts Jacquelyn “Jackie” Wonsey and Courtney Holden. Support a beer inspired by family tradition and increasing the presence and visibility of Black people in the beer community. All proceeds of the specialty beer will benefit the Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF), a local nonprofit that works to eliminate educational and employment barriers for low-wage workers. The brew is available for curbside pickup and indoor or outdoor dining.
Cost: Prices vary
 

Share your 2020 story with the National Museum of American History

Friday, January 15 - Sunday, January 17
Online
Last year was unprecedented in many ways, from pandemics and turbulent elections to Black Lives Matters protests. Some say that the first couple of weeks of January have felt like a year in itself. Either way, we all have a notable 2020 story to share and the National Museum of American History wants to hear it. Contribute to history this weekend and share how your life has changed during these times. Put your writer’s hat on and add your story to the museum’s digital time capsule and send a message to future generations about life today.    
Cost: Free

Explore a new Balkan street food menu at a local favorite

Friday, January 15 - Sunday, January 17            
Various locations
If you’re a food enthusiast or just looking for some new meals to try, visit Balkan restaurant Ambar this weekend to try Executive Chef Ivan Zivkovic’s new menu. Try some of the large sharable sandwiches served on seven-inch bread that feature slow cooked, locally sourced produce and are baked in a brick oven.   
Cost: $12.99-16.99
 

Celebrate Martin Luther King Day virtually

Monday, January 18
Online
There are many ways to observe the celebration of the life and legacy of civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. Visit the National Museum of African American History & Culture virtually this weekend for “The People’s Holiday.” Tune into a digital performance from Grammy-award winning bassist, composer, and educator Christian McBride. Enjoy the 45-minute jazz concert featuring performances from students from The Juilliard School and listen to poetry read by award-winning poet Evie Shockley. Don’t forget to register for the event that starts at 4 pm.    
Cost: Free
 

Check out the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ latest exhibitions online

Monday, January 18
Online
Just because the museum is currently closed to in-person visits, doesn’t mean you can’t expose yourself to its latest exhibitions. Check out the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ latest exhibition titled, Reclamation: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals. Throughout the year, nine interdisciplinary artists will deliver a virtual content experience that re-contextualizes traditional gender roles. Participate in the exhibition in the exhibition by sharing recipes, anecdotes, photos and reflections related to food  
Cost: Free

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Oyin Adedoyin is a Baltimore-area freelance journalist with previous experience at The Wall Street JournalPolitico, and The Baltimore Sun. On the off chance that she’s not writing, you can probably find her nose buried in a good book or learning new songs on the ukulele. Follow her on Twitter @Oyin_Adedoyin_.