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12 Things to Do This Weekend in Washington, DC

Our end-of-the-week picks for Oct. 18-20 include Boo at the Zoo, 29Rooms, fall festivals and exciting plays.

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.


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.
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Admission
555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001

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

‘Mystery Science Theater 3000’
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 Friday and Saturday. 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.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004


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

Fall Harvest Family Days at Mount Vernon
‘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 on Saturday and Sunday. 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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Jousting at the Maryland Renaissance Festival - Fall festivals and events near Washington, DC

Maryland Renaissance Festival – Final Weekend
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. The festival’s final day is Sunday.​
10 a.m. – 7 p.m. | Tickets
1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, MD 21401

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Refinery29 brings its brand’s distinctive style to the DC Armory during this showcase that runs from from Friday through Oct. 27. 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.
DC Armory, 2001 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

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

‘Lucid Motion’
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. The exhibit is open through Dec. 1.
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

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

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

‘West By God’ – Final Weekend
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. West By God runs through Sunday.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church St NW, Washington, DC 20036


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

‘Kid Prince and Pablo’
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. The play opens Saturday and runs through Nov. 3.
1:30 p.m. & 4 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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Everybody production at Washington, DC's Shakespeare Theatre Company

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. The show runs from Oct. 15 through Nov. 17.
7 p.m. |  Tickets | Discounted Tickets from TodayTix
Lansburgh Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Rhett Miller
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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The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC