Nine things to do in the D.C. area on Memorial Day weekend

May 23, 2013

The weekend’s best in nightlife, music and art. For even more, check out Nightlife Agenda.


Jazz in the Garden, one of the summer's best people-watching venues, opens for the season this week.  (Photo by Astrid Riecken for The Washington Post)

Friday: Until the National Building Museum and Hill Country began hosting its Friday night barbecues with Hill Country, nothing signaled the arrival of summer in D.C. like thousands of stylish 20- and 30-somethings on the grass for the National Gallery of Art's weekly Jazz the Garden concerts. The weekly concert series kicks off this week with Ruthie and the Wranglers. And if you miss it? Look no farther than a patch of grass in Petworth. Saturday brings the start of the Petworth Jazz Project, an ideal family outing with a performance by the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra.

Saturday:  It doesn't look like the weather will be ideal for cannonballs, but beginning on Memorial Day weekend, you can at least dip your toes in the water, as most area pools and waterparks, such as Great Waves, open for the season.

Saturday-Sunday: It’s no coincidence that strawberry festivals fill the latter part of May. That’s precisely when you’ll finally find the sweet, seedy berries on the vine at local farms, if only for a brief, brilliant month. At Sky Meadows State Park is the 20th Delaplane Strawberry Festival, featuring fruit, sweet sundaes, strawberry shortcake and family activities. Meanwhile, Great Country Farms marks the arrival of strawberry season by opening its sizable berry patch to the pick-your-own crowd for the two-day Strawberry Jubilee.

Sunday: Salute the country’s servicemen and women on the night before Memorial Day with the National Memorial Day Concert, a concert by the National Symphony Orchestra and six military bands, with appearances by singer-songwriter Chris Mann, mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and Tony Award-winner Alfie Boe. As usual, Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna will serve as hosts for the event on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building, which begins at 8 p.m. Gates open at 5 p.m.

Monday-Sept. 2: Since when did the National Building Museum become the Ocean City boardwalk? For the second year, there’s mini-golf. The museum’s mini-golf course layout has expanded to 18 holes imagined by D.C. design and architecture firms that drew on a variety of building-themed influences. Good thing most of us have Monday off to practice. The courses are open during museum hours, with late-night golf nights June 6, June 27, July 11, July 24, Aug. 8 and Aug. 22.

Monday-Thursday: As interleague rivals, the Nationals and Orioles play head-to-head only a few times each season, temporarily breathing life into a potentially thrilling geographic rivalry. Such meetings are a good chance for Nats fans to travel to Baltimore and vice versa, never more so than during this four-game series, which will be split evenly between the two cities. The games Monday and Tuesday take place at Nationals Park; the series shifts to Camden Yards on Wednesday and Thursday.

Monday-June 23: Director Aaron Posner penned "Stupid ----ing Bird," a loose, profanely titled update of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull.” The production, starring a long list of talented local actors, including Rick Foucheux, Kate Eastwood Norris and Kimberly Gilbert. The comedic play delves into intergenerational tension in the art world. Monday and Tuesday’s 8 p.m. performances are pay-what-you-can.

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Amy Joyce | May 23, 2013