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19 Things to Do This Weekend in Washington, DC

Our end-of-the-week picks for Sept. 20-22 include the Monument Reopening, Theatre Week, H Street Festival and Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day.

Check out our end-of-the-week picks and discover all of the best events, festivals, museum exhibits, concerts and more happening in the nation’s capital.


@patrickvburton - Fall foliage on the Washington Monument grounds - Things to do this fall in Washington, DC

Washington Monument Reopening
Set to reopen on Thursday, the Washington Monument has raised expectations with a new state-of-the-art elevator that will move hundreds of visitors up to the observation deck daily. Part of what makes traveling up the elevator so historic is that it offers a glimpse of the interior walls, which are lined with stones that commemorate George Washington, placed by states, civic groups and others. The modern system gives the National Park Service operators better control of the elevator with remote access from the ground. Before experiencing the new elevator, visitors will encounter another improvement to traveling to the top of the Washington Monument – an upgraded security screening facility at the base of the structure. The new security structure can accommodate up to 20 visitors and has more modern screening equipment. Same-day tickets for all tours through Oct. 18 will be available on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW. Come early as lines will form before the first ticket is handed out at 8:30 a.m. Starting on Oct. 10 at 10 a.m. tickets may be ordered online for tour dates beginning on Oct. 19. 
9 a.m. — 5 p.m. | Same-Day Tickets at Washington Monument Lodge 
Washington Monument, 2 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20024


Theater and Performing Arts in Washington, DC - Couple walking under the Warner Theatre marquee in downtown DC

Theatre Week
Theatre Week celebrates DC’s professional theater community and the launch of the fall season through Sept. 29. Dozens of local theaters will participate, with $15 and $35 tickets offered for the most exciting shows of the season. Expect diverse work, including comedies, musicals and dramas.

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Dusk aerial view of The REACH at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC

The REACH Opening Festival – Final Weekend
The new expansion at Washington, DC’s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The REACH, is officially open. To celebrate, the Kennedy Center is hosting more than two weeks’ worth of free programming, a run that concludes this Sunday. Check the opening festival's website for registration details and a full schedule of events, all of which are free to attend.
More Info
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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WalkingTownDC - Cultural Tourism - Washington, DC

Walkingtown DC – Final Weekend
Cultural Tourism DC showcases the incredible walkability of the nation’s capital during this this free public tour program that wraps up on Sunday. Guided walking tours are held throughout the District, including 18 new or updated tours for this year. Tours come in many variations, from after-work “happy hour” soirees to long weekend tours. Historians, licensed tour guides, community leaders and business owners, among others, host these adventures that will take you to both well-known and hidden gems across DC.
More Info

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Where to shop in Georgetown - Places to shop in Washington, DC

The Fall Issue
Georgetown relishes the onset of the fall season with this 11-day long promotion that features bars, restaurants, entertainment venues, salons and galleries. More than 60 businesses in DC’s most historic neighborhood will offer special events and promotions, all inspired by fall fashions and lifestyle publications, from this Thursday through Sept. 29. Check the full list of businesses and plan an epic excursion.
More Info

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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'
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. The exhibit opens Thursday and runs through Jan. 20, 2020.
 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

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Mac Demarco
Mac Demarco is 29 years old yet somehow an elder statesmen in the realm of indie rock. His groovy, carefree tunes meld jazz, hip-hop, synth pop and funky guitars into a soothing mix of musical gold. Mac can also slow it down and rip off a sultry ballad as well. You will be grooving, head-bobbing and occasionally chuckling your way through this Friday night performance at The Anthem.
6:30 p.m. | Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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SAAM and BYT Present: End-of-Summer Camp event at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

SAAM & BYT Present: End-of-Summer Camp
The last official weekend of summer is here. No, don’t be sad – celebrate it with an open bar camp party inside the Smithsonian American Art Museum! Inspired by the exhibit American Myth & Memory: David Leventhal Photographs, this event hosted by the Museum and Brightest Young Things will feature DJ sets from Dan Deacon and Summer Camp, a Heineken Hammock Lounge, a Bulleit Cowperson & Bourbon Campsite offering s’mores and cocktails, a BYQueens Talent Show, a photobooth, gallery tours, camp t-shirt screen printing and more. We mentioned your ticket gets you access to an open bar, right? Yep, we did. Ages 21 and over only.
8:30 p.m. – 12 a.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 800 G Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


@beingmakeda - Art at the National Museum of Women in the Arts - Museum in Washington, DC

Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Museums and cultural institutions all over the country will join Smithsonian Magazine in celebrating Museum Day this Saturday. Each participating museum will offer free admission to anyone that presents a Museum Day ticket, which provides entry for two people. Expect special events and activities at all of the Smithsonian museums, as well as access to new and exciting exhibits.

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ZooFiesta at the Smithsonian National Zoo - Free family-friendly events in Washington, DC

The Smithsonian National Zoo hosts this free event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Bring along the entire family to enjoy live music, authentic cuisine and educational activities regarding conservation in South and Central America. Animal keepers will also be on-site for talks, feedings and demonstrations that highlight a range of animals from the region.
10 a.m. – 3 p.m. | Free admission
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

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Chesapeake Oyster, Wine and Beer Festival at Union Market's Dock 5 - The best things to do this September in DC

Chesapeake Oyster, Wine and Beer Festival
Taking place inside and outside of Dock 5 at Union Market, this annual celebration features 20 live shuckers providing you with thousands of raw oysters, to go along with grilled and steamed varieties. As evidenced by the title, the event will also offer 30 international and local beers, wines and spirits. There will also be a Bloody Mary bar, tasting from The Meat Department and live music all day.
11 a.m. – 9 p.m. |  Tickets
Dock 5 at Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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

H Street Festival
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

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Child dancing during Fiesta DC parade - Free fall events and festivals in Washington, DC

Fiesta DC
This annual celebration of Latino culture includes a parade and a festival on back-to-back days, both held in the heart of the District. Saturday’s Parade of Nations features Native Latino dance troupes and other local groups. Sunday’s festival will gather thousands with a beauty pageant, live musical and dance performances, plenty of food and much, much more. Both are free to attend!
Saturday’s Parade: 1-5:30 p.m. |  Sunday’s Festival: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Free admission | More Info

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What the Constitution Means to Me at the Kennedy Center - September theater production in Washington, DC

‘What the Constitution Means to Me’ – Final Weekend
Shrouded in nominations and awards this year, this of-the-moment play will be staged at the Kennedy Center through this Sunday. The autobiographical tale concerns Heidi Schreck, as the writer/performer portrays her teenage self. Schreck details how she earned enough money to attend college by winning Constitutional debate competitions all over the country and how the document came to influence four generations of her family. Blending humor, hopefulness and humanity, this production is a must-see for DC theatergoers.
2 p.m. & 8 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Tyler, The Creator concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion - September concert near Washington, DC

Tyler, The Creator
Tyler, The Creator became a household name in 2011 and has consistently kept his fans guessing ever since. Not a stranger to controversy, Tyler is known for his no-holds-barred style of rapping, as well as his affiliation with the Odd Future collective. In 2017, he showed a more soulful side on Flower Boy, which many critics considered his best album yet, and his evolution only continued on this year’s IGOR. The dynamic performer will be a must-see at the spacious Merriweather Post Pavilion.
5:30 p.m. | Tickets
Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, MD 21044


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

‘Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece’
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, which opens Saturday and runs through March 22, 2020, showcases 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
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Patrons at the Taste of Georgetown food event near the Georgetown Waterfront in  Washington, DC

Taste of Georgetown
Eat and drink your way through a Sunday afternoon in one of DC’s most historic neighborhoods during Taste of Georgetown. Now in its 26th year, the event welcomes you and yours to try dozens of dishes from Georgetown’s most popular eateries. Beer and wine will be available as you stroll from appetizing booth to appetizing booth.
11 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Tickets
K Street between Wisconsin Avenue and Thomas Jefferson Street NW

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Live Dangerously exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC

‘Live Dangerously’
Photographs that depict women and their powerful connection to the natural world will make up this fascinating exhibit at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Featuring work from preeminent photographers such as Janaina Tschäpe, Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Justine Kurland, Live Dangerously depicts women both at peace with nature and at war with it in their battle against patriarchy. Tschäpe’s 100 Little Deaths series will be displayed in its entirety at the museum for the first time. The exhibit opens on Thursday and runs through Jan. 20, 2020.
12-5 p.m. |  Admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

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One of the most successful musicals of all-time will light up the stage at the Kennedy Center for a three-week run that begins Tuesday and runs through Oct. 6. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s masterpiece follows a tribe of cats for their annual ball to celebrate and determine which cat will be reborn. Along the way, you’ll hear songs that have touched multiple generations, take in breathtaking choreography and gawk at beautiful set design.
1:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. |  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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The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC