You are here

70+ Things to Do This October in Washington, DC

The nation’s capital offers a packed list of must-dos this month, including Halloween events for all ages, new fall theater productions, seasonal festivals and so much more.

We’ve picked out the best events, festivals, museum exhibits, theater performances, concerts and more happening this month in DC. Check out the best things to do 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. 21
Check out this unique festival that takes place every year in Annapolis, Md., roughly 50 minutes from downtown DC. Bring along the entire family and celebrate olde times with Renaissance-themed artisans, dazzling performances (including dances and musicians) and plenty of plate-filling food, like turkey legs. 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

•••

Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals with the Stanley Cup - NHL Hockey in Washington, DC

Washington Capitals Home Opener vs. Boston Bruins – Oct. 3
The Stanley Cup champions will officially begin their title defense against the Boston Bruins. Prior to the tilt, the Washington Capitals’ first championship banner will be hung in the rafters at Capital One Arena, a momentous and historic occasion in DC sports history – so arrive early. Then, watch as Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Braden Holtby take the ice against the Bruins and their crew of stars, which includes Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron and David Pastrnak.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

•••

Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show at the National Building Museum - Fall arts events in Washington, DC

Smithsonian Craft2Wear Show – Oct. 4-6
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 60 designers from all over the country will be represented. The wearable art extravaganza kicks off with an opening night cocktail party on Thursday.
10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Tickets
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

•••

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

Fall Wine Festival & Sunset Tour – Oct. 5-7
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, including its wine cellar. Learn of the Founding Fathers’ attempts at wine-making, hear live music and relax on the scenic east lawn, which overlooks the Potomac River, as you sip on wines made in Virginia.
6 - 9 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

•••

The Draken world's largest Viking ship - Things to do at the Wharf in Washington, DC

The Draken Experience – Oct. 5-15
This October, the world’s largest operating Viking ship will dock at The Wharf’s Transit Pier. We’re not kidding. The Draken Village pops up in the District, offering fascinating and in-depth tours of the Draken ship, the chance to interact with crew members, an immersive photo and video exhibit, captain-led lectures and a screening of a new Draken documentary.
Tickets
Transit Pier at The Wharf, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

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

Hillfest – Oct. 6
Hillfest, heartily backed by Mayor Muriel Bowser, will bring together more than 15 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 issues relating to musicians and an instrument expo at Eastern Market on Friday.
11 a.m. – 8 p.m. |  Free admission
Garfield Park, 148 F Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

• • •

Runners at Marine Corps Marathon - Fall marathon and event in Washington, DC

Born to Run: Army Ten-Miler & Marine Corps Marathon – Oct. 7 & 28
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 43rd 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.

• • •

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

Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival – Oct. 10-14
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. Five 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. Screenings and discussions will take place at venues such as the National Union Building, the National Portrait Gallery and the Naval Heritage Center.
ScheduleTickets
Citywide

• • •

Crowd at National Gallery of Art Evenings on the Edge event - Things to do at Washington, DC museums

Evenings at the Edge: East Building 40th Birthday Party – Oct. 11
The National Gallery of Art’s iconic East Building, designed by I.M. Pei, celebrates its 40th anniversary with this special Evenings at the Edge event, which is free to attend. DJ Kelton Higgins will spin disco music, pop-up talks on famous works from the 1970s will be held and a film inspired by the East Building will be screened. Attendees can also design birthday cards, construct a museum using magnetic tiles and blocks, play games from the disco era and savor empanadas and cake pops.
6-9 p.m. |  Free admission
National Gallery of Art East Building, 4th Street NW, Washington, DC 20565

• • •

@drinkcompany / Ana Valentin - GWAR Pop-Up Bar in Shaw - Halloween events in and around Washington, DC

Death Becomes Us Pop-Up Bar (PUB) – Oct. 11 – Nov. 4
Drink Company and Brightest Young Things have teamed up for a special fall pop-up bar. Death Becomes Us PUB will feature three true crime vignettes dedicated to the Black Dahlia murder, the Salem Witch Trials and the case of Elizabeth Bathory, a Hungarian woman cited by some as the most prolific female serial killer. GWAR PUB will also hang around through Halloween. Of course, there will be creative drinks galore and decorations that will send chills up your spine, including a two-headed stockade, a Victorian dungeon and a witches’ workshop. The PUB will be the perfect lead-up to the DBU True Crime Festival, Nov. 3-4 at Lisner Auditorium.
Sunday through Thursday, 5 p.m. – 12:30 a.m. |  Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. – 1:30 a.m.
1839 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

•••

@pootie_ting - Celebration at H Street Festival in H Street NE - Events and festivals in Washington, DC

H Street Festival – Oct. 13
Another one of DC’s most popular neighborhoods pulls out all the stops for this annual festival that draws thousands of attendees every year. The H Street Festival will feature live music, dance performances, family-friendly activities, contests and plenty of food vendors across its 14 staging areas, with dozens of businesses participating.
12-7 p.m. |  Free admission
H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

• • •

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

Snallygaster – Oct. 13
Snallygaster is here to let you beast out with over 300 craft brews and ciders on Pennsylvania Avenue. Named after a mythical creature, the festival roars into its seventh 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.
1:30 p.m. (VIP at 12 p.m.) | Tickets
Pennsylvania Avenue NW and 6th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Bradley Beal Dunking at Capital One Arena - Washington Wizards Basketball in Washington, DC

Washington Wizards Home Opener vs. Miami Heat – Oct. 18
The Wizards open their 2018-19 regular season against the Miami Heat, a Southeast Division rival and a fellow participant in last year’s NBA Playoffs. John Wall and Bradley Beal will be joined by new acquisition Dwight Howard in the Wizards' pursuit of another playoff appearance and a subsequent deep postseason run. Miami will be led by NBA legend Dwyane Wade and star guard Goran Dragic.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

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

Boo at the Zoo – Oct. 19-21
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. 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

• • •

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

Air & Scare – Oct. 20
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

• • •

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

Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon – Oct. 20-21
‘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

• • •

Washington International Horse Show - Washington, DC

Washington International Horse Show – Oct. 23-28
Some of the world’s best horses and equestrians will call Capital One Arena home for six days this month. 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 $130,000 in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping.
TicketsSchedule
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ryan Griffiths (@rgriffiths650) on

Halloween Hunt at the Mansion on O – Oct. 24
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

• • •

Smithsonian African American Film Festival – Oct. 24-27
The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will host its inaugural film festival in late October. The four-day celebration will offer more than 60 contemporary and historical films that illuminate the black experience in the United States, as well as a juried competition. In addition to film screenings, the festival will feature discussions with filmmakers and scholars and presentations on filmmaking and editing. Events will take place at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Freer|Sackler Galleries and the National Gallery of Art.
Tickets
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

• • •

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

The Bentzen Ball Comedy Festival – Oct. 25-28
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. he festival kicks off on Thursday with a performance by Phoebe Robinson at Lincoln Theatre. Friday night at Lincoln Theatre features a show on #Adulting hosted by Michelle Buteau and Jordan Carlos, as well as a late performance by Amanda Seales of HBO’s Insecure. The closing show on Sunday night will offer up Notaro with many of her funny friends.
Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

• • •

Taste of DC - Fall Food Festival in Washington, DC

Taste of DC – Oct. 26-27
Featuring everything from local restaurants and breweries to dessert shops, Taste of DC is sure to satisfy all your inner-foodie cravings. Audi Field serves as the new locale for this enormous party that will feature live music and entertainment to go along with its many flavors. The two-day gathering is considered the Mid-Atlantic region’s premier culinary cultural festival, so expect more than 65 restaurants to be on-hand, in addition to a beer garden and an artisan market.
Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

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

Night of the Living Zoo – Oct. 26
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

• • •

Newseum Frights Halloween event at the Newseum in Washington, DC

Newseum Frights – Oct. 26
Newseum Nights turns frightful in late October at the Newseum. Rock a costume to this monster mash that will include cocktails, delicious bites, live music, palm and tarot card readings, ghoulishly glamorous makeovers, skull decorating, caricature sketches and curator-led gallery talks. And of course, no Halloween-centric event is complete without a costume contest. Tickets for Newseum Frights will sell quickly, so act fast.
8:30-11 p.m. |  Tickets
Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

• • •

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

Trick or Treat in the Garden – Oct. 27
Time to get spooktacular at Tudor Place, an elegant house and garden set in a bucolic area of Georgetown. Trick or Treat in the Garden 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

• • •

Trick-or-Treating at George Washington's Mount Vernon - Family Friendly Halloween Event Near Washington, DC

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon – Oct. 27
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 a children’s costume parade will begin at 5 p.m.!
3:30-6:30 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

• • •

The Big Draw Festival at the National Gallery of Art - Free museum event in Washington, DC

The Big Draw Festival – Oct. 27-28
The world’s largest drawing festival comes to the National Gallery of Art’s East Building. The Big Draw Festival will feature a Sketching Lab, live model sketching, in-gallery sessions with teaching artists, live music and film screenings. The festival is entirely free and each program is first-come, first served. This museum-wide celebration will showcase the power of drawing and could enhance your sketching skills in the process.
Schedule
National Gallery of Art, 6th & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

• • •

Shopper at Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair - Fall shopping and arts festival in Washington, DC

Crafty Bastards 2018 – Oct. 27-28
Washington City Paper presents this showcase of independent artists for the 15th year on Oct. 27 and 28 at the scenic Yards Park. Expect more than 200 indie craft vendors, all handpicked by a jury, selling everything from home goods to jewelry to locally produced food to toys and punk-rock baby clothes. Make sure to grab tickets beforehand for fastest entry.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Tickets
Lot A at The Yards Park, 355 Water Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

• • •

Dia de los Muertos altar making family activity in Petworth - Halloween events in Washington, DC

Dia de los Muertos Celebration in Petworth – Oct. 27 & Nov. 2
Petworth Arts Collaborative hosts a celebration of the Day of the Dead in DC's Petworth neighborhood, a Mexican holiday honoring those who have passed away that coincides closely with Halloween. Saturday features altar making and a chance to learn the history of the holiday at the Petworth Farmer's Market. On the following Friday, there will be calavera face painting from 5-6 p.m., followed by a beautiful Day of the Dead procession on Upshur Street beginning at 6:15 p.m. Altars will be showcased while live mariachi music plays from 6-9 p.m.
Various Locations in Petworth

• • •

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

17th Street High Heel Race – Oct. 30
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

• • •

Howl-O-Ween Trick or Treating for Dogs - Free dog-friendly Halloween event in Washington, DC

Howl-O-Ween Trick or Treating for Dogs – Oct. 30
Fairmont Washington D.C., Georgetown hosts this free Halloween event in its courtyard that dog lovers will cherish. Friends and neighbors can bring their canine companion dressed in costume, with awards being doled out for Most Creative Costume, Most Adorable Costume and Funniest Costume. Dog visitors will be treated to peanut butter doggie biscuits and canine coolers, while humans can savor Flying Dog Dogtober Fest Beers for just five dollars. Of course, puppies will also be on hand for a Puppy Kissing Booth, and in turn, you can donate to Guiding Eyes for the Blind’s Puppy Raising Program.
6-7:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Fairmont Washington D.C. Georgetown, 2401 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Museum Exhibits

@teamgrayduck - Outside the Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum at the Sculpture Garden - Free modern art museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC

‘Tino Sehgal: This You’ – Through Oct. 14, 2018
This You marks the first exclusively live work for the Hirshhorn’s permanent collection in the 44-year history of the museum. Tino Sehgal’s exhibit features a solo female singer on the Hirshhorn’s Plaza and in the Sculpture Garden connecting with visitors to enable one-on-one connections, or “constructed situations”, creating memorable experiences that do not involve recordings, photos or videos.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, 7th Street & Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

• • •

Japan Modern Photography Exhibit at the Freer | Sackler Gallery on the National Mall - Free art museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC

‘Japan Modern: Photography from the Gloria Katz and Willard Huyck Collection’ – Through Jan. 21, 2019
A recent acquisition of major Japanese photography by the Freer|Sackler led to this exciting new exhibition that will highlight influential photographers of the 20th century in all their glory. Expect to see jaw-dropping landscapes and hard-hitting portraits of postwar Japan. The photographs are both rural and urban, serving as social commentary in some cases and deeply personal meditations in others. Photobooks and films are also included.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free admission
Freer|Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

• • •

'Japan Modern: Prints in the Age of Photography' at the Freer | Sackler Gallery on the National Mall - Free art museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC

‘Japan Modern: Prints in the Age of Photography’ – Through Jan. 21, 2019
Traditional woodblock printmaking was the norm in Japan until the mid-19th century, when photography became prominent. Printmakers were forced to innovate in order to stay relevant. Additionally, a new government, a powerful earthquake and a world war also contributed to the major upheaval that these artists faced. This exhibit highlights how printmakers dealt with such radical change, and in turn, elevated and evolved an art form to reflect the times.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free admission
Freer|Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

• • •

Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor - Fall art exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC

‘Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor’ – Through March 17, 2019
The Smithsonian American Art Museum will present the first major retrospective on an artist born into slavery with this fascinating look into the work of Bill Traylor. Born in Alabama in 1853, Traylor lived through enslavement, the Civil War, Emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow laws and the Great Migration. He painted and drew striking pieces that covered a gamut of subjects, from the political to the racial to the powerful, delivering a stunning interpretation of African American life. You can view 155 of Traylor’s most important paintings and drawings in this exhibit.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Free admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th & F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

• • •

@laflaneure - Outdoor art installation at Glenstone Museum in Maryland - Free art museum near Washington, DC

Glenstone Museum Expansion Opening – Oct. 4
Located just outside of DC in Potomac, Md., Glenstone Museum combines art, architecture and landscape to create a seamless, open museum-going experience that you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. Post-World War II art fills marvelously designed indoor and outdoor spaces on a 100-plus acre plot that also features paths, trails, streams and meadows. The museum also has an exciting expansion planned to open on Oct. 4 that will include an all-new building and new outdoor sculptures. Glenstone is open from Thursday – Sunday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., with visits scheduled on the hour. Make sure to book yours before you go.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thursday – Sunday | Free admission | Reserve
Glenstone Museum, 12002 Glen Road, Potomac, MD 20854

• • •

'Churchill's Shakespeare' exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library - Fall museum exhibits in Washington, DC

‘Churchill’s Shakespeare’ – Oct. 6 – Jan. 6, 2019
Previously unrevealed connections between Winston Churchill and William Shakespeare will be at the center of this fascinating historical exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library. Churchill’s Shakespeare will feature Churchill’s famous hat, bow tie and walking stick, in addition to his own personal copies of Shakespeare’s plays. A thorough portrait of Churchill’s life will be on display, including speeches and video clips, with the influence of Shakespeare and his work present throughout.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday – Saturday, 12 – 5 p.m. on Sunday | Free admission
Folger Shakespeare Library, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

• • •

Student touring Anderson House in Dupont Circle - Museum off the National Mall in Washington, DC

‘A Revolution in Arms’ – Oct. 11 – March 24, 2019
Anderson House will dive into an essential element in America’s fight for its independence during the Revolutionary War in this new exhibit. When the war began in 1775, there were not many shops or factories producing weapons in America. In order to battle the well-armed British, the Continental Army had to resort to numerous resources in order to procure firearms and swords. A Revolution in Arms will showcase muskets, pistols, swords and other weapons used by American troops during the effort.
Hours: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 4 p.m. on Sunday | Free admission
Anderson House, 2118 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

• • •

Visitors at The Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle - Modern art museum in Washington, DC

‘Nordic Impressions’ – Oct. 13 – Jan. 13, 2019
Celebrated Nordic painters will be showcased in this in-depth survey that will be on display at America’s first museum of modern art, The Phillips Collection. A total of 53 artists, including Franciska Clausen, Fanny Brate, Edvard Munch and Harriet Backer, are a part of this survey that spans nearly 200 years. Visitors can discover the true artistic brilliance that circulated through Denmark, Norway, Finland, Iceland and self-governing Nordic islands during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

• • •

Rendering of the National Law Enforcement Museum in Washington, DC

National Law Enforcement Museum Grand Opening – Oct. 13
The National Law Enforcement Museum will open its doors to the public for the first time with a Community Day on Oct. 13. This new edition to DC’s renowned lineup of museums will memorialize American law enforcement in the appropriate location of Judiciary Square. More than 20,000 objects will tell the story of this country’s law enforcers, including the past, present and future.
Opens at 10 a.m. | Purchase ticket
National Law Enforcement Museum, 400 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

@ellekaysee - Couple at National Gallery of Art on the National Mall - Date idea in Washington, DC

The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy – Oct. 14 – Jan. 20, 2019
A form of printing in the 16th century, chiaroscuro woodcuts were made using a technique that involved the successive printing of multiple wood blocks. Designs by leading artists such as Raphael and Titian were interpreted and distributed. However, a shroud of mystery still surrounds the process, from the creation of the pieces to their sequencing to their necessity. This exhibit, which will feature new research and interpretations, attempts to erase the mystery surrounding this historical phenomenon in printmaking.
Hours: 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

• • •

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on the National Mall - Free Museum in Washington, DC

‘Good as Gold: Fashioning Senegalese Women’ – Opens Oct. 24
The National Museum of African Art recently received a significant influx of gold jewelry into its collection, leading to this new exhibit that examines the cultural significance of gold in the West African nation of Senegal. The Wolof concept of sañse (which roughly translates to “looking and feeling good”) is at the center of stylish Senegalese women often wearing gold, a notion that will be covered in detail, along with the production, display and circulation of gold in the country.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free admission
National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

Theater

Turn Me Loose at Arena Stage - Theater in Washington, DC

‘Turn Me Loose’ – Through  Oct. 21
The story of comedian Dick Gregory is the story of the first black artist to expose a national audience to racial comedy. This John Legend-produced show will showcase Gregory’s incredible bravery in facing bigotry and how he was able to turn his activism into art. Gregory was unafraid of any challenger, even when his safety was in question. Turn Me Loose tackles his career in a raw portrait that promises to leave a mark.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Born Yesterday theater production at historic Ford's Theatre - Must-see fall theater in Washington, DC

‘Born Yesterday’ – Through Oct. 21
Ford’s Theatre stages this screwball comedy that focuses on the politics of Washington, DC. Harry Brock, a tycoon, brings his girlfriend, Billie Dawn, to the nation’s capital to run roughshod over the political system. Billie picks up on the scheming and with the help of a reporter, works to fight back against corruption. Prepare for a healthy dose of laughter when you check out this sharp satire set in the 1940s.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

‘The Comedy of Errors’ at Shakespeare Theatre Company - Performing arts this fall in Washington, DC

‘The Comedy of Errors’ – Through Nov. 4
Mistaken identities are at the center of this beloved Shakespearean comedy, a farce kicked off by confusion over two sets of twins that bear the same name. Chaos reigns as servants can’t find their masters, wives overlook husbands and sons can’t remember their fathers. Shakespeare Theatre Company and director Alan Paul stages this classic with all of the hilarity and pure glee that it deserves.
Tickets
Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

WORLD STAGES: Measure for Measure at the Kennedy Center - Fall performing arts in Washington, DC

WORLD STAGES: ‘Measure for Measure’ – Oct. 10-13
Director Declan Donnelan, designer Nick Ormerod, English company Cheek by Jowl and the Pushkin Theatre Moscow collaborate for this avant-garde interpretation of a classic Shakespeare play. The subjects of justice, power and government are handled with both seriousness and humor, making for a thought-provoking, idiosyncratic production. Recommended for ages 16 and up.
Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Words Beats and Life performance Dance Place in Brookland - Performing arts in Washington, DC

Words Beats & Life – Oct. 13-14
Words Beats & Life, a hip-hop dance company, offers this stunning performance that features movements choreographed and performed by both American and international Muslim dancers. You’ll learn of the Muslim community and its relation to hip-hop, showcasing an intersection that is often seen as taboo, but is instead transformative.
Tickets
Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

• • •

Beetlejuice The Musical at National Theatre - Fall performing arts in Washington, DC

‘Beetlejuice’ – Oct. 14 – Nov. 18
Based on the beloved Tim Burton film, the National Theatre production of Beetlejuice is going to take the zaniness (and the vulgarity) to an all-new level this October. We highly recommend that you leave the kids at home for this hilarious excursion into the dead and demented. Lydia Deetz is an outcast, obsessed with death. In a twist of fortune, she has a ghostly couple living in her house, as well as a psychotic demon who has the perfect plan to scare off Lydia’s cruel parents. Singing, dancing and belly laughs are on the docket for this one.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

King John production at Folger Theatre - Shakespeare performance in Washington, DC

‘King John’ – Oct. 23 – Dec. 2
After the death of King Richard the Lionheart, younger brother John is elevated to the throne as King of England. Unfortunately for John, this inheritance is immediately challenged by the King of France. John faces numerous challenges as war is waged, including political battles, corruption and a murder plot that threatens to bring his empire crashing down.
Tickets
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

• • •

@somosojos - The Opera House at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - Performing Arts and Theater in Washington, DC

Broadway Center Stage: ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ – Oct. 24-28
Originally a horror comedy film released in 1960, Little Shop of Horrors then became an off-Broadway musical in the early 1980s. Yet another film adaptation followed a few years later, showing how this timeless story of a floral shop assistant and his singing, deadly plant will always dazzle audiences. The Kennedy Center welcomes this production straight from Broadway, where the play was revived back in 2003. Expect plenty of laughs, a few scares and unforgettable music in this staging that arrives just before Halloween.
Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

The Agitators at the Atlas Performing Arts Center - Must-see fall theater in Washington, DC

Mosaic Theater Company: ‘The Agitators’ – Oct. 24 – Nov. 25
The stirring friendship between Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony is the subject of this new play from Mosaic Theater Company. Across 45 years, Douglass and Anthony, two staunch abolitionists, forged a relationship built on ideals that would come to impact the entire nation. At times, the two clashed as their movements collided. In the end, each had a profound impact on the America we know today. Experience their fascinating stories and take in a profound portrait of each in this production.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

• • •

Family at Dance Place in Brookland - Dance studio in Washington, DC

Global Perspectives Festival – Oct. 27-28
International dance takes center stage at Dance Place during this two-day festival. Global Perspectives will show how impactful dance can be for communities around the world. Performers from across the DMV area will take on numerous styles and techniques, showcasing the true power of dance along the way.
Tickets
Dance Place, 3225 8th Street NE, Washington, DC 20017

• • •

Outside the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC - Guide to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

‘Long Way Down’ – Oct. 27 – Nov. 4
DC native Jason Reynolds’ best-selling book receives a world premiere Kennedy Center commission this fall. Using free-form poetry throughout, the production of Long Way Down will tell the story of Will, a 15-year old whose brother has been shot. Will immediately seeks revenge, but when he hops on his building’s elevator, his plans are interrupted by unexpected visitors. Part-mystery, part-coming-of-age tale, Long Way Down is a captivating tale sure to leave a mark. Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

‘Anastasia’ – Oct. 30 – Nov. 25
Drawing on the classic films, this musical has the Tony Award-winning creators of Ragtime at the helm, making for a can’t-miss production this fall. Anastasia begins with the downfall of the Russian Empire then moves to the lively Paris of the 1920s, following a young woman as she attempts to uncover her past. Adventure, romance and riveting music will have the entire family jumping for joy inside the Kennedy Center’s Opera House.
Tickets
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

• • •

Billy Elliot production at Signature Theatre - Autumn performing arts in Washington, DC

‘Billy Elliot’ – Oct. 30 – Jan. 6, 2019
The 11-year old Billy Elliot wants to be a ballet dancer, social norms be damned. Situated in a small town devastated by a miners’ strike, this touching tale details Billy’s trials and tribulations as he attempts to master ballet. The 2000 film was one of the most acclaimed of the year and this musical, first staged in Britain, has received widespread acclaim. With music composed by Elton John, this production promises to light up every family that sees it at Signature Theatre this fall.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

Music

Maroon 5 concert at Capital One Arena - Fall concerts in Washington, DC

Maroon 5 – Oct. 2
With more than 75 million records sold, Maroon 5 stand as one of the most successful groups working in music today. The three-time Grammy Award-winning band, led by lead singer Adam Levine, will bring its Red Pill Blues Tour to Capital One Arena for an early October show that is sure to rock the house. The group’s vibrant set will be filled with more than a decade of hits.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Leon Bridges – Oct. 3
Rising from relative obscurity to the top of the Billboard charts, Leon Bridges is now a household name in R&B and pop music. Using the template of soul music and classic 1960s Motown tracks, Bridges emerged from Fort Worth, Tx. with the acclaimed Coming Home in 2015. Now, Bridges is touring in support of Good Thing, another enthralling collection of ballads and exercises in soul. The Anthem will host the beloved singer on the first Wednesday in October.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Lykke Li – Oct. 5
Swedish pop singer Lykke Li has experimented with all forms of the genre, making albums that incorporate elements of dance, electronic and dream pop music, all conveyed through her beautiful voice. She has dazzled American audiences ever since her debut LP, Youth Novels, received widespread acclaim in 2008. Lykke will perform at the prestigious Lincoln Theatre in support of her newest offering, so sad so sexy, released in June of this year.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

• • •

Armin van Buuren – Oct. 5
Echostage welcomes this Grammy-nominated Dutch DJ and record producer for an evening filled with grooves. Van Buuren has helped take trance music worldwide, broadcasting A State of Trance since 2001, a radio show with more than 37 million weekly listeners on more than 100 FM radio stations. He’ll drop some of his hottest cuts during this show at one of DC’s most popular venues.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
Echostage, 2135 Queens Chapel Road NE, Washington, DC 20018

• • •

Mary J. Blige at the Washington Entertainment and Sports Arena - Fall concerts in Washington, DC

Mary J. Blige – Oct. 6
Commonly referred to as “The Queen of Hip-Hop Soul,” Mary J. Blige has nearly three decades worth of hits under her belt, making her the perfect artist to open the new Entertainment and Sports Arena in Anacostia. A packed house will witness Blige, a Grammy Award winner and Oscar nominee, show off her powerful voice and chart-topping catalog. Jacob Banks will serve as the opening act.
Tickets
Entertainment and Sports Arena, 110 Oak Drive SE, Washington, DC 20032

• • •

Florence + The Machine – Oct. 6
Led by vocalist Florence Welch and keyboardist Isabella Summers, Florence + The Machine reign as one of the foremost artists in England, and have also received widespread acclaim and fanfare in America. Bursting onto the scene with “Dog Days Are Over” in 2009, the group has only risen in prominence in the ensuing decade, creating an indelible mix of baroque pop, neo soul and art rock. The Anthem will be a perfect fit for one of their rousing performances.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Black Masala concert at Pearl Street Warehouse - Americana music in Washington, DC

Black Masala – Oct. 6
Black Masala is a local outfit that combines brass music, punk rock and funk grooves to create live shows that captivate the entire audience. The multicultural group rips through each song with loads of energy, a practice they’ve showcased at numerous DC venues, including the 9:30 Club and Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden. Pearl Street Warehouse will host the group in early October.
8:15 p.m. |  Tickets
Pearl Street Warehouse, 33 Pearl Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

All Things Go Fall Classic Music Festival - Events and festivals in Washington, DC

All Things Go Fall Classic – Oct. 6-7
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 Carly Rae Jepsen, Maggie Rogers, Billie Eilish and many more. The festival will also showcase delicious local eats.
12 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

• • •

Phil Collins at the Capital One Arena in Chinatown - Fall things to do in Washington, DC

Phil Collins – Oct. 7
His career began as drummer and singer for Genesis, one of rock music’s most captivating bands of the 1970s. Soon after, Phil Collins embarked on a solo career that saw him become a household name in the 1980s, accumulating more U.S. Top 40 singles than any other artist of the decade. Expect to hear some of those smash hits, a list that includes “In the Air Tonight” and “Sussudio”, during Collins’ concert at Capital One Arena on Oct. 7.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

J. Cole KOD Tour at Capital One Arena - Concerts this October in Washington, DC

J. Cole – Oct. 8
J. Cole now has five albums that have reached the top of the Billboard charts to his name, an incredible accomplishment that few other artists can claim. The rapper, singer, songwriter and producer will bring an all-star cast with him to his performance at Capital One Arena, a crew that includes Young Thug, Jaden Smith, EarthGang and Kill Edward.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Diana Krall concert at the Warner Theatre - October jazz concert in Washington, DC

Diana Krall – Oct. 9
Diana Krall has seven multi-platinum albums to her name, as well as three Grammy Awards. The world-class jazz singer has sold out venues all over the world, showcasing a voice suited to any era. The Warner Theatre will host Krall for one night only in October, the perfect, historic venue for an artist that will have an impact for generations.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Swearin’ & Sheer Mag – Oct. 9
Swearin’ plays heart-on-your-sleeve pop-punk, mashing out little indie rock gems that get stuck in your cranium for weeks. Lead singer Allison Crutchfield (twin sister of Waxahatchee’s Katie Crutchfield) writes lyrics better than you ever could. They’re sharing a bill with Sheer Mag, who’ve managed to riff on and reimagine 1970s hard rock (think Thin Lizzy) as only a band hailing from Philadelphia in the 2010s possibly could. Their lead singer, Tina Halladay, sings better than you ever could. Admire the glory of both bands in one night at The Black Cat. You’re welcome.
9:45 p.m. |  Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

• • •

Nine Inch Nails – Oct. 9-10
Trent Reznor, the founder and leader Nine Inch Nails, is one of the most visionary musicians of the past 30 years. Nine Inch Nails has combined pop songcraft with industrial, electronic and heavy metal sounds to create an immensely successful and fascinating discography, influencing an entire generation of artists in the process. They’ll be joined by another hallmark group, The Jesus and Mary Chain, for a two-night stay at The Anthem in October.
7:30 p.m. |  Oct. 9 TicketsOct. 10 Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Perpetual Groove and Kung Fu at Union Stage at The Wharf on the Southwest Waterfront in DC

Perpetual Groove & Kung Fu – Oct. 12-13
Perpetual Groove, who hail from Athens, Ga., have become a fixture on the jam band circuit, regularly playing to large crowds and loyal fans. Union Stage will package them with Kung Fu on back-to-back nights in mid-October. Kung Fu meshes funk, rock and EDM into danceable grooves that can’t be resisted. Two-night passes are available for this All Good production.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Stage, 740 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Cage the Elephant at the Washington Entertainment and Sports Arena - Fall concerts in Washington, DC

Cage the Elephant and Judah & The Lion – Oct. 13
Cage the Elephant are current torch-carriers for alternative rock, having built a career that now stretches across a decade. They’re equally adept at loud jams, psychedelic journeys and acoustic ballads. They’ll be joined by Judah & The Lion, who effectively blend folk and hip-hop into their own unique stew. This show will continue the celebration of Entertainment and Sports Arena’s grand opening.
Tickets
Entertainment and Sports Arena, 110 Oak Drive SE, Washington, DC 20032

• • •

CHVRCHES – Oct. 18
CHVRCHES began as indie darlings but are now world conquerors, having spread their sound far and wide across the States and Europe. With synthpop songs that sound like candy but lyrics that cut to the core, the Scottish trio has etched out its own special space in pop music. Singer Lauren Mayberry has a voice that perfectly suits the electronic sounds and drum beats created by her bandmates, Iain Cook and Martin Doherty. Known for incredible live shows, The Anthem is a great venue for this group’s singalong anthems. The show has sold out, so check the secondary market for tickets.
8 p.m.
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

Lindsey Buckingham concert this October in downtown Washington, DC

Lindsey Buckingham – Oct. 19
Responsible for some of the most endearing and popular songs of all-time, including “The Chain” and “Go Your Own Way”, Lindsey Buckingham has left an indelible impact on rock history as both a member of the legendary Fleetwood Mac and as a solo artist. He also happens to be one hell of a guitar player. You can enjoy his incredible catalogue and musical chops during this Warner Theatre performance.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

• • •

Guided By Voices – Oct. 19
Guided By Voices and its frontman/mastermind Robert Pollard have left a colossal mark on indie rock, emerging from Dayton, Ohio with DIY, lo-fi gems that manage to sound beautiful and accessible without succumbing to rock music’s norms. 1994’s Bee Thousand influenced countless bedroom musicians, and Pollard has been steadily releasing his unique songs ever since (seriously, we challenge you to track all of his music down). Also known for blistering live shows, catch the group at The Black Cat this October.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

• • •

Big Thief – Oct. 21
Big Thief’s songs range from soft-spoken love letters to diaries of emotional turmoil, carried by the beautiful songwriting and vocal style of lead singer Adrianne Lenker. Each of their albums, Masterpiece and Capacity, have received glowing reviews. Even though 9:30 Club is no small venue, each Big Thief show feels intimate, so expect to feel up-close-and-personal to the Brooklyn group on Oct. 21.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

• • •

Lily Allen concert at The Fillmore Silver Spring - Top fall things to do in Washington, DC

Lily Allen – Oct. 21
Lily Allen is a pop superstar on both sides of the Atlantic. She’s undergone multiple transformations during her career, telling her story through her music throughout. This year’s No Shame was a welcome return to the spotlight for the eccentric songwriter, an autobiographical portrait soundtracked by dancehall, reggae and hip-hop grooves. You’ll want to see what Allen has in store on Oct. 21.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Fillmore Silver Spring, 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, MD 20910

• • •

Beach Fossils & Wavves – Oct. 24-25
The Black Cat offers up another twin bill well worth the price for admission with this pairing of Beach Fossils and Wavves. The former plays an irresistible blend of post-punk and ‘60s rock, on full display on last year’s Somersault. The latter plays upbeat, radio-ready pop punk that still has plenty of edge. Break out the dancing shoes on back-to-back nights in late October.
7:30 p.m. |  Oct. 24 TicketsOct. 25 Tickets
The Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

• • •

Ballyhoo! concert at Union Stage on The Wharf in Washington, DC this fall

Ballyhoo! – Oct. 26
Influenced by the ska punk sounds of groups such as Sublime, Slightly Stoopid, Reel Big Fish and Pepper, Ballyhoo! have built a loyal following of Hooligans. Hailing from Baltimore, the quartet has been active for more than 20 years, touring relentlessly and releasing records independently. Union Stage will host their fun-loving brand of rock in late October.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Stage, 740 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

• • •

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Hometown Sounds (@hometownsounds) on

‘80s Halloween Dance Party – Oct. 27
Halloween thrills are on tap for The Black Cat’s '80s Halloween Dance Party. The event will take up both floors of the venue, with DJs Steve EP and MissGuided 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

• • •

#MyDCcool Photo of the Month

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Julia (@julesdane) on

Make sure to share your DC photos with us using #MyDCcool, and we may feature yours next month!

The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC