Events

Actually Fun Things to Do in DC This Weekend

Get lit with DC Cocktail Week and the National Harbor tree lighting.

The holiday season always brings about a flurry of emotions. From the anxiety that accompanies cooking the perfect Thanksgiving dinner to the expenses spent on the perfect holiday gifts, this time of year is certainly nerve-wracking. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned from the pandemic, it’s that the little things in life make a big difference. So, take a load of this weekend, maybe even try something new—whether you’re looking to try some drinks as part of DC’s Cocktail Week, tune into a virtual Native American film showcase, or visit a new exhibit. Here are all of the fun things to do in the DC-area this weekend while staying safe.

Watch a virtual jazz performance

Friday, November 20
Online
Nothing soothes the soul quite like jazz music. As a part of a series from the DC National Museum of Women in the Arts, these live-streamed performances from local jazz singer Heidi Martin last all month long. Brew yourself a cup of tea and stick around after the show to see an interview with the performer.  
Cost: Free
 

See a classic movie at the drive-in

Friday, November 20 – Saturday, November 21
Alexandria
Drive-ins aren’t just for the summertime—and this weekend you can enjoy a double or single feature. This lineup includes racehorse movie Seabiscuit and 42, a film inspired by baseball legend Jackie Robinson.
Cost: $35
 

Go holiday shopping  

Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22
Alexandria
The holiday season is finally here and it’s never too early to start shopping for gifts for your loved ones. If you find yourself in the Alexandria area this weekend, take advantage of the holiday offerings at nearly 50 of the city’s independent boutiques. Utilize deals on curbside pick-up, shipping and private appointments to stay safe this season. Those interested can also enter the Alexandria Santa-gram Giveaway each week through December 20 with your receipts from supporting retailers for a chance to win one of five weekly personalized messages from Santa.   
Cost: Prices vary  
 

Visit a stunning outdoor museum

Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22
Potomac  
They say that a little fresh air every once in a while nourishes the soul and clears the mind. Add aesthetically pleasing architecture and botanical structures and you’ve got the perfect weekend escape, even if only for a few hours. Visit the Glenstone Museum between 10 am and 5 pm for a free experience. Check out high quality post-World War II artwork in a series of refined indoor and outdoor spaces.
Cost: Free

See the tree lighting at National Harbor

Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22  
National Harbor
Nothing says the holiday season quite like a tree lighting. Whether you never miss it or are curious to pay a visit for the first time, check out the lighting of the National Harbor’s 56-foot tree. (Hopefully it’s in a little better shape than the one at Rockefeller Center.) The tree will be lit every evening thereafter through the holidays. Stop by this weekend to catch “snowfall” along with the lighting.
Cost: Free
 

Watch the Native Cinema Showcase

Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22
Online
By now, we’re no stranger to the virtual film festival. Now is as good a time as any to indulge in the best of the best in Native film. Catch this year’s Native Cinema Showcase through the National Museum of the American Indian from November 18-27. This weekend, take your pick of short films, award-winning documentaries, and more with the entire family.
Cost: Free
 

Participate in DC Cocktail Week

Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22
Various locations
If you needed an excuse to sit back, relax, and grab a drink this weekend, then you’re in luck. Celebrate DC Cocktail Week by enjoying food and drink pairing for dine-in, outdoor dining, takeout, and curbside pickup at restaurants and bars all over the DC area. Modena Italiana, King St Oyster Bar, Millie’s, and Redstone American Grill are just a few of many participating locations.    
Cost: Prices vary
 

Visit Artechouse’s latest installation

Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22  
National Mall
Artechouse DC is now open with additional safety guidelines to encourage social distancing and COVID-19 prevention. This weekend, stroll through the latest exhibit titled Crystalline, inspired by Pantone Color of the Year: classic blue. Immerse yourself into each of the museum’s three locations which are representative of a different element (earth, water, and air). The exhibit is inspired by the turbulence of the year of 2020. Bring a friend or a loved one to engage in each location and maybe foster some contemplation and reflect on this year.  
Cost: $17-24
 

Binge watch holiday movies on Netflix

Friday, November 20 - Sunday, November 22
Online
It’s that time again. If you’re a regular Netflix consumer like we are, it’s hard to miss the rolling stream of both old and new holiday-themed movies that have been released. If the increasingly dropping temperatures are keeping you inside this weekend, it might not be a bad idea to order in (or make a home cooked meal) and indulge in some new arrivals and old favorites. From the newly released Holidate to Operation Christmas Drop, Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey to Netflix’s Klaus or the classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas, there’s something for everyone.
Cost: Free with Netflix subscription

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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_.