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15 Things to Do This Weekend in Washington, DC

Our end-of-the-week picks for Jan. 24-26 include the Washington Auto Show, Chinese New Year celebrations, plays, museum exhibits and concerts.

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.

Friday

Félix Vallotton Passerby at Bonnard to Vuillard Exhibit at Phillips Collection
‘Bonnard to Vuillard: The Intimate Poetry of Everyday Life’ – Final Weekend
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, which closes on Sunday, features pieces by Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, Maurice Denis, Félix Vallotton and others.
10 a.m. - 5 p.m. |  Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

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Washington Auto Show
Washington Auto Show
One of the nation’s largest auto shows calls DC home, and the 2020 edition will be quite the spectacle. Car lovers will be dazzled by over 600 new makes and models from more than 35 manufacturers. Local sports stars and mascots will be on hand, to go along with in-car experiences and informative sessions. Grab your tickets quickly: the Auto Show draws large crowds every year. The show begins Friday and runs through Feb. 2.
12-10 p.m. |  Tickets
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001

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The Kennedy Center's Lunar New Year Celebration in Washington, DC
KC Lunar New Year 2020
The REACH will celebrate its first winter season and the Chinese New Year with weeks of programming and an installation of stunning Winter Lanterns beginning Wednesday and running through Feb. 2. Approximately 100 of these lanterns will live at The REACH, showcasing the incredible work of Chinese artists. In total, the lanterns are made up of 10,000 colored LED lights. Supporting festivities include musical performances, artisan demonstrations, food trucks, cultural activities like Korean calligraphy and sugar painting and so much more.
More Info
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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James Murphy DJ Set at U Street Music Hall in Washington, DC
James Murphy DJ Set
James Murphy is the mastermind behind of the most celebrated musical acts of the past 20 years. As songwriter/singer/producer of LCD Soundsystem, Murphy became an icon for an entire generation of music fans with albums that reflected a complete comprehension of rock, punk and dance music and their histories and intersections. Sounds like a dude who would host an awesome DJ set, right? He and Classixx will spin at U Street Music Hall this Friday night.
10 p.m. |  Tickets
U Street Music Hall, 1115 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

Saturday

"Study of Flesh Color and Gold" exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC
‘The Touch of Color: Pastels at the National Gallery of Art’ – Final Weekend
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, 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. The exhibit closes on Sunday.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 4th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

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"Age Old Cities" exhibition at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC
‘Age Old Cities: A Virtual Journey from Palmyra to Mosul’
The Sackler Gallery will showcase this breathtaking virtual exhibition that will take visitors to Palmyra and Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq. All three are among the oldest settlements in the world and have recently been ravaged by war. The exhibition, which opens Saturday and runs through Oct. 25, features large-scale projections and digital reconstructions of monuments and ancient structures, underlining the importance of cultural heritage and the preservation of the past.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free Admission
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC

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Monster Jam at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC
Monster Jam
Do you get amped watching 12,000-pound trucks slam, jam, bump and throttle their way around a dirt track? ATVs and speedsters also get into the action at this one-of-a-kind event that will call Capital One Arena home this Saturday and Sunday. Vehicles will partake in an array of competitions, from Donuts to the Two-Wheel Skills Challenge to racing.
1 p.m. & 7 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Lunar New Year Family Day at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC
KC Chinese Family Day
The Kennedy Center welcomes you and your entire family to this free Lunar New Year party in honor of the Year of the Rat. Activities include a calligraphy demonstration, face painting, a dress-up photo booth featuring outfits from Cantonese opera, marionette puppets and red lantern-making. Guests will also be able to enjoy traditional Cantonese music demonstrations and an opera costume exhibit.
1:30 p.m. |  Free admission
John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 2056

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Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures: ‘Swan Lake’
After bringing his acclaimed take on Cinderella to the Kennedy Center last year, Matthew Bourne now offers his award-winning interpretation of Swan Lake to DC audiences from this Tuesday through Sunday. All the unforgettable elements of the story are in place, while Bourne’s use of an all-male ensemble upends viewer expectations and makes for a truly innovative update of Tchaikovsky’s classic. Swan Lake won Tony Awards for Best Director of a Musical, Best Choreography and Best Costume Design.
1:30 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

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‘Silent Sky’
Before women were granted the right to vote, Henrietta Leavitt changed the study of astronomy forever. Allow with fellow women “computers,” Leavitt discovered 2,400 new stars while working at the Harvard Observatory. She also chronicled their brightness, allowing for other scientists to map the Milky Way and beyond. Audiences will be riveted by the inspiring and determined women chronicled in this highly anticipated production, which opens Friday and runs through Feb. 23.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

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Grace Potter
Known primarily for her work with The Nocturnals, Grace Potter is now a full-fledged solo artist riding the success of last year’s Daylight, released to widespread acclaim in October 2019. Potter’s gorgeous voice and down-home rock and roll tunes, as well as her emotional ballads, mean her concerts are can’t-miss affairs. The state-of-the-art Anthem hosts her this Saturday night.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

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Armin Van Buuren at Echostage in Washington, DC
Armin van Buuren
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

Sunday

Lunar New Year Celebration at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington, DC
Lunar New Year Celebration at the Freer|Sackler
The Smithsonian's Freer|Sackler, known for an extensive collection of vibrant and colorful Asian art, will ring in the Year of the Rat with its annual Lunar New Year celebration. Expect live musical performances, acrobatics, puppetry, a chance to sample spicy dishes and the opportunity to view Chinese art exhibitions.
11 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free admission
The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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Chinese New Year Parade in DC's Chinatown neighborhood - Ways to celebrate Chinese New Year in Washington, DC
DC Chinese New Year Parade
This annual parade is one of DC’s signature Chinese New Year celebrations. With dozens of entries, this year’s parade promises to be the largest and most diverse yet. Expect Chinese folk dancers, beauty queens, firecrackers, kung fu demonstrations, floats (including lions and dragons) and plenty of pageantry as the procession winds through Chinatown.
2 p.m. |  Free admission
Meet at Gallery Place Metro Station

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Prologue Theatre Presents: ‘Recent Tragic Events’
Prologue Theatre takes audiences to Minneapolis on Sept. 12, 2001, where ad exec Waverly is all set to head out on a blind date in the midst of coverage of the previous day’s tragedy. Waverly then discovers that her twin sister, Wendy, a student in New York City, has not been heard from. While reassuring herself that nothing is wrong, Waverly embarks on a strange adventure with her date, Andrew. The two are connected in odd ways, and things only get weirder when neighbors and Joyce Carol Oates (in puppet form) show up. Is Wendy alright? What does Waverly and Andrew’s connection mean? You’ll have to see the show, which opens Thursday and runs through Feb. 16, to find out.
3 p.m. |  Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

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The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC