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Lunar New Year parade

70+ Things to Do This February in Washington, DC

Experience winter in DC and special celebrations for Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day along with new museum exhibits, plays, concerts and shows.

Make plans for unforgettable experiences in the nation's capital this February and throughout 2024. After you’ve read through this list, make sure to check out our things to do for the week and weekend as well as our accessibility guides to monuments and museums on the National Mall.

Book a winter excursion with DC Design Tours
Make it a design date. Get out and enjoy a guided walk around the city while learning about fascinating architecture with DC Design Tours. Excursion options include treks through Dupont Circle, Georgetown, U Street, Adams Morgan, the National Mall and more. Book a private winter tour and receive $50 off with coupon code "DCDESIGNDATE”. Also special for February: a 10% discount with the code “DCDESIGNPRES” for select tours on Presidents Day Weekend.

 

Family at NMAAHC

Celebrate Black History Month in DC
Black history and culture are an essential part of DC’s identity, which means that there are numerous ways to celebrate Black History Month in the city. The nation’s capital is also full of year-round ways to honor the Black experience at museums and memorials. You can also read up on the District's Black-owned restaurants and Black chefs.

 

Ice skate in DC
Lace up some skates and triple axel 'round the District at popular ice skating rinks at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden, Washington Harbour in Georgetown, Canal Park in Capitol Riverfront and The Wharf. All will have opened by the end of November. Make sure to read our detailed breakdown of each spot.

 

Washington Capitals

Grab discounted tickets and attend a Capitals, Wizards or Go-Go game
With the winter season comes incredible indoor sports action in the District. The NHL’s Washington Capitals and the NBA’s Washington Wizards play their exciting games inside Capital One Arena, while the Capital City Go-Go, part of the NBA’s developmental G-League, take to the court inside Entertainment & Sports Arena. You can purchase discounted tickets to games for all three teams at the links below.
Caps Ticket Discount (and free hat with purchase)
Wizards Ticket Discount (up to 20% off)
Go-Go Ticket Discount (up to 25% off)

 

Band of Horses – Jan. 30
Hailing from Seattle, Wa., Band of Horses are decidedly not a grunge band, but healthily carry on the tradition of rock music from the region nonetheless. Their soaring, reverb-laden tracks are equal parts indie rock and folk rock, making for a delectable mix of sounds across a six-LP career. The Grammy-nominated quintet will play The Fillmore Silver Spring’s sweet digs for one night only.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

 

Shen Yun – Through Feb. 4
China was once known as the Middle Kingdom, and Shen Yun will bring this ancient world to life through dance, an orchestra and incredible backdrops. All these elements come together to reveal 5,000 years of awe-inspiring Chinese stories and history. Discover new dimensions, powerful heritage and historical wisdom in this jaw-dropping series of performances.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Broadway Center Stage: tick, tick… BOOM! – Through Feb. 4
Jonathan Larson, the creator of RENT, also penned this stripped-down, but no-less captivating musical that focuses on life, death and the necessity of art. Featuring just three actors, the musical production is a semi-autobiographical and follows the travails of Jon, a composer struggling to succeed in New York’s competitive theater scene.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Etched by Light: Photogravures from the Collection, 1840-1940 – Through Feb. 4
Uncover a notable (but oft-forgotten) step in the evolution of photography. Photogravure was a detailed process that involved creating identical photographic prints in ink, practiced by artists and scientists all over Europe from the 1840s-70s. Some of the most incredible photographs ever created came from this new approach, with the pieces offering lush colors and outstanding tonal range on matte surfaces. You can see marvelous work by James Craig Annan, Peter Henry Emerson, Alfred Stieglitz, Man Ray and Laure Albin-Guillot.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Winter Lantern Festival – Through Feb. 18
Explore Chinese myths, legends and zodiacs though a dazzling wonderland of over 1,000 handmade lanterns and displays. Discover designs featuring mammoths, polar bears, penguins and more. Plus, enjoy interactive light swings, see-saws and tunnels.
Tickets
8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons, VA 22102

 

1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions – Through Feb. 25, 2024
On the 125th anniversary of the Spanish-American-Cuban-Philippine War, the National Portrait Gallery will open the first exhibition to examine this pivotal period through the lens of portraiture and visual culture. In 1898, the U.S. became an empire, conquering overseas territories and dramatically altering (or destroying) cultures in the process. Portraits of U.S. expansionists sit beside portraits of gallant rebels who fought U.S. imperialism, allowing for multifaceted viewpoints. More than 90 artworks from collections in Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam, Spain and the United States constitute the fascinating exhibit that revisits the consequences of the Spanish-American War (1898), the Congressional Joint Resolution to annex Hawai‘i (July 1898) and the Philippine-American War (1899–1913).
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Love, Love, Love – Through March 3
Head to London circa 1967 in this exciting play at Studio Theatre. Instead of Austin Powers, you’ll meet Ken and Sandra – two free spirits who honestly could have run into Austin at a party. Love, Love, Love then follows the couple over the next four decades, cataloguing their journey from free love all the way to retirement. By the time 2011 rolls around, their adult daughter has accused them of throwing away the world they inherited.
Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Shaun the Sheep: Flock This Way – Through May 12
The popular British animated series, Shaun the Sheep, partnered with the National Children’s Museum on an interactive exhibit that builds problem-solving and motor skills while also exploring literacy and technology. Kids can mix up Shaun’s pal Bitzer’s face to create new expressions, create stop motion animation with items from the scrap heap, hop in a truck and rescue a member of the flock in the top of a tree and much, much more.
Tickets & Admission
National Children’s Museum, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

The Future of Orchids: Conservation and Collaboration – Through April 28
The Smithsonian American Art Museum features 200 varieties of orchids in the Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard during a special exhibition. Organized by Smithsonian Gardens in collaboration with the U.S. Botanic Garden, visitors can admire living collections and a series of newly commissioned and loaned paintings and sculptures by multimedia artist Phaan Howng. The exhibit also highlights the challenges facing wild orchids today and examines the work done by conservationists to protect the flower.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Wizards Friday Night Concert Series: 50th Anniversary of Hip-Hop Tribute Night – Feb. 2
The Washington Wizards kick off a new season of Friday night concerts with a tribute to hip-hop legends. Following the conclusion of the Wiz’s game against the Miami Heat (last year’s Eastern Conference champions), icons like KRS-One, Chubb Rock, Black Sheep, Lady of Rage, Experience Unlimited (EU) and many more will perform for the Capital One Arena crowd. Note that your ticket to the game includes admission to the concert.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

An Evening with Seth MacFarlane and Liz Gillies – Feb. 2
Two multitalented performers take the stage at the Kennedy Center for a unique show with the National Symphony Orchestra. Five-time Emmy winner Seth MacFarlane, creator of Family Guy and The Orville, will be joined by Liz Gillies, Broadway star and the lead of CW’s Dynasty, will brilliantly mix comedy and lush, orchestral jazz duets during a night you’re not soon to forget.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

The Girl Who Became Legend – Feb. 2-11
The Kennedy Center welcomes a cutting-edge, family-friendly production from ZACH Theatre in Austin Tx. Featuring a cast of actors who will accompany themselves on fiddles and banjos, The Girl Who Became Legend zeroes in on the town of Dustbin and the story of Raina. After years and years of drought, Raina spots a cloud in the sky, only to be rebuffed by the people of Dustbin. She’s inspired to embark on an adventure, one that brings her to Calamity Jane, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan and even a thunderstorm.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Awareness: Through An African American Lens – Feb. 2 – March 2
Zenith Gallery celebrates the success of Black artists with a special exhibit and artist receptions in February. Many of the painters have been showcased at the local museum for years; others are making their debut. Visitors will notice distinct styles across a selection of 11 artists. And, on each Saturday of the month, the Gallery hosts two or more artists for in-depth, in-person talks.
Wednesday – Saturday, 12-6 p.m. (or by appointment) |  More Info
Zenith Gallery, 1429 Iris Street NW, Washington, DC 20012

 

National Museum of Asian Art

National Museum of Asian Art

Lunar New Year 2024 Family Festival at the National Museum of Asian Art – Feb. 3
The Smithsonian's free National Museum of Asian Art, known for an extensive collection of vibrant and colorful Asian art, will ring in the Year of the Dragon with a family festival filled with all kinds of fun dedicated to the Lunar New Year. Expect performances, talks, tours, hands-on activities and more.
11 a.m. |  Free Admission |  More Info
Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Don’t Mute DC in collaboration with Go-Go Museum – Feb. 3
The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage is the perfect venue for a free showcase of DC’s only indigenous music. The Go-Go Museum & Café and Don’t Mute DC collaborate for a program packed with the most danceable, groove-based music around, a signature of the nation’s capital and a helluva way to start a party. Make sure to reserve tickets in advance to the free concert.
6 p.m. |  Reserve
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC

 

Merrily We Roll Along – Feb. 3 – March 3
Stephen Sondheim and George Furth collaborated on this beloved play that turns the traditional musical on its ear. The Keegan Theatre stages the duo’s brilliant rumination on friendship, compromise and the cost of success. The audience follows a trio of close friends across 20 years, tracing the narrative backwards in time from their lowest moment to their highest, with the journey marked by incredible songs and routines.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

 

Matteo Lane: The Al Dente Tour – Feb. 4 & 10
Showcased in Netflix’s Stand Out: An LGBTQ+ Celebration and The Comedy Lineup, Matteo Lane has been named one of Variety’s 10 Comics to Watch thanks to consistently hilarious performances. He’s shared the stage with Aziz Ansari, Hasan Minhaj and Chelsea Handler, among may other stars. He also painted a mural for the Obamas’ headquarters in Chicago and trained as an opera singer. Talk about multitalented! Don’t miss two nights of Lane at the Kennedy Center.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Free Community Days at the National Museum of Women in the Arts – Feb. 4 & 14
The renovated and expanded National Museum of Women in the Arts welcomes visitors back with free admission on two days this February: Sunday, Feb. 14 and Valentine’s Day (Wednesday, Feb. 14). In fact, the museum hosts Free Community Days twice each month (the first Sunday and second Wednesday). Get reacquainted with the museum’s awesome collections as well as its latest exhibit, The Sky’s the Limit.
Register
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes – Feb. 4 – March 3
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company’s new production follows the Sensational Sea Mink-ettes as the group prepares for its homecoming half-time dance show. Their fellow students, the administration, the alumni and their families all have high expectations, and as the moment draws near, the Sea Mink-ettes have a fair share of drama to sort out. Vivian J.O. Barnes’ hilarious new play about the value of teamwork receives its world premiere.
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

The 16th Annual Lincoln Oratory Festival – Feb. 6-7
While Ford’s Theatre is known for its role in American history, the theatre celebrates Lincoln’s birthday each year by looking forward. The 16th annual Lincoln Oratory Festival features participating local students performing a range of historical speeches from a curation of abridged texts. This year’s selections include speeches by Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, Eleanor Roosevelt and many more. The event is free to attend.
Free Admission |  Register
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Witness the mastery of The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater – Feb. 6-11
The preeminent modern dance company returns to the Kennedy Center from Feb. 6-11 with a program that celebrates the company’s illustrious history and aims to bring audiences together in joy. The production will feature Ailey’s most famous composition, Revelations, as well as numerous other works by modern masters. Get ready to be united by the power of dance.

Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Ancestral Places: People of African Descent at Tudor Place – Feb. 6 – April 21
Tudor Place will be outfitted to showcase the historic house from the perspective of the enslaved and free individuals who worked and lived on the property. Through maps, artifacts, photos and audio recordings, visitors will be educated on the ways these individuals dealt with everyday life at Tudor Place as well as how they practiced resistance and activism.
Register
Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

 

Smithsonian Associates

The Stories Behind the Chinese Menu – Feb. 8
Learn the stories behind Chinese-American dishes, including the connection between scallion pancakes and pizza, how dumplings have cured frostbitten ears and wonton soup's role in the creation of the world, with this online evening lecture and seminar from Smithsonian Associates. Drawing on her new book, Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends Behind Your Favorite Foods, Newberry and Caldecott honoree Grace Lin will converse with journalist Lisa Ling on a range of topics relating to Chinese food. Expect to hear about squabbling dragons, magical fruits, hungry monks and much more. Note that there is special pricing for individuals 18 and under.
Virtual |  Register

 

The Juke Joint

The Juke Joint

The Juke Joint – Feb. 8-10, 16-17 & 22-24
Travel back in time and savor a night curated to perfection at The Westin Washington, DC City Center. The Juke Joint offers food and drink pairings that will highlight Black cuisine through the decades; we're talking chicken and waffles, fried catfish, five-cheese mac and cheese, collard greens and much, much more. Your ticket includes a three-course menu packed with culinary greatness.
6 p.m. |  Tickets
The Westin Washington, DC City Center, 1400 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Marc Anthony – Feb. 9
The top-selling tropical salsa artist of all-time takes on Capital One Arena this February. Marc Anthony has been a smashing crossover success, conquering the pop charts while also acting and producing in films and television shows. The Grammy Award winner certainly knows how to put on a live show, so buckle up for an exciting evening.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Smithsonian American Art Museum's Lunar New Year Celebration – Feb. 10
The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) honors the Lunar New Year with this free celebration presented in partnership with the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the United States of America. Enjoy a plethora of Chinese and Korean traditions as well as dances, performances, arts and crafts, food and much more. The Kogod Courtyard Cafe will also offer a special Lunar New Year menu. Be sure to explore even more activities on SAAM’s Lunar New Year Family Zone.
11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Info
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

The Wharf

The Wharf

Mardi Gras Parade & Party at The Wharf – Feb. 10
Visit DC's most exciting development for a spirited parade down Wharf Street, live music, Hurricane cocktails for adults, craft stations for kids, fireworks and so much more. The free event will honor Mardi Gras and will see The Wharf turn into a mini-New Orleans for the afternoon. Tickets are not required, but get there early for a good spot. The parade starts on Blair Alley at 3:30 p.m.
3-7 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Info
The Wharf, 590 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Jennifer Bartlett: In and Out of the Garden – Feb. 10 – April 30
One of the most ambitious projects of Jennifer Bartlett’s career is the centerpiece of the latest exhibit at The Phillips Collection. During a 1979-80 winter stay at a friend’s rented house in Nice, France, Bartlett embarked on what would turn into a years-long quest to depict a small, rundown garden on the property from literally hundreds of perspectives. Known for her rigorous combination of mathematical elements, abstract expressionism and minimalism, Bartlett’s artistic interpretations of the garden evolved from freehand drawings to paintings on steel plates, canvas and glass, many of which are featured in the exhibition.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

DC Lunar New Year Parade – Feb. 11
Join Mayor Muriel Bowser in downtown DC for the 2024 Lunar New Year Parade in honor of the Year of the Dragon. The annual parade includes colorful and diverse contingents, a ceremony with traditional performances and an exciting firecracker finale. The parade will step off at 2 p.m. at 6th and I streets NW and the staged ceremony begins at the end of the parade route at approximately 3 p.m. at 6th and H streets.
2 p.m. |  More Info
6th and I Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

DJ Shadow – Feb. 11
The king of instrumental hip-hop has now been raiding dustbins and turning forgotten sounds into gold for more than 30 years. Beginning with his debut album in 1996, DJ Shadow has revolutionized the sound of hip-hop, mashing samples, scratching, old singles and TV clips into a beautiful cacophony. His influence on the genre is incalculable. The icon is playing consecutive nights at 9:30 Club after the first night sold out quickly.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

The Anxious Eye: German Expressionism and Its Legacy – Feb. 11 – May 27
One of the 20th century’s most important artistic movements takes center stage at the National Gallery of Art. German Expressionists who first came to prominence in the early part of the 20th century are featured throughout, including Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Emil Nolde. Their influence can be registered through the contemporary pieces in the exhibition, including work by Leonard Baskin, Nicole Eisenman and Orit Hofshi. In total, visitors can marvel at more than 70 prints, drawings, illustrated books, portfolios and sculptures.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Ain't Too Proud – Feb. 13-18
If you think the music of The Temptations is fantastic, just wait until you hear their story. The Kennedy Center hosts the Broadway smash Ain’t Too Proud, a musical that will make you want to dance in the aisles. Five kids from Detroit are discovered by the legendary Berry Gordy, then signed to Motown, then launched into an unforgettable career filled with chart-topping hits. Along the way, both friendship and betrayal enter into the story, in addition to civil rights struggles in the country at-large. Don’t miss this Tony Award-winning song-and-dance extravaganza that also offers a captivating tale.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Spend Valentine's Day in the District
The nation’s capital shines as a romantic destination, especially on Valentine's Day. Treat your significant other to one of many dynamic experiences in the city. If you're looking for even more date night inspiration, check out our full guide to the romantic side of DC.

 

An Evening with Eric Roberson – Feb. 14
Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter (and Howard University alum) Eric Roberson returns to the Kennedy Center after selling out the venue in 2022. The Valentine’s Day show means a beautiful and romantic night of music inside the Concert Hall, where Roberson will showcase his talent through his acclaimed original songs.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Umphrey’s McGee – Feb. 14-15
One of the country’s most well-traveled and dearly adored bands, Umphrey’s McGee continues to whip up their own special stew of rock, with unpredictable set lists and improvisations that have made them a mainstay in the jam band scene. Don’t think you’re seeing another Phish rip-off, though: Umphrey’s is well-versed in rock history, blending a wide range of influences that includes Frank Zappa, The Beatles and Iron Maiden. Don’t be surprised if you hear a little folk, jazz or bluegrass mixed in too. The group plays consecutive nights at the iconic 9:30 Club.
Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Jazz Icons: A Fine Romance – Feb. 14-18
Join the Washington Ballet and the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra for a tribute to pioneering women in jazz as well as works inspired by groundbreaking composers. The unique and romantic journey through jazz history promises an unforgettable celebration of music and dance and will include renditions of songs by Bill Evans, Thelonius Monk, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Mary Lou Williams and many more.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Drama Queen Dinner – Feb. 15
Experience dinner and a show like no other. Join Lyle's for a post-Valentine's Day drag show dinner with Miss Leggs Benedict. Grab your gal pals or sweetheart to enjoy good food, good company and a night of fabulous entertainment.
Dinner: 5-10 p.m., Show: 7 p.m. |  More Info
Lyle's, 1731 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Where We Belong – Feb. 15 – March 10
Debuted virtually to DC audiences in 2021, this one-woman piece comes home after a successful national tour. In association with the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, the Folger Theatre hosts Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet’s riveting tale. Set in 2015, Where We Belong follows Sayet on a voyage to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare. She finds a country that will not acknowledge its own role in colonialism just as the Brexit vote is set to occur. Madeline’s story echoes the journey taken by her ancestors in the 1700s following treatise betrayals in the U.S. and in turn, presents what it means to live and belong in a world increasingly globalized.
Tickets
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington DC 20003

 

At Grandma's House

At Home At Grandma's House – Feb. 16-18
View a collection of works from eight local artists that explore the complexities of home and family. Photography from Obi Okolo, Amari Hemmings, AB Carson, Holly Harris, Michelle May-Curry, Stephen Miller and Deidre Pulley will be on display for three days only (RSVP below). The showcase weaves together narratives of joy, loss, grief, agency, identity and nostalgia in an attempt to find common healing and understanding through powerful works of art.
RSVP

 

Tempestuous Elements – Feb. 16 – March 17
Arena Stage's February marquee reveals the struggle of Anna Julia Cooper, a Black teacher who fought for her students’ rights to an advanced curriculum. In a scandal concocted by the government, her time as principal of DC's historic M Street School was sabotaged by her colleagues and neighbors. Witness the journey of this formidable Black feminist’s fight for educational equity and legitimacy at the turn of the 20th century.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Constitution Hall

Lunar New Year Festival at DAR Museum – Feb. 17
Join the DAR Museum in collaboration with the Vietnam Society, the Taiwan Economic and Cultural Representative Office and the Fairfax High School Korean Club for a celebration of Lunar New Year traditions. This free, family-friendly event will feature live performances, activities and games.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Info
1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

 

Rare Essence – Feb. 17
Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center hosts one of DC’s signature bands for a free show. The distinctly DC venue will be perfect for Rare Essence and their inspiring take on go-go, the District’s de-facto, go-to sound. Expect non-stop rhythm, infectious sing-alongs and a party-like atmosphere. Rare Essence knows how to fire up and incorporate a crowd – so much so that they’re known as The Wickedest Band Alive. Make sure you reserve your tickets well ahead of the event.
6 p.m. |  Register
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Speak Softly – Feb. 17
Morris American Bar turns back the clock for an immersive, The Great Gatsby-like experience at Union Station. Expect an evening packed with Roaring Twenties glamour, including jazz tunes performed by a big band, plenty of martinis, aerialists, a DJ, speakeasy suites, burlesque shows and more. Put on your favorite flapper dress or dapper suit and get ready to party the night away.
Tickets
Union Station, 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

Blossom to Beverage: The Story of Chocolate – Feb. 17-18
The National Museum of the American Indian goes deep on the history of chocolate during a program offered on consecutive days. The free event will unearth the symbolism and story of the cacao tree, which is the essential ingredient to chocolate-making. Hands-on activities, including art-making, are part of the festivities.
More Info
Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

2024 Go-Go Museum Honors – Feb. 18
Four years ago, Mayor Bowser officially designated go-go as the official music of DC. The Go-Go Museum & Café will celebrate that accolade as well as a host of go-go icons during this ceremony and fundraiser. Honorees include the Mayor, Big Tony from Trouble Funk, DC Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Mr. William Julius “JuJu” House and many more. The Experience Band will perform as part of the festivities.
Tickets
550 C Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Living the Dream…Singing the Dream – Feb. 18
The Washington Performing Arts and Choral Arts Society of Washington choirs come together for an annual tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Experience a powerful performance, come together in the spirit of community and honor Dr. King’s lasting impact through music.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

REACH to FOREST – Feb. 20 – March 3
The Kennedy Center's new festival explores the symbiotic relationship between forests and the human world with two weeks of thought-provoking events by prominent American and international artists, renowned authors, thinkers, conservationists, filmmakers, musicians, tree hunters and scientists at The REACH. The festival aims to rekindle relationships between artists and scientists—as well as between humans, forests, trees, and wildlife—to spark creative solutions for our future.
More Info
The REACH at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

American Ballet Theatre: Swan Lake – Feb. 21-25
Swan Lake reveals the tragic love story of Prince Siegfried and a swan princess, a dizzying tale full of magic and suspense. Audiences will be treated to beautiful costume designs, jaw-dropping sets and staging and choreography that will take your breath away. The American Ballet Theatre’s quintessential production brings the glorious story to life like never before.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

The Lehman Trilogy – Feb. 22 – March 24
Three actors portray various generations of the Lehman family in the 2022 Tony Award winner for Best Play. What begins as three immigrants attempting to live their American dream turns into a disaster for future generations, which eventually leads to the biggest financial crisis in U.S. history. Edward Gero, Mark Nelson and René Thornton, Jr. give unforgettable performances across 160 years of family history.
Tickets
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Portugal. The Man – Feb. 24
The Anthem hosts one of indie rock’s most popular bands. Portugal. The Man have been prolific for the last 20 years, putting out an acclaimed album nearly every year. Their sound draws on pop and electronic music as much as it does rock, creating songs and albums with dynamic range. Expect an adventurous set at one of the city’s best music venues.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Bianca Del Rio – Feb. 24
DAR Constitution Hall welcomes one of the leading voices in comedy for one night only. Bianca Del Rio is currently on her Dead Inside Tour, which is a perfect showcase for her brand of humor. Del Rio won season six of RuPaul’s Drag Race and has been dubbed “The Joan Rivers of the Drag World”. Your evening is sure to be packed with some shocking comedic moments and plenty of hearty laughs.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

 

Washington DC Travel Show – Feb. 24-25
Looking to get inspired for your next adventure? Get excited for the biggest travel show in the DC area, which features thousands of experts doling out info on top destinations and must-know travel tips across two days. You’ll be immersed in cultures from around the world and can hear from other globetrotters to help you live out your wildest travel dreams.
Tickets
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

The Bigger Picture: Face to Face – Feb. 25
Expand your knowledge of women’s contributions to Western art with a new program from the National Museum of the Women in the Arts called The Bigger Picture. The series will explore artworks from the 16th century to today with Director of Education and Interpretation Deborah Gaston as the guide. Attendees can expect biographies of iconic women artists and learn about innovations while sharing their own observations.
2-3:30 p.m. |  Tickets
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Vibes & Vinyl Party and Jam Session – Feb. 29
In tandem with BLACK GIRLS ROCK!, the Kennedy Center hosts a one-of-a-kind event that serves as a special tribute the art of DJ-ing. BLACK GIRLS ROCK! founder DJ Beverly Bond will be joined by DJ Miss H.E.R., DJ Aktive and DJ OP Miller. Each will spin their signature sets with vinyl integrated into the proceedings. The DJs will also host an all-vinyl jam session with surprise musical guests.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Mindplay – Through March 3
Vinny DePonto, Drama Desk Award nominee and mentalist, is the big brain behind this new theatrical event at Arena Stage. It will become difficult to separate illusion and reality during DePonto’s show, as the brilliant performer escapes into the beauty of imagination and showcases the wonder of human memory.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

ARTECHOUSE: Beyond the Light
In collaboration with NASA, ARTECHOUSE's latest installation delivers an artistic expression of space exploration, technology and innovation. The cinematic experience explores the history of our universe through light and immersive audio, based on groundbreaking discoveries. Purchase tickets through the link below for a 10% discount.
Tickets (10% discount)
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Simone Leigh – Through March 3
Discover Leigh’s groundbreaking work in ceramic, bronze, video and installation, with references to the African diaspora. The first comprehensive survey of the artist comes to DC thanks to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Leigh’s pieces focus on Black femme subjectivity, ideas of race and beauty and the role of community in culture, touching on a wide swath of traditions, histories and forms along the way.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Mark Rothko: Paintings on Paper – Through March 31
Known for his abstract paintings on canvas (some of which can be seen at the Phillips Collection in DC), Mark Rothko also crafted more than 1,000 paintings on paper over the course of his illustrious, decades-long career. The National Gallery of Art will showcase more than 100 of these tableaus, many of which will be on view to the public for the first time, making for a unique opportunity to see new work from one of the most important artists of the 20th century.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Dorothea Lange: Seeing People – Through March 31
The National Gallery of Art showcases roughly 100 images from one of the greatest photographers ever live in a new exhibit on Dorothea Lange. Seeing People will examine Lange’s prolific and trailblazing career through the lens of portraiture and her exceptional ability to capture the character, resilience, heartbreak, joy, wonder and beauty of her human subjects.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

One Life: Frederick Douglass – Through April 21
Activist, writer, speaker, intellectual – Frederick Douglass was one of the most influential people of 19th century America, making him one of the most influential figures in the history of the country. The National Portrait Gallery celebrates the icon, who befriended and advised Abraham Lincoln, through a series of prints, photographs and ephemera.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

In the Library: Latin American Architecture in Circulation – Through April 26
Defined as the years 1450-1800, the early modern period saw transformation across the world – both violent and otherwise. In that vast exchange of people, culture, objects and ideas, Latin America’s architecture became a synergy of Indigenous and cultural traditions. The National Gallery of Art’s Library displays more than 30 pieces, including wonders such as Mexico City’s Metropolitan Cathedral and Guatemala’s temples of Tikal.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Whistler: Streetscapes, Urban Change – Through May 4
The National Museum of Asian Art’s renowned collection of works by James McNeill Whistler inform this exhibition that explores European cities in an era of rapid change. Streetscapes, Urban Change showcases oil paintings, watercolors, pastels and prints, some of which are on some on view at the museum for the first time. Visitors will be able to experience the American expatriate artist’s fascination with the stunning growth and transformation of major cities at the end of the 19th century.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Jessica Diamond: Wheel of Life – Through June 2
One of America’s greatest conceptual artists presents her largest museum installation to date at the Hirshhorn. Wheel of Life fills the museum’s second-floor, inner-circle galleries with 15 text-and-image-based works that highlight Diamond’s inventiveness. Much of the work on display reflects on Diamond’s stunning 40-year career as an artist.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Robert Houle: Red is Beautiful – Through June 2
The National Museum of the American Indian presents the first major retrospective dedicated to Robert Houle (Saulteaux Anishinaabe, Sandy Bay First Nation, b. 1947), an Indigenous artist known for masterfully blending Western and ancient traditions in his contemporary works. Visitors can marvel at more than 50 years of Houle’s creativity, including paintings pierced by porcupine quills and historic scenes reimagined from an Indigenous perspective.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Composing Color: Paintings by Alma Thomas – Through June 2
Alma Thomas, who lived in DC and worked at Howard University for many years, developed a style all her own as a painter. She took to abstract painting late in her own life and at a crucial period in the country’s history, as political turmoil dramatically impacted the mid-1960s. The Smithsonian American Art Museum, which possesses the largest public collection of Thomas’ art, will offer an intimate look at her creative evolution from 1959 to 1978 through her signature color-driven pieces.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Duty, Honor, Country: Antebellum Portraits of West Pointers – Through June 9
In the lead up to the Civil War, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, emerged as a training ground for men who built the nation’s infrastructure, played important roles in its military campaigns and took part in its politics. Drawn exclusively from the Gallery’s collection, the exhibition will feature early camera portraits of Ulysses S. Grant, George Armstrong Custer, John Pelham, “Stonewall” Jackson and Gouverneur Kemble Warren, among many others.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism – Through Sept. 2
The National Portrait Gallery honors key scientists, politicians, activists, writers and artists who influenced attitudes toward the environment in the U.S. from the late-1800s to the present. Trace the environmentalist movement from turn-of-the-20th-century conservationism to mid-20th-century political actions and the backlash to them. It also addresses the current state of environmental justice, biodiversity and climate. Gaze at more than 25 portraits of figures like Rachel Carson, George Washington Carver, Maya Lin, Henry David Thoreau and Edward O. Wilson.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Park Chan-kyong: Gathering – Through Oct. 13
The Seoul-based Park Chan-kyong has gained international recognition for photography and film that has been unflinching in its examination of the history of modern Korea. The National Museum of Asian Art will showcase the first solo presentation of his work in a major U.S. museum. The exhibition features images that highlight the artists’ masterful use of the camera to capture tradition, history and disaster in a contemporary society.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Conversations: Kerry James Marshall and John Singleton Copley – Through Jan. 31, 2025
The National Gallery of Art opens its second installation as part of the Conversations series, which focuses on three masterpieces from artists working nearly two centuries apart. An 18th century canvas by John Singleton Copley and two 20th century works by Kerry James Marshall each address the horrors of the Middle Passage and the transatlantic slave trade. Visitors can consider each in a shared exhibition space for the first time.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Isaac Julien: Lessons of the Hour – Frederick Douglass – Through Nov. 26, 2026
The first joint acquisition of the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum (the two share a building) is Sir Isaac Julien’s fascinating moving image installation, which blends period reenactments across give screens to give the viewer insight into the life, accomplishments, activism and brilliance of Frederick Douglass (1818-1895).
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Interior of the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Check out the reopened National Museum of Women in the Arts
The only museum solely dedicated to championing women through the arts has reopened its doors with improved interior and exterior spaces, new mechanical systems, enhanced amenities and accessibility, enlarged gallery space and additional research and education space. The reopening also includes a brand-new, groundbreaking exhibit known as The Sky’s the Limit (Through Feb. 25, 2024), as well as numerous other new displays.
More Information
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Entertainment Nation – Ongoing
The National Museum of American History’s incredible ongoing exhibit covers 150 years of American culture through an array of interactive elements as well as a collection of items that will leave you stunned. Very cool artifacts like the Ruby Red slippers from The Wizard of Oz and a guitar played by Prince are centerpieces, but other displays cover sports, television, comedy and so much more.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

John Akomfrah: Five Murmurations – Ongoing
Artist and filmmaker John Akomfrah addresses the COVID-19 pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and worldwide protests in support of Black Lives Matter in a visual essay to define our turbulent times. Utilizing an image archive filled with seminal works of art and scenes shot during the fraught 18-month period between 2019 and 2021, Five Murmurations features insights into post-colonialism, diasporic experience and the concept of collective memory.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Mini Memories: Souvenir Buildings from the David Weingarten Collection – Ongoing
Mementos, keepsakes and souvenirs. Whatever you choose to call them, objects can often contain added significance based on the memories they conjure. The National Building Museum dials into this notion with a new exhibit entirely focused on souvenir buildings, culled from a collection of more than 3,000 miniatures. The 400 structures on view include a wide range of detailed recreations, from architectural wonders to factories, and visitors will learn how these souvenirs are made and how they’re used.
Hours & Tickets
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Georges Adéagbo’s Create to Free Yourselves: Abraham Lincoln and the History of Freeing Slaves in America 
The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art partnered with President Lincoln’s Cottage in 2022 to commission an installation by Beninois artist Georges Adéagbo. The resulting piece is the artist’s compelling vision for us. Adéagbo’s creation, which will be on display as part of the museum’s collection beginning Nov. 18, invites the viewer to consider the legacy of Abraham Lincoln, prompting reflections on the unfinished journey toward freedom for all in America.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Building Stories 
The National Building Museum invites your family to embark on an immersive exploration of architecture, construction, engineering and design found in children’s books. Curated by children’s literature expert Leonard Marcus, Building Stories marks the first national exhibition to showcase the built environment’s role as an essential character in formative tales of our collective youth. Expect plenty of interactive elements.
Hours & Admission
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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