Best Things to Do in the DC Area 4/6-4/9: DC Beer Fest, Petalpalooza, and “DC Home Rule 50” Exhibit

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Things to Do

Plus, the Joffrey Ballet.

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Photograph courtesy of DC Beer Fest.

Happy weekend, everyone!

There’s a number of great festivals to check out this weekend, and an array of family-friendly Easter activities, too. If you are looking for something cool to do indoors, then visit DC’s latest Home Rule exhibit.

Best Things to Do This Weekend

  1. DC Beer Fest. The DC Beer Festival returns to Nationals Park this weekend with seasonal drinks from more than 80 breweries and appetizing snacks from local food trucks. The outdoor endless tasting party will take place throughout the stadium’s concourse and feature live bands, lawn games, and admittance to a dueling piano bar (Sat, $50+, Nationals Park).
  2. Petalpalooza. Experience spring art, music, and crafts outdoors at Petalpalooza. All ages and furry-friends are invited to see live performances across the festival’s three stages, play games in the golf simulator, taste fare from local eateries, and view a fireworks show across the Anacostia River while the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge flashes in pink lights (Sat, free, Capitol Riverfront).
  3. “DC Home Rule 50” exhibit. Neworks Productions is teaming up with the DC History Center to explore the theme of DC statehood in a new photography exhibition “DC Home Rule 50.” Curated by composer and producer Nolan Williams Jr., the showcase marks the 50th anniversary of the “Home Rule Act,” with images photographed by emerging local artists and esteemed DC photographer Lateef Mangum (opening Fri, free, Northwest DC).
  4. Blossom Fest in Springfield. Family-friendly Blossom Fest celebrates the cherry blossoms beyond the Tidal Basin. You can build-your-own blossom with LEGO Discovery Center, munch on bites from food truck vendors such as Empanadas De Mendoza, and groove to tunes spun live by DJ Luis at this event at Springfield Town Center. There will be face-painting and a bounce house for kids, too (Sat, free, Springfield).
  5. The Joffrey Ballet. Chicago’s largest dance company, the Joffrey Ballet, arrives in DC this weekend to perform Anna Karenina. The new work based on the novel by Leo Tolstoy narrates a tale of passion and love through detailed movement (Thurs-Sun, $39+, Kennedy Center).

Petalpalooza 2022. Photograph by Austin Tolchin.

Want More Things to Do?

Budget-friendly. Take an early morning stroll through nature on a Bird Walk at Dyke Marsh (Sun, free, Alexandria). Get a first look at available nuptial dates at the historic Dumbarton House’s wedding expo (Thurs, free, virtual).

Arts and culture. Discover Black art at Zenith Gallery’s group exhibition “Black Like Me(through April 22, free, Downtown). View the notable works of architect and artist Maya Lin before the exhibition closes (through April 16, free, National Portrait Gallery). Don’t miss this year’s Yuri’s Night party; there’s space-themed burlesque and science talks (Thurs, $55, Northwest DC). Explore a variety of creative art materials at “Pour, Tear, Carve: Material Possibilities in the Collection” after hours (Thurs, $20, Northwest DC). See the Cherry Blossom Princess light the 4,000-pound Japanese Stone Lantern (Sun, free, Southwest DC). Observe the abstract art of artist Shara Mays at Mehari Sequar (Wed-Sun, free, H Street Corridor). Sit in on a conversation about artist Elizabeth Catlett (Thurs, free, virtual). There’s wine, art, and cheese to enjoy after hours at Nepenthe Gallery (Thurs, free, Alexandria). Create cherry blossom-inspired origami at the Blossom Block Party (Thurs, free, Southwest DC).

Theater and shows. Dance to your favorite musical soundtracks at Broadway Rave (Sat, $20, Howard Theatre). Actor Jason Ma talks about his role in Signature Theatre’s Pacific Overture (Thurs, free, virtual, Arlington). Civil War-era stage play Ben Butler premieres at the Washington Stage Guild (through April 16, $50+, Downtown). Laugh out loud at standup comedy bits and sketches at The Public Option (Sat, free, Northeast DC). There’s a variety of live entertainment at the Comedy Karaoke Trivia Funtime Show (Sat, $10+, Arlington). Don’t miss My Fair Lady at the National Theatre (Thurs-Sun, $45+, Northwest DC). Comedian Brian Regan tells jokes at the Kennedy Center (Fri-Sat, $62+, Kennedy Center).

Music and concerts. The king of bayou soul Marc Broussard is live at the 9:30 Club (Thurs, $35, Northwest DC). Dress up in costume and sing karaoke with friends at Solly’s (Thurs, free, U Street). Listen to a mix of British rock tunes live at Pearl Street Warehouse (Sat, $15, Wharf). R&B star Ella Mai comes to DC this weekend (Sat, $57+, Northeast DC). Take an introductory salsa dance lesson at Washington Printmakers Gallery (Fri, $15, Georgetown). Pianist Heidi Tsai takes a musical look into the 17th century at the Embassy of France (Thurs, $15+, Northwest DC).

Easter festivities. There’s a petting zoo with alpacas and bunnies at The Perch’s Easter celebration (Sat, $20, Tysons). Enjoy a catered brunch, face-painting, and a egg hunt at the Easter Extravaganza (Sat, $25+, Suitland). Eat breakfast with the Easter Bunny at Theismann’s Restaurant (Sat-Sun, $45 for adults, $25 for children, Alexandria).

Bites and beverages. Bring your pups to Yappy Hour at Dacha Beer Garden (Thurs, free, Navy Yard). Experience a Black Wines Matter tasting at the National Union Building (Thurs, $19+, Penn Quarter). Take an educational Italian Wine Tour (Thurs, $35, Northwest DC).

Things to do with kids. Kids can meet 8-year-old poet and conservationist Aneeshwar Kunchala, and draw their favorite animals to add to an artists’ gallery wall (Sat, free, Kennedy Center). DC9 Nightclub throws a kid-friendly music dance party (Sat, $5, Northwest DC). Drive-in movies at Union Market are back: watch WALL-E (Fri, $20, Northeast DC). 

Sports. Cheer on the local ultimate frisbee team for women and non-binary athletes, DC Shadow, on opening day (Sat, $30, free for children under 11, Northeast DC). Practice your golf swing at City Swing (Thurs, $45, Northwest DC). Watch the Masters with fellow golf fans at Tom’s Watch Bar (Thurs, free, Penn Quarter).

Get involved. Help pull invasive plants from the Springhouse Run at the U.S. National Arboretum (Sat, free, Northeast DC). Volunteer to plant trees at Mount Olivet Cemetery (Sat, free, Northeast DC).

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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