Friday, Aug. 30
Legoland New York Resort at National Harbor: Next spring, the largest Legoland in the world is scheduled to open in Goshen, N.Y., with at least 50 interactive rides and shows. Lego fiends who can’t wait that long can get a taste of what Legoland New York will offer during a four-day preview at National Harbor. Examine models created by the Danish company’s “master builders,” check out the cars used at Legoland’s driving schools, or pose with large sculptures made of plastic bricks. Lego’s corporate takeover reaches its zenith on Sunday, when “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part” screens on the massive movie screen along the Potomac River. Through Sept. 2. Free.
Amaro tasting and ‘The Great Beauty’ at Suns Cinema: D.C. amaro distillery Don Ciccio & Figli visits the Mount Pleasant art house theater’s bar to host a happy hour tasting of its digestifs, which evoke the founder’s family heritage on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. Fittingly, Suns pairs the tasting with a selection from Paolo Sorrentino, one of the finest Italian directors working today. “The Great Beauty” is the director’s best work — the movie won the Oscar for best foreign language film in 2014 — and follows Jep Gambardella, a journalist who has just turned 65 and realizes he has done nothing of substance in his life. Tasting begins at 6:30 p.m. Film begins at 8 p.m. $10-$25.
Inter Arma at Atlas Brew Works: Virginia is for lovers — and heavy metal. The Commonwealth has a rich history of sludgy rock bands, and this Richmond quartet is one of the best representatives of that sound right now. Inter Arma’s latest, “Sulphur English,” is a monster of a record that pummels you with churning riffs. The band takes over the District’s best home for metal, Atlas Brew Works in Northeast, to bounce screeching howls off the brewing tanks. 7 p.m. $12-$15.
Sunset tour at the Frederick Douglass House: Frederick Douglass’s hilltop Anacostia home boasts one of the most amazing views of Washington, and it’s even more spectacular at sunset. See for yourself at this special after-hours talk and tour, hosted by the Civil War Defenses of Washington. Park Ranger Steve Phan discusses Douglass’s life in Washington and his contributions during the Civil War before leading a walking tour. Gates open at 6 p.m.; Talk begins at 6:30. Free.
Greenbelt Labor Day Festival: To visit the 65-year-old Greenbelt Labor Day Festival is to take a trip back in time. The high school honor society sells tickets for games and midway rides. Sports and civic groups run concession stands. Kids can participate in scavenger hunts and sports tournaments, get their faces painted or join in a talent shows. Live music comes from bands covering the Beach Boys, Motown classics, 1950s rock and swing. Everyone can try roller skating, play board games, or browse arts and crafts. Everything is capped off Monday with a parade through downtown with marching bands and floats sponsored by local businesses. Opening night hours are 6 to 11 p.m.; Times vary through Monday. Most events free.
Saturday, Aug. 31
Library of Congress National Book Festival at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, chef José Andrés, cartoonist Raina Telgemeier, and historians Henry Louis Gates Jr. and David McCullough will grace the National Book Festival’s main stage at this year’s free event. More than 200,000 readers walked through the Walter E. Washington Convention Center doors at last year’s festival, and the packed schedule in 2019 featuring more than 140 authors includes talks geared to book lovers of all ages. (The Washington Post is a charter sponsor of the festival.) 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Free.
Domo at Dupont Underground: How long did it take for Domo to become an omnipresence in the District’s nightlife? The Maryland-raised DJ quit her job at the U.S. Department of Energy in March 2018. Skip ahead 14 months, and she was hyping thousands at an anti-gentrification protest concert on 14th and U streets NW. In other words, everything’s been happening fast and fortuitously. “I know how to shake a tree,” Domo says, “but the apples just started falling on my head.” 2 to 8 p.m. Free with RSVP.
‘Page to Stage’ New Play Festival at the Kennedy Center: The Kennedy Center’s annual Page to Stage festival, now in its 18th year, can be overwhelming: More than 60 regional theater companies are staging readings and open rehearsals of works in development over three days. Productions, which range from 30 minutes to two hours in length, are held in venues across the building, from the stately Concert Hall to a diplomatic reception room in the Opera House. But because everything is free and open to the public, it’s easy to just take a chance on something with a promising description, whether Dance and Bmore’s musical version of “Carmen” set in a Baltimore high school; Adventure Theatre’s family-friendly reboot of “The Velveteen Rabbit”; or Synetic Theater’s dialog-free take on “The Tempest,” the latest in the troupe’s “Wordless Shakespeare” series. Through Monday. Free.
‘Milk Relics’ at Lost Origins Gallery: Mount Pleasant’s intimate Lost Origins art gallery has made its name on visualizing the D.C. punk community, but its next featured exhibit sticks with more traditional art. Local artist Tom Kim displays paintings inspired by his career as an illustrator and animator, as well as his upbringing as a Korean American. “’Milk Relics”’ is a narrative series of works that playfully chronicles the present and future environmental crisis of the world. While Lost Origins sticks to paintings this time around, it hasn’t entirely abandoned the spirit of past exhibitions: More than 20 area musicians, poets and writers will perform alongside the art throughout the run of the show. Through Sept. 29. Free.
Labor Day weekend music festival at the Lincoln Theatre: For four years running, D.C.’s arts council has put on a Labor Day music festival that highlights the wonderful variety of genres found within the District. Saturday night brings go-go and funk bands alongside Kokayi, one of the area’s preeminent MCs, to the historic U Street theater. Sunday’s trio of artists provides a dash of jazz tunes mixed with the soulful stylings of Akua Allrich and the Tribe. 7 p.m. Through Sunday. Free.
King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard at 9:30 Club: At this point, the number of records released by King Gizzard & the Lizard Wizard is greater than the years they’ve existed as a band. Over 15 studio albums, the Australian outfit has fine-tuned its psychedelic rock offerings, often forging a new sonic path for itself completely. The band dove into twangy blues soundscapes this spring with “Fishing for Fishies,” an album that produced a few noteworthy songs, including the rootsy call-and-response number “Plastic Boogie.” And just when you were digging the band’s alt-country stylings, King Gizzard made sure you didn’t get too comfortable, bouncing back in August with its thrashy metal album “Infest the Rats’ Nest.” 8 p.m. Sold out.
Sunday, Sept. 1
National Symphony Orchestra on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol: For longtime residents who don’t leave town for the long Labor Day weekend, the NSO’s concert at the Capitol is the most reliable annual event. The orchestra will be accompanied by vocalists Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton, who will belt out classics from the likes of Sam Cooke and Aretha Franklin. You’ll have two chances to catch the performance: once during the public rehearsal at 3:30 p.m., and then the formal show at 8 p.m. Gates open at 3 p.m. Concert at 8 p.m. Free.
Murals bike ride at various Alexandria locations: Enjoying culture and exercise at the same time is a bonus in our book. The Alexandria Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee has organized a 15-mile cycling tour of Old Town, Del Ray and the West End that shows off the city’s more artistic side, with murals depicting former resident Jim Morrison, a colorful beaded curtain and a long-vanished racetrack. Joining the ride is free and easy — all you need is a bike, a helmet and a water bottle. 9 a.m. to noon. Free.
Sharam at Soundcheck: One of the biggest draws of this year’s Coachella Festival was in the dance music tent, where Deep Dish — the Washington-born duo of Ali “Dubfire” Shirazinia and Sharam Tayebi — got together on the decks for a rare reunion show, blending house and techno into their own unstoppable and unmistakable sound. Dubfire and Sharam are once again on solo tours, and Sharam makes a Labor Day weekend stop at the subterranean downtown club Soundcheck, where the music will go until at least 4 a.m. (Hey, it’s not like you have to work Monday morning.) 10 p.m. until late. Free before midnight, then $15.
Great American Pig Out at American Ice Company: Summer cookout season is coming to an end, so the 9:30 Club-adjacent bar is closing it down with an all-you-can-eat feast. A $25 ticket gets as many cracks as you want on a whole-roasted pig, and for another $25, pours of Lagunitas beer will keep coming until you say “when.” There will be a bluegrass band performing on the patio as you soak in the weather and fend off the heat and meat sweats. 1 to 5 p.m. $25-$50.
Monday, Sept. 2
Barbecue at Midlands Beer Garden: Labor Day BBQ Party at the Midlands: If you need one more alfresco afternoon of cold drinks and grilled meats before the unofficial end of summer, the Midlands has you covered. The Park View beer garden opens at noon, and the menu includes ribs, brisket and chicken from Smoke and Ember BBQ, and draft cocktails made with rums from D.C.'s own Cotton & Reed, plus $4 happy hour pints. Kids and dogs are welcome. (And if you want to stretch before eating and drinking, there’s a 10 a.m. yoga class that includes a post-workout beer and social hour.) Noon to midnight. Free admission; Food and drinks priced individually.
‘Riki-Oh: the Story of Ricky’ at Smoke & Barrel: The Washington Psychotronic Film Society’s weekly screenings in the basement of the Adams Morgan beer bar skew toward the bizarre and campy, but this one might outdo its previous selections. Describing the plot of this 1991 Hong Kong action flick — based on a Japanese manga — will do the viewer no good, as it’s mostly incomprehensible. If you haven’t seen it, all you need to prepare yourself for is one of the most entertainingly violent movies ever produced. The titular character delivers over-the-top death blows to his foes in the form of bone-crushing punches and other means you couldn’t begin to imagine. 8 p.m. No cover charge.
— Hau Chu, Fritz Hahn, Adele Chapin, Chris Richards and Stephanie Williams