Free and Easy: George Washington birthday parade, xChange DC and a liqueur tasting

February 15

Rajanae Lawson, 10, of the Washington Show Stoppers, prepares before the 2011 George Washington birthday parade in Alexandria. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

The Going Out Guide recommends free things to do for every day of the week.

MONDAY

George Washington birthday parade

This Presidents' Day, head to Old Town Alexandria for the annual parade honoring the first American president. Also, check out some of the historic sites in and near Alexandria that are holding special events during the parade: Mount Vernon, Gadsby's Tavern Museum, the Lyceum, Carlyle House, Friendship Firehouse Museum, Old Presbyterian Meeting House, Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum and Christ Church are all waiving admission fees on Monday.

1 to 3 p.m. Gibbon and S. Fairfax streets, Alexandria. 703-829-6640. www.washingtonbirthday.net.

TUESDAY 

Cooking Without Oil

A healthy-eating specialist teaches participants how to saute, bake and make salad dressings without oil.

6 p.m. Whole Foods Market - Old Town, 1700 Duke St., Alexandria. 703-706-0891. www.wholefoodsmarket.com. Registration required. 

WEDNESDAY 

xChange DC

Need to freshen up your wardrobe without emptying your wallet or increasing your carbon footprint? You'll want to visit Mellow Mushroom in Adams Morgan for xChange DC, the second annual fashion clothing swap. Bring a few gently worn items and swap each in an even exchange. Any leftover clothes will be donated to Martha's Table. Stick around and order some pizza, get $3 pints from Atlas Brew Works and sample free treats from Scratch DC.

5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mellow Mushroom, 2436 18th St. NW. 202-290-2778. www.mellowmushroom.com.

THURSDAY 

Whiskey and liqueur cocktail tasting 

Paul's Wine and Spirits is hosting a free whiskey and cocktail tasting featuring a mixologist from Koval Distillery in Chicago. In addition to its 94-proof bourbon whiskey and 80-proof rye whiskey, the distillery will feature its rose hip, chrysanthemum honey and ginger liqueurs.

5:30 to 8 p.m. Paul's Wine and Spirits, 5205 Wisconsin Ave. NW. 202-537-1900. www.paulsdc.com. RSVP required.

FRIDAY

'Black and White and Thread All Over'

It's your last day to see artist Sonya Clark's exhibit, which features hair, combs and textiles to explore themes of race, culture and identity. The exhibit is presented with help from George Mason University's African and African American Studies program in honor of Black History Month.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. George Mason University, Fine Arts Gallery, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. 703-993-2787. www.cfa.gmu.edu.

SATURDAY 

Mardi Gras Family Day

Bring the family to Anacostia Community Museum for live performances, face painting, storytelling and hands-on activities, including mask making. This year's celebration focuses on South African Mardi Gras traditions. Participants can sign up for an Art of Adornment workshop led by artist and designer Januwa Moja-Nelson.

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE. 202-633-4820. www.anacostia.si.edu. Sign up for workshop upon arrival. Space is limited.

SUNDAY 

Freshh Inc.

The local hip-hop organization presents a free program of music and spoken word as part of the Atlas Intersections Festival's free Café Concerts series. (The Washington Post is a sponsor of the festival.) Founded by women at Howard University, Freshh Inc. focuses on "the development of self, community, and sisterhood" through art, culture and black feminism.

1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Atlas Performing Arts Center, Kogod Lobby, 1333 H St. NE. 202-399-7993. www.atlasarts.org.

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Lavanya Ramanathan · February 14