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For Your Weekend: Royal Wedding Fun, Local Literature, Holi

What to Know

  • Friday's slated to be scorching. Introduce your lightweight summer outfit at a comedy set, concert or the Orange Soda party
  • Saturday may bring sprinkles, but power through for Embassy open house tours, Kentucky Derby watch party or Cinco De Mayo celebrations.
  • Sunday will end with rain, but not enough to stop your pop over to the Royal Wedding Pop Up Bar, the book festival or Sundress Fest.

The major choice this week: Would you rather wear a fancy hat, sip mint juleps while betting on the horses, or chug coronas while cheering on chihuahuas?

Well, maybe you won't have to choose.

Enjoying your weekend cheaply? Here's our top free and cheap picks in D.C.:

Photos: Free and Cheap Things to Do in Washington, DC

Parties, Eats and Drinks

Royal Wedding Pop Up Bar
Opens Friday in Shaw

Whether you want to toast to royal love or need to cope that Prince Harry is off the market, this is your spot. Check out our preview here:

Want to Watch Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Exchange Vows? Head to This Pop-Up Bar

Free Pick
Nite Shift: Orange Soda
Friday, 9 p.m., Cardozo

It's all 2000s hip-hop and R&B at the MK Lounge. Plus, no cover! Almost as good as orange drink.

Sundress Fest 2018
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Columbia Heights

Anyone is encouraged to wear their best sundress for The Wonderland Ballroom's boozy block party. If you don't have a dress, no worries — you can buy one there! Proceeds benefit DC Central Kitchen. Suggested admission is $5.

Indian Cooking Class at Heritage India
Sunday, 11 a.m., McLean Gardens

Achieving the fragrant, powerful flavors of Indian cuisine is intimidating for even dedicated home cooks. This class will teach you to cook four dishes. Tickets are about $60.


Lord Huron, the M3 Rock FestivalThe Temptations, a southern rock festival and Annie DiFranco are also in town this weekend. Check out our picks for upcoming concerts:

DC's Best Upcoming Concerts: Diana Ross, Beck u0026 More

Cultural and Community Connections

Holi DC
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Potomac

Celebrate the festival of colors, which originated in India and has become a joyful, worldwide of colorful mischief. A $10 ticket gets you into the festival and two packs of colored powder to sprinkle on your friends, family and strangers.

Scavenger Hunt at the National Zoo
Sunday, 2 p.m., National Zoo

Hosted by the 20s and 30s Going Out Group, this public scavenger hunt starts at $20 per person. The winner gets a pair of movie tickets. Be sure to RSVP here.

Free Pick
Flower Mart 2018
Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m., National Cathedral 

Enjoy a flood of flowers alongside an antique carousel, vendor tents, food stands, kids’ activities and entertainment on the beautiful grounds of the National Cathedral. There are some extra special events you can purchase tickets to in advance, including a special lunch on the seventh floor of the tower ($35).

Best Buddies Friendship Walk
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., College Park

Make new friends and support a good cause at the Best Buddies Friendship Walk. You can make a donation when you register for the walk on their website.

Free Pick
Around the World Embassy Tour
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (times may vary)

Dozens of embassies will throw open their doors on Saturday, allowing you to travel abroad without leaving the city. You can hit many of them just northwest of Dupont Circle. Parking is available at the University of District of Columbia. The embassies are known for sharing some tasty treats each year. You can even take a special Lyft around the city:

PHOTOS: Lyft Channels Brazil, Ethiopia, Germany for Special Edition Rides

Mighty Greens Seedling Sale
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kingman Park

Support students and young people who are working to bring healthy food to the community by shopping for your spring seedlings here. You'll find the sale at Eastern High School. Plants start at only $1.50 for spring greens!

Free Pick
Free Comic Book Day
Saturday, various comic book stores

Local comic book stores, including Fantom Comics in Dupont Circle, Aftertime Comics in Alexandria and Big Planet Comics locations throughout the DMV have signed up to participate in Free Comic Book Day. It's an event that is what it sounds like — and Fantom has already posted some pictures of 5,000 comics the staff is ready to give away.

Free Pick
Gay Day at the Zoo
Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., National Zoo

It's the National Zoo's first year participating in International Family Equality Day, and organizers promise a pizza party, free tattoos and a panda eating a rainbow cake. Yes! See details on events here.

To The Races! Kentucky Derby

Kentucky Derby Viewing Party at The Next Whisky Bar
Saturday, 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

The Watergate is offering bottomless drinks, food, a live band, ladies' hat contest and (of course) two viewing screens for the race. Tickets are about $54.

Triple Crown Get Down
Saturday, 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Adams Morgan

Support the Willow Foundation, which funds cancer research, at Perry's derby party. An $89.50 ticket to the rooftop shindig gets you bottomless beer, wine and hors-d'oeuvres. 

City Tap Dupont Kentucky Derby Party
Saturday, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Dupont Circle

A $35 ticket wins you access to a 2-hour open bar with mint juleps, frose and bourbon mules, food specials and a hat contest (with prizes!).

If You Can't Decide Between Margaritas and Mint Juleps...

Cinco De Derby
Saturday, 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Ivy City

Nestle in the sweet middle spot of the weekend diagram at Republic Restoratives. RSVP tickets available.

Speaking of races...

Sports and Sporting

Running of the Chihuahuas
Saturday, 1 p.m., The Wharf

The Running of the Chihuahuas race is probably the most important event you could attend all year:

Watch 128 Chihuahuas Race at the Wharf to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

The Nationals

Friday, 7:05 p.m. — Paint at the Park
Saturday, 4:05 p.m. — Star Wars Day
Sunday, 1:35 p.m. — Nurses Appreciation Day

Nats Park has some very interesting new drinks and bites to try:

Adult Juice Packs Among Nationals Park's Newest Food and Drink Options

The Capitals
Saturday, 5 p.m., Capital One Arena

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Free Pick
Casting Call: A Free Fishing Event
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Anacostia Park

All the equipment will be provided for this free learn-to-fish event outside the Aquatic Resources Education Center.

Laughs and Literacy

Back to the '80s: A Murder Mystery Comedy Show
Friday, 8 p.m., North Bethesda

Transport yourself into your favorite 1980s movie for a murder mystery. You'll find it at the Strathmore.

Three Sheets Lecture Series
Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Columbia Heights

The Wonderland Ballroom bills this donation drive as a combination between a Ted Talk and Drunk History. This week's topics cover the 1904 Summer Olympics, the Defenestration of Prague and a history of women's pockets. Consider us intrigued. The price of admission is a donation of new toiletries that go to N Street Village. RSVP to enter early.

Literary Hill BookFest
Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Eastern Market

Celebrate and patronize authors and booksellers who call Capitol Hill home. Here's the schedule of events, including talks by several authors who write about D.C.

Dustin Diamond from Saved by The Bell Live
Sunday, 6 p.m., Dupont Circle

Head to the Bier Baron to see the man who played Screech perform his comedy for D.C. Tickets are about $18.

Art & Film

Washington Jewish Film Festival
Through May 13, various theatres

Catch a huge range of films including the Ruth Bader Ginsberg documentary "RBG." Here's a calander of the films.

Super Art Fight: Cinco De Mayhem!
Saturday, 8 p.m., Union Stage

Apparently, your elementary teacher was wrong. Art can be a competition, and this all-ages event at Union Stage is taking it to the next level. Tickets start at $15.

Free Pick
"2001: A Space Odyssey" Immersive Exhibit
Through May 28 at the National Air and Space Museum

You'll need a timed ticket to transport yourself into Stanley Kubrick's futuristic world. Check out our story about the exhibit here.

Free Pick
No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man at The Renwick
Through January 2019, downtown

A slice of the fantastical and larger-than-life arts festival Burning Man has taken over the Renwick Gallery and even spilled out onto the surrounding streets. Expect a lot of buzz and selfie-takers, but between the virtual reality experience, the epic Grand Salon makeover and the larger-than-life displays, it'll be worth the inevitable lines and crowds.

Check out our first look here:

Out of the Desert, Into DC: Renwick Opens Burning Man Exhibit

p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Follow landscape architect Ron Henderson&rsquo;s journey following the cherry blossom trail from southern to northern Japan. His sketches exhibit not only looks at the trees themselves, but how they&rsquo;re cared for. This exhibit &mdash; and all the others! &mdash; is free.</span></p>

<p><a href="https://www.thewatergatehotel.com/the-next-whisky-bar/dc-cherry-blossom-garden-globes"><strong>The Watergate Hotel&rsquo;s Cherry Blossom Domes</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday and Sunday in Foggy Bottom</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enjoy afternoon tea in one of the Cherry Blossom Domes (previous known as the Igloos). Rentals for two to eight people start at $100. They&rsquo;re also offering a </span><a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/135945050556034/"><span style="font-weight: 400;">flower crown making class</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (times vary).</span></p>
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<p><strong>Bring the Craic on Saint Patrick&rsquo;s Day</strong></p>
<p><a href="https://shamrockfest.com/lineup"><strong>National Shamrock Fest</strong> </a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (12 p.m. to 8 p.m.) at RFK Stadium</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sum 41, Shaggy and Less Than Jake headline this one day festival of beer, music and of course, Irishness.</span></p>
<p><a href="http://www.ballyshaners.org/parade/"><strong>Alexandria St. Patrick's Day Parade</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (11:30 a.m.) in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Looking for some chill, Irish-themed fun? Alexandria&rsquo;s St. Patrick&rsquo;s Day parade kicks off at 1:30 p.m. from King Street and St. Asaph Street. The fun continues afterwards with a car show. Go early for the Fun Dog Show.</span></p>
<p><a href="http://lindypromo.com/washington-dc/barcrawl_dc-st-patricks-day-bar-crawl-in-washington-dc-3-17"><strong>St. Patrick's Day Irish Stroll Bar Crawl</strong> </a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (1 p.m.) in Dupont Circle, Northwest Washington DC</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">A </span><a href="http://lindypromo.com/washington-dc/barcrawl_dc-st-patricks-day-bar-crawl-in-washington-dc-3-17"><span style="font-weight: 400;">bar crawl entry ticket</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will get you cover-free entry to 10 participating bars, including Decades, Dirty Bar, Living Room and Barcode. Drink specials include $3 beers, $4 specialty beers and $5 mixed drinks. Tickets cost $20, but </span><a href="http://lindypromo.com/washington-dc/parties_washington-dc-st-patricks-happy-hour"><span style="font-weight: 400;">combo tickets to the Friday night party and Saturday bar crawl cost $15.</span></a></p>
<p><a href="https://tickets.theshamrockcrawl.com/event/washington-dc"><strong>The Shamrock Crawl</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (2 p.m.) Dupont Circle, Northwest Washington D.C.</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Participants have access to more than 16 bars, including Public Bar, Eden, Kabin and Heist. </span><a href="https://tickets.theshamrockcrawl.com/event/washington-dc"><span style="font-weight: 400;">Anyone with a ticket</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> gets a refillable shamrock mug, party favors, $2 beers, $4 shamrock shots and $5 Irish Car Bombs. $35 in advance; $40 day of.</span></p>
<p><a href="https://dupontunderground.ticketfly.com/listing"><strong>Sights &amp; Sounds: Ireland Today</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></a><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.) and Sunday (4 p.m.) in Dupont Circle</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dupont Underground is hosting artist Solas Nua to discuss her project exploring video art in Ireland. </span><strong>Friday</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">, Nua will discuss her work ($10). On </span><strong>Saturday</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">, you can stop in and enjoy the exhibit. From 10 a.m. to noon, the exhibit is free and offers activities geared towards kids. After noon, it costs $15. On </span><strong>Sunday</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;">, you can catch short films at the Irish Short Film festival ($8).</span></p>
<p><a href="https://www.nbcwashington.com/entertainment/the-scene/St-Patricks-Day-Washington-DC-Maryland-Virginia-Bar-Crawl-Parade-Specials-476983663.html"><span style="font-weight: 400;">We have a roundup of the best brunch specials and drink deals right here.</span></a></p>
<p><strong>Rage&hellip; against injustice, with music or by smashing a printer</strong></p>
<p><a href="http://www.thearcdc.org/events/breathe-musical-0"><strong>Breathe: The Musical</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday, Saturday and Sunday (8 p.m.) at THEARC (1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, D.C.)</span></em><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Howard University alum Cleavon Meabon IV wrote and directed this play, which follows a family of sharecroppers in the early 20th century as they struggle under Jim Crow injustice, KKK attacks and police brutality. </span></p>
<p><a href="https://rageroommd.com/"><strong>Rage Room of Maryland</strong><span style="font-weight: 400;"><br /></span></a><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday (4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) and Saturday (1 p.m. to 8 p.m.) in Glen Burnie, Maryland</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grab your friends and vent some frustrations! Full-service packages start at $25. You can BYOB (bring your own breakables) starting at $10.</span></p>
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<p><a href="https://www.unionstage.com/event/1648411-r-bumppp-free-dance-party-washington/"><strong>R&amp;BUMPPP! Dance Party</strong></a></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (10:30 p.m.) at The Wharf)</span></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Union Stage hosts an R&amp;B night featuring The Good Guys. No covers, just dancing.</span></p>
<p><a href="https://www.930.com/#upcoming-shows-container"><strong>The Floozies at 9:30 Club</strong></a><strong>; G-Eazy; Judas Priest; Justin Timberlake</strong></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">All weekend, various locations</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Even if fiddles aren&rsquo;t your thing, there&rsquo;s a lot of music to be heard this weekend:</span></p>
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<p><strong>Celebrate makers and creators</strong></p>
<p><a href="http://invention.si.edu/about/events/innovative-lives-how-women-shaped-alcohol-industry"><strong>Innovative Lives: How Women Shaped the Alcohol Industry</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Friday (6:30 p.m.)</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Enjoy craft beer and custom cocktail tastings while learning about the history of booze from four women whose life work is to brew and distill. Tickets are $40 and include appetizers and drinks.</span></p>
<p><a href="https://africa.si.edu/events/"><strong>The &ldquo;Real Life&rdquo; Warriors of Wakanda Tour</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.) Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on the National Mall</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Discover the true inspiration behind the afrofuturist world of Wakanda by exploring historic African art. This awesome, free tour fills up fast, so RSVP soon.</span></p>
<p><a href="http://nova.makerfaire.com/about/"><strong>NoVa Maker Faire</strong></a></p>
<p><em><span style="font-weight: 400;">Sunday (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.) George Mason University campus, Fairfax, Virginia</span></em></p>
<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Whether you&rsquo;re interesting in older crafts like spinning yarn and woodworking, or are looking ahead to robotics and auto hacking, the Maker Faire promises something for you. This all-ages event costs $15 for an adult, $5 for kids or $36 for a family of five.</span></p>
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