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80+ Things to Do This May in Washington, DC

Experience spring in DC and can’t-miss events like Passport DC, DC Black Pride and Nationals baseball as well as Memorial Day revelry.

Make plans for unforgettable experiences in the nation's capital this May and throughout 2024. After you’ve read through this list, make sure to check out our things to do for the week and weekend as well as our accessibility guides to monuments and museums on the National Mall

Check out local theater with TodayTix
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passport dc performer embassies selfie photo

Passport DC – May 1-31
A month of programming across the city focuses on highlighting DC’s international culture. The Around the World Embassy Tour and the European Union Open House are annual highlights. Most events and tours can be enjoyed entirely free of charge. Read our guide to all of the fun and get more details at Events DC’s site below. 
More Info

 

Hideaki Miyamura / Smithsonian Craft Show

Hideaki Miyamura / Smithsonian Craft Show

Smithsonian Craft Show – May 1-5
Revel in the talents of craft and design artists from all across the U.S. at the annual Smithsonian Craft Show. In addition to the five-day show, programming also includes a Preview Night benefit and party, a panel of award winners called “Trio in Glass” and a luncheon and talk on the topic of “Saving Culture and Art in Crisis". All proceeds benefit Smithsonian programs and museums.
Tickets
National Building Museum, 401 F Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20001

 

Mimouna Festival – May 2
The National Museum of African Art, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, hosts this free event that will allow visitors to sample delicious dishes, listen to traditional songs and tour artworks throughout the museum. The Mimouna Festival is a tribute to a time when Moroccan Jews and Muslims break bread together to mark the conclusion of Passover, inspired by Moroccan narratives of unity and goodwill.
6:30-9 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, 950 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Belle & Sebastian – May 2
Few bands have left such a distinct mark on modern alternative music than Belle & Sebastian. Now more than three decades into their career, the group has released a dozen LPs, each uniquely fashioned and universally acclaimed. The Scottish indie pop stars will play many of their beautifully wistful songs at The Anthem for one night only.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

International City Food Festival – May 3-4
Get a taste of DC’s global food and drink at the second annual International City Food Festival complementing the first weekend of Passport DC. The three-day event will include celebrations aimed at making culinary diplomacy accessible — with free admission — to all ages. The festival offers a timely launch point to travel the globe and understand other cultures, all in the heart of DC.
More Info | Free Admission
The Square, 1875 I St NW, Washington, DC 20006

 

Flower Mart National Cathedral

Flower Mart – May 3-4
During Passport DC’s first weekend, the Washington National Cathedral hosts its annual Flower Mart, a two-day event that allows visitors to shop for plants and gifts, eat fun festival food, enjoy children’s activities, ride a historic carousel and take in the beauty of the International Floral Exhibit.
More Info | Free Admission
Washington National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW Washington, DC 20016

 

Divinity Roxx – May 3-5
The Kennedy Center welcomes the entire family to enjoy Divinity Roxx’s empowering and inspiring live show. The Grammy®-nominated performer who has toured with Beyoncé recently released her first family music album, has published two picture books and has received widespread acclaim for her memorable and infectious songs. She’ll be at the Family Theater throughout the first weekend in May.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Nationals Park

Star Wars Weekend at Nationals Park – May 3-5
Experience the magic of Friday nights with the Nats this May the Fourth weekend. Fans can enjoy fireworks with Star Wars-themed music plus weekend-long giveaways, including beanies and bobbleheads.
Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

 

Adams Morgan Spring PorchFest – May 4
One of the District’s most popular neighborhoods showcases some of DC’s best musical talent. Adams Morgan Spring PorchFest will feature more than 80 bands playing an array of genres, including rock, reggae, funk, Go-Go, rap, bluegrass, classical and pop. Twenty porches, business patios and parks, as well as the closed 18th Street, will become stages for the day, drawing music-lovers from around the region into the tree-lined streets and small businesses of Adams Morgan.
2-6 p.m. |  Free Admission

More Information

 

Financial Times Weekend Festival – May 4
Experience the Financial Times weekend paper come to life at the FTWeekend Festival: U.S. edition. Hear from Nancy Pelosi, Jake Sullivan, Jancis Robinson, Gucci Westman, Anne Applebaum, Colin King and your favorite FT writers across four stages at the REACH at the Kennedy Center as well as online. From debates and performances to wine and whiskey tastings, this is a Saturday event not to be missed. Register now and save 15% using the promo code DCFestival.
Note: This event is an external rental presented in coordination with The Kennedy Center Campus Rentals Office and is not produced by The Kennedy Center.
Tickets
The REACH at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Anacostia River Festival – May 4
Spend the afternoon outdoors taking in the beauty of the 11th Street Bridge Park during the 10th annual Anacostia River Festival. The free, family-friendly event is hosted right next to the river, runs from 1-5 p.m. and includes a market as well as live music and plenty of activities.
1-5 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Information
11th Street Bridge Park, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20020

 

Chastity Belt – May 4
An all-woman quartet with more than a decade of music behind them, Chastity Belt weaves together lush guitars, pounding rhythms, gorgeous melodies and lyrics with a memorable and careful balance of melancholy and optimism. Fresh off releasing their fifth studio LP, the group touches down at Black Cat on 14th Street.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Marc Maron – May 4
While his WTF podcast has become one of the most successful and influential of its kind, Marc Maron has been perfecting his already outstanding stand-up comedy chops. The level of insight that you hear on Maron’s pod only increases during his live shows, so don’t miss this comedic legend when he takes the stage at DC’s historic Warner Theatre.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

M3 Rock Festival – May 4-5
Rock 'n roll diehards can get the full ‘80s arena experience at the two-day M3 Rock Festival. Celebrating its 15th year, the can't-miss event will feature legendary rockers like Bret Michaels, Dee Snider, Queensryche, Steven Pearcy, Doro, Quiet Riot, Chris Caffery and Night Ranger. Single and multi-day tickets are available.
Tickets
Merriweather Post Pavilion 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044

 

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Makers’ Market and Free Community Day at the National Museum of Women in the Arts – May 5
The National Museum of Women in the Arts welcomes visitors for free every first Sunday and second Wednesday of the month. For this community day, the museum will also host a makers’ market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in its Great Hall where you can browse and purchase products from women artisans and women-owned businesses. You can also explore the museum’s collection and current exhibits, including 45-minute guided tours at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission |  Registration Required
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

In the Library: Photography and the Book Arts from the 21st Editions Collection – May 6 – Aug. 29, 2024
The work of photographers like Sally Mann, Josephine Sacabo, Masao Yamamoto, Adger Cowans and Arthur Tress are arrayed in exquisite form by master printers and paired with texts as diverse as William Shakespeare’s sonnets, the color theories of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and poetry by Keagan LeJeune. The National Gallery of Art’s latest library installation highlights 12 pieces in total, each culled from the last 25 years of 21st Editions publications.
Weekdays, 11 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art East Building, 4th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

 

Sunny Day Real Estate – May 7
The Howard Theatre welcomes the forebears of emo rock, a group whose legacy continues to expand as time passes. Sunny Day Real Estate emerged fully formed with 1994’s Diary, a masterpiece of an LP that kickstarted an entire musical movement. The iconic Sub Pop group reunites to honor the 30th anniversary of that debut album with a tour that will visit one of the coolest venues in the District.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Dixie’s Tupperware Party – May 7 – June 2
The Kennedy Center is about to become The Dixie Center this May. Dixie Longate is a fast-talking, gum-chewing Alabama gal who’s here to bring your grandmother’s Tupperware party into the 21st century. She’s going to show everyone the multiple uses of the plastic kitchen staple and share some hilarious tales. Expect audience participation and plenty of down-home wisdom as well.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Metamorphoses – May 7 – June 16
Nominated for a Tony Award when it first launched in 2002, Metamorphoses sets the mythic and modern together to create an unforgettable night of theater. Audiences are treated to the stories of Aphrodite, Midas, Cupid and others in whimsical fashion, showcasing universal truths, both funny and serious. Visionary theater director Psalmayene 24 helms Mary Zimmerman’s masterful script for Folger Theatre.
Tickets
Folger Theatre, 201 East Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

 

Problems Between Sisters – Opens May 8
Riffing on Sam Shepard’s True West, Studio Theatre’s latest production shifts the focus to sisters, conjuring a searing take on modern womanhood. Jess is a visual artist and Rory is a con artist and both are pregnant. As Jess prepares to launch her first solo show, Rory’s new project begins production as well… and this time, she’s crossed a line. A debate about artistic merit turns into a war that drudges up plenty of family baggage and old squabbles. Buckle up!
Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

National Gallery Nights: Art Prom – May 9
The National Gallery of Art’s East Building takes you back to the halcyon days with the May edition of National Gallery Nights. Dress in your finest formal (or whacky) attire, dance to your heart’s content, join the Gallery’s prom court with a DIY crown activity, snap a prom photo to take home, meet local artists and designers and discover other works in the museum. Activities on the 4th Street Plaza are free; registration is required to enter the East Building.
6-9 p.m. |  Free Admission |  Registration Required
National Gallery of Art, 4th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

 

An Evening with Whoopi Goldberg – May 10
One of a select few who have won the EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Awards), Whoopi Goldberg is a true icon of contemporary culture. The Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, will sit down with the legend to talk about Whoopi’s upcoming memoir, Pieces: My Mother, My Brother, and Me. Don’t miss this unique (and free!) opportunity inside the Library of Congress’ Coolidge Auditorium. Tickets are required.
6:30-8 p.m. |  Free Admission |  Tickets
Library of Congress, Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 1st Street SE, Washington, DC 20540

 

The Decemberists – May 10
No one has done indie folk quite like The Decemberists, who have managed to weave in storytelling elements worthy of the finest prose as well as prog rock and jangle-pop to create an absorbing musical catalogue across nine full-length albums. The group recently released new music for the first time in six years, certainly an occasion to catch them when their tours stops off at The Anthem.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Cloud Nothings – May 10
Hailing from Cleveland, Oh., Cloud Nothings bring forth guitar-driven pop and expertly crafted songs from bandleader Dylan Baldi. Their early DIY recordings were fuzzed up and catchy, while 2012’s Attack on Memory signaled a much louder and streamlined sound for the group. Since then, Cloud Nothings have continued to master their craft while building on it; the recently released Final Summer is another exciting step in their evolution. You’ll catch them at a perfect time when you see them at Black Cat in DC.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Mary Lou Williams: Next Jazz Legacy Festival – May 10-11
Honoring the life and work of the “first lady of jazz,” legendary pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams, the Next Jazz Legacy Festival highlights women propelling the genre forward. Hosted by the three-time Grammy-award-winning Dee Dee Bridgewater, the two-day festival includes  performances by Eliane Elias, Endea Owens, Ingrid Jensen and the Center Song Project, Julia Keefe’s Indigenous Big Band and more.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

George Lopez Tour at Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center

George Lopez: ALLLRIIIIGHHTTT! Comedy Tour – May 10-11
Whether you’ve seen him on the stage in one of his HBO comedy specials, acting in the DC Universe’s Blue Beetle, or leading one of his many groundbreaking late night shows and sitcoms, George Lopez has been a household name for decades. However, Lopez’s career began with stand-up, so his latest tour is bound to blow you away and touch on the personal topics around which he has chosen to build his career: Latino identity and family dynamics.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

2024 Arts and Culture Festival – May 10-12
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art puts on a huge party across three days, all in honor and celebration of the Middle East, Asia and Asian-American communities. Expect pop-ups, live performances and lively discussions around Asian diasporic experiences. All events are free and open to the public.
More Information |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Spring Fest Beer Festival – May 11-12
Inspired by the traditional Bavarian Frühlingsfest, Dacha in Navy Yard introduces a new marquee event. Think Oktoberfest across two days in May. Many of Dacha’s brewery partners will showcase their finest new ales, lagers and IPAs, including Weihenstephaner’s new Braupakt. Tickets are required and will go quickly.
Tickets
Dacha Beer Garden, 79 Potomac Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20003

 

Turandot – May 11-25
Grammy Award-winning composer Christopher Tin and acclaimed playwright and screenwriter Susan Soon He Stanton bring an exciting new portrayal of one of Puccini’s greatest operas to the Kennedy Center. Audiences will be immersed in the story of Princess Turandot, who invites any suitor to marry her, but they must first solve three of her riddles – or face death. Past gender dynamics and cultural appropriation come to the fore as the Washington National Opera puts on one of the most powerful productions of the year.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

People outside

EU Embassies’ Open House – May 11
Take your very own day-trip to Europe and enjoy the Old Continent without any jet lag. From Ireland and Italy to Spain and Slovakia, all European Union member states participate in this citywide open house experience.
More Info | Free Admission

 

Kennedy Center, Interior

Free Shows & Screenings at the Kennedy Center 
All month long, the Kennedy Center has curated free programming as part of its Social Impact series. Events include a show from Pokey LaFarge and the Jewish American Heritage Concert as well as film screenings of acclaimed works such The Color Purple and Past Lives.
Calendar
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Amm(i)gone – Through May 12
Creator and performer Adil Mansoor must decide whether he should bury his queerness from his devout Muslim mother in a wondrous performance that blends Greek tragedy, teachings from the Quran and audio conversations. Mansoor has created an extremely powerful personal story about locating love across faith that is not to be missed at DC's Woolly Mammoth Theatre.
Tickets
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Celebrate Mother’s Day in DC – May 12
While mothers should be celebrated every day, Mother’s Day only comes once per year. We’re here to help you honor the occasion and plan out an unforgettable holiday experience in the nation’s capital, so be sure to check out our rundown of Mother’s Day must-dos.

 

Cypress Hill – May 14
Since bursting onto the hip-hop scene in 1991, the trio known as Cypress Hill – B-Real, Sen Dog and DJ Muggs – have accomplished a level of success few other groups in any genre can claim. Thanks to a series of smash hit singles featuring head-banging beats and a famously pro-marijuana stance, Cypress Hill built their own special niche in the pop music landscape, becoming the first Latino-American hip-hop group to go multi-platinum. Lincoln Theatre hosts the legends for one night only.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Todd Rundgren – May 14
A musical Renaissance man, Todd Rundgren has filled nearly every role in the industry and saw success and acclaim every step of the way. Even after more than 50 years in the business and decades of hits – along with dazzling, experimental left-turns – Rundgren can still put on one hell of a show, a fact you’ll be able to attest to after you see him at Warner Theatre in DC.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Kathleen Hanna – Rebel Girl: My Life As A Feminist Punk – May 15
One of the most influential artists of the last 30 years comes to the Lincoln Theatre to showcase her new memoir. Kathleen Hanna defined cool before she even rose to prominence – it’s believed she inspired Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by spray-painting the phrase on Kurt Cobain’s wall. That was nothing compared to her work as the frontwoman for hardcore punk and riot-grrrl inventors Bikini Kill and electro-pop pioneers Le Tigre. Hear from this feminist icon inside one of DC’s most historic venues.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Expecting – May 16-25
c21 Theatre Company developed this one-act play in collaboration with deaf artist Paula Clarke. Expecting explores experiences unique to deaf and hearing couples through the story of Shauna and Robbie. Keegan Theatre’s accessible new show examines the barriers that Shauna faces while mothering a baby daughter and Robbie encounters as a provider and father.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

 

Mosaic Theater: Mexodus – May 16 – June 9
As a result of its Catalyst new play development incubator, Mosaic Theater brings Mexodus to the Atlas Performing Arts Center. Brian Quijada and Nygel D. Robinson craft a musical live on-stage via looping as the duo explores untold stories of enslaved people who used the Underground Railroad to escape south to Mexico.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

Celebrating the Past, Shaping the Future: 70th Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education – May 17
The National Museum of African American History and Culture celebrates the 70th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education with a special event that will examine the ruling’s profound impact on education and honor the Little Rock 9, the litigants of Brown and other champions who have made the continued pursuit of educational justice possible. Admission is free but registration is required.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission |  Registration Required
National Museum of African American History and Culture, 1400 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Jesus Christ Superstar – May 17-19
A new take on one of the best musicals of all-time honors the 50th anniversary of the play’s first staging. Jesus Christ Superstar details the final weeks of the life of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of Judas, filled with indelible rock songs like “I Don’t Know How to Love Him,” and “Superstar”. The award-winning and legendary music and lyrics were written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, masters of their craft.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Fiesta Asia dancers festival

Fiesta Asia! – Postponed to June 1
Embrace Asian Heritage Month with a day jam-packed with culture, from the performing arts to culinary delights. The annual Fiesta Asia! takes over Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 6th streets NW with exciting performances, interactive displays, flea markets and food stalls.
More info | Free Admission
Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd & 6th Streets NW

 

Tacos & Tequila at Nationals Park – May 18
Nats Park turns into a tacos-and-tequila heaven during this special event. Expect a diverse array of flavors and renowned brands including Casamigos, Casa Azul, Cincoro Tequila, Mijenta Tequila, Ana Maria, Tequila Rosa, Banhez Mezcal Astesnal and many others. Enjoy tequila or cocktail tastings, savor delectable taco samples from Pink Taco, Mission, El Teco, Surfside Tacos and El Bebe and check out intense competition as vendors compete for the title of Ultimate Taco and Tequila Champion. Use discount code 'TEQUILA10' for $10 off your ticket purchase!
4-7 p.m. |  Tickets
Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE, Washington, DC 20003

 

Little Shop of Horrors – Through May 18
Originally a sci-fi/horror comedy film released in 1960, Little Shop of Horrors then became an off-Broadway musical in the early 1980s. Yet another film adaptation followed a few years later, showing how this timeless story of a floral shop assistant and his singing, deadly plant will always dazzle audiences. The historic Ford’s Theatre revives the dynamic production during its upcoming spring season. Make sure to use code DDCSHOP20 for 20% off your tickets to the show (valid for March 16 - April 6 & May 1-18; limit two tickets per purchase)!
Tickets
Ford's Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Running of the Chihuahuas at The Wharf – Rescheduled to May 19 
The Wharf celebrates Cinco de Mayo with this too-cute-to-be-true chihuahua race, now in its 12th year. Watch the little pups run their way to glory at one of the most exciting places in DC. You’ll also be able to enjoy a beer garden, a 360-degree pet photo booth, a DJ, an adoptable pet parade, an all-breed costume contest and music throughout the afternoon. Admission is free.
2-5 p.m. |  Free Admission 
The Wharf, 600 Water Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Prologue Theatre: Marjorie Prime – Through May 19
Prologue Theatre and Atlas Performing Arts Center present a riveting rumination on grief, memory, identity and technology. As the octogenarian Marjorie battles dementia, her daughter Tess and son-in-law Jon introduce a Prime, which is artificial intelligence constructed to resemble Marjorie’s deceased husband, Walter. The Prime turns into a deposit for memories shaped by Tess and Jon and as Marjorie’s health declines, Tess contemplates aging, mortality and her relationship with her mother.
Tickets
Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H Street NE, Washington, DC 20002

 

Parliament Funkadelic featuring George Clinton – May 19
The 9:30 Club welcomes the Mothership to DC. George Clinton has been at the forefront of Parliament Funkadelic since the late 1960s, helping to shape multiple genres of music through a series of acclaimed albums and hit songs. Expect to hear decades of funk – songs that also helped plant the seed for modern hip-hop, dance and R&B music – and groove the night away during this highly anticipated performance.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Killer Mike & The Mighty Midnight Revival – May 21
One of the titans of hip-hop comes to the Kennedy Center to put on a show like you’ve never seen before. Both as a solo artist and as a member of Run the Jewels, Killer Mike consistently delivers some of the most hard-hitting and thought-provoking rap music around. His most recent LP, Michael, won three Grammys, showing that the artist has not lost his fastball. He’ll play songs from that album and many others when he takes the stage with his band, the Mighty Midnight Revival. The performer will also be accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra, making for an evening of songs and sound you can’t enjoy anywhere else.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

The Matchbox Magic Flute – May 21 – June 16
Shakespeare Theatre Company presents a “matchbox” approach to Mozart’s legendary opera, The Magic Flute. Mary Zimmerman conceived this fresh adaptation that features a cast of 10 and an orchestra of just five players. Audiences will be swept off their feet by the adventures of Prince Tamino and Princess Pamina as they encounter dragons, trials by fire and water, underground corridors and much more.
Tickets
Klein Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Where the Mountain Meets the Sea – May 21 – July 7
From the writer of Apple TV+’s The Morning Show comes a tale that showcases the power of music to transcend time and place. After learning of the death of his estranged father, a son decides to embark on a cross-country trip modeled after the one his Haitian immigrant parents took before he was born. As the son travels across America and listens to the music his father loved, he discovers the everlasting bond that existed between them. Where the Mountain Meets the Sea makes it DC-area debut at Signature Theatre in Arlington, Va.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

 

Beyond Boundaries: An Evening Curated by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa – May 22-26
Acclaimed around the world for her creative choreography, Annabelle Lopez Ochoa has curated a series of breathtaking performances from the Washington Ballet to take place at the Kennedy Center across five consecutive days. Ochoa’s beloved 2019 commission for the Ballet, Delusional Beauty, will be a part of the series that also elevates a diverse collection of voices and perspectives in modern dance.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Rolling to Remember – May 24
This motorcycle rally is held to raise awareness of critical issues faced by veterans every day, as well as in tribute to those missing in action and prisoners of war. Rolling to Remember aims to deliver a message to Congress and the American people that veterans are in need of assistance, as the group struggles with a suicide crisis. Visit the event website for scheduling updates, registration and attendance info for this year's procession.
More info

 

DC Black Pride Opening Night 2024

DC Black Pride

DC Black Pride – May 24-27
The District is home to one of the first and largest African American Gay Pride events in the country: DC Black Pride. Hosted at the Westin Downtown, festivities include social events, vendor expos, a poetry slam, a writers forum, faith services and complimentary wellness services and screenings – all of which are free unless otherwise noted. Other highlights include this year's Opening Night Reception, which will kick off in the Potomac Ballroom with Paris Sashay headlining, and the Brunch & Babes Drag Brunch fundraiser, where attendees can enjoy bottomless mimosas for a cause.
More info
The Westin Washington, DC Downtown, 999 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Maryland Plant Fest

Maryland Plant Fest – May 25-26
Step into the green sanctuary of Plants Alive! for an unparalleled plant extravaganza. The free-to-attend Maryland Plant Fest promises a paradise for plant enthusiasts to explore. Numerous plant vendors will be on-hand including Cultivate the City, Southern MD Tropicals, Floraesoterika, Gracie's Tropicals, Foliage Fanatics and Sandi Plants. Gourmet food delights will come from Little Minor Taco, Plant Burger and Ben and Jerry's. Note that May 26 also features a Makers Market, which will feature 30 local makers and vendors.
Free Admission |  Register
Plants Alive!, 15710 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906
 

Mindbender Mansion – May 25 – Sept. 2
The National Children’s Museum’s Visiting Exhibit Hall is ready to puzzle the whole family this summer. Mindbender Mansion features a variety of brainteasers and interactive challenges that will test even the most experienced problem-solvers. In total, the display offers 11 individual puzzles and three group activities.
Tickets
National Children’s Museum, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

National Memorial Day Concert – May 26
The National Memorial Day Concert salutes the sacrifice made by the men and women in uniform, as well as their families. The free annual concert will be aired on PBS from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Sunday, May 26 at 8 p.m. Actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will host the proceedings, which will feature numerous other celebrity performers. The event will also be live-streamed online and will be available on-demand for two weeks after the performance.
More info 

 

Rare Essence – May 26
There’s Go-Go and then there’s Rare Essence. As one of the groups responsible for spreading DC’s signature sound, the collective has set the standard for grooving in the city for decades. There’s no better place than Howard Theatre to host the foot-stomping rhythmic explosion of Rare Essence – the venue dates to the early 20th century, when jazz ruled DC.
10 p.m. |  Tickets
The Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Memorial Day Parade

The National Memorial Day Parade – May 27
Our Sacred Honor tells the story of American sacrifice from the Revolution to today along Constitution Avenue through live, on site historical re-enactors, veterans, and active duty military personnel, joined by musical performances and celebrity appearances. The in-person parade will take place ‘live’ in Washington, filmed for a television special that will air on ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox stations nationwide. For more ideas on how to spend the weekend, check out our suggestions.
More info

 

The Anxious Eye: German Expressionism and Its Legacy –  Through May 27
One of the 20th century’s most important artistic movements takes center stage at the National Gallery of Art. German Expressionists who first came to prominence in the early part of the 20th century are featured throughout, including Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Emil Nolde. Their influence can be registered through the contemporary pieces in the exhibition, including work by Leonard Baskin, Nicole Eisenman and Orit Hofshi. In total, visitors can marvel at more than 70 prints, drawings, illustrated books, portfolios and sculptures.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

We Remain Here – May 27 – June 2
The Kennedy Center’s REACH wall will be adorned with this land acknowledgement commissioned by Mahogany L. Browne for an entire week. We Remain Here honors the Black and migrant community that once thrived in Foggy Bottom before the Kennedy Center or the nearby Watergate Hotel were built.
More Information |  Free Admission
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566

 

Jeff Goldblum & The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra – May 30
Who doesn’t love Jeff Goldblum? This charming man has been a fixture in theaters and on television screens for 40 years, known for unforgettable roles in classics like Jurassic Park, The Fly, The Big Chill, The Grand Budapest Hotel and many others. The charismatic star will bring his band to the Lincoln Theatre for a night of live jazz, improv comedy and even some trivia.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Jazz in the Garden

Jazz in the Garden – May 31
Kick back and groove to the music with sangria in hand at Jazz in the Garden on Fridays throughout the summer, held in the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden starting May 31. An eclectic mix of DC-area jazz musicians lend a soundtrack to one of the city’s most idyllic scenes set around the sculpture garden’s central fountain. This is a free seasonal tradition that you do not want to miss. Due to high demand, the museum has instituted a lottery system; visit the Gallery’s website for more information.
6-8:30 p.m. |  Free Admission |  More Information
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

 

Capital Pride Festival

Capital Pride – May 31 – June 9
Each year, local nonprofit Capital Pride hosts an array of exciting events and 2024 will be no different. There will be plenty of ways to show the community love in June. Last year’s attractions included a Pridemobile Parade and a Taste of Pride brunch, in addition to the yearly concert and festival. Event dates and details will be announced in the coming months. Also note that DC will host World Pride in 2025.
More info

 

Subversive, Skilled, Sublime: Fiber Art by Women – May 31 – Jan. 5, 2025
Encounter an alternative history of American art through 33 pieces that showcase the mastery and subversion of essential materials including cotton, wool, polyester and silk. The Renwick Gallery exhibit offers pieces as diverse as the collection of women artists who made them, also unveiling insights into their creative processes through sketches, photos, mail art and more.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
Renwick Gallery, 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20006

 

ISEKAI: Blooming Parallel Worlds – Through Sept. 8
ARTECHOUSE welcomes visitors to its seventh annual installation dedicated to celebrating the beauty of the cherry blossoms in DC. The museum treats your eyes to an exhibit inspired by the Isekai genre of Anime, allowing for the exploration of alternate universes stacked with colors, adventures and immersive technologies. Plus, discover Gachapons hidden throughout the exhibit to win prizes from local businesses or snag a book from the 'Isekai Library'. Make sure to take advantage of tickets with a 10% discount.
Tickets (10% off)
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Bonnard’s Worlds – Through June 2
The first major retrospective of the work of Pierre Bonard at the Phillips Collection in 20 years, Bonnard’s Worlds opens new avenues for exploring the mind and surroundings of the French artist. Some of the most celebrated works by the master have been brought together from museums across Europe and the U.S. and from private collections worldwide for an exhibition that highlights how Bonnard translated the spaces around him, from Parisian landscapes to the interior spaces of his dwellings and thoughts.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Jessica Diamond: Wheel of Life – Through June 2
One of America’s greatest conceptual artists presents her largest museum installation to date at the Hirshhorn. Wheel of Life fills the museum’s second-floor, inner-circle galleries with 15 text-and-image-based works that highlight Diamond’s inventiveness. Much of the work on display reflects on Diamond’s stunning 40-year career as an artist.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Sydney Vernon – Through June 6
Local artist and native of the DC region Sydney Vernon receives an in-depth showcase at Phillips@THEARC, which does not charge admission. Vernon’s idiosyncratic approach sees her superimpose and alter family photos with both authentic and imagined stories from Black history and culture. Her work pairs perfectly with Pierre Bonard’s, which will be on display over at the Phillps Collection.
Wednesdays & Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
Phillips@THEARC, 1801 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20020

 

Bernardí Roig – Through July 7
During the COVID-19 lockdown of 2020, one Spanish artist got to thinking about another, leading to 55 incredible drawings that are on display at The Phillips Collection in DC. While contemplating the difficulties of isolation, Bernardí Roig took to depicting the lost, severed head of Francisco José de Goya, one of the greatest Spanish artists to ever live whose body was discovered headless 60 years after his own death in exile. See these mind-bending creations at one of the coolest museums in the District.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Woven Histories: Textiles and Modern Abstraction – Through July 28
The National Gallery of Art dives deep on the overlap between fashion, design, arts and crafts. Through 160 works including oil paintings, weaving, basketry, knotting and knitting, you can see how textiles have influenced modern artists and movements. The exhibit also showcases moments when social and political issues activated textile production and artmaking with heightened focus and urgency.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Where We Meet – Through Aug. 15
The Howard University Gallery of Art and The Phillips Collection have merged their collections for a special exhibit. Both storied DC institutions have been acquiring art for decades; many of the earliest acquisitions of each are displayed. Works of seminal artists are showcased in a presentation that highlights how the Phillips and Howard have celebrated and provided access to important art throughout the years.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Southwestern Pennsylvania – Through March 17, 2025
The National Building Museum exhibits both realized and unrealized projects that the legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed for the region of Southwestern Pennsylvania from the 1930s through the 1950s. The display examines how Wright’s vision of the future could have impacted urban, suburban and rural landscapes. Also, animated films created by Skyline Ink Animators + Illustrators provide a first-time virtual exploration of five unrealized projects.
Hours & Admission
National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

HAIR – Through July 7
Signature Theatre Company hosts a classic rock musical that broke new ground with its rebellion, spirit and psychedelic colors when it debuted in 1967. HAIR concerns a group of hippies on the verge of adulthood who champion freedom, pacifism and joy, but are confronted by a world thrown into chaos when one of their friends is drafted to the Vietnam War. The play features unforgettable songs such as “Aquarius,” “Let the Sunshine In,” and “Good Morning, Starshine”.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

 

Up Close with Paul Cézanne – Through July 14
The Phillips Collection unveils two recently conserved works by French painter Paul Cézanne in an exciting new exhibit. The major paintings, Mont Sainte-Victoire (1886-87) and Self-Portrait (1878-80), are part of the museum’s world-renowned collection by the legendary artist and will be displayed together for the first time in decades along with five other pieces by Cézanne. Learn about the conservation of Mont Sainte-Victoire and Self-Portrait and how it reveals details previously obscured by varnishes while providing insight into the artist’s process.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024 – Through Aug. 11
Discover how recent global turmoil has impacted and inspired women artists. Works by 28 artists are featured in New Worlds: Women to Watch 2024, offering pieces that explore a range of geographies, cultural viewpoints and perspectives. The exhibit immerses visitors in the National Museum of Women in the Arts’ renewed spaces. It is the seventh and largest installment of the museum’s Women to Watch exhibition series.
Hours & Admission
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Pattern and Paradox: The Quilts of Amish Women – Through Sept. 2
Learn about the fascinating connection between Amish Women and quilting thanks to a new exhibit at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Over time, the practice has transcended its utilitarian roots and become a form of artistic expression for Amish Women. Treat your eyes to a wondrous mix of colors and patterns as you marvel at the innovation of extraordinary quilts.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Forces of Nature: Voices that Shaped Environmentalism 
The National Portrait Gallery honors key scientists, politicians, activists, writers and artists who influenced attitudes toward the environment in the U.S. from the late-1800s to the present. Trace the environmentalist movement from turn-of-the-20th-century conservationism to mid-20th-century political actions and the backlash to them. It also addresses the current state of environmental justice, biodiversity and climate. Gaze at more than 25 portraits of figures like Rachel Carson, George Washington Carver, Maya Lin, Henry David Thoreau and Edward O. Wilson.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Fighters for Freedom: William H. Johnson Picturing Justice 
In the mid-1940s, William H. Johnson painted his Fighters for Freedom series to honor Black activists, scientists, teachers, performers and international heads of state working to bring peace to the world. Johnson celebrated these figures – some very famous, others unsung – while acknowledging the racism, violence and oppression each one fought against. The exhibit showcases many of these paintings, including Johnson’s portraits of Harriet Tubman, George Washington Carver, Mahatma Gandhi and Marian Anderson, elevating stories that are still relevant to the struggle for social justice today.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Reckoning with Remembrance: History, Injustice and the Murder of Emmett Till – Through Sept. 15
Fourteen-year-old Chicago native Emmett Till was brutally lynched in Mississippi in 1955; his mother insisted on an open-casket funeral in his hometown. The saga made national news and eventually led to the founding of the Emmett Till Memorial Commission in 2008, which erected nine historical markers to honor the youth. Since then, these markers have been stolen, riddled with bullets or chucked into a river. The National Museum of American History displays a desecrated marker as a reminder of the violent legacy of racism that continues to thrive in America today as part of a new exhibit.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free Admission
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Staging the Supernatural: Ghosts and the Theater in Japanese Prints – Through Oct. 6
The Japanese Edo period (1603–1868) gave credence to essential ideas about the supernatural in Japanese culture. Many of the beliefs that came to prominence during this time are still held as conventional wisdom today. This exhibit at the National Museum of Asian Art allows you to explore the roles that ghosts and spirits play in the retelling of Japanese legends as well as real events. Staging the Supernatural features woodblock prints and illustrated books that showcase the spooky specters that haunt the Japanese theater traditions of noh and kabuki.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Ancestral Places: People of African Descent at Tudor Place – Through Oct. 13
Tudor Place will be outfitted to showcase the historic house from the perspective of the enslaved and free individuals who worked and lived on the property. Through maps, artifacts, photos and audio recordings, visitors will be educated on the ways these individuals dealt with everyday life at Tudor Place as well as how they practiced resistance and activism.
Register
Tudor Place, 1644 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

 

Sewn in America: Making, Meaning, Memory – Through Dec. 31
The DAR Museum presents a groundbreaking exhibit featuring sewn items from every textile section of its collections including clothing, household items, needlework and quilts. Sewn in America examines how the activity shaped gender roles, from the homestead to professions like dressmaking, tailoring and factory work. Pieces from the 18th century to today will be juxtaposed to show how women of diverse backgrounds have used needles to express emotions and battle injustice.
Hours |  Free Admission
DAR Museum, 1776 D Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

 

Star Power: Photographs from Hollywood’s Golden Age by George Hurrell – Through Jan. 5, 2025
Hollywood’s premiere photographer during the onset of the studio system, George Hurrell set the template for how to capture the brightest stars of the cinematic universe. As MGM’s in-house portraitist and in his own studio, Hurrell used lighting expertise and the sharpest of eyes to create glamorous images of Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy and many, many more. The National Portrait Gallery displays many of these Golden Era photographs in the new exhibit.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Brilliant Exiles: American Women in Paris, 1900-1939 – Through Feb. 23, 2025
Be amazed by sixty defiant women who made the courageous decision to cross the Atlantic Ocean to pursue their artistic dreams immersed in the majesty of Paris and its dynamic cultural scene. Brilliant Exiles marks the first exhibition to focus on the impact of American women on Paris – and of Paris on American women – from 1900 to the outbreak of the second World War. You can gaze at portraits of icons such as Josephine Baker, Isadora Duncan, Zelda Fitzgerald, Loïs Mailou Jones, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Anaïs Nin, Gertrude Stein, Ethel Waters and Anna May Wong.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Grandma Moses, 'The Old Oaken Bucket', 1945.

Grandma Moses, 'The Old Oaken Bucket', 1945.

Revolutions: Art from the Hirshhorn Collection, 1860-1960 – Through April 20, 2025
This year, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden brings you one exciting event after another in celebration of their 50th anniversary. The museum's latest exhibit features works from more than 120 artists, so we suggest giving yourself plenty of time to soak up all the wonder. The revolutionary installation offers well-known masterpieces alongside contemporary creations from a wide range of artists including Francis Bacon, Jean Dubuffet, Lee Krasner, Wifredo Lam, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O’Keeffe and Jackson Pollock.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Bond In Motion – Through April 2025
Across more than six decades of films, James Bond has become the on-screen embodiment of spies for millions. The International Spy Museum pays homage to the fictional character, along with his allies and adversaries, with a breathtaking display of iconic vehicles from the movies. In total, visitors can fix their eyes on 17 pieces, including cars, motorcycles, submarines and even more from the Q Branch Garage. 
Hours & Admission
International Spy Museum, 700 L’Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Do Ho Suh: Public Figures – Through April 29, 2029
South Korean artist Do Ho Suh has created a special edition of his work Public Figures for installation at the very front of the National Museum of Asian Art, signifying the next phase of the museum. Suh was commissioned for the project thanks to his outstanding international reputation. He was one of the earliest contemporary artists featured at the museum and this new sculpture will be the first installed outside the Freer Gallery of Art in more than 30 years.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Zen and the Open Road – Ongoing
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, the National Museum of American History places the writer’s 1966 Honda Super Hawk motorcycle in a temporary display within the permanent America on the Move exhibit. Encounter Pirsig’s stories related to riding, writing and sailing and check out cool artifacts such as his typewriter, a manuscript of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and a recently attributed book on the 14th century bubonic plague.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
Smithsonian National Museum of American History, 1300 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20560

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