Best Things to Do in the DC Area 4/3-4/9: The Words Beats and Life Festival, the Dr. Seuss Experience, and Searching for Shakespeare Festival

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The Dr. Seuss Experience arrives at Tysons Corner Center. Photograph courtesy of “The Dr. Seuss Experience”/Fever.

Happy April, everyone!

Kick off the month with outdoor entertainment at the Jazz and Blossoms Park Jam, or be one of the first guests to walk-through the new interactive Dr. Seuss Experience. Whichever you choose, you’ll be sure to have a great time.

Best Things to Do This Week

  1. The Words Beats and Life Festival. Enjoy poetry, rooftop parties, brunch, art, live music, and educational workshops at The Words Beats and Life Festival. The multi-day lineup features events such as live poetry readings at Planet Word, an outdoor music fest and mocktail bar at the Jazz and Blossoms Park Jam, and panel discussions about hip-hop, photography, rap, and culture (Tues-Sat, free, various locations).
  2. The Dr. Seuss Experience. The Dr. Seuss Experience arrives at Tysons Corner Center this week with nine immersive storybook worlds to explore. Seuss-themed rides, Truffula Tree swings, carnival games, a balloon maze, and live book characters bring the popular children’s books to life at this jolly adventure. All ages can join in on the sensory fun (opens Fri, $37+ for adults, $32+ for children, Tysons).
  3. Searching for Shakespeare festival. It’s been 400 years since Shakespeare’s first folio was printed, and the DC Public Library and Folger Shakespeare Library are commemorating the occasion with a citywide festival. The entire family can learn about theater and storytelling at comics and acting workshops, a hands-on folio-making class, a world premiere play, a scavenger hunt for plays, and lectures on theater and race (through April 30, free, various locations).
  4. AdMo Art Walk. This month local artists will display paintings, photography, digital prints, and more creations along the AdMo Art Walk. You can stroll through the streets of Adams Morgan and view artworks at 16 participating storefronts. The DC Arts Center will lead guided walking tours of the route every Saturday, stopping at each location to discuss the featured art and supporting business (through April 30, free, Adams Morgan).
  5. “Drawing in Britain, 1700–1900” exhibit. Discover two centuries of British art at the National Gallery of Art’s new Victorian era showcase of recently acquired drawings and watercolors. There are more than 80 works on display at “Drawing in Britain, 1700–1900: New Additions to the Collection” including, highlights of portraits, creations by women artists, and nude studies (through August 6, free, National Gallery of Art).

Bikini Kill. Photograph by Tammy Rae Carland.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Shop vintage items from local businesses at Unni’s Closet and Friends flea market (Sat, free, Northeast DC).

Arts and culture. Shop for jewelry, candles, and more items at Capital Cider House’s Spring Artisan Market (Sat, free, Petworth). Artist Maurice James Jr. talks about his exhibition “The Black Utopia Museum” at the Anacostia Arts Center (Fri, free, Anacostia). Swedish artists portray the connection between humans and nature in the video art exhibition “You Don’t Love Me, Yet(through April 15, $10, Dupont). View Akili Ron Anderson’s “Last Supper” sculpture depicting Black disciples (Mon-Sat, free, Northwest DC). See the premiere of the documentary Tinderbox, Belt & Road: China in the Balkans at Landmark’s E Street Cinema (Tues, free, Penn Quarter). Author Elizabeth Rule discusses her new book Indigenous DC: Native Peoples and the Nation’s Capital (Tues, free, Northwest DC). 

History and community. Tour the historic home of brewer and immigrant Christian Heurich (Thurs-Fri, $10, Northwest DC). Explore the National Cryptologic Museum’s cryptologic artifacts and technology (every Sat, free, Annapolis). Attend the Samuel Dash Conference on Human Rights and watch a screening of The Prosecutors (Tues, free, Penn Quarter). 

Theater and shows. The Broadway revival of My Fair Lady is in town (Thurs-Sun, $60+, the National Theatre). Malavika Sarukkai delivers a classical dance from India in River Sutra (Wed-Thurs, $49+, Kennedy Center). See the teenage anime drama Your Name at AFI Silver Theatre (Tues-Thurs, $13, Silver Spring). Explore the musical history of Black women in Sistas: The Musical (Fri through April 16, $30, Manassas). It’s the last chance to see the super villain parody Push the Button at Keegan Theatre (closes Fri, $50, Dupont).

Music and concerts. Get tickets to the Washington Chorus’ musical tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his “I Have a Dream” speech (Tues, $15+, Kennedy Center), or a tribute to Louis Armstrong by Grammy Award winner Nicholas Payton and a 12-member band (Tues, $19+, Kennedy Center). See videos from NASA and National Geographic at this multi-media concert (Wed, free, Kennedy Center). Post-punk band Algiers headlines at DC9 Nightclub (Tues, $15+, Northwest DC). Elijah Myers sings at the Hard Rock Cafe (Fri, free, Penn Quarter). Celebrate Jazz Appreciation Month with drummer Allen Jones at a live concert (Fri, free, Capitol Hill). Or, visit 8th Street Barracks Row for a lineup of jazz, folk, and more live tunes (Fri, free, Capitol Hill). Rock band Titus Andronicus plays at Black Cat (Tues, $25, Northwest DC). The eight-member English rock band Caroline performs at City-State Brewing (Wed, $25, Northeast DC). Feminist hit-makers Bikini Kill rock The Fillmore (Tues, $39+, Silver Spring).

Easter festivities. Snap a photo with the Easter bunny (through Sat, $19+, Tysons). Have a family meal at Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Tap with the Easter bunny; children younger than 10 years old can participate in an egg hunt (Sun, free, reservations encouraged to dine, Alexandria). Salamander DC hosts their first egg hunt on the garden patio (Sun, free, but brunch reservations required, Southwest DC). There’s an adult egg hunt, a bunny costume contest, and live music at Shipgarten’s Mimosa and Bloody Mary Easter Festival (Sat, free, McLean). For the kids there’s face painting and music bingo at Shipgarten (Sun, free, McLean).

Outdoor fun. Watch the film South Pacific on the Navy Memorial plaza (Thurs, free, Northwest DC). Pick tulips and daffodils at Burnside Farms’ Festival of Spring; there’s wagon rides and play areas for children, too (Tues through April 26, $19+, Nokesville). Visit the Bluebell Festival at Merrimac Farm to learn about birds, butterflies, and nature (Sat, free, Nokesville).

Things to do with kids. Visit the new Puerto Rico-inspired River Island immersive bilingual play space with books, videos, and activities at the REACH (Tues through April 16, free, Kennedy Center).

Game night. Play drag bingo at Capitol Cider House (Wed, free, Petworth) or at Nellie’s Sports Bar (Tues, free, U Street). District Trivia hosts pub trivia (Thurs, free, Petworth). New Columbia Pub Quiz hosts trivia night at Big Bear Cafe (every Wed, free, Northwest DC). Compete in a karaoke battle or trivia at Highline RxR; there’s a comedy show, too (Sat, $15+, Arlington). Play games for prizes while sipping bubbly at Lulu’s Winegarden (Tues, free, Northwest DC). Alamo Drafthouse Cinema is calling all Swifties to compete in a Taylor Swift-themed trivia competition (Wed, free, Brentwood).

Get involved. Win bingo and eat tacos for a good cause at Crooked Run Fermentation and Nectar Cocktail Bar; proceeds will go to a nominated local nonprofit (Wed, free, Sterling).

If you enjoyed these events, please don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.

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