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70+ Things to Do This October in Washington, DC

Bask in the wonders of the fall season in the nation’s capital with exciting events, including HillFest, the International City Food Festival, Halloween celebrations and much more.

Make plans for unforgettable experiences in the nation's capital this October. After you’ve read through this list, make sure to check out our things to do for the week and weekend, as well as other fall events and festivals.

Theatre Week – Sept. 22 – Oct. 9
Celebrate the theatre season in the Washington, DC region with a weeks-long promotion from TheatreWashington. Savor the opportunity to sample the diverse and vibrant work of dozens of theaters and companies on a variety of stages across the region. There are musicals, dramas, comedies, theatre for young audiences and much more. In addition to discounted tickets, Theatre Week also includes special events (most of which are free) designed to entertain, educate and inspire.

 

The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci – Sept. 29 – Oct. 23
Tony Award-winner and MacArthur Genius Award recipient Mary Zimmerman brings Leonardo da Vinci’s writings to life in a stunning revival. Comprised solely of text from the notebooks of the 15th-century renaissance man, the production is packed with revelations as it combines ruminations on art, science and the human spirit.
Tickets
Michael R. Klein Theatre, 450 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

One Life: Maya Lin – Sept. 30 – April 16, 2023
Discover the life of Maya Lin in this biographical exhibition of the architect, sculptor and environmentalist. Delve into a range of photographs, sculptures and architectural models from her childhood to today, including an interactive multimedia element. Lin, who designed the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, is the first Asian American to be featured in the National Portrait Gallery’s One Life series.
11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

All Things Go Music Festival Oct. 1
The All Things Go Music Festival returns Oct. 1 and features performances from a diverse array of artists, including the likes of Lorde, Mitski, Bleachers, Lucy Dacus, King Princess, Julien Baker and many more. The festival will be hosted at Merriweather Post Pavilion this year and will feature two stages, an epic lineup of delicious local eats and art installations.
10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy. Columbia, Md 21044
 

National Law Enforcement Museum Open House – Oct. 1
Visitors of all ages can enter the National Law Enforcement Museum for free during this special event held in honor of Police Weekend. Family-friendly activities will include a Metropolitan Police Department K-9 presentation, storytelling with an officer and the chance to design your own police patch. Attendees can watch the museum’s new Service and Sacrifice film, immerse themselves in simulators designed for law enforcement training and much more.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Reservations required
National Law Enforcement Museum, 444 E Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Washington Spirit vs. Houston Dash  Oct. 1
Catch the 2021 National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) Champions live in action for the final time in 2022. Visit Audi Field as the Spirit take on the Houston Dash and enjoy a game experience that's fun for all-ages. As a founding team in the NWSL and home to stars like Kelley O'Hara and Trinity Rodman, the Spirit is the team you don't want to miss. On game day, make sure to arrive early for Spiritville, the team's official fanfest zone featuring face painting, giveaways, performances and drink specials.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Melvins  Oct. 1
Whatever you want to call the Melvins is up to you; it certainly doesn’t matter to them. It hasn’t mattered since the group, led by enigmatic frontman Buzz Osborne, emerged from the depths of Montesano, Washington in the early 1980s with a sludged-up take on metal and punk that redefined what rock music can sound like. The reverberations could be heard all the way in Seattle, where a young Kurt Cobain saw the Melvins as idols (Osborne actually introduced Cobain and Krist Novoselic to some guy named Dave Grohl). Kurt would love to know that 40 years on, the group can still rock the hell out of any venue in the country, including DC’s Black Cat, and their influence on the modern rock landscape is more than secure.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Stein Hoisting Competition and German Fare at The Wharf – Oct. 2
Oktoberfest Weekend at The Wharf continues with Sunday afternoon stein hoisting competitions. Restaurants at The Wharf, including Cantina Bambina, Brighton SW1, Pearl Street Warehouse and Kirwan's Irish Pub, will offer German-inspired food, Sam Adams Octoberfest beer and plenty of strength-testing, old-school German-style.
2 p.m. |  More information

 

Sargent and Spain  Oct. 2 – Jan. 2, 2023
John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) is among the most influential American painters considered to be the finest portrait artist by many critics of his era. The National Gallery of Art collects 120 of the painter’s works, including rarely exhibited watercolors, oils and drawings, that focus on his time in Spain. The artist’s fascination with the country – including the breathtaking island of Majorca – is beautifully communicated through pictures of everyday life, architectural studies, landscapes, marine scenes and much more. Sargent and Spain also features 28 never-before-published photographs taken by the artist himself.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

The Mars Volta – Oct. 3
After a decade of silence, one of progressive rock’s greatest bands returns. Formed by guitarist/composer Omar Rodríguez-López and singer/lyricist Cedric Bixler-Zavala after the dissolution of their outstanding hardcore punk band, At the Drive-In, in 2001, The Mars Volta went on to create some of the most innovative rock music of the 2000s. Now the group triumphantly returns with a new album and a rollicking tour that includes a date at The Anthem.
8 p.m. |  Tickets

The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street NW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Post Malone – Oct. 4
With a distinct look, an eclectic sound and an unforgettable grin, Post Malone is the current chill king of hip-hop. The multiplatinum artist has become a poster boy (no pun intended) for rap that’s not afraid to stretch beyond genre constraints. Post will have plenty of new songs to accompany crowd favorites for what will be a packed house inside Capital One.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

TINA: The Tina Turner Musical – Oct. 4-23
Filled with timeless songs and written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Katori Hall, TINA is a powerhouse musical about the Queen of Rock n’ Roll. Tina Turner’s story, which rattles with resilience and rhythm, is transformed into a compelling narrative punctuated by the songwriter’s unforgettable, chart-topping classics.
Tickets
The National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

HillFest – Oct. 5-8
DC’s Mayor Muriel E. Bowser backs HillFest, an annual week-long music conference that concludes with a day-long music festival held outdoors at locations all over the Capitol Hill neighborhood on Oct. 8. The conference consists of panels and in-depth conversations on a range of topics, including arts policy, jazz education, the recording industry, music, technology and much more. Attendees can also expect jazz jam sessions, food and merch vendors and a grand finale concert at Garfield Park on the 8th.
More information
 

of Montreal – Oct. 6
Sprung from the mind of singer/songwriter Kevin Barnes, of Montreal is one of indie rock’s enduring treats, a project that has kept fans guessing for more than two decades. The group, which features an ever-rotating cast of members besides Barnes, is also prolific, with nary a year going by without one or two releases. Bank on hearing a wide-ranging set that will veer from upbeat, sunny pop to dirgy disco to funk spasms without ever breaking a sweat.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Pavement – Oct. 6
Led by singer/songwriter Stephen Malkmus, Pavement continues to tour equipped with one of the great catalogues in rock music history, including hallmarks of the genre such as “Cut Your Hair,” “Summer Babe” and “Gold Sounds”. Beginning with 1992’s Slanted and Enchanted, the group cut a series of universally acclaimed albums in the decade before disbanding. The band is now on its second reunion, extending their career into a fourth decade. See them at DC’s historic Warner Theatre while you still can.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Halloween Hunt at Mansion on O – Oct. 6-31
Visiting the wondrous Mansion on O & O Street Museum is quite the experience, especially when you journey through the historic venue on a scavenger hunt. View the Mansion in its finest Halloween attire as you search through its many themed rooms and secret doors for seasonal and Halloween-themed prizes. You can also bring along your own shopping bag and purchase goodies from the mansion.
Reserve
The Mansion on O Street, 2020 O Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

 

Unite the District Fest – Oct. 7-9
A multi-day festival hosted by D.C. United at Audi Field, Unite The District Fest brings together the city’s cuisine, arts and culture scenes to masterful effect. Attendees will be able to enjoy tastings from several of the District’s best restaurants and breweries, live music from local artists, interactive art installations and cooking competitions.
Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Mount Vernon Fall Wine Festival and Sunset Tour - Oct. 7-9
George Washington’s Mount Vernon is at its scenic best when fall rolls around, so it’s fitting that the historic estate hosts this special celebration of wine followed by a sunset tour of the property. Bring along a blanket and chill out on the east lawn, which overlooks the Potomac River. Virginia wines will be available for sampling. Fruit and cheese boxes to accompany your wine are available for purchase in advance.
Tickets
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy. South end of GW Pkwy, Mount Vernon, VA 22121
 

Broadway Center Stage: Guys and Dolls – Oct. 7-16
Classic Broadway comes to DC’s pre-eminent venue in the form of Guys and Dolls, Frank Loesser’s iconic and ideal take on the musical comedy. Situated in 1950s Manhattan within a crowd of gamblers, gangsters and showgirls, the play is a crowd-pleaser from start to finish, decorated with songs that will have you dancing in the aisles, including “I’ve Never Been in Love Before,” “Adelaide’s Lament” and “Luck Be a Lady”.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Holiday – Oct. 7 – Nov. 6
Arena Stage welcomes a classic romantic comedy that was adapted for the screen in 1938 in a film starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn. Holiday concerns an up-and-coming Wall Street lawyer from a working class background who hopes to retire as soon as he possibly can. His affluent fiancée doesn’t approve while her more unconventional sister is thrilled by the idea. Issues of class and social hierarchy lie at the center of what remains a relevant commentary on what makes life worth living.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Snallygaster – Oct. 8
Beast out with over 400 craft brews and ciders on Pennsylvania Avenue thanks to Snallygaster, which celebrates its 10th edition in 2022. Named after a mythical creature, the festival roars with a hefty lineup that also includes food trucks and plenty of live music. Greg Engert, one of the city’s leading beer connoisseurs, has selected a motley crew of roughly 350 brews from far and wide for your tasting pleasure. Your ticket also contributes to Arcadia, a nonprofit working towards a more sustainable food system in the area. You must be 21 or older to attend.
Tickets
Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 6th Streets NW, Washington, DC

 

Rock the Park DC WKNDR 2022 - Oct. 8-9
The District’s largest downtown green space hosts a massive free dance party thanks to the DowntownDC BID. Head to Franklin Park for the two-day WKNDR festival headlined by internationally renowned DJs Kenny Dope and DJ Jazzy Jeff. Attendees can also expect live performers across a wide spectrum of musical genres including jazz, go-go, soul, R&B, reggae, hip-hop, electronic and soulful house music. There will also be a beer garden for the 21-and-over crowd, branded swag and much, much more.
Free admission
1332 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005
 

Vermeer’s Secrets – Oct. 8 – Jan. 8, 2023
In total, only 35 paintings by Johannes Vermeer are known today. The National Gallery of Art owns four of them. For decades, curators, conservators and scientists have researched the quartet of paintings by the 17th-century Dutch artist as well as two other works now considered to be forgeries from the 20th century. The Gallery now offers 50 years of imaging technology and microscopic examination in Vermeer’s Secrets, sharing unique findings about the artist’s dazzling technique and revolutionizing our understanding of him in the process.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

Cate Le Bon – Oct. 9
There’s an exhilaration in first listening to the music of Cate Le Bon, like discovering a diamond in the rough or stumbling upon a beautiful stream. Her songs blend an array of influences, from the repetition of Krautrock to the otherworldliness of late-‘70s Bowie to the robotic earnestness of Laurie Anderson. However, the end result is a sound that no one else in the current pop music soundscape can create. Make way; Le Bon comes to DC ready to pull you right into her orbit.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Rare Essence – Oct. 9
One of DC’s signature bands can be enjoyed inside Howard Theatre this October. The historic venue will be perfect for Rare Essence and their inspiring take on go-go, the District’s de-facto, go-to sound. Expect non-stop rhythm, infectious sing-alongs and a party-like atmosphere. Rare Essence knows how to fire up and incorporate a crowd. You’ll be treated to a distinctly DC experience.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
Howard Theatre, 620 T Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Hamilton – Through Oct. 9
One of the most acclaimed productions in American history comes back to DC’s pre-eminent stage. The Tony Award-winning sensation about the Founding Father who came to the U.S. as an immigrant from the British-colonized West Indies to become George Washington’s trusted advisor takes the spotlight inside the Kennedy Center’s 2,362-seat Opera House. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical blends jazz, rap and hip-hop, and transforms the tale of America’s first Treasury Secretary with a diverse cast.
Tickets
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

The Killers – Oct. 10
Among the most successful rock bands of the 21st century, The Killers have sold more than 28 million records worldwide and all seven of their albums have topped the charts in the UK. Prepare for an evening of the group’s signature combo of new wave, rock and pop, including hits like “Mr. Brightside,” “When You Were Young” and many, many more.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Demi Lovato – Oct. 10
One of the most audacious and creative pop singers working today, Demi Lovato, is currently conquering the world, one thrilling live concert at a time. Her North American tour touches down at The Anthem in October, and she’ll have special guests Royal & The Serpent with her. Prepare yourself for one hell of a party in the nation’s capital.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

International City Food Festival - Oct. 13-15
From our day-to-day routines to long-held traditions, culture is baked into our meals. From Oct. 13-15, Events DC's International City Food Festival invites you to taste new perspectives and immerse yourself in DC's global food story through three days of delicious celebrations, including the Embassy Chef Challenge (Oct. 13), Taste of Oktoberfest (Oct. 14) and a Día de los Muertos Food & Film in the Park (Oct. 15). 

Tickets

 

14th Annual Events DC Embassy Chef Challenge – Oct. 13
Enjoy a healthy dose of food, drink, culture and music from across the world at the 14th edition of the Embassy Chef Challenge, hosted by Events DC at the Smithsonian American Art Museum as part of the International City Food Festival. Chefs from dozens of embassies will serve up their best bites and sips in hopes of winning the event’s prestigious awards.
7 p.m. |  Tickets
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Broken Social Scene – Oct. 13
Every few years, the Canadian indie rock ensemble known as Broken Social Scene (which once counted singer Feist as a member) emerges with an epic tour. Mark 2022 down as one of those years, as the acclaimed group takes its set of classic songs on the road as part of a 20th anniversary celebration of their most adored album, You Forgot It In People. The legendary Lincoln Theatre plays host to a group Pitchfork has called one of the most influential of the last 25 years.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

National Gallery Nights: Trick or Treat – Oct. 13
Join the National Gallery of Art for a seasonal edition of the lively event for art lovers and night owls. Get spooky at the museum after hours with in-gallery discussions, art-inspired costumes, ghoulish hits with DJ RBI and a film screening accompanied by a live score from SHAOLIN JAZZ’s Can I Kick It? Series.
6-9 p.m. |  Registration Required
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

 

Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival & Symposium - Oct. 13-16
Join 100Reporters, an investigative news organization, for a virtual edition of the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival (DX), the first and only festival dedicated to investigative storytelling on film in the U.S. This event celebrates the finest new films inspired by the investigative instinct and advocates for the rights of reporters and filmmakers to pursue investigations that are in the public interest. In addition to screenings, DX offers a professional symposium and programming for journalists and visual storytellers.
Tickets
 

The National Air and Space Museum in DC reopens – Oct. 14
After an extensive renovation, DC’s National Air and Space Museum reopens on the National Mall. Eight new galleries of the transformed museum will be shared for the first time, including displays such as America by Air, Destination Moon, Early Flight and Nation of Speed. Please note that free timed passes will be required and will be available to reserve beginning Sept. 14. Visit the museum’s website for more information.
National Air and Space Museum, 655 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Taste of Oktoberfest – Oct. 14
Join Events DC for a traditional Oktoberfest celebration curated with the German-American Heritage Foundation and the German Embassy. Raise a stein and enjoy a taste of the Bavarian folk festival with a variety of activitations.
4 p.m. |  Tickets
Franklin Park, 1332 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Truth and Service Classic – Oct. 15
DC’s own Howard University faces Harvard University in the second annual Truth and Service Classic college football game. Catch the action at Audi Field and community events throughout the weekend.
4 p.m. |  Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Día de los Muertos, Food & Film in the Park – Oct. 15
Experience Día de los Muertos with the whole family in Franklin Park. Curated with the Embassy of Mexico, enjoy festive foods and entertainment, including an interactive screening of Coco.
12 p.m. |  Free admission
Franklin Park, 1332 I St NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash at The Wharf  Oct. 16
Free to view and open to the public, the 10th annual Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash for Charity is a 70-yard sprint on the Wharf’s District Pier in which Dachshunds race in heats of six. All race entry fees are donated to Rural Dog Rescue. Food and drinks will be available (must be over 21 to consume alcohol). You can learn more details about rules and registration on the event page.
2-5 p.m. |  Free admission |  More information
District Pier at The Wharf, 101 District Square SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

An Evening with Regina Spektor – Oct. 16
When there’s a day named after you in New York City, you have done something spectacularly right. On the back of three independent releases in the early 2000s, Regina Spektor sprung to mainstream recognition once she signed with Sire Records in 2004. The singer/songwriter, who lived in the Soviet Union before emigrating to the Bronx at the age of nine, will bring her incredible, world-famous talent to the Warner Theatre.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Warner Theatre, 513 13th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

No Place to Go – Through Oct. 16
Bobby Smith stars in Signature Theatre’s ode to the unemployed. An “information refiner” has found that his company is moving to a (very) remote location and all the jobs are going with it. With a jazz band as his accompaniment, the sorry soul must decide whether he’s going to relocate his family or take on a new, unknown venture. Expect plenty of snappy wit along with blues, jazz and bluegrass music in a capitalist critique unlike any other.
Tickets
Signature Theatre, 4200 Campbell Avenue, Arlington, VA 22206

 

The Trip to Bountiful – Through Oct. 16
Horton Foote’s classic American drama comes to the historic Ford’s Theatre with Michael Wilson directing and Nancy Robinette as Carrie Watts, our main character who longs for simpler times back in her hometown of Bountiful, Texas. Along the way, Carrie makes incredible discoveries regarding human kindness, compassion and the true meaning of home.
Tickets
Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

The Smashing Pumpkins – Oct. 18
Masterminded by singer/guitarist Billy Corgan, The Smashing Pumpkins have built a decades-long career from never staying in one lane too long. Bursting onto airwaves (both radio and TV) in the early 1990s, the Pumpkins became one of the biggest rock bands in the world thanks to hits like “Today,” “1979” and “Tonight, Tonight”. Their sound has expanded to include electronica and a range of other influences in the ensuing years. They’ll be joined by fellow icons Jane’s Addiction for this special show at Capital One Arena.
6:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena, 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

My Body, No Choice – Oct. 20 – Nov. 6
As the last production for current Arena Stage Artistic Director Molly Smith, My Body, No Choice features monologues from eight female playwrights that explore the importance of bodily autonomy. Hear both fiction and non-fiction accounts stemming from the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wade across 18 performances, a nod to the voting age. In addition, Arena Stage encourages all women, trans and non-binary individuals to share their own stories for a chance to be featured online.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 Sixth Street SW Washington, DC 20024

 

Smithsonian Craft2Wear - Oct. 20-22
The National Building Museum hosts this curated show from Smithsonian. Limited edition clothing, jewelry and accessories will be on display, as dozens of designers from all over the country will be represented. The wearable art extravaganza kicks off with a preview benefit on Oct. 20.
Tickets
National Building Museum 401 F Street Northwest Washington, DC 20001
 

Sanctuary City – Oct. 21 – Nov. 27
Penned by Pulitzer Prize winner Martyna Majok, Sanctuary City tells a powerful story of two young DREAMers fighting to establish themselves in America. Poignant, timely and captivatingly dramatic, the riveting tale illuminates the challenges these friends face and how much they’re willing to risk for each other.
Tickets
Arena Stage, 1101 6th Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Elegies: A Song Cycle – Oct. 22 – Nov. 20
Tony Award-winning composer and lyricist William Finn has crafted a soaring tribute to lost loved ones – including friends, family, his dogs and victims of major tragedies. The lives, losses and loves of people both real and fictional are honored with theatricality and songs brimming with spirit, soul and life’s infinite joys.
Tickets
Keegan Theatre, 1742 Church Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

 

Iron Maiden – Oct. 23
Heavy metal royalty visits the District just a week ahead of Halloween. Iron Maiden bring their Legacy of the Beast world tour to the nation’s capital for one night only this fall. The English group, formed in 1975, is practically an institution thanks to years and years of platinum and gold albums and world-beating tours. Iron Maiden even has a mascot, known as “Eddie”. Prepare to rock out with the whole crew for this Sunday night show.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Capital One Arena 601 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Dehd – Oct. 23
The Chicago trio known as Dehd are ready to melt some faces for this show at DC’s Black Cat. The group just released their fourth LP and arguably their second consecutive breakthrough, Blue Skies, which offers some of the most compelling and compulsive tracks of their career thus far. Expect it to be rowdy inside one of DC’s most intimate music venues.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Black Cat, 1811 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Heroes of the Fourth Turning – Through Oct. 23
Set in the wilderness of Wyoming, Studio Theatre’s new production focuses on the last vestiges of a celebration honoring the new President of a conservative Catholic college. The lingering guests drink whiskey, talk Steve Bannon, Bojack and Thomas Aquinas and lament the current state of the Catholic right.
Tickets
Studio Theatre, 1501 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

 

Dropkick Murphys – Oct. 25
Certainly the most famous American Celtic punk band – and perhaps the only one still standing – Dropkick Murphys are notorious for bringing the house down. The band’s uproarious shows, which always feature their anthem, “I’m Shipping Up to Boston,” feel like a giant shot of adrenaline. Turn your Tuesday night upside down when you visit Lincoln Theatre for what’s going to be one of the most energetic performances of the season.
7:15 p.m. |  Tickets
Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Art Cart: Halloween at the Hirshhorn – Oct. 27
Yayoi Kusama’s creative spirit inspires this hands-on Halloween activity. Kids can create a wearable work of art while learning about Kusama’s life and work, including her love for pumpkins and monochromatic materials. 
10 a.m. – 12 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Arcade Fire – Oct. 27-29
Canadian supergroup Arcade Fire have gone from indie rock darlings to worldwide megastars. Their albums are journeys, taking on topics that range from coping with loss to finding spirituality to contemplating the suburbs to dancing through the night. The group’s live shows are life-affirming experiences, so don’t miss what promises to be a series of riveting performances at The Anthem. Did we mention that the legendary Beck will also be there? Get your tickets now.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
The Anthem, 901 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Boo at the Zoo – Oct. 28-30
The family-favorite event of the season returns! No tricks here – explore the National Zoo for trick-or-treating and enjoy after-hours access for animal viewing, a dance party and much more.
5:30 – 8:30 p.m. Tickets
Smithsonian National Zoo, 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008

 

John Akomfrah: Purple – Oct. 28 – Summer 2023
London-based artist John Akomfrah brings his largest ever video installation, a totally immersive, six-screen piece, to DC for the very first time thanks to the Hirshhorn Museum. Purple pulls together original film, archival footage and a haunting score to inspire the viewer to contemplate climate change. Akomfrah uses striking images of the built world infringing on the natural, resulting in a powerful visual experience.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Kinship – Oct. 28 – Jan. 7, 2024
The National Portrait Gallery uses more than 40 artworks by eight contemporary artists, including Jessica Todd Harper, Thomas Holton, Njideka Anukyili Crosby and Sedrick Huckaby, to showcase the importance of “kinship” and the relationships that bond us. Through multiple mediums, the pieces explore intergenerational dynamics, gender roles, responses to life and death and so much more.
11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

In-Person Día de los Muertos Family Day – Oct. 29
Join the Smithsonian American Art Museum for a day of Día de los Muertos activities meant for the entire family to enjoy. Take in live performances from Ballet Folklorico Mi Herencia Mexicana, Mariachi Aguila DC and Sol y Rumba. Face painting and themed crafts will also be available for all ages.
11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Free admission
Smithsonian American Art Museum, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

Trick-or-Treating at Mount Vernon – Oct. 29
Mount Vernon welcomes the entire family to enjoy Halloween fun. Festivities include candy-collecting in special Mount Vernon treat bags, a costume parade, Halloween-themed Punch & Judy shows, an 18th-century baking demonstration, a straw bale selfie station, musical entertainment and much more.
2-6 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121

 

Audi Field

National Women’s Soccer League Championship – Oct. 29
DC hosts the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) championship for the first time. Join the frenzy at Audi Field as this title match will bring soccer fans from all around to spectate the premier sporting event. The Washington Spirit, DC’s own NWSL team, took home the title last year.
8 p.m. |  Tickets
Audi Field, 100 Potomac Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Eighties Mayhem: Halloween Dance Party at Black Cat – Oct. 29
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice – you know the drill. Get groovy and spooky with five hours of ‘80s beats at Black Cat, one of DC’s most popular clubs for locals. Come ready to jam out in costume for an added thrill.
9 p.m. |  Tickets
Black Cat, 1811 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Lucha Libre – Día de los Muertos: Mexican Wrestling at Hook Hall – Oct. 29-30
Celebrate Día de los Muertos with jam-packed festivities at Hook Hall. Experience Lucha Libre wrestling with Mexican beer and bites and live Mariachi music. Plus, meet the wrestlers and create and take home your own mask.
Tickets
Hook Hall, 3400 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20010

 

The Double: Identity and Difference in Art since 1900 – Through Oct. 31
Just 11 days after the National Gallery of Art’s East Building reopens, the museum will debut the first major exhibition to consider both how and why modern artists have used the technique of doubling in their work. Themes ranging from the psychological to the perceptual to self-identity will be at the heart of The Double, which will feature the work of Matisse, Duchamp, Gorky, Rauschenberg, Johns, Warhol and many more.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC

 

ARTECHOUSE

Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies  Through Nov. 13
ARTECHOUSE’s newest experience allows you to walk alongside African kings and queens as you explore timeless questions of identity, power and belonging. Inspired by aṣẹ, a Yoruba concept that relates to our power to produce change, Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies celebrates the Black experience through the perspectives of artist Vince Fraser and poet Ursula Rucker. Use the "Tickets" link below for a special discount!
Monday – Thursday: 1-9 p.m. | Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Tickets
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection – Through Nov. 27
The Hirshhorn has been collecting the prolific work of Yayoi Kusama since 1996. The museum’s 2017 survey of her work traveled to five North American art museums, introducing Kusama’s spellbinding visions to record audiences. Now, the Hirshhorn will display five of Kusama’s works from the museum’s permanent collection, including two of the artist’s transcendent Infinity Mirror Rooms. One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama in the Hirshhorn Collection is a tribute to the life and practice of the visionary artist. Free timed passes will be required.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free admission
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Independence Avenue & 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Jacob Lawrence and the Children of Hiroshima – Through Nov. 27
The Phillips Collection brings together masterful paintings by Jacob Lawrence and heartfelt drawings by the children of Honkowa sent to the children of All Soul’s Church in DC in 1947. Lawrence was inspired by John Hersey’s account of six survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb to create haunting and powerful scenes shaded in pink, yellow, red and blue. The Honkowa children’s vibrantly colored scenes showcase resilience in the tragic aftermath of the bombing of their school, which killed more than 400 students and four teachers. Together, the collections convey a testament against nuclear warfare and illustrate the potential for peace and reconciliation.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Intersections: Jonathan Monaghan – Through Dec. 31
The latest showcase in The Phillips Collection’s ongoing Intersections series highlights the work of Jonathan Monaghan. Move the Way you Want blends aspects of ancient mythology and today’s digital age to reflect the tensions of our commercialized lifestyle. The site-specific installation features imagery, Gothic-like archways and lavish Baroque-like windows to frame a present-day beach scene with abandoned scooters and bikes, Pelotons and hi-tech gadgets. The exhibit also features a video projection and works from the Phillips’ permanent collection.
Hours & Admission
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Emotions at Play with Pixar’s Inside Out – Through Jan. 8, 2023
The National Children’s Museum invites you to explore the world of Pixar’s smash hit animated film, Inside Out, at a new exhibit set to run throughout the fall and winter. Visitors can experience the role that memories, emotions and the imagination play in our everyday lives. Interactive digital experiences will feature the characters from the movie who come to represent our five core emotions. The exhibit is recommended for kids ages 2-10.
Hours & Tickets
National Children’s Museum, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

I Dream a World: Selections from Brian Lanker’s Portraits of Remarkable Black Women Through Jan. 29, 2023
Installed in two parts, this new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery will feature likenesses of women who have made an impact through the arts, activism, literature and politics. The masterful work of photographer Brian Lanker showcases figures such as Maya Angelou, Septima Poinsette Clark, Lena Horne, Barbara Jordan, Rosa Parks, Leontyne Price, Wilma Rudolph and Alice Walker. Icons featured in the second phase of installation will include Althea Gibson, Odetta, Cicely Tyson and Oprah Winfrey.
11:30 a.m. – 7 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Portrait Gallery, 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001

 

Feathered Ink – Through Jan. 29, 2023
The National Museum of Asian Art uses three galleries to display how Japanese artists have experimented with different brush techniques across centuries in their dazzling depictions of avian subjects. Drawing from an extensive collection of bird-and-flower paintings, Feathered Ink includes hanging scroll paintings, folding screens, ceramics and printed books.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

 

Called to Create: Black Artists of the American South – Through March 26, 2023
The National Gallery of Art invites visitors to enjoy more than 40 paintings, assemblages, sculptures and drawings from essential Black artists, including Thornton Dial, Lonnie Holley, Mary T. Smith, Purvis Young, James “Son Ford” Thomas and many more. Incredible quilts made from scraps of fabric and old clothing crafted by the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama are also on display as part of an in-depth look at the significance of cultural and spiritual traditions on some of the finest contemporary art.
10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily |  Free Admission
National Gallery of Art, 6th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20565

 

All American: The Power of Sports – Through Jan. 7, 2024
The National Archives' new 3,000-square-foot exhibit showcases more than 75 items including original records, artifacts and photographs that showcase how American sports unite, teach and inspire us. Highlights include original sports equipment and jerseys used by icons, early 20th-century tobacco baseball cards, rare trophies, photos, letters and much more. The exhibit is located in the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery and is free to visit.
10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. |  Free Admission
National Archives Museum, 701 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20408

 

The Peacock Room Comes to America – Ongoing
Check out one of the crown jewels of DC’s National Museum of Asian Art in renovated form when the Peacock Room reopens. Originally commissioned by shipping magnate Frederick Leyland, James McNeill Whistler’s peacock-inspired “harmony in blue and gold” was eventually purchased by Charles Lang Freer, taken apart and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to Detroit, Michigan. Now, the incredible and historic Peacock Room calls the National Museum of Asian Art home. See the modern marvel for free on the National Mall.
10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Free Admission
National Museum of Asian Art, 1050 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20560

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