Fall in Washington, DC is filled with in-person activities including the return of theater, new exhibits and seasonal favorites.
Alma Thomas 130th Birthday Celebration
Citywide | September – January 2022
Beginning this September, several cultural and educational institutions throughout the city will celebrate the pioneering artist with programming, events and major exhibitions. Participating institutions include the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Gallery of Art, National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Phillips Collection.
After an 18-month closure, the museum reopens with new amenities and experiences, including a small gift shop, a “Dance Party Pod” and a crowd-sourced art installation. The museum also welcomes visiting exhibition focused on Moomins Animations – Thrills and Cuddles, the beloved fairytale creatures living in Moominvalley and created by Finnish author Tove Jansson. The exhibit will be on display in the Visiting Exhibit Hall until Jan. 9, 2022.
Arena Stage | Sept. 3 – Oct. 3, 2021
Toni Stone was the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a men’s league in the 1950s.
The Kennedy Center & The REACH | Sept. 14, 2021 – September 2022
The Kennedy Center’s 50th Anniversary officially kicks off on Sept. 14 with a 50th Anniversary Celebration Concert as well as a grand reopening of all stages and campuses. Programming to celebrate the anniversary is planned through September 2022.
Hirshhorn Museum | Sept. 24, 2021 – July 31, 2022
The largest U.S. exhibition of artwork by groundbreaking multimedia artist, performer, musician and writer Laurie Anderson debuts more than 10 new artworks, interspersed with some of her select key works.
Franklin Park, Downtown DC | Sept. 24-25, 2021
The transformation of Downtown DC's largest greenspace has been nearly a decade in the making. The new park will include a restaurant and pavilion, an expanded and restored fountain plaza and a new children’s garden. Opening weekend features a ribbon cutting ceremony, tours, block party, live music, art and food.
The Wharf | Oct. 2, 2021
Celebrate Oktoberfest at The Wharf with a day of German-inspired food and specials at its waterfront restaurants and shops.
Smithsonian American Art Museum | Oct. 8, 2021 – May 8, 2022
This exhibition brings to life the Venetian glass revival of the nineteenth century on the famed island of Murano and the artistic experimentation the city inspired for artists such as John Singer Sargent and James McNeill Whistler.
Renwick Gallery | Oct. 22, 2021 – March 6, 2022
New Glass Now documents the innovation and dexterity of artists, designers and architects from around the world working in the challenging material of glass. The global survey is designed to highlight the breadth and depth of contemporary glass making.
Capital Pride – The Colorful Fest
Citywide | Oct. 22-24, 2021
Put on by Capital Pride Alliance, the LGBTQ festival is working with the city to identify the safest ways to celebrate and create new traditions throughout DC in October. The new celebration will include special exhibiting opportunities, programming and a twist on the traditional parade.
National Gallery of Art | Oct. 31, 2021 – Jan. 30, 2022
Featuring more than 120 international photographers, The New Woman Behind the Camera explores the diverse “new women” who embraced photography as a mode of professional and personal expression from the 1920s to the 1950s.
Arts & Industries Building | November 2021 - July 2022
To celebrate the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary, the Arts & Industries Building reopens to the public with an exhibit called FUTURES. The experience will fuse awe-inspiring art, technology, design and history, inviting visitors to dream big and imagine many possible futures.
National Building Museum | Nov. 6, 2021
Using photography, video and artifacts, the exhibit examines the border wall from the perspective of architecture and design for a different point of view.
Outside the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum | Nov. 19 – Dec. 23
Operated by the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, DC’s outdoor shopping village kicks off the holiday season. The locally beloved outdoor market continues to support small businesses and entrepreneurs across the region, welcoming shoppers for a safe, secure and enhanced shopping experience.
Ford’s Theatre | Nov. 24 – Dec. 27, 2021
A longtime favorite and Ford’s Theatre holiday tradition, A Christmas Carol returns.
Arena Stage | Nov. 26 – Dec. 26, 2021
With a 1940s Pittsburgh backdrop, seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance.
The Wharf | Dec. 4, 2021
Over 60 beautifully decorated boats parade along the Washington Channel.
The National Theatre | Dec. 7-12
The comedy musical tells the story of Michael Dorsey, a talented but difficult actor who struggles to find work until an act of desperation lands him the role of a lifetime.
Pretty Woman: The Musical
The National Theatre | Dec. 28, 2021 – Jan. 2, 2022
After an incredible run on Broadway, visitors can enjoy one of Hollywood’s most beloved stories on stage in DC.