The Weekend Scene: What to Do Around DC Sept. 20-22

What to Know

  • Saturday afternoon will be sunny and hot with temps in the upper 80s. Evening temps will be pleasant
  • Sunday will again be hot and sunny, with some humidity and temps reaching 90 degrees

We hope you're ready to get out this weekend, because it's packed with fun stuff to do.

The Washington Monument is back open.
— Plan ahead: Here's all the fall festivals in the D.C. area that you can't miss —  It's now easier to visit the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture: Walk-ups are welcome on weekdays through February.

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

Over the Weekend

Free Pick
WalkingTour DC
Through Sunday, Sept 22
Multiple Locations

See D.C. through a different set of eyes on one of the more than 50 guided walking tours hosted by volunteer historians and certified tour guides. No matter your interest or neighborhood, there's a tour available. Tour topics range from the history of Adams Morgan, art galleries of Capitol Hill, a natural history hike on Teddy Roosevelt Island or a look at President Abraham Lincoln's assassination from the eyes of a detective.

Make sure to register in advance. The tours are free; a $10 donation is encouraged.

Free Pick
King Street Art Festival
Sept. 21-22; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
King Street between Washington Street and the Potomac River

Old Town Alexandria's huge annual art festival is back with more than 200 artists selling everything from fine art, jewelry, clothing and decor.

If you want to spruce up your home, this is the place. There's $15 million worth of art on display — or you can just feast your eyes.

Stop by the Ice Cream Bowl Fundraiser to pick up a handmade ceramic bowl for $15 — which comes with a scoop of ice cream. It's open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. Proceeds benefit The Art League.

If beer and wine are more your style, stop by the Torpedo Factory from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. You can purchase a craft beer or wine, explore the arts center and meet artists.

Free Pick
Fiesta DC
Sept. 20 1-5:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues

Celebrate latino culture in DC for the 48th annual Fiesta DC parade and festival.

On Friday, the Parade of Nations will march through the Mall along Seventh street, Constitution Avenue, 12th Street and then concluding on Pennsylvania Avenue.

On Saturday, the Festival will take place from 11-7 p.m. by the National Gallery of Art along Pennsylvania and Constitution Avenues. Come for the folkloric dances and music from various Latin American countries, stay for the food, entertainment and beauty pageant at the festival all day Saturday.

Maryland Wine Festival

Sept. 20-21
Carroll County Farm Museum (500 S Center St., Westminster, MD)

This festival celebrating local Maryland wines pairs the Carroll County Farm Museum with cheese, crabcakes, live music and much more this weekend. Ticket prices vary from a $20 Designated Driver & Children pass to a $60 Explorer Pass, which gets you a larger tasting glass and access to additional exclusive wines.

The Great Frederick Fair
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Sept. 21
The Great Frederick Fair (797 E Patrick St, Frederick, Maryland)

Make your way to Frederick County’s largest event of the year. Some 18,000 exhibits featuring livestock, art, gardens and more make up this agricultural and education experience. Snag a ticket to see Randy Houser and LANCO on Friday, Sept. 20 or The Allman Betts Band with Special Guest Montgomery Gentry Saturday, Sept. 21 for $30-$45.

DC Shorts Film Festival
Through Sept. 28
Various locations
Enjoy an evening of bite-size films at E Street Cinema during the 16th annual DC Shorts Film Festival. The festival, billed as the largest short film event on the East Coast, features dramas, comedies, animation and documentary shorts from an international group of filmmakers. Don't have time to visit in person? Some of the films are available to stream on the festival's website for this week only

DC Shorts Film Festival
Through Sept. 28
Various locations

Enjoy an evening of bite-size films at E Street Cinema this weekend during the 16th annual DC Shorts Film Festival. The festival, billed as the largest short film event on the East Coast, features dramas, comedies, animation and documentary shorts from an international group of filmmakers. Don't have time to visit in person? Some of the films are available to stream on the festival's website for this week only.

Social Dance at Glen Echo Park
7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Maryland

Dance your heart out every night this weekend with social dances at Echo Park. No prior experience or partner are required to attend the contra dance Friday night at 7:30 or 8:30 p.m., swing dance Saturday at 8:00 p.m. or learn the Argentine Tango 6:30 Sunday. Tickets cost $5-20 at the door.

Theatre Week
Through Sept. 29
Various Venues

You can snag tickets to shows throughout the D.C. area for $15 or $35 during this celebration of a new theatre season.

AFI Latin American Film Festival
Through Oct. 2
AFI Silver Theatre (8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring, Md.)

Catch dozens of critically acclaimed and award-winning films from Latin America (plus Portugal and Spain). General admission tickets are $15.

Free Pick
The REACH Opening Festival
Through Sept. 22
The Kennedy Center

Several comedy events, book readings, orchestras, and more close out the REACH Center Opening Festival at the Kennedy Center. Access to these first-come, first-serve events are free but require a timed ticket for entry. Here's our full guide to the event.

The Kennedy Center's new interactive public space, The REACH, is named for its purpose: to reach and educate audiences. An opening festival with nearly 500 free events will take place Sept. 7-22.

Apple Gala & Fresh Cider Festival
Through Sept. 29
Great Country Farms, 18780 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, Virginia

The Apple Gala & Fresh Cider Festival kicks off this weekend. The fest features plenty of fresh apple cider and doughnuts, plus a demo on an 1865 cider press, a corn maze, live music and more. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for kids.

"Cats" at the Kennedy Center
Through Sunday, Oct. 6
The Kennedy Center

Catch the legendary musical right in D.C. Tickets range from $49-149.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
Weekends through Oct. 20
1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis, Maryland

Come out to see medieval jousting and street entertainment at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. Dressing up in medieval attire is encouraged. Make sure to bring to bring cash to enjoy the giant turkey legs, mead and dozens of artisans and merchants that create art, pottery, jewelry, and more. Tickets: children $12, adults $27, seniors $23.

Halloween Haunt at Kings Dominion
Weekends through Nov. 2
Kings Dominion

Get in the Halloween spirit at Kings Dominion this October, where in addition to terrifying roller coasters you'll find bloody attractions like the Masquerade, Blood on the Bayou and Cleaver Brothers Carnival. Buy your Haunt tickets online and save on prices you'd have to pay at the door.

Fright Fest at Six Flags America
Through Nov. 3
Six Flags America

In the mood for a scream? This year Six Flag's annual fright fest has included new attractions like Curs3d, the horror musical, and its Medieval Mayhem attraction. The theme park is open until 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 p.m. on Sundays through the end of the month.

Pumpkin Village Festival
Sept. 21-Nov. 5
Leesburg Animal Park (19270 James Monroe Highway Leesburg, VA)

Fall is here, and with it comes pumpkins. This year, the Pumpkin Village Festival in Loudoun County will feature slides, hay rides, face painting and pumpkins all month long. 


Free Pick
Back to the Yards
Sept. 20, 7-9 p.m.
Yards Park

Parents, this may be your chance to beat your kids in a video game. Head to Yards Park for classic arcade favorites like Pacman, pinball and air hockey. It wouldn't be complete without three decades worth of pop music — all from the '80s, '90s and 2000s.

Sept. 20, 4-11 p.m.
1201 Half Street, Washington, D.C.

You know fall is on our doorstep when the last Truckeroo of the season comes around. Head there for some of D.C.'s favorite mobile eats, including Due South, Surfside, Capital Chicken and Waffles, Red Hook Lobster Pound and DC Empanadas — then say goodbye until next season.


Smorgasburg DC
Saturdays, Sept. 7-Oct. 26
Tingey Plaza, at the corner of New Jersey Ave. and Tingey Street

Enjoy local food and beer at the world’s largest weekly outdoor food market. Organizers recommend bringing a reusable water bottle and umbrella because this market is open rain or shine. You can lessen your environmental impact because Smorgasburg uses 100% compostable napkins, utensils and cups. It's free to enter and smell the goodies.

Free Pick
Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day
Sept. 21
Various Locations

D.C. has a lot of no-cost museums — but on Smithsonian Magazine Museum Day, almost every museum is free. You can register for a ticket so two people can enter any participating museum. 

Dumbarton House, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the National Law Enforcement Museum are just a few museums that normally charge fees, but are free to visit with the special ticket.

Free Pick
Clarendon Day
Sept. 21, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wilson Boulevard and Clarendon Boulevard, between Washington Boulevard and Garfield Street

Enjoy multiple stages of music, a kids' area, arts and crafts vendors and more in Clarendon. There will be food, wine and beer available for purchase.

Runners can sign up for the Clarendon Day Run — a mostly downhill 5K or 10K course. The run is partnered with the Wendy Martinez Legacy Project, which honors slain runner Wendy Martinez by funding womens' empowerment programs.

Free Pick
H Street Festival
Sept. 21, noon to 7 p.m.
H Street between 4th Street SE and 14th Street NE

One of D.C. largest festivals is back for another day bursting with music, art, fashion shows and more. Stroll up and down H Street, grab food from vendors, pop into bars for cold brews and dance the afternoon away in parking lots-turned-music venues.

International Food Festival (Manassas)
Sept. 21 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Harris Pavilion (9201 Center St, Manassas, VA)

This event in historic Manassas will feature cuisine from Ethiopian, Greek, Romanian and Slavic communities. Admission is free, but there will be a cost for food.

Free Pick
Edgar Rohr Memorial Antique Car Show (Manassas)
Sept. 21 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Manassas Museum (9101 Prince William St., Manassas, VA)

Over 150 vehicles are expected to roll into this show at the Manassas Museum, just two blocks from the food festival. Among awards and other events, a Model T Ford assembly demonstration will take place during the show.


Free Pick
Wild up Concert at the National Mall
National Mall, West Building, West Garden Court
Sept. 22 at 3:30 p.m.

Described as an “adventurous chamber orchestra”, Wild Up creates music that aims to be thought-provoking and excite listeners with a sound influenced by Julius Eastman. Don't miss this Los Angeles-based group is making their Washington, D.C. debut this weekend.

Takoma Park Farmers Market Pie Contest
SDA Church Lawn (corners of Laurel and Carroll Avenues)
Deliver pies 11-11:30 a.m.; pie sales 1 p.m.

All pies are good pies, but which pie is the best? The Takoma Park Farmers Market wants to find out. Pies will be professionally judged — then the public can purchase slices for a donation. Entry information is here

Taste of Georgetown
K Street NW between Wisconsin Ave. and Thomas Jefferson Street
11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Eat your way through 30 Georgetown restaurants, including Chaia Tacos, The Dough Jar, 1789, Reren and more. You can purchase food with tickets, which are discounted during pre-sale.

Free Pick
National Harbor's Movies on the Potomac
Sundays, through Sept. 29; Movies start at 6 p.m.
National Harbor, Maryland

Enjoy "Despicable Me 3" at National Harbor’s Movies on the Potomac. Don’t forget to bring snacks and a blanket or lawn chairs to enjoy this event.

March on Washington Film Festival
Sept. 22-29
Various locations

The March on Washington Film Festival opens on Sunday with a screening of "Amazing Grace: The Power of Aretha Franklin." It's showing at the Washington National Cathedral at 2 p.m. Tickets have sold out, but check out the schedule of future showings so you don't miss out. 

Home Game Roundup


  • Saturday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.: Capitals face the Hurricanes in this preseason game

DC United

  • Sunday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.: DC United plays Seattle Sounders


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