8 Actually Fun Things to Do in DC This Weekend

Visit local museums for free and support Black-owned restaurants.

As fall settles in, so does festival season in DC. With celebrations on H Street and Rossyln’s Jazz Fest, you’re guaranteed a good time by just stepping out the door. Not to mention, this weekend kicks off DC's Black Restaurant Week, so now’s a better time than ever to support the area’s Black-owned eateries. For more fun plans in the District this weekend, check out our roundup of the best things to see, eat, and do.

Dance to the latest music videos

Friday, September 17
Online
Remember dancing along to MTV music videos back in the day? This weekend, you can return to your roots and dance along to “Butter” by BTS. Kaitlin Madzelan is teaching a masterclass called Sippin’ where you’ll learn all the moves over an hour and a half. Follow along with the BTS choreography and enjoy a sip or two of liquid courage to get the moves flowing.
Cost: $30

Celebrate National Dance Day

Friday, September 17 – Saturday, September 18
Kennedy Center
If you’re looking to show off your moves or just shake off a stressful week, consider dancing it out at the Kennedy Center. Celebrate all things dance at the National Dance Day Festival in partnership with the American Dance Movement and Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. Enjoy free performances, interactive dance routines, live music, and more.
Cost: Free

Explore H Street at an annual festival

Saturday, September 18
H Street
Spend the day celebrating one of the District’s most popular neighborhoods. The festival will span 11 blocks with more than a dozen stages showcasing a variety of performances. Visit the activity stations, explore artwork, and help H Street grow while supporting its artistic community.
Cost: Free

Jubilate in Jazz Fest

Saturday, September 18
Arlington
There’s something about jazz music that makes everything better, and this weekend you can join up with people who share that sentiment at Rosslyn’s 21st Annual Jazz Fest. Experience performances from local artists like Three Man Soul Machine, Aaron Myers, and Sin Miedo, and after a day of dancing, head over to one of the food trucks and beer and wine bars on site. While the event is free, reservations are strongly encouraged.
Cost: Free

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Courtesy of Love, Tito's

Make fresh food accessible; inspire healthy eating: That’s the idea behind Love, Tito’s Block to Block program, which aims to build community gardens and farms in neighborhoods across the US, one block at a time. In DC, that means teaming up with Dreaming Out Loud to revitalize and enhance their growing space at the Farm at Ft. Stanton, increasing the amount and quality of fresh produce grown and distributed to DC communities in need. To learn more, visit DreamingOutLoud.org.

Visit a local museum for free

Saturday, September 18
Various locations
While many DC museums are already open at no cost, a few more doors open for free this weekend as part of the Smithsonian Magazine’s Museum Day. So take advantage of free admission to Dumbarton House, the Maryland Center for History and Culture, The Woodrow Wilson House, and more.
Cost: Free

Support local spots during Black Restaurant Week

Friday, September 17 – Sunday, September 19
Multiple locations
This weekend marks the beginning of Black Restaurant Week in the DMV. Celebrate by dining in or picking up from a Black-owned restaurant in the area. This year’s event has also expanded to include smoothie bars and food trucks, so be sure to try out as many restaurants as you can.
Cost: Prices vary

Check out artistic archives unseen for decades

Friday, September 17 – Sunday, September 19
Hyattsville, Maryland
Check out the treasured archives of the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center as it celebrates its 40th anniversary with an exhibition showcasing many significant artists. The works are part of a collection resulting from a printmaking and publishing residency that Pyramid operated from 1981 to 2007. Many of the prints have been in storage for the last four decades, remaining unseen by the world at-large. You’ll even have a chance to purchase most of the works in the exhibition, with proceeds going to the art center’s artists.
Cost: Free

Attend a multi-day marketplace event

Saturday, September 18 – Sunday, September 19
Dupont Circle
Explore local brands, artists, and creatives at this three-day event. Tinglao is brought to you by Barrio in partnership with Dupont Underground and includes a series of pop-up shops, art installations, concerts, and parties. Be sure to mask up as face masks are required for this event regardless of vaccination status.
Cost: Prices vary

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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_.