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70+ Things to Do This October in Washington, DC

Discover a calendar packed with fall-flavored and Halloween events, new theater performances and fascinating museum exhibits.

We’ve picked out the best events, festivals, museum exhibits, theater performances, concerts and more happening this month in Washington, DC. Check out the best things to do in the nation's capital and plan your visit today.

 Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Events Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Museum Exhibits

 Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Theater Things to Do This Month in Washington, DC - Music

Events

Jousting at the Maryland Renaissance Festival - Fall festivals and events near Washington, DC

Maryland Renaissance Festival – Weekends through Oct. 20
This unique festival takes place every year near Annapolis, Md. (roughly 50 minutes from downtown DC). Discover Renaissance-themed artisans, performances (including dances and musicians) and food. You can also dress up in your own costume, if ye so wish.
10 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Tickets
1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, MD 21401

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Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC

Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show – Oct. 3-5
The National Building Museum hosts this curated show from Smithsonian during the first weekend in October. Limited edition clothing, jewelry and accessories will be on display, as more than 70 designers from all over the country will be represented. The wearable art extravaganza kicks off with an opening night cocktail party on Thursday.
Friday: 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. |  Saturday: 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Tickets
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Washington Capitals game at Capital One Arena - Reasons to check out a Capitals hockey game in DC

Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes – Oct. 5
The hometown Capitals begin their quest to win their second Stanley Cup in three years with back-to-back away games before hosting this home opener against the rival Carolina Hurricanes, who eliminated the Caps in seven games in the first round of last year’s playoffs. Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby will lead the charge as the boys look to exact some revenge.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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NGA Nights at the National Gallery of Art - Free event at museum on the National Mall in DC

NGA Nights: Art History Mysteries – Oct. 10
Take advantage of free after-hours access to the National Gallery of Art during this Thursday night celebration of art history. Bring a magnifying glass and trench coat as you become a detective inside the Gallery, observing masterpieces and discovering the mysteries inside of them. You can also expect pop-up talks and dance sessions thanks to the stylings of Les the DJ.
6-9 p.m. |  Free admission |  Register
National Gallery of Art, 4th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

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Double Exposure Film Festival - Fall film festival in Washington, DC

Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival – Oct. 10-13
Curated by 100Reporters, an investigative news organization, the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival serves as the first and only film festival solely dedicated to investigative reporting on film in the United States. Four days of screenings are accompanied by a professional symposium in which journalists and filmmakers discuss their storytelling. Check out the films that will be shown, in addition to the speakers that will attend the symposium. Venues include Eaton DC, the National Archives, the National Geographic Museum and the Naval Heritage Center.
ScheduleTickets
Citywide

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Wine festival at George Washington's Mount Vernon - Events and festivals in Northern Virginia near DC

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour – Oct. 11-13
George Washington’s Mount Vernon is at its scenic best when fall rolls around, so it’s fitting that the historic estate hosts this special celebration of wine followed by a sunset tour of the property. Learn of the Founding Fathers’ attempts at wine-making, hear live blues music and meet George and Martha at the Mansion’s piazza. The tour will also take you to George’s basement, where he stored his wine. Fruit and cheese boxes to accompany your wine are available for purchase in advance.
6 - 9 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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Jazz band performing at Hillfest on Capitol Hill - Free concert in Washington, DC

Hillfest – Oct. 12
Hillfest, heartily backed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, will bring together more than 20 artists to celebrate the importance of music in the local community. Performances will take place on two separate stages at Garfield Park throughout the day. The Saturday concert is preceded by a conference that will address topics that affect the performing arts community.
10 a.m. – 8 p.m. |  Free admission
Garfield Park, 148 F Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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Snallygaster fall beer festival and concert in Yards Park - Best fall events in Washington, DC

Snallygaster – Oct. 12
Snallygaster is here to let you beast out with over 400 craft brews and ciders on Pennsylvania Avenue. Named after a mythical creature, the festival roars into its eighth year with a hefty lineup that also includes food trucks and plenty of live music. Greg Engert, one of the city’s leading beer connoisseurs, has selected a motley crew of brews from far and wide for your tasting pleasure. Pick from one of two advance ticketing options and you will be contributing to Arcadia, a nonprofit working towards a more sustainable food system in the area. You must be 21 or older to attend.
2 p.m. (VIP at 12 p.m.) |  Tickets
Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 6th Streets NW, Washington, DC

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Maggie Rogers festival performance at the All Things Go Fall Classic - Can't-miss music festival in Washington, DC

All Things Go Fall Classic – Oct. 12-13
Union Market is one of the District’s coolest spots, so in predictable fashion, the Market will host one of the year’s coolest festivals. The All Things Go Fall Classic stretches across two days and will feature performances from Chvrches, Melanie Martinez, Léon, Sneaks and many more. The festival will also showcase delicious local and regional eats, including &pizza, DC Empanadas, Nando's, Rocklands and Shake Shack.
12 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Runners at the Marine Corps Marathon starting line - Marathons in and around Washington, DC

Born to Run: Army Ten-Miler & Marine Corps Marathon – Oct. 13 & 27
Two of the country’s most popular races take place within three weeks of each other this month in the District. The Army Ten-Miler goes first, charting a scenic course that starts and ends at the Pentagon. The Marine Corps Marathon’s 44th running begins between the Pentagon and Arlington Cemetery and concludes, fittingly, in front of the Marine Corps War Memorial. Each race packs the weekend with activities as well. Registration is closed for both runs, but spectators are more than welcome.

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Children at the National Zoo's Boo at the Zoo - The best Halloween events in and around Washington, DC

Boo at the Zoo – Oct. 18-20
The National Zoo’s annual family oriented Halloween evening event is now an essential part of the holiday in DC. Geared toward wholesome fun, the three-day celebration features more than 40 treat stations, as well as after-hours access to many of the zoo's animal houses and exhibits. Halloween-themed trails will be fun for a stroll and live entertainment will also be featured, as well as a kids’ dance party and karaoke sesh. Make sure to come in costume! The event is suggested for kids between the ages of 4 and 12.
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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29Rooms – Oct. 18-27
Refinery29 brings its brand’s distinctive style to the DC Armory during this 10-day showcase. 29Rooms is just as it sounds – you can journey through 29 rooms, each with its own theme. One focuses on dreams, another on female storytellers; in one, have a conversation with your inner child and next up, go on a blind date with destiny. The entire experience aims to expand your reality through engaging and interactive touchpoints, many curated collaborations between artists, visionaries and brands.
Tickets
DC Armory, 2001 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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Couple walking by the National Capitol Columns at the National Arboretum - Public park and attraction in Washington, DC

OAKtoberfest – Oct. 19
The U.S. National Arboretum hosts this special concert to celebrate the fall season. The Shmoods, formerly known as The DMV Hip-Hop Orchestra, will perform. The collaborative project will feature originals and classic medleys. In addition, expect food, drinks and dancing at this free event. Make sure to register before you go.
12-3 p.m. |  Free admission
U.S. National Arboretum, 3501 New York Avenue NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon - George Washington's Mount Vernon

Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon – Oct. 19-20
‘Tis the season at Mount Vernon, where fall truly shines across the estate’s beautiful grounds. Head to George Washington’s former abode for Fall Harvest Family Days. Among the activities: wagon rides, 18th-century dancing, fabric-making and corn husk doll demos, a straw bale maze and games and music from early America.
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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Washington International Horse Show 2019 - Fall events in Washington, DC

Washington International Horse Show – Oct. 22-27
Some of the world’s best horses and equestrians will call Capital One Arena home for six days in October. The Washington International Horse Show is one of the District’s biggest sporting events, as it attracts more than 500 competitors, including current stars and Olympic veterans. These stars and their horses will show off their skills at the leading metropolitan indoor horse show in the States. There’s plenty at stake, including more than $130,000 in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping.
TicketsSchedule
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival - Fall comedy shows in Washington, DC

The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival – Oct. 24-27
The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival is a collaboration between comedian Tig Notaro and Brightest Young Things that gives laughing fits to audiences all over the District, year after year. Thursday night at Lincoln Theatre features a show from the incomparable Maria Bamford and her singular brand of comedy. Friday night at Lincoln features two shows, including performances by Pete Holmes, Jamie Lee, Open Mike Eagle, Baron Vaughn and more. Saturday night's showcase is Notaro herself, while announcements are coming for Sunday's performance that rounds out the festival. An all-access pass is available, but grab it quickly, as it sells out quickly each year. Tickets for individual shows are also offered.
All-Access Pass
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Night of the Living Zoo at the Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, DC's best Halloween events

Night of the Living Zoo – Oct. 25
The National Zoo’s 21-and-over complement to Boo at the Zoo, Night of the Living Zoo transforms the animal haven into a devil’s playground. You’ll have after-hours access to numerous zoo attractions while enjoying live entertainment, including frightfully amazing oddities and the annual costume contest. You'll also be able to savor eats from local food trucks and craft brews.
7-10:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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Air and Scare Halloween event at the National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Air & Scare – Oct. 26
Have some spooky fun with a trip to Air & Scare at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. The annual indoor romp asks that you rock your Halloween attire and get ready for an intense round of trick or treating. But the fun doesn't stop there: crazy science experiments and creepy crafts are on the ledger as well.
12-5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Free, National Air and Space Museum, Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, 14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway, Chantilly, VA 20151

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The best things to do this fall in Washington, DC - Fall events and festivals

DC Mac + Cheese Festival – Oct. 26
Yeah, your eyes are not deceiving you. DC is hosting a mac-and-cheese-themed festival this fall, specifically on the Akridge Lot next to Audi Field. Your taste buds will throw a party as you sample more than 25 kinds of macaroni and cheese, peruse over 60 craft beers, wines, ciders and spirits and try crazy creations in the chef’s corner. There will also be live music from local bands to soundtrack your excursion. Three ticket options are available.
1-5 p.m. (VIPs can enter at 12 p.m.) |  Tickets
Akridge Lot next to Audi Field, 100 V Street SW, Washington, DC 20003

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Trick-or-Treat at Tudor Place Historic House and Garden - Kid-friendly Halloween events in Washington, DC

Trick or Treat at Tudor Place – Oct. 26
Time to get spooktacular at Tudor Place, an elegant house and garden set in a bucolic area of Georgetown. Trick or Treat at Tudor Place will feature costumes, pumpkin-decorating, face painting and outdoor games. Families will also enjoy meandering through the North Garden’s paths to find hidden treats!
10 a.m. – 1 p.m. |  Tickets
Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

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Trick-or-Treating at George Washington's Mount Vernon - Kid-friendly Halloween event near Washington, DC

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon – Oct. 26
Mount Vernon welcomes the entire family to enjoy Halloween fun. Festivities include a scavenger hunt, wagon rides, craft-making, chocolate-making demonstrations and even 18th century dancing in the upper garden (where you’ll get a chance to meet Martha Washington). Prizes will be rewarded for the best George and Martha costumes, and there will also be a children’s costume parade!
3:30-6:30 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

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Nightmare on M Street 2019 - Halloween bar crawl in Washington, DC

Nightmare on M Street – Oct. 26
Get ready for a roaming costume party that is a monster mash of epic proportions. You and your friends can get decked out and cruise to different bars throughout the Dupont Circle neighborhood during the Nightmare on M Street, taking place on the Saturday before Halloween. There will be food and drink specials at each stop along the way. Now in its 21st year, the station-to-station Halloween bonanza is sure to be far from a nightmare.
1-9 p.m. |  Tickets
Various locations in Dupont Circle

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Outside The Black Cat on 14th Street - Concert venue in Washington, DC

Eighties Mayhem: 80s Halloween Dance Party – Oct. 26
Halloween thrills are on tap for Black Cat’s '80s Halloween Dance Party, which kicks off at 9 p.m. on the last Saturday night of the month. The event will take up both floors of the venue, with DJs Steve EP, MissGuided and Killa K holding it down upstairs while music blares in two different rooms downstairs. Costumes are highly encouraged!
9 p.m. |  Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Halloween Hunt at the Mansion on O - Halloween events in Washington, DC

Halloween Hunt at the Mansion on O – Oct. 27
Visiting the wondrous Mansion on O & O Street Museum is quite the experience, especially when you journey through the historic venue on a scavenger hunt. View the Mansion in its finest Halloween attire as you search through its many themed rooms and secret doors for seasonal and Halloween-themed prizes. You can also bring along your own shopping bag and purchase goodies from the mansion.
Reserve
The Mansion on O Street, 2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

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17th Street High Heel Race - Dupont Circle - Washington, DC

17th Street High Heel Race – Oct. 29
An epic DC tradition for more than 30 years, the 17th Street High Heel Race turns one Dupont Circle neighborhood street into a raucous, Halloween-flavored spectacle. Heel hobblers, most of whom are decked out in full drag and makeup, are cheered on by screaming fans for the full quarter-mile race. Photo ops, chuckles and plenty of fun are sure to ensue. Quick note: no chairs or animals allowed, as these intense competitors need as much space as possible to strut their stuff. Participants and spectators usually begin to gather around 6 p.m.
Free admission
17th Street NW

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@rickysanch - Washington Wizards NBA basketball game at Capital One Arena - Pro sports events in Washington, DC

Washington Wizards vs. Houston Rockets – Oct. 30
James Harden, Russell Westbrook and the Houston Rockets come to town for the Wizards’ first home game of the season. Bradley Beal and Thomas Bryant will look to guide the hometown Wiz back to the playoffs in 2019-20 and homecourt support will be paramount. The Capital One Arena slate begins with quite a challenge, as the Rockets are expected to be one of the top teams in the NBA this year.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Superfine! Art Fair at Washington, DC's Union Market Dock 5 space in the NoMa neighborhood

Superfine! Art Fair – Oct. 30 – Nov. 3
Local and national artists showcase their work during this spirited and affordable art fair at Union Market. Superfine! will feature curated performances and art for sale throughout its run, which occurs during Halloween weekend. Visitors will be able to meet and connect with emerging artists from the DC area as well. Three different ticket packages are available.
Tickets
Dock5 at Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Museum Exhibits

Lucid Motion exhibit at ARTECHOUSE in Washington, DC - Interactive Instagrammable exhibit in DC

‘Lucid Motion’ – Through Dec. 1
ARTECHOUSE’s newest exhibition is a journey into the marriage of technology and movement. Created by the Japanese artist collective Daito Manabe and Rhizomatiks Research, Lucid Motion consists of three installations that all utilize different technologies and methods of expression. You can experience dance performances centered around light, shade and motion as you take a voyage through multiple rooms.
Tickets
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Visitors at the Newseum in Washington, DC - Family-friendly museum in DC

#OnDeadline: Visit the Newseum Before It Closes For Good – Closes Dec. 31
Among DC’s extraordinary museums, the Newseum is the only one dedicated to the First Amendment. Earlier this year, the museum announced that it’s closing on Dec. 31, 2019 and it just launched its On Deadline campaign featuring a 15-percent discount for visitors through the end of the year. So if you haven’t been yet, want to go again or simply want to show your support, there’s no better time to see the stunning collection of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs, watch your kids deliver a broadcast in a Be a TV Reporter station and contemplate the sight of a large section of the Berlin Wall, among other things. One more hot scoop: in addition to the discount, your ticket is good to use the next day for free.
Hours & Admission
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

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The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction - Exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC

Judy Chicago – 'The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction' – Through Jan. 20, 2020
The National Museum of Women in the Arts will be the first venue to showcase this new series of work from Judy Chicago, one of the art world’s greatest revolutionaries. Through almost 40 pieces of glass and painted porcelain, you can pay witness to Chicago’s ruminations on species extinction and human mortality, all framed in her signature style that always challenges the status quo.
Hours & Admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

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The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art - Free museum exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, DC

‘The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art’ – Through Jan. 26, 2020
Roughly 70 pieces that use pastels to striking effect make up this exciting exhibit at the National Gallery of Art. The history of pastel, stretching from the Renaissance to today, will accompany pieces that highlight the true potential and versatility of the medium. Artists featured include William Merritt Chase, Paul Huet, Edgar Degas and Claude Monet, among many others.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m on Sunday | Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 4th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

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Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece - Free Smithsonian exhibit in Washington, DC

‘Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece’ – Through March 22, 2020
The Freer|Sackler worked with the National Museum of Korea to bring the oldest surviving gilded wood figure in an informal pose to the District. The sculpture of Gwaneum, recognized as the most popular deity in Korean Buddhism, was carved sometime between 918 and 1392. When the piece was first placed into worship, important texts and symbolic objects were sealed inside, a practice founded on the belief that adding dedication material to a Buddhist sculpture gave it life. The exhibit will showcase recent research and new info about the sculpture itself and what was placed inside, as well as the rituals that went into image consecration in 13th century Korea.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
Freer|Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Lee Ufan Open Dimension at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC

‘Lee Ufan: Open Dimension’ – Through Sept. 13, 2020
For the first time, the Hirshhorn’s 4.3-acre outdoor plaza will be devoted almost entirely to the work of one artist. Lee Ufan, one of Korea’s most celebrated creators who rose to prominence in the late 1960s, will present 10 new sculptures from his continuing Relatum series. It’s Ufan’s largest single outdoor sculpture project in the U.S. and the first time that his work has been exhibited in DC. Each sculpture relates to the Hirshhorn’s architecture in some way, creating what Ufan likes to call an “open dimension”.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue and 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

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Intersections: Los Carpinteros at The Phillips Collection - Fall museum exhibit in Washington, DC

‘Intersections: Los Carpinteros’ – Oct. 10 – Jan. 12, 2020
The Cuban artist collective known as Los Carpinteros (made up of Marco Castillo and Dagoberto Rodríguez) merges design, drawing and architecture in addressing social and political issues in post-revolutionary Cuba. This exhibit at The Phillips Collection will feature two 2018 videos from the collective, as well as a selection of LED sculptural portraits. Visitors will observe a portrait of modern Cuba that blends idealism and brutalism, utopia and dystopia, in the collective’s powerful works.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Women Artists of the Dutch Golden Age exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC

‘Women Artists of the Dutch Golden Age’ – Oct. 11 – Jan. 5, 2020
The Dutch Golden Age, which took place during the late-17th and early-18th centuries, represented an era of incredible prosperity for the Netherlands, both economically and creatively. While women faced obstacles in breaking through into the art world, many did, and with great success. This exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts will reveal how women artists like Judith Leyster, Maria Sibylla Merian, Rachel Ruysch and Anna Martia van Schurman were able to create masterful pieces in a range of genres while balancing motherhood and familial responsibilities.
Hours & Admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

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'Picturing the American Buffalo: George Catlin and Modern Native American Artists' exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in DC

‘Picturing the American Buffalo: George Catlin and Modern Native American Artists’ – Oct. 11 – April 12, 2020
European artist George Catlin ventured beyond the Mississippi River in the mid-19th century and documented Native American communities that were set to undergo mass migration and removal. Catlin painted scenes and portraits of the Great Plains, depicting the vital buffalo herds in the process. This exhibit will showcase his work, as well as pieces from modern Native artists, highlighting the significance of the buffalo to these communities in the process.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th Street NW & F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain - Free museum exhibit on the National Mall in Washington, DC

‘Alonso Berruguete: First Sculptor of Renaissance Spain’ – Oct. 13 – Feb. 17, 2020
For the first time outside of Spain, the man considered to be the most important sculptor on the Iberian Peninsula during the Renaissance will receive an extensive exhibition. While Alonso Berruguete’s painted sculptures in wood will be the main focus, visitors will also be able to view his remarkable work in drawing and painting, with 40 works displayed in total.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m on Sunday | Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 4th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

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Pat Steir: Color Wheel at the Hirshhorn Museum - Free Smithsonian exhibit in Washington, DC

‘Pat Steir: Color Wheel’ – Oct. 24 – Sept. 7, 2020
The Hirshhorn Museum will display the largest painting installation to date by the abstract artist Pat Steir. The new suite of paintings will be showcased in the Museum’s second-floor inner-circle galleries, spanning the entire perimeter, creating a jaw-dropping color wheel across thirty pieces. Steir has built a four-decade career out of her meticulously crafted but seemingly random paintings, done using her own distinct technique. Color Wheel looks to be one of the most intriguing exhibits of the season.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free Admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, 7th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Bonnard to Vuillard: The Intimate Poetry of Everyday Life - Autumn museum exhibit at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC

‘Bonnard to Vuillard: The Intimate Poetry of Everyday Life’ – Oct. 26 – Jan. 26, 2020
This Phillips Collection offers the work of “Nabis” (a Hebrew phrase that translates to “prophet”), a group of European Post-Impressionist artists who started a creative revolution in the 1890s. The collective aimed to break down boundaries between the fine and decorative arts through painting, sculpture, lithography, stained glass and a range of other forms. The exhibit will feature pieces by Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Félix Vallotton and others.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today at the National Portrait Gallery - Free Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC

The Outwin 2019: American Portraiture Today – Oct. 26 – Aug. 30, 2020
The National Portrait Gallery is reigniting the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition for 2019, which asks artists to submit innovative works in the art of portrayal, resulting in an awe-inspiring variety of pieces. See the work of 46 finalists in the resulting exhibition, which is opened by an announcement of prizewinners. The grand prize is $25,000 and the opportunity to create a piece for the Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. Visitors will marvel at how artists of today use a wide range of tools, devices and media to re-imagine portraiture.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th Street NW & F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Theater

Henry IV performance at Folger Theatre - September theater in Washington, DC

‘1 Henry IV’ – Through Oct. 13
The Folger Theatre takes on 1 Henry IV, a staging that will feature DC theater legend Edward Gero as Falstaff. The story focuses on Prince Hal and his drinking and carousing with the common folk, which only angers his father, King Henry IV. Eventually, Hal will have to wear the crown, but not before his reputation and honor are put on the line on the battlefield.
Tickets
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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August Wilson's Jitney - August Wilson Festival at Arena Stage for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC

'August Wilson's Jitney' – Through Oct. 27
Arena Stage kicks off a season-long festival honoring August Wilson, a legendary, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, with this drama that won the 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. The story focuses on a Pittsburgh jitney station, where drivers face the onslaught of gentrification and a steady lack of opportunity. The group resists forces more powerful than them while also analyzing their past to plan for their future. Ruben Santiago-Hudson directs.
Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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West By God at the Keegan Theatre - Fall performing arts in Washington, DC

‘West By God’ – Through Oct. 20
The Appalachia region of West Virginia serves as the setting for this new production at the Keegan Theatre. Two families are wrestling with grief, memory and identity, and attempting to love one another in the process. Generational, societal and racial divides are emphasized, imbued with honesty and humor by playwright Brandon McCoy, a West Virginia native.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St NW, Washington, DC 20036

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‘Fences’ – Through Oct. 27
Ford’s Theatre is also celebrating August Wilson this fall with this staging of one of the playwright’s most powerful plays. Recently adapted into a film starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, Fences is the story of Troy Maxson, a former star baseball player in the Negro Leagues who is now just getting by as a sanitation worker. Troy attempts to assert control in his relationships with his wife and son, accounting for their safety but simultaneously driving them away. This searing look at how families operate in a society corrupted by racism will be one of the most captivating theater productions of the season.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Escaped Alone fall theater production at Signature Theatre near DC

‘Escaped Alone’ – Through Nov. 3
Playwright Caryl Churchill, considered one of the most important playwrights of this era, makes her debut at Signature Theatre with this darkly comedic fantasy tale that takes place in a British garden. Three friends and a neighbor are having tea and conversation and also encountering some end-of-the-world scares. Talk of TV shows and grandchildren mingles with stories of abject terror. You’re in for some surprises in this surreal spectacle.
Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

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The Improvised Shakespeare Company at the Kennedy Center - Fall theater in Washington, DC

The Improvised Shakespeare Company – Oct. 1-6
Shakespeare has been interpreted in many, many ways, but The Improvised Shakespeare Company has come up with one of the most intriguing approaches yet. With one audience suggestion (a title of a play not yet written), the Company creates a Shakespearean masterpiece right before your eyes, totally improvised. Equipped with language and themes from all The Bard’s classics, the talented players could unveil a comedy or a tragedy – you will have to come to find out. Thomas Middleditch of Silicon Valley fame is one of the company’s talented players.
Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Jimmy Buffett’s ‘Escape to Margaritaville’ – Oct. 8-13
Jimmy Buffett classics, including “Cheeseburger in Paradise” and “Volcano”, blend with original songs to make an uproarious good time for audiences when they see this musical comedy at The National Theatre. Emmy Award winner Greg Garcia and Emmy Award nominee Mike O’Malley are responsible for this laidback journey to a place where all your problems just drift away.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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‘Footloose’ – Oct. 9-13
Enjoy an all-new, semi-staged concert production of the beloved rock and roll musical based on a classic film of the same name. Tony Award winner Walter Bobbie directs the tale of Ren McCormack, a big city kid who moves to a small town in Texas only to find that dancing and rock music are both banned there. Ren inspires his classmates to work around the law and a stern Reverend to create a rockin’ prom. Featuring classic songs like “Let’s Hear it for the Boy” and the title track, Footloose promises to be a joy this fall season.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Right to be Forgotten production at Arena Stage - Autumn theater in Washington, DC

‘Right to be Forgotten’ – Oct. 11 – Nov. 10
Playwright Sharyn Rothstein wrote this tech-savvy tale that dives headlong into the notion of forgiveness in the digital age. At 17, a young man made a mistake that still haunts him online a decade later. In an effort to create a normal life for himself, he takes on the tech companies to win back his right to privacy. Back-stabbing and political maneuvering riddle this riveting story that serves as an allegory for our modern times.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Everybody production at Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company

‘Everybody’ – Oct. 15 – Nov. 17
Penned by Obie Award winner and MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Everybody is a fresh interpretation of the 15th-century play Everyman. The roles of a happy person, a free person and a person relentlessly positive about the future will be assigned by lottery from a small cast of actors live on stage each night. Into the fray comes Death, and Everybody is taken on a philosophical and psychological journey. Prepare to witness the medieval morality play flipped on its head at Lansburgh Theatre.
Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Mystery Science Theater 3000 at The National Theatre - Fall performing arts in Washington, DC

‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’ – Oct. 18-19
Mystery Science Theater 3000, a cult-favorite television show featuring a man held captive with his robot companions by two mad scientists on a spaceship as they are forced to watch the cheesiest movies of all-time (deep breath), brings its hilarity to The National Theatre this October. The Great Cheesy Movie Circus will feature creator and original host Joel Hodgson (on his final tour, no less) with his beloved robots, riffing and joking their way through the ultimate in movie tackiness.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Kid Prince and Pablo at the Kennedy Center - Fall theater and performing arts in Washington, DC

‘Kid Prince and Pablo’ – Oct. 19 – Nov. 3
The Prince and the Pauper, Mark Twain’s classic tale, is transformed into a digital age, American hip-hop story in this new production at the Kennedy Center. The ruling class known as The Promised has banned dance and rap after progressives, known as New Wave, have attempted a revolution. Set to rule is Royal Kid Prince – until he runs into Pablo, a New Wave drummer. The two switch identities and drama and hilarity ensue. By seeing the world through the other’s eyes, the Royal Kid Prince and Pablo could start a revolution of their own.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Culture Shock Washington DC – Oct. 26-27
Local dance company Culture Shock Washington DC brings this impressive and varied set of performances to Dance Place. With the concept of “home” as a theme, both nights will feature an array of dance renditions, all choreographed and performed by members of the local company. The 150-member group will utilize hip-hop, dance, spoken word and live music to highlight what home looks, feels and sounds like to them.
Tickets
Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

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A Chorus Line at Signature Theatre - Fall performing arts near Washington, DC

‘A Chorus Line’ – Oct. 29 – Jan. 5, 2020
One of the greatest musicals of all-time touches down at Signature Theatre in late fall and runs throughout the holiday season. A Chorus Line has won nine Tony Awards and a Pulitzer Prize with its stunning fusion of ballet, jazz and tap dance numbers. You will experience what it takes to be in a chorus line through the eyes of the dancers, as their loves, hopes, dreams and memories are poured out on stage.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

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What to Send Up When It Goes Down at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington, DC

‘What to Send Up When It Goes Down’ – Oct. 30 – Nov. 10
As is frequently the case, the Woolly Mammoth Theatre will present a stage show unlike any other in the city this season. What to Send Up When It Goes Down takes on the issue of racialized violence through a whirlwind performance that includes elements of ritual, pageantry and a play. Parody, song and movement all weave a series of vignettes together that will inspire audiences to reflect and participate. Before its run at Woolly Mammoth, the production will have shows at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts (Oct. 12-13), Howard University (Oct. 17-20) and THEARC (Oct. 24-27).
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Save up to 60 percent on last-minute theater tickets to the best Washington, DC shows with TodayTix

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Music

Aldous Harding at Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, DC's H Street NE neighborhood

Aldous Harding – Oct. 3
Known for captivating and expressive live performances, Aldous Harding also composes songs of alluring depth. Capable of crafting a beautiful melody, singing a gorgeous ballad and effortlessly leading a catchy folk tune, Harding has only evolved as an artist across her three studio LPs, culminating with this year’s damn-near-perfect Designer. Don’t miss this inventive musician at Rock and Roll Hotel.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Carrie Underwood concert at Capital One Arena this October - Fall concerts in Washington, DC

Carrie Underwood – Oct. 4
The reigning queen of country music is coming to DC this October. Carrie Underwood is a generational talent, a fact that’s been evident since she won the fourth season of American Idol way back in 2005. With more than 65 million albums sold, she’s one of the most successful artists ever, and her concerts live up to the hype. Don’t miss this superstar in action at Capital One Arena.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Built To Spill – Oct. 4
Built To Spill are the rare indie band to make great use of the guitar solo and offer a catalogue filled with singalong anthems. In a career that spans three decades, the group has amassed both critical acclaim and a dedicated fan following. Their finest and most beloved long player, Keep It Like A Secret, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, so cue a tour on which Built To Spill will play the classic in its entirety. So on a Friday night in October, 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 songs in indie rock history.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

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Sheer Mag – Oct. 5
Sheer Mag are one of the most exciting rock bands to emerge in years. Blending Thin Lizzy-esque licks with funky grooves and a diva front singer who can wail with the best of them, the group is fantastic on record, including this year’s A Distant Call, which builds on their riff-heavy reputation with beautiful and reflective songs. And uh…..they’re even better on stage. Black Cat will hardly be able to contain the five-piece and their songs that get stuck in your head for days, but it will have to try.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Wale concert at the Fillmore Silver Spring - Concerts in Maryland near DC this fall

Wale – Oct. 9
Prepare for an explosive set from DC’s favorite rapper at The Fillmore Silver Spring in Silver Spring, Md. Wale is essentially an ambassador of the District, having built a dedicated following since his first local smash, “Dig Dug (Shake It).” This show will have the feel of a community event as opposed to a concert. Expect a packed house as Wale lays down his anthems during this stop on his Everything is Fine tour.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

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Concert crowd at Union Stage on The Wharf - Where to see a concert at The Wharf in Washington, DC

CupcakKe – Oct. 9
Leave the kids at home for this one. CupcakKe is known for her racy lyrics and embrace of the sexy (and raunchy) side of hip-hop. Let’s put it this way: she’s not afraid to flaunt what she’s got. If you like your rap songs with a bit of an edge and attending concerts where anything is possible, don’t miss CupcakKe’s set at Union Stage.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Stage, 740 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Post Malone concert at Capital One Arena this October - Fall concerts in Washington, DC

Post Malone – Oct. 12
With a distinct look, an eclectic sound and an unforgettable grin, Post Malone is the current chill king of hip-hop. The multiplatinum artist has become a poster boy (no pun intended) for rap that’s not afraid to stretch beyond genre constraints. With Hollywood’s Bleeding just released, Post will have plenty of new songs to accompany crowd favorites for what will be a packed house inside Capital One.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Natasha Bedingfield – Oct. 14
This UK sensation burst onto the charts in the early 2000s on the heels of “Unwritten,” one of the decade’s most infectious hits and the opening theme song to The Hills. Since then, Natasha Bedingfield has built a career filled with R&B-flavored hits, leading to more than 20 million records sold worldwide. Lincoln Theatre will host the incredibly talented songstress for one night only.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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The Chainsmokers at Capital One Arena this fall - The best things to do this October in DC

The Chainsmokers – Oct. 15
Alex Pall and Drew Taggart make up the DJ/production duo that is The Chainsmokers, who have seen a startling rise in popularity over the past half-decade. With a new record, World War Joy, on the way, the tandem comes to Capital One Arena to blow the roof off (figuratively speaking) with their EDM and hip-hop inspired tracks that have captivated audiences all over the world. 5 Seconds of Summer and Lennon Stella will serve as the opening acts.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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The Black Keys – Oct. 16
The Black Keys emerged from Akron, Ohio in the early 2000s equipped with a guitar, a set of drums, cheap recording equipment and an affinity for cranking out raw blues rock unlike anything else blaring from speakers at the time. Now, the duo of Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney has evolved into a worldwide sensation, so much so that a second show was needed for this stint at The Anthem (the Oct. 15 show sold out). Catch one of the world’s biggest rock bands in DC while you can.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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(Sandy) Alex G – Oct. 17
Alex G has been recording and self-releasing music since 2010, but the singer/songwriter’s breakout came in 2017 with Rocket, put out by Domino to universal praise. The 25-year-old musician effortlessly blends the intimacy of bedroom recordings with Americana, folk and even stadium-ready pop for a collection of music that is truly idiosyncratic, a sound he builds on with this year’s House of Sugar. You’ll find him at The Black Cat on Oct. 17.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Rhett Miller – Oct. 20
As both a solo artist and leader of the esteemed alt-country group, Old 97’s, Rhett Miller has made a name for himself penning thoughtful tunes that mix just the right amount of honky-tonk and rock. The seventh-generation Texan will be accompanied by another talented singer who calls the state home, Elaina Kay, during this Sunday night set at City Winery.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
City Winery, 1350 Okie Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Young Thug and Machine Gun Kelly concert at The Anthem - Concerts this fall in Washington, DC

Young Thug & Machine Gun Kelly – Oct. 22
Hailing from Atlanta, Ga., Young Thug has become a household name in hip-hop over the last several years, first releasing a stream of mixtapes, then album after album of his unique spin on the genre, including his signature voice. Accompanying him for this show at The Anthem is Machine Gun Kelly, who has a trajectory similar to Young Thug’s: he began putting out mixtapes in Cleveland at the age of 16, only to eventually sign a major label deal and turn himself to a major player. This is quite the twin bill at one of DC’s best music venues.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Stiff Little Fingers – Oct. 23
Stiff Little Fingers fired Inflammable Material off from Northern Island in 1979, signaling that London and New York City were far from the only places where revolutionary punk rock bands could be found. Their debut album expressed a fury and political consciousness that reflected the group’s upbringing during The Troubles in their home country. All these years later, Stiff Little Fingers can still turn in an earth-shattering performance, and at this Black Cat show, they’ll play Inflammable Material in its entirety.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Ingrid Michaelson – Oct. 23
In a career that spans nearly 15 years and nine albums, Ingrid Michaelson has established herself as a dynamic singer-songwriter that can deftly mix folk and pop to great effect. This year’s Stranger Songs was inspired by Netflix’s Stranger Things, a gripping mash-up that truly showcases Michaelson’s versatility. She’s also been tapped to write music for the stage adaptation for The Notebook. All of Michaelson’s genius will be on display for this show at the historic Lincoln Theatre.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Sleater-Kinney concert at The Anthem this October in Washington, DC

Sleater-Kinney – Oct. 25
After a 10-year hiatus, Sleater-Kinney returned to re-conquer rock with No Cities to Love in 2015, and have now added this year’s acclaimed The Center Won’t Hold to their outstanding discography. Led by Carrie Brownstein (also known for her starring role on IFC’s Portlandia), this all-girl power trio burst onto the scene in the early 1990s as part of the riot-grrrl movement and quickly gained notoriety with their blistering take on rock ‘n roll. All these years later, the group can still put on one kick-ass show, as they will at The Anthem on Oct. 25.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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DIIV – Oct. 27
If your record collection is riddled with albums from The Cure, My Bloody Valentine, Joy Division and any number of Krautrock jammers, DIIV is a must-see. Their debut album, Oshin, was released to great acclaim in 2012, as the 40-minute rocket rips through song after song of catchy melodies and irresistible, aired-out guitar riffs. Much of the same could be found on 2016’s Is the Is Are. The upcoming Deceiver promises a new direction for the band after frontman Zachary Cole Smith overcame struggles with substance abuse. Expect to hear plenty of new songs during this set at Black Cat.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC

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Kevin Gates concert at Echostage - Can't-miss fall concerts in Washington, DC

Kevin Gates – Oct. 27
Kevin Gates, who hails from Baton Rouge, La., is known for his confessional approach to rap, a stylistic choice that sets him apart from the rest of the field. His personal songs are backed by a pristine Southern hip-hop sound that indicates his strong Louisiana roots. With his second LP, I’m Him, on the way, Gates will have a cache of new tracks to show off alongside his cherished anthems at Echostage.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, DC 20018

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Jay Som – Oct. 30
Jay Som (real name: Melina Duterte) is one of the most exciting singer/songwriters in indie rock, a 20-something artist wise well beyond her years. After announcing herself with the bedroom pop of 2015’s Turn Into, Som’s sound added a bit of an edge on 2017’s Everybody Works, her breakthrough success. This year’s Anak Ko dipped into the ‘80s aesthetics of Cocteau Twins and The Cure to add another layer to Som’s music. We can’t wait to find out what’s next.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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Chief Keef at the Fillmore Silver Spring - Can't miss fall concerts in Washington, DC

Chief Keef – Oct. 31
A native of Chicago’s South Side, Chief Keef’s career has had an incredible amount of twists and turns – and successes – for that of a 24-year old. Known for sparking the rap subgenre referred to as “drill,” Keef and his Glo Gang have staked out their own distinct corner of the hip-hop world. Keef blends melody and his slurred vocal style to create a sound all his own. The Fillmore Silver Spring hosts the rapper also known as “Sosa” on Halloween night.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

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The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC