Things to Do DC

The Weekend Scene: St. Patrick's Day, Basketball, Record Fair and More to Do Around DC

Things to do and free events this weekend in D.C., Maryland and Virginia

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If this week is a rainbow, the pot o’ gold at the end is filled with St. Patrick’s Day celebrations and basketball madness — check out these bars around D.C. showing March Madness.

While the Harlem Globetrotters can’t go in your bracket, they will tip off close to home this weekend.

Plus, “You Oughta Know” about the Alanis Morissette-palooza. Not only is her musical at The National Theatre, but we just found out she’s headlining a music festival on the Ocean City boardwalk this fall

Aren’t we lucky that March 17 falls on a Friday this year? Plenty of bars will start pouring pints and firing up fiddles early on St. Patrick’s Day, then you can keep the celebration going at The Wharf, Guinness Open Gate Brewery outside Baltimore and many more places. Here's our full guide to St. Patrick's Day around D.C.

Things to Do in Washington DC

Women in Wine at Vitis Fine Wines (Thursday, Union Market, $25): Take a stroll around Vitis Fine Wine & Spirits in Union Market and chat with the shop's favorite female winemakers and importers. The happy hour event will offer samples of 10 different wines from 6:30 to 8 p.m.

D.C. Environmental Film Festival (Through March 26): Returning for its 31st edition, the D.C. Environmental Film Festival aims to showcase films that inspire viewers to protect the environment. You can purchase passes or tickets to individual films, including "All That Breathes," which earned an Oscar nomination for University of Maryland professor Sean B. Carroll. Some screenings are free. Here's the schedule.

“Jagged Little Pill” (Through March 26): The musical powered by Alanis Morrissette’s banger-filled album will be at The National Theatre.

SHOUT SISTER SHOUT! (Through May 13, Ford's Theatre): This new musical tells the story of one of America's most influential rock, R&B and gospel crossover singers and guitarists, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. The show is inspired by Gayle F. Wald’s book.

St. Patrick's Day Crawl (Friday, 5 p.m., $19.99) and St. Paddy's Shamrock Stroll (Saturday, noon $22.99): Get up to half-off drinks and 20% off select food specials, plus live music at some venues, at the Hard Rock Cafe, Howl at the Moon, Proper 21, Yard House, Penn Social and Penn Quarter Sports Tavern.

Kiss Me, I'm Irish: Washington DC St. Patrick's Day Bar Crawl (Friday, 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday, 2 p.m. until late, starting at $20): This bar crawl includes stops at Sudhouse DCThe AlchemistBar Pilar, Cafe Saint-Ex, District Sports Bar, Desperados and Voodoo. You can purchase tickets in advance for Friday ($30 plus fees) or Saturday ($25 plus fees). On the day of the bar crawl, you can pick up your wristband and map of participating locations at Sudhouse DC.

Free pick — Ireland at The Wharf (Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., The Wharf): Keep the craic going on Saturday with Ireland at the Wharf. Follow the Piper Parade (starting at noon at Kirwan's Irish Pub) to the District Pier for an afternoon of pipe and drum bands, Irish dancers and a Guinness beer garden. The event is free and family-friendly.

Harlem Globetrotters (Saturday, Capital One Arena): While March Madness heats up with the serious competition, the Harlem Globetrotters are here for some fun and incredible stunts. They'll also be at EagleBank Arena on Friday and Saturday evenings.

Norooz Market at Hook Hall (Saturday, noon to 4 p.m., D.C.): To celebrate the Persian new year, shop from Iranian, Black and brown person-owned small businesses.

Music Snob — The Messthetics (Saturday, 8 p.m., Black Cat, $20 in advance) or $22 day of): Unique jazz-punk fusion. This instrumental trio features two members of Fugazi – drummer Brendan Canty and bassist Joe Lally – and guitarist Anthony Pirog. Portland drums and synth duo Quasi opens, having recently released their first LP in about a decade.

Free pick — DC Record Fair (Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eaton Hotel D.C.): More than 45 record dealers are selling crate after crate of records, so you're sure to find a sound that piques your interest. DJs will be spinning throughout the event. Entry is free.

Free pick — Circle of Life Dedication (Sunday, 3 p.m., Congressional Cemetery): The Congressional Cemetery is officially opening its “living monument to nature,” a green space with 60 linden trees, a stone walking path and benches. The park is designed to look like a compass rose — and will provide a special vantage point to track the sun’s path on the spring and fall equinoxes, plus the summer and winter solstices. The dedication will begin with a drum line parade led by Batalá Washington DC.

RE:Her Food Festival (Through Sunday): Munch on mouthwatering, inventive collabs from women-owned restaurants — like Sticky Fingers Bakery and Vertage's vegan cheesecake or a beef bourguignon pie from Pizzeria Paradiso and Whole Ox Butcher Shop. RE:Her has a map of where to find goodies.

Free pick — National Zoo Bird House (The National Zoo, open daily): After a six-year transformation of the 1928 historical building, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute’s (NZCBI) Bird House is back open. Note that the zoo still requires you to get free passes to visit. Check our our first look.

Things to Do in Maryland

BabyCat Brewery St. Patrick's Day Party 2023 (Friday, 3 p.m., $20, Kensington, Maryland): This St. Patrick's Day Party will take over the brewery’s parking lot with music, food, family fun and — you guessed it — beer. The party will feature live music from Stringtown and Vinyl Fever, and their website hints at a possible visit from a leprechaun. Dish & Dram will also smoke a pig and briskets. Limited tickets will be available at the doors of the event. Kids under 12 can go for free; people aged 12 to 20 will pay $5 and adult tickets will be $20.

Denizens St. Patrick's Day (Friday to Sunday, Silver Spring and Riverdale Park locations): Not only can you pick up $5 pints of green PGC Lager, Cool Breeze Stout and Big Red Norm Red Ale, plus $8 Jameson shots, but a portion of proceeds will benefit the Montgomery County Humane Society or Prince George's Pitties Animal Rescue.

Guinness Open Gate Brewery (Open starting 10 a.m. on Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, Baltimore, free entry): The Irish Village, housed in a heated tent, offers food stalls, entertainment and more — plus, it's free to enter. Throughout March, Open Gate has St. Paddy’s-themed live music, beer dinners and tours on tap.

Things to Do in Virginia

St. Patrick's Day Festival at Shipgarten (Friday to Sunday, McLean, Virginia): Music, green beer, green eggs and kegs: Shipgarten has everything you need to celebrate St. Paddy's. Live music is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Friday, and the first 50 customers will get free swag. On Saturday, keep the party going with beer sampling, a whisky pop-up experience, games, live music from 12:30 to 7 p.m. and a streamer toss at 4 p.m. The Saturday event is only open to those aged 21 and up — come back Sunday for a family-friendly party featuring Disney princesses and Darth Vader (entry is free).

Free pick — St. Pawtrick’s Day (Friday, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Barkhaus Arlington): St. Paddy's IS for the dogs at Barkhaus. Enjoy drink specials, green puppuccinos, a photobooth and more.

Mommy/Daddy & Me Cooking Class (Saturday, Arlington, $75 per child, parents free): Bring your little chef to a culinary celebration of all things green! The step-by-step class will include clover chips with guacamole, shamrock bark with pretzels and green candy. You'll get recipes to bring home.

Shipgarten St. Patrick's Family Festival (Sunday, McLean, free): Day three of Shipgarten's weekend festival is dedicated to fun for the whole family. The festival will be hosted by Princess Merida from "Brave", Darth Vader and Princess Tiana from "The Princess and the Frog". Activities will include crafts, face painting and two moon bounces. St. Patrick’s Day food and drink specials will also be available for purchase.

Harlem Globetrotters (Friday and Saturday, EagleBank Arena): Watch some dunks like never before in Northern Virginia.

Super Pet Expo at the Dulles Expo Center (Friday to Sunday, $5-$20): Stop by the Doggie Derby or a cat show, shop from pet-related vendors and enjoy performances. One highlight: Dexter, the dog who captured hearts all over the internet by walking on his two hind legs, will take the stage to show off his skills and meet some fans. Friendly pets are welcome, but keep them leashed.

Hank's Oyster Bar 2nd Floor Sessions (Sunday, Old Town, $65-$95): Sample and learn from local chefs. This week, Susan Qin, owner of Union Market pop-up Chinese Street Market, will teach how to make dumplings.

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