Things to Do DC

The Weekend Scene: Theater Shows Worth Seeing & More Things to Do Around DC

Things to do, free events and activities for the whole family this weekend around D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia

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The marquees at theaters across the DMV are certainly a bright spot in the dead of winter. Seriously, what better time to get reacquainted with D.C.’s theater scene?

If not for yourself, do it for Ella Fitzgerald, whose jazz ballads are powering a cabaret at Signature Theatre next week. Or the crowd of formidable women in NextStop Theatre Company’s “46 Plays For America’s First Ladies” (Yes, a follow-up to their hit “45 Plays for 45 Presidents”).

Walk the line between “too funny” and “too real” with “The Lifespan of a Fact,” debuting at the Keegan Theatre on Friday, and Theater J’s “Two Jews Walk Into a War,” running until Feb. 5. Can’t wait for the buzzy “Into the Woods” production at the Kennedy Center in February? This weekend is your last chance to see the Signature Theatre’s version of the classic Stephen Sondheim musical. 

Here's our full roundup of 10 plays and musicals worth seeing around D.C. this winter.

Things to Do in Washington DC

Washington Auto Show (Jan. 20-29, Washington Convention Center): Test driving EVs and FUVs (fun utility vehicles) or ogling exotic, classic and art vehicles rev our engines about the District’s annual car show at the Washington Convention Center. Tickets run from $6 (for kids) to $49 (for VIP tours).

The Architecture & Design Film Festival (Through Sunday, National Building Museum, $15-$50): Alongside happy hour and brunch vents, you can watch films about sustainable fashion (Saturday), a documentary about D.C.’s Barry Farm (Sunday) and more.

Thursday pick — Swing It 'n Wing It! (Thursday, 6-9 p.m., CitySwing, $40): Try out golfing while munching on chicken wings or cauliflower bites.

Music Snob pick — Rubblebucket (7 p.m. Thursday, 9:30 Club, $25): Complicated melodies, infectious hooks and everything-but-the-kitchen-sink arrangements. It’s a dance party that tugs lightly at the chest area.

An Evening with Ne-Yo (Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m., The Kennedy Center, $114+): Ne-Yo. With the National Symphony Orchestra. At the Kennedy Center? It’s a whole new level of smoothness for any Miss Independent.

Dance parties —  Check out a '90s alt night (Friday at the Black Cat), Flower Factory dance party (Saturday at the Black Cat) or the BTS Army bash at Union Stage (Saturday at Union Stage).

Free pick — Weekend of Indigenous Games (Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Potomac Atrium of the National Museum of the American Indian): Tired of Monopoly? Try out games played by Indigenous people of the Great Plains, Bolivia and Hawaii. Jeremy Red Eagle (Sisseton Wahpeton) from the International Traditional Games Society, Julia Garcia (Aymara), and members of the Native Hawaiian school Hālau O‘Aulani will be on hand to guide you.

Free pick — DAR Museum and Asian Fusion Gallery Lunar New Year Festival (noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, DAR Memorial Continental Hall, free): Dances, martial arts, snack tastings and more will celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.

Sud n' Snowflakes (Saturday, 2-4:40 p.m., Hook Hall, $24.99+): Go for all-you-care-to-try craft beer samples.

Music Snob pick — The Delarcos (9:30 p.m. Saturday, Quarry House Tavern, $17.19): A late night of local bands. It’s a Delarcos record release party with other local stalwarts Dot Dash (indie pop rock) and Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (hardcore).

Kitten yoga (Sunday, noon, Takoma Park, $35): Cuddle with kittens while practicing your downward dog. The Humane Rescue Alliance gets $10 for every ticket sold.

Free pick — Smithsonian American Art Museum (11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, Kogod Courtyard at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in D.C., free): Chinese and Korean traditions, including performances, crafts and food, will be on display. Kids will enjoy hands-on activities while foodies can sample special menus at the Courtyard Café.

National Skating Month Open House (Sunday, noon to 5 p.m., Canal Park): Level up your ice skating skills with free lessons and discounted entry ($14).

Moon Rabbit Dinner for good causes (Sunday, 6:30 p.m., Moon Rabbit at The Wharf, $200): Chef Kevin Tien and some of the “Super Friends” behind Chefs Stopping AAPI Hate — including Susan Bae, Erik Bruner-Yang, Yuan Tang and Tim Ma — are assembling for a fundraiser dinner benefitting local #SupportChinatowns efforts and families of the victims of the Monterey mass shooting.

Things to Do in Virginia

Jurrasic Quest (Friday to Sunday, Chantilly, $19-$36): Life-size, animatronic dinosaurs are stomping into the Dulles Expo Center.

Alexandria Restaurant Week (Through Sunday): Dozens of restaurants are offering dinner deals for $25-$45.

McLean Chocolate Festival (Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., McLean Community Center): Sampling local chocolate is something the whole family can agree on, but live entertainment and a kids’ game room will sweeten the deal. Admission only costs $2, or free for kids 3 and under.

Free pick — Tysons Corner Center Lunar New Year Celebration (1-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 28, Fashion Court, Lower Level Nordstrom Wing in Tysons Corner, Virginia, free): This celebration will bring together different traditions from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Korea, featuring a Mongolian fashion show, lion dance, magic show and more.

Winter Lantern Festival (Through Feb. 12, Lerner Town Square Tysons, $19.99+): More than 10,000 Chinese-inspired LED lanterns light up the night along a path through myths, legends and zodiacs. There are mammoths, polar bears, light-up scenes and live performances. Don’t miss the light swings and tunnel. Tickets cost $31.99 for adults and $19.99 for kids.

Things to Do in Maryland

Grown-up Game Nights (Thursday, doors at 7:30 p.m., The Puppet Co. in Glen Echo Park, $10 suggested donation): Play classic board games before a preview of the "Peter and the Wolf" show at 8:30 p.m.

Free pick — City of Rockville celebrates Lunar New Year (Saturday, 11 a.m., Thomas S. Wootton High School, Rockville): Enjoy performances, to-go activities and snacks at this educational event.

Murder Mystery Party (Saturday, 7 p.m., DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Columbia, $85): Follow the clues to see "who dunnit" at this 1980s-themed mystery party.

Free pick — MGM National Harbor’s Conservatory (Jan. 20 to March 18, National Harbor, Maryland, free): Visit a grand display specially curated to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit.

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