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80+ Things to Do This May in Washington, DC

Spring pops off with exciting events, including the Lincoln Memorial Centennial, Memorial Day and more

Make plans for unforgettable experiences in the nation's capital this May. After you’ve read through this list, make sure to check out our things to do for the week and weekend and read why DC is the best city to visit in 2022.

Race for Hope – May 1
The 5K walk/run returns in-person this year, with virtual participant and programming options still available. The Race for Hope aims to raise awareness and funds to support the needs of brain tumor patients and their families. Online registration is open through 11:59 p.m. on April 27.
More Info
 

Attend a Washington Spirit game – May 1 & 15
Fresh off the 2021 National Women’s Soccer League championship, the Washington Spirit are the crown jewel of DC soccer at the moment. The team celebrates its 10th anniversary in 2022 by fielding perhaps its best club yet. Don’t miss your two chances to catch home games at Audi Field this coming month, beginning with a May 1 match against OL Reign. After the game, the team will be presented with their championship rings from last season’s triumph.
Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024
 

Lincoln Memorial at Night

Celebrate the Lincoln Memorial’s Centennial – May 1-30
May 30 will mark the 100th anniversary of the dedication of the Lincoln Memorial, one of the most recognizable landmarks in DC. The National Park Service and its partners will honor the occasion with events throughout the month. Topics will include the labor that built the memorial, Abraham Lincoln’s incredible speeches, the memorial’s place in pop culture and its connection to the Civil Rights Movement. The Family Day (May 14) and ceremonial centennial celebration (May 22) will also be highlights.
2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20002

 

PASSPORT DC

Passport DC – May 1-31
Returning in-person in 2022, a month of programming across the city focuses on highlighting DC’s international culture. The Flower Mart (May 6-7), the Around the World Embassy Tour (May 7) and the European Union Open House are annual highlights. Most events and tours can be enjoyed entirely free of charge.
More Info

 

Filmfest DC – Through May 1
The largest and longest-running annual international film festival in Washington, DC, Filmfest DC returns to the traditional late April dates with a hybrid combination of in-person and virtual screenings. The varied lineup will feature quite the genre exercise: comedies, dramas, thrillers, shorts and documentaries will all be on display.
More Info & Tickets

 

Giselle – Through May 1
The Washington Ballet brings the quintessential story ballet, Giselle, to the Warner Theatre for six performances. The production's beloved portrayal of heartbreak and loss will feature breathtaking performances and choreography by Julie Kent. The Washington Ballet Orchestra, conducted by Charles Barker, will perform Adolphe Adam’s haunting score. Prepare for a romantic ballet that will incorporate fantasy and the ethereal.
Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Arts Summit 2022 – May 2
The Kennedy Center brings thought leaders together for conversation and connection during this special event hosted as part of the venue’s 50th anniversary season. Experts in the arts, media, business, education, policy, science and beyond will discuss the role of cultural leadership in advancing our society. Expect captivating conversations that will challenge old ideas and spark brand new ones.
9 a.m. |  Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Helado Negro – May 4
Now seven albums into a prolific career, Roberto Carlos Lange (who performs under the moniker “Helado Negro”) has laid claim to his own special sonic territory. In 2019, This Is How You Smile exposed Lange’s beautiful, autobiographical songs to an expanded audience, allowing him to sign to major indie label 4AD for his follow-up, last year’s Far In. The 9:30 Club hosts the idiosyncratic musician for one night only.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

Wells Fargo Championship – May 4-8

Founded in 2003, the Wells Fargo Championship quickly established itself as a favorite among players and spectators alike. With miles of front row seats, you will remember your unique experience forever. Experience the best golfers in the world compete for a PGA TOUR victory at one of the best courses in the area.

Tickets
TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, 10000 Oaklyn Drive, Potomac, MD 20854
 

Marys Seacole – May 4-22
Pulitzer Prize winner Jackie Sibblies Drury penned this unique tale that will be staged at the Atlas Performing Arts Center thanks to Mosaic Theater Company. Based in part on Mary Seacole’s own autobiography, Drury’s mind-bending story hops through space and time, from mid-1800s Jamaica to the Crimean War to a present-day nursing home.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
 

Destroyer – May 5
Dan Bejar, who performs under the name Destroyer, has created his own pop music reality, where seminal artists like Bob Dylan and David Bowie can be heard drifting through, but soon retreat to make way for Bejar’s stunning idiosyncrasies. Listening to Destroyer is an experience, each album its own profound statement. The critically acclaimed Labyrinthitis is yet another foray into Bejar’s fascinating world, a journey you can take via his concert at Black Cat on May 5.

7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
 

Flower Mart – May 6-7

Calling all garden enthusiasts! Enjoy one of spring’s most impressive showcases of colorful perennials, cutting-edge landscape exhibits and extraordinary floral arrangements produced by international floral designers at the Washington National Cathedral, as well as embassies throughout the District. The Flower Mart, an official Passport DC event, lets you take part in family-friendly activities including garden tours and an antique carousel.
Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.| Free Admission
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016
 

Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival – May 6-7
In honor of Mary Lou Williams, an influential pianist, educator, composer and humanitarian who collaborated with jazz greats like Duke Ellington and Miles Davis before passing away in 1981, the Kennedy Center hosts this festival for the 25th time this May. The Silver Anniversary celebration will feature two nights of performances, including appearances by Allison Miller, Derrick Hodge, Terri Lyne Carrington + Social Science, Artemis and many more.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Disney Princess – The Concert – May 6-7
Bring the entire family to the Kennedy Center as Broadway’s Belle, Jasmine, Anastasia and Nala sing classic Disney Princess songs and share exclusive, hilarious and heartfelt behind-the-scenes stories from their time portraying princesses on the stage and screen. The National Symphony Orchestra will provide the musical backing for performances by Christy Altomare, Susan Egan, Courtney Reed and Syndee Winters.
Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Yemandja – May 6-7
Five-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo conceived this stunning theatrical work co-commissioned by the Kennedy Center. Inspired by her ancestors and Africa’s resilience, Yemandja is part family drama and part historical thriller with a story that showcases themes of love, betrayal, honor, free will and the horror and injustice of slavery.
Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Around the World Embassy Tour – May 7
You can visit an array of embassies, including Cameroon, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Kenya and many more during this annual event that is free to all. Programming and activities will be available for visitors on-site, from karate demonstrations to dance performances and sari-wrapping lessons.
10 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Free Admission

 

DC Funk Parade – May 7
After a two-year hiatus, the Funk Parade returns to the nation’s capital and this time, it’s bigger and better than ever. With a theme of “The Magic of Music,” the event will feature three music activation sites offering live performances from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The popular U Street celebration will host its main stage at the African American Civil War Memorial. Attendance is free, but you can donate to the cause by texting “FUNKPARADE” to 44-321.
More Info

 

Disclosure – May 7
The English electronic music duo featuring brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence soared to superstardom with 2013’s Settle, which offered the smash-hit single, “Latch,” a song that has packed dance floors since the day it was released. Their most recent LP, 2020’s Energy, was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards. Now, the bros return to DC, where The Anthem will serve as the perfect venue for a raucous dance party.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Raven and the Evolution of Artist Preston Singletary – May 7-8
Visitors can join acclaimed artist Preston Singletary at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian to hear him discuss his art, his creative evolution and the inspiration for his acclaimed exhibition currently on display at the museum, Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight. Gene Tagaban, a Tlingit storyteller, will also be on-hand to bring Raven to life through stories, dances and songs. The free programming will take place in the museum’s Potomac Atrium across two days.
More Info
National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Broccoli City Festival – May 7-8
For its 10th anniversary, Broccoli City is hosting its biggest festival yet. Kicking off with Broccoli Con on May 6, Broccoli City Festival will feature a theme of "BLK Change" throughout its proceedings, with a focus on mobilizing young people, local companies and community organization towards a more racially equitable society. Musical performers will include 21 Savage, Ari Lennox, Summer Walker, Wizkid, Don Toliver and many more. VIP packages and general admission tickets are available.
More Info & Tickets
RFK Festival Grounds, 2400 East Capitol Street NE, Washington, DC 20003

 

Sargent, Whistler, and Venetian Glass: American Artists and the Magic of Murano – Through May 8
Discover Venice’s rich history as a glassmaking capital and its influence on early 20th century art with this retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The first comprehensive look at the American Grand Tour to Venice in the late 19th century features works by seminal artists such as John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler and many more, all of which convey how glassmakers in Murano inspired new ventures and styles in American painting.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. every day except Mondays |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Journey – May 9
One of the most legendary rock bands of all time, Journey, visits DC’s Capital One Arena for one night only. The diamond-selling Rock & Roll Hall of Famers will take the stage with a catalog of global chart-topping hits in tow, including "Don't Stop Believin’,” “Any Way You Want It,” "Faithfully” and “Lights,” songs that have become arena and classic rock radio staples.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

There’s Always the Hudson – May 9 – June 5
T and Lola have a mission. After meeting in a support group for sexual abuse survivors years ago, the two made a pact to take out revenge on those who have wronged them. Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company presents this riveting production written by Paola Lázaro, a tale of two damaged souls ready to confront their trauma and deliver some well-deserved justice. Note that There’s Always the Hudson contains discussions and depictions of sexual abuse and assault, profanity and drug use.
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004
 

Freestyle Love Supreme – May 10-15
The Kennedy Center welcomes this improvisational performance that comes from the mind of a trio that includes Lin-Manuel Miranda and was recently the subject of a Hulu documentary. MCs, musicians and beatboxers will take the stage and venture into the audience to freestyle an entire evening of entertainment. Attendees will even be asked to provide suggestions, creating an interactive experience that won’t soon be forgotten. Prepare for a wild ride.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Built to Spill – May 12
As the rare indie band to make great use of the guitar solo and offer a catalogue filled with singalong anthems, Built to Spill has built a career that now spans four decades. The group has amassed both critical acclaim and a dedicated fan following thanks to reliably brilliant releases and awesome live shows. Throw on your comfiest jacket and jeans, idle up to one of 9:30 Club’s two bars, order a beer and savor some of the best groups in indie rock history.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Kara Walker’s The Katastwóf Karavan – May 12 – May 19
In honor of the incredible Afro-Atlantic Histories exhibit, The National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden serves as the site of a temporary installation featuring a steam calliope, a musical instrument used on steamboats and in carnivals during the 19th century. Artist Kara Walker made the sculpture for the Prospect.4 Triennial in New Orleans at Algiers Point, a site in the city along the Mississippi River that once served as a holding area for enslaved Africans. Featuring Walker’s signature silhouettes made from cut steel and situated in a parade wagon, the steam-whistle organ will play songs of Black resistance and celebration. Musician Jason Moran will perform on the calliope live on May 14 and 15.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art – Sculpture Garden, Constitution Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20408
 

Our Town – May 12 – June 11
Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play will leave you feeling more connected to the world around you. Sidney Harman Hall becomes turn-of-the-century Grover’s Corners, where everyday life reveals universal truths about community, love, life and death. Our Town is both deeply allegorical and endlessly captivating, with an ensemble cast filled by celebrated local performers.
Tickets
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

This Present Moment: Crafting A Better World – May 13 – April 2, 2023
Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Renwick with an expansive exhibit set to feature more than 130 works never before displayed at the gallery. Featured craft artists include Tanya Aguiñiga, Nick Cave, David Chatt, Sonya Clark, Cristina Cordova, Cindy Drozda, Alicia Eggert, J. Paul Fennell and many more. The museum will also host an opening night party with food, drink and special programming.
Opening Party: May 13, 7:30-11:30 p.m. |  Museum hours: 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. daily, except Mondays |  Event Tickets
Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20006
 

HAIM – May 13-14
Sisters Este, Danielle and Alana comprise HAIM, pop music royalty since the towering success of their debut album, Days Are Gone, in 2013. The trio has since released two more critically acclaimed LPs. With songcraft well beyond their years and a high energy live show that leaves the audience dazzled, HAIM are sure to leave their mark at The Anthem.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

The Boiler Room Series – May 13-22
Keegan Theatre’s Boiler Room Series invites you to experience theater development in action. Take in a series of events and presentations featuring new plays in different stages of their production life cycle, including staged readings, workshops, interviews with playwrights, working sessions with directors and more. The 2022 edition features six works and every event will be fully streamed for those who cannot experience in-person. Attendance is free but donations and online reservations are strongly recommended.
More Info
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
 

Show Way The Musical – May 13-29
Kennedy Center Education Artist-in-Residence Jacqueline Woodson’s Newbery-winning tale of resilience becomes a world premiere stage adaptation with new music by Tyrone L. Robinson. Based on Woodson’s own family, the moving and lyrical tale pays tribute to women whose strength and knowledge illuminate their daughters’ lives. Soonie’s great grandmother was only seven years old when she was sold to a plantation and began stitching Show Way, a quilt filled with secret meanings to help enslaved people find freedom.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

The Roots Residency – Questlove: MUSIC IS HISTORY – May 14
Harnessing his encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and American history, Academy Award-winning musician, producer, director and best-selling author Questlove returns to the Kennedy Center for an intimate and insightful discussion on his latest book, MUSIC IS HISTORY. The Roots’ drummer and beatmaker will be joined by a special surprise guest.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Carmen – May 14-28
The Washington National Opera offers up this bold production featuring the character of Carmen, an uninhibited, strong-willed woman who lives life on her own terms. She is desired by everyone but wants only freedom. After she escapes trouble by seducing Don José, she sets her eyes on the bullfighter Escamillo. But when Don José’s jealousy finally catches up to her, Carmen’s freedom will have dire consequences. This show marks the DC premiere production of the Georges Bizet classic.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Metropolitan Beer Trail – Debuts May 14
Introduce yourself to DC’s Metropolitan Beer Trail, which will link seven of the city’s most popular bars and brewpubs, including metrobar, The Eleanor, Right Proper Brewing Co. and Wunder Garten. Each location is walkable or bikeable from the Metropolitan Bracn Trail, which runs from Union Station northwards into NoMa, Eckington and Brookland. Beginning May 14, you can download a free digital passport to begin your journey.
More Info

 

Grace – Through May 14
Filled to the brim with music, including jazz, R&B, rousing up-tempo songs and raise-the-roof ballads, Grace is an incredible musical that celebrates the power of traditions and the perseverance of family in the face of overwhelming odds. Created by DC's own Nolan Williams, Jr., the play dives into the history of Black culinary traditions and the difficulties faced by Black-owned businesses. The musical captures a day in the life of the Mintons, a Philadelphia family who gather to mourn the loss of their matriarch and deal with the future of their family restaurant in a rapidly changing neighborhood.
Tickets
Ford's Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Thomas & Friends: Explore the Rails – Through May 15
The National Children’s Museum hosts this special display in Visiting Exhibit Hall. Recommended for kids ages 2-7, Explore the Rails features Thomas and his engine friends at some of the Island of Sodor’s most iconic locations. Kids will be able to solve a variety of challenges, from shape identification to more complicated engineering obstacles. Thomas and his friends will be there to encourage throughout.
Tickets | Thursday through Sunday Mornings: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm. Afternoons: 1:30 – 4:30 pm
National Children's Museum, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Capital City Symphony: Symphonic Women – May 15
The Atlas Performing Arts Center completes its Who Are, D.C.? season, which has explored a wide range of composers and their works, with this special performance. The program will open with a piece by Florence Price, the first African American woman to have a composition played by a major orchestra. Next up will be Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 3, with the closing composition, Five Movements in Color, coming from Howard University alum Mary D. Watkins.
5 p.m. |  Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002
 

Seltzerland – May 21
Hook Hall will turn into a hard seltzer paradise as part of Seltzerland. Guests will be able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind immersive experience at one of DC's most popular gathering places, spending the afternoon tasting more than 100 unique hard seltzers, indulging in delicious munchies, receiving tons of Seltzer swag and capturing Insta-worthy moments. 
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Tickets
Hook Hall, 3400 Georgia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20010
 

Fiesta Asia Street Fair – May 21
Embrace Asian Heritage Month and Passport DC with a day jam-packed with culture, from the performing arts to culinary delights. The annual Fiesta Asia Street Fair takes over Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 6th streets NW with exciting performances, interactive displays, flea markets and food stalls. This year, more than 1,000 performers, artisans, entrepreneurs, food vendors and organizations will participate, representing more than 20 cultures.
11 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free admission
Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd and 6th Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

Washington, DC Dragon Boat Festival – May 21
The Dragon Boat Festival returns in-person after a two-year hiatus. Expect to spectate a jaw-dropping race featuring amazing dragon boats and enjoy cultural activities (including athletic demonstrations, eye-dotting ceremonies, lion dances and more) throughout the day at Thompson Boat Center. Stay tuned to the festival’s website for scheduling updates.
More Info
Thompson Boat Center, 2900 Virginia Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037

 

Hirshhorn Ball 2022 – May 21
Saunter to this soiree in the Hirshhorn’s gorgeous outdoor Sculpture Garden. Prepare for an evening filled with pop art and boundary-pushing creatives in fashion and artistic expression. Expect live performances, art activations, an open bar with cocktails and bites, an outdoor dancefloor and a show from musician and composer Dan Deacon, known for transforming concerts into fully communal experiences. There will also be a fashion contest, so come decked out in your zaniest pop-art creation.
6:30-10 p.m. |  More Info
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560
 

Once Upon a Roof: Vanished Korean Architecture – May 21 – Oct. 30
Clay roof tiles, known as chimi, once adorned ancient wood frame buildings in Korea, buildings that are now long gone. However, many of the tiles have survived more than a thousand years, with three chimi unearthed from two Buddhist temples and a palace complex that dates back to the Three Kingdoms and Unified Silla periods set to be on display in this upcoming exhibition at the National Museum of Asian Art. You will learn hidden stories of the ancient architecture of Korea, with many of the works on display outside of that country for the first time.
Wednesday – Monday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Positive Fragmentation: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation – Through May 22
Set to be on display at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, this exhibit will feature more than 100 works by 21 contemporary women artists who use the concept of fragmentation frequently in their compositions. Expect to observe prints that fragment and reassemble shapes, colors, texts, perspectives, ideas and stereotypes. The exhibit was organized by the National Museum of Women in the Arts.
More info
American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016

 

Prologue Theatre: The Revolutionists – Through May 22
Atlas Performing Arts Center hosts another spellbinding Prologue Theatre production. The Revolutionists will take you to the streets of Paris in 1793 during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Our story focuses on assassin Charlotte Corday, former queen Marie Antoinette, Haitian revel Marianne Angelle and playwright Olympe de Gouges, each moving towards their own undeniable fates while still trying to change the world.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

The Who – May 23
After more than 50 years as a band, The Who can still put on a kick-ass rock show. Their greatest hits are among the rock genre’s most recognizable, including classics like “Baba O’Reilly,” “My Generation” and “Who Are You.” Don’t miss what could be your final chance to see these rock gods in the District.
7:30 p.m. | Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Exterior of Nats Park

Washington Nationals vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – May 23-25
One of baseball’s most exciting teams comes to the nation’s capital to take on the beloved hometown Nats. The Dodgers are led by superstars such as Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Freddie Freeman, Clayton Kershaw and Mookie Betts. Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Patrick Corbin and the rest of the Nationals will have their hands full during the Monday – Wednesday series.
Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003
 

A Monster Calls – May 25 – June 12
The acclaimed novel by Patrick Ness comes to the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater in a new adaptation by visionary director Sally Cookson. A Monster Calls concerns 13-year-old Conor, who has just moved to America from Britain with his mother and father. After his mother falls ill, Conor is confronted by a monster at his window, arriving to tell tales of its previous iteration and forcing the boy to face his deepest fears. Children and adults will both be captivated by this highly anticipated production.
Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566
 

Woodley Park National Zoo

Brew at the Zoo – May 26
Lions and tigers and brews, oh my! DC’s favorite beer festival returns to Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The night-time event for ages 21 and over allows for the enjoyment of unlimited free beer tastings from more than 45 breweries. There will also be live music, food trucks and of course, a zoo to explore. Tickets will sell quickly to this popular event.
6-9 p.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian’s National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

 

Dave’s Dream – Opens May 27
Visit the National Museum of American History to check out this modified 1969 Ford LTD. Known as a “lowrider” and named after David Jaramillo of Chimayo, New Mexico, the car’s customizations were completed by Jaramillo’s family after his death. Dave’s Dream went on to win area competitions, highlighting the significance and cultural legacy of lowriding, with many of these vehicles utilizing artistic paint schemes, colorful upholstery and hydraulic lifts to create distinctive looks and animations. Pay homage to the art of lowriding and the Jaramillo family when you check out this jaw-dropping vehicle.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Adams Morgan Drag Queen Storytime 2022 – May 29
Join Adams Morgan Partnership BID, The LINE and DC Public Library at Unity Park for storytime with a drag queen. The goal is to inspire a love of reading while teaching deeper lessons on diversity, self-love and an appreciation of others. This event is free and open to children of all ages.
11 a.m. | More details
Unity Park, Intersection of Columbia Rd., Champlain St. & Euclid St., NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

The National Memorial Day Choral Festival – May 29
Held at the Kennedy Center, the free National Memorial Day Choral Festival is a powerful concert experience that features a 300-voice choir accompanied by the U.S. Air Force Orchestra. The musicians and singers come together in perfect harmony, performing patriotic classics in honor of those who have fallen while defending the U.S. Tickets are free but must be requested online.
3 p.m. |  Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

National Memorial Day Concert

National Memorial Day Concert – May 29
PBS’s National Memorial Day Concert salutes the sacrifice made by the men and women in uniform, as well as their families. The free annual concert is held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol the day before Memorial Day from 8-9:30 p.m. Actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host the proceedings, which will feature numerous other celebrity performers. The show will be live-streamed online and broadcast nationally on PBS.
8-9:30 p.m. |  Free admission
West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, East Capitol Street NE & First Street SE, Washington, DC 20004

 

American Silence: The Photographs of Robert Adams – May 29 – Oct. 2
For decades, photographer Robert Adams has made provocative and compelling photographs that have influenced generations. The new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art will feature 175 of Adams’ works divided into three sections: The Gift, Our Response and Tenancy. Visitors can marvel at the artist’s stirring depictions of strip malls, suburban sprawl, highways, homes, stores, rivers, prairies, the ocean and other scenes from the American landscape.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

 

National Memorial Day Parade – May 30
Marching bands, youth groups, floats, performers and, of course, veterans, are ushered down Constitution Avenue during DC’s annual Memorial Day celebration, being held in-person for the first time since 2019. The televised parade is the largest of its kind in the U.S. and honors those who have served or presently serve in the U.S. military. Arrive well before the 2 p.m. start time for the best viewing options.
2 p.m. |  Free admission
Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

James Van Der Zee’s Photographs: A Portrait of Harlem – Through May 30
The National Gallery of Art showcases more than 40 images by legendary photographer James Van Der Zee, a prolific chronicler of life in New York City’s Harlem neighborhood during the 1920s, ‘30s and beyond. Van Der Zee captured special occasions and other local happenings through carefully composed photographs that provided insights into the personalities and aspirations of his subjects. He also photographed nightclubs and storefronts as well as religious, social, political and athletic community groups in his signature style. Marvel at a master’s work in this revelatory exhibit.
Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

PIXELBLOOM – Through May 30
An ARTECHOUSE original production, PIXELBLOOM pushes the boundaries of immersive digital art, inviting visitors to jump into the metaverse and glide through a virtual world of cherry blossoms brought to life only at ARTECHOUSE. The installation merges the digital and physical worlds in a one-of-a-kind dynamic experience inspired by nature’s beauty. The main 22-minute audiovisual installation in the Immersion Gallery employs 18-channel, 270° floor-to-wall surround projection array and a 22.5-channel spatialized audio system to breathe a new life into cherry blossoms in peak bloom through an explosion of vibrant colors and textures.
Monday – Thursday: 1-9 p.m. |  Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Tickets
Safety guidelines
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Drumfolk – May 31 – June 26
Step Afrika! and Arena Stage join forces for this electrifying production inspired by the Stono Rebellion of 1739 and the Negro Act of 1740 in South Carolina. Through its signature percussive dance, Step Afrika! will tell the story of brave, enslaved Africans who refused to let the beat stop and in turn, inspired African American culture all the way up to the present day. Drumfolk marks the first of a three-part, multi-year collaboration between Step Afrika! and Arena Stage.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

The FRIENDS Experience – Through June 5
The wildly popular FRIENDS Experience, originally created for the show’s 25th anniversary, allows fans to celebrate their favorite characters and revisit some of the series’ most iconic moments. You will be immersed in 12 nostalgia-packed rooms and activations, including Monica’s kitchen and the iconic FRIENDS fountain. The interactive space lets you peek around Rachel and Monica’s purple door, relax in Chandler and Joey’s recliner or help Ross with the infamous sofa pivot. The space will feature a re-created Central Perk with the legendary orange couch.
Tickets
1025 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004, Suite 200

 

John Proctor is the Villain – Through June 5
Set in rural Georgia, John Proctor is the Villain focuses on a group of high school teens in the midst of small town turmoil. There are questions swirling around a student’s father, another student suddenly left for Atlanta and in Mr. Smith’s English class, sex ed must be completed before they can start The Crucible. Of course, when the students start questioning what really happened in Salem, things get complicated. This tale from exciting new playwright Kimberly Belflower showcases a generation in the process of writing their own coming-of-age story.
Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Picasso: Painting the Blue Period – Through June 12
The Phillips Collection's groundbreaking exhibition will provide new insight into the creative process of Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) at the outset of his career. It is the first exhibition in Washington, DC, in 25 years to focus on the early works of the 20th century icon, just as he was beginning to define himself on the international stage.
Hours, Admission & Safety Protocols
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

The Upstairs Department – Through June 12
Signature Theatre Company takes you on a trip to the ethereal with this new piece from playwright Chelsea Marcantel. After a serious illness, a young man wakes up with the power to talk with the dead (or so he believes). Although his sister is a skeptic, the two set out to test his paranormal talent and find the siblings’ late father at the Lily Dale Spiritualist community, where they end up summoning much more than the afterlife.
Tickets
Signature Theatre Company, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

 

FUTURES – Through July 6
Smithsonian's historic Arts and Industries Building has opened its groundbreaking new experience. On view through July 6, 2022, FUTURES is the Smithsonian’s first major building-wide exploration of the future and temporarily reopens the Smithsonian’s oldest museum for the first time in nearly two decades. The part-exhibition, part-festival celebrates the Smithsonian’s 175th anniversary with more than 150 awe-inspiring objects, ideas, prototypes and installations that fuse art, technology, design and history to help visitors imagine many possible futures on the horizon. In March, FUTURES will celebrate Women's History Month with Women's Future Month programming as well as striking orange statues as part of the #IfThenSheCan exhibit.
Free admission |  Hours & protocols
Arts and Industries Building, 900 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Afro-Atlantic Histories – Through July 17
The National Gallery of Art invites you on a voyage through time in this new exhibit that aims to shed light on the complex histories of the African Diaspora. Take an in-depth look at the cultural formations and historical experiences of Black and African people since the 17th century. The exhibit will offer more than 130 pieces of art, including photos, sculptures, paintings and other media by artists from the Caribbean, Europe, Africa and the Americas.
Open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Portraits of Resilience – Through July 29
[email protected] hosts a free exhibit that aims to raise awareness of the plights faced by global refugees. Portraits of Resilience uses images of torture survivors from countries such as Bangladesh, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and Pakistan and combines them with a photograph of significance selected by the subject. In the process, British photographer Jonathan Banks allows these individuals to tell their own stories of resilience.
Open Thursdays & Fridays, 1-6 p.m. |  Free Admission
[email protected], 1801 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20020

 

 

Laurie Anderson: The Weather – Through July 31
You're likely familiar with Laurie Anderson and her influence without even knowing it. One of the most groundbreaking artists of the 20th century has used a range of media, including live performance, video, music and writing, to address American identity and technology and the effect of both on human relationships. This exhibit at the Hirshhorn debuts more than 10 new artworks, interspersed with essential Anderson creations from throughout her career. The immersive audiovisual experience will be complimented by programming, including a March 8 artist talk with Anderson and Rada Akbar.
Wednesday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Rorschach Theatre

Chemical Exile by Rorschach Theatre – Through July 31
A scientist boards a plane from Amsterdam to DC. Returning to a world she thought she knew, she discovers nothing, and nowhere, is what she expects. Rorschach Theatre's Chemical Exile takes participants to eight locations across the DC area as a complex story unfolds about families, forgotten histories and the uncharted frontiers of the mind. The immersive experience is a part of the Theatre's Psychogeographies series, which takes participants to unexpected locations around their city while a season-long fictional narrative plays out over layers of history and magic realism. Guests receive a box in the mail monthly that includes a new Chapter in the story, each box containing hand-crafted objects - letters, drawings, souvenirs, photos or even snacks - and a map to a location in their city. The season ends with a live in-person event that culminates the story. 
More Info

 

Intersections: Marta Pérez García – Through Aug. 28
The latest showcase in The Phillips Collection’s ongoing Intersections series will highlight the work of Marta Pérez García. Her Restos-Traces series addresses the rarely discussed increase in domestic violence during stay-at-home orders through female torsos constructed with handmade paper as well as wire, nails, film negatives, hair and teeth. The intense exhibit will also feature works from the Phillips’ permanent collection.
Hours, Admission & Safety Protocols
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Make Good The Promises: Reclaiming Reconstruction and its Legacies – Through Aug. 31
Step into the National Museum of African American History and Culture's new 4,300-square-foot exhibition that explores the Reconstruction era through an African American lens. Make Good The Promises features 175 objects, 200 photographs, 15 audio, video and interactive programs, as well as a companion book. The exhibition explores the deep divisions and clashing visions about how to rebuild the United States after slavery and the end of the Civil War. It connects that era to efforts in 2021 to make good on the promises of the Constitution.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free timed passes |  Safety guidelines
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue – Through Sept. 5
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery will present Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue, an exhibition exploring the 50th anniversary of the watershed moment through portraiture of the era. The exhibition will display 25 objects in various mediums to explore the relationship between portraiture, investigative journalism, activism and politics. Watergate: Portraiture and Intrigue is curated by the Portrait Gallery’s acting senior historian Kate Clarke Lemay.
11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. every day except Mondays |  Free admission |  More Info
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Revealing Krishna: Journey to Cambodia’s Sacred Mountain – Through Sept. 18
Admire a breathtaking sculpture of the Hindu god Krishna in a new exhibit at the National Museum of Asian Art. The larger-than-life-size sculpture depict Krishna lifting Mount Govardhan to protect his people from a storm sent by an angry god. For the first time, the sculpture will be examined in the context of its original environment. The exhibition tells the life story of this sculptural masterpiece—spanning 1,500 years and three continents—and unveils the newly restored Krishna in an exhibition that integrates art, immersive video installations, and interactive design.
Wednesday – Monday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Notre-Dame de Paris: The Augmented Exhibition – Through Sept. 26
Immerse yourself in the history and restoration of Paris’ renowned cathedral in this augmented reality exhibit at the National Building Museum. Produced by French start-up Histovery in collaboration with the Public Institution charged with restoring Notre-Dame de Paris, the exhibit will allow visitors to explore the cathedral’s incredible saga, from Middle Age builders to the coronation of Napoleon to current efforts to restore the building to its glory after a devastating fire in 2019.
Friday – Monday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Tickets
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001
 

The Wall/El Muro: What Is a Border Wall? – Through Nov. 6
The National Building Museum examines the concept of a border wall through the perspective of architecture and design in this exhibit. The ways in which the built environment and the landscape of security challenge us and our notion of America are central themes. Photography, video, artifacts and an immersive design reveal to visitors the role of design and engineering in the realm of national security and geopolitics.
Friday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. |  Tickets & safety guidelines
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection – Through Nov. 27
The Hirshhorn has been collecting the prolific work of Yayoi Kusama since 1996. The museum’s 2017 survey of her work traveled to five North American art museums, introducing Kusama’s spellbinding visions to record audiences. Now, the Hirshhorn will display five of Kusama’s works from the museum’s permanent collection, including two of the artist’s transcendent Infinity Mirror Rooms. One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection is a tribute to the life and practice of the visionary artist. Free timed passes will be required.
Thursday - Sunday, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  Safety guidelines
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Lexicon Lane: A Word-Sleuthing Adventure
Planet Word invites all word detectives and puzzle fans to dive into the mysteries of Lexicon Lane: A Word-Sleuthing Adventure. Located on the third floor of the museum, Lexicon Lane will become the newest permanent experience at Planet Word. The exhibit features 26 unique word-themed puzzle cases available to rent. Designed by Lone Shark Games, the cases are full of mysteries just waiting to be solved.
Reserve Passes
Planet Word, 925 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Preston Singletary: Raven and the Box of Daylight 
The National Museum of the American Indian will host this new exhibit that features works from internationally acclaimed artist Preston Singletary and tells the story of Raven, the creator of the world and giver of the stars, moon and sun. The exhibit promises a multisensory experience with storytelling, music, soundscapes and projected images.
Tuesday – Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Discovery and Revelation: Religion, Science, and Making Sense of Things 
The National Museum of American History's newest exhibit looks at religious and scientific crossroads across three centuries. Artifacts range from medicine and science objects related to the work of the theologian-chemist Joseph Priestley to technology collections related to Samuel Morse and his telegraph. You will also find objects that illustrate recent research into religion and the brain. Objects on loan from other Smithsonian museums include a portrait of Henrietta Lacks and a letter written by Galileo; Benjamin Franklin’s Lightning Rod is on loan from the Franklin Institute with the National Library of Medicine loaning 18th century pamphlets.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission |  More Info
National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Visit the reopened National Geographic Museum
After being closed for nearly two years, the National Geographic Museum has officially reopened to visitors. New exhibitions will welcome you back: Once Upon a Climb: Stories of Everest and The Greatest Wildlife Photographs.
Hours, Admission & Safety Protocols
National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

 

Girl running inside U.S. Botanic Garden

Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden – Reopened
All interior rooms of the U.S. Botanic Garden's Conservatory will be open starting April 1, and the Children’s Garden and Southern Exposure seasonal outdoor courtyards are planned to reopen April 22, weather permitting. Masks are recommended for indoor spaces, and groups are encouraged to maintain social distance from other visitor groups. Newly renovated garden spaces throughout the Conservatory will display more of the USBG’s diverse plant collections and offer increased accessibility. Visitors can see a new exhibit on agriculture, Cultivate: Growing Food in a Changing World, in the galleries and multiple other garden spaces. Additionally, a new gift store run by the Friends of the U.S. Botanic Garden and local DC small business Rewild will operate in the Conservatory’s West Gallery, offering botanically-themed gifts for purchase. The store will be open on weekends, expanding to more days later in the spring.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily |  Free admission
U.S. Botanic Garden, 100 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Enjoy a C&O Canal Boat Tour – Recently Returned
A beloved DC tradition returns. Georgetown’s new C&O Canal boat means boat rides are available five days a week. One-hour guided historical tours of the first mile of the Canal allow you to learn the history, technology and culture woven into the waterway. You’ll also hear spellbinding stories of people who lived, worked and played along the Canal over the past two centuries. The boat loading area is at C&O Canal Lock 3, along the Canal towpath between Thomas Jefferson and 30th Streets NW.
Tickets

 

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