Friday, Oct. 15
Fall Family Fun at Miller Farms: For parents in D.C., taking the kids out for a day on the farm can often mean spending as much time in the car as out in the fresh air. That’s not the case if you head to Miller Farms in Clinton, which is just seven miles outside the Beltway and has been family owned and operated since 1879. The aptly named Fall Family Fun weekends, which run through the end of October, include hayrides, a pumpkin patch, play areas with giant slides and bounce houses, a corn maze, the chance to meet farmyard animals, and a market with produce, apple cider doughnuts and homemade soft-serve ice cream. (Adults can also try beers from Denizens, made in Prince George’s County.) Tickets must be purchased in advance to guarantee admission. Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Oct. 31. $13.75 per person. Free admission for children younger than two.
LuminoCity Festival at Roer’s Zoofari: If you’re really excited for holiday light displays — as in, skipping right past Halloween and Thanksgiving levels of anticipation — this “immersive wonderland of lights” is opening in Fairfax County this weekend. During LuminoCity Festival, visitors will be able to walk through and admire larger-than-life illuminated sculptures of animals and fanciful scenes set up at Roer’s Zoofari. The light show is a popular attraction in New York, and this is the first year that the festival will offer a second location. Through Jan. 2. $22-$66.
Rock the Core Cider Festival at Hook Hall: A celebration of hard cider brings multiple cider producers — and craft beer, hard seltzer, canned cocktails and hard kombucha — to Park View for three sessions at Hook Hall. Tickets include unlimited sampling, live music and the opportunity to browse products curated by Made in D.C. from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday. (There’s another event on Nov. 13 if your weekend is already full.) The VIP Cider Lovers package includes a 12-pack of ciders to take home. 7 to 9 p.m. $24.99-$75.99.
Trevor Noah: ‘Back to Abnormal’ at Capital One Arena: Comedian Trevor Noah spent months hosting “The Daily Show” from his apartment during the pandemic, but now he’s back to doing stand-up in massive arenas. The “Born a Crime” author’s new tour is called “Back to Abnormal,” and presumably he’ll have a lot of material to work with for this show. 8 p.m. $45-$475.
Saturday, Oct. 16
All Things Go Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion: A few of indie music’s brightest female stars headline this year’s All Things Go festival, which makes the jump to Merriweather Post Pavilion after previous years at Union Market. Sister group Haim, rock chameleon St. Vincent and experimental British pop singer Charli XCX will close out a day of music on two stages. Proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of the performance is required to enter. Noon to 11 p.m. $89.50- $225.
Distillery Lane Cider Orchard Festival: Cider aficionados know that some of the area’s most interesting hard ciders come from a nine-acre orchard in Frederick County. More than 40 varieties of apples grow on 9,000 trees, ranging from the Newtown Pippin and Roxbury Russet, which were favorites of early American colonists, to lesser-known Shizuka and Maiden Blush. One weekend a month, Distillery Lane opens its farm to visitors for cider tastings and a special themed event. This weekend is all about the orchard, with talks about the differences between apples and the secrets of grafting and pruning, but it’s also the only chance to pick your own apples for pies, cooking or just enjoying raw. Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. $16.35 through Friday, $21.80 day of the event. Reservations suggested.
Loudoun County Fall Farm Tour: The 28th annual celebration of Loudoun County’s rural side offers tours and events at more than two dozen family-owned farms and wineries. Learn about how wool goes from lamb to yarn, meet barnyard animals and thoroughbred horses, explore fields filled with dahlias, ride a donkey and, of course, shop for fresh vegetables, cheese, meat and other farm products. (While the vast majority of locations do not charge admission, some do require tickets or reservations. Read the website for details.) Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Most events free.
Jammin Java 20th Anniversary: Luke Brindley, one of three brothers who owns the music venue Jammin Java, will take the stage at 7 p.m. to celebrate 20 years running this Vienna institution. Brindley is known for his delicate, finger-style guitar work, and this anniversary will be extra sweet for fans of the club after a very challenging time for live music. Later that evening, in a separate performance, Jammin Java house band Smooth As Funk will jam together at 9:30 p.m. Proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of the event is required to enter. 7 p.m. $16-$25.
Atlas Brew Works Eighth Anniversary: Atlas Brew Works marks eight years in business this weekend with a day-long party at its original Ivy City brewery. (Reminder: Double-check that Uber isn’t taking you to the taproom near Nationals Park.) Take turns throwing pies at local “celebrities,” including Boundary Stone owner Colin McDonough and Pug owner Tony Tomelden, trying pizza-and-beer pairings or grooving to a DJ. But since beer is the reason for the event, Atlas is tapping several rare brews. Star among them is Mayor For Life, a tart blend of three barrel-aged beers aged on marionberries, and the double IPA that would have been the featured beer at the 2020 anniversary party if, you know. Kegs of Atlas’ fifth and sixth anniversary beers will also be available while supplies last. Proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test taken within the last 72 hours is required for entry. 1 to 5 p.m. $15, which includes one beer and a donation to Living Classrooms.
Astro Lab Brewing Anniversary Party: Also marking another trip around the sun this weekend is Silver Spring’s Astro Lab, which has created four new beers for the occasion, including Groovier hazy IPA and Shadow Born stout. (For dark beer fans, they’re also bringing back an 11 percent ABV version of Woolly Mittens imperial stout.) Tickets are available for three different three-hour sessions, beginning at noon, 3:30 or 7 p.m.; the last session includes live music from the Grasso Brothers. $15, includes one beer.
Other Half Anniversary Party: Other Half Brewing celebrates one year in business in Ivy City with the release of four new beers, including an amped-up version of the popular Blue Crab IPA called Blue Crab Special Reserve Imperial IPA. Joining the party are special guest taps from eight other breweries, including the Veil, Monkish and Ocelot. I Egg You, the breakfast concept from the founders of ChiKo, is popping up on-site, and DJs will spin “all afternoon.” As always, children and dogs are welcome. 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Free admission; Beers sold a la carte.
DC Wine Fest at Union Market: Wineries, wine importers and distributors show off their portfolios at this all-you-can-sip party Union Market’s indoor and outdoor Dock 5 event space. Meet an AI sommelier, hear live music from Shelby Blondell and Mare, or pair a glass of vino with cookies, crab cakes or ice cream. (Food is available to purchase, and not included in the ticket.) There are three two-hour sessions, beginning at 1, 4:30 and 8 p.m., with tickets priced at $39. While general admission for the first two sessions is sold out, “Early Admission” tickets are available for all three sessions, providing three hours of sampling beginning at noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m., for $60 each.
Rock the Park: The Originals at Franklin Square: After the extensive renovation of Franklin Square, the Downtown BID is giving music lovers plenty of reasons to head to 13th and I streets NW — even on weekends. The Rock the Park series continues with some serious hip-hop trailblazers: Mixtape icon and Rocksteady Crew DJ Tony Touch; Stretch Armstrong, the New York DJ whose legendary radio show on Columbia University’s WKCR gave listeners their first taste of Jay-Z, Wu-Tang Clan and countless other stars; and DJ Clark Kent, who produced hits by Junior M.A.F.I.A. and remixed the Fugees, Chubb Rock and countless others. Make this a stop on your way to the club, or stick around all night. 4 to 10 p.m. Free.
Sunday, Oct. 17
D.C. Blues Festival: The D.C. Blues Society’s 31st festival keeps the spirit of the blues flowing in the nation’s capital. The free outdoor event mixes styles as well as local and national talent: Guitarist J.P. Reali, a three-time winner of the society’s Battle of the Bands solo competition, kicks off proceedings with his Delta and Piedmont playing, followed by Linwood Taylor, whose effortless guitar playing has made him a fixture on the D.C. scene for decades. Headlining proceedings is the 26-year-old “King” Solomon Hicks, who started playing guitar with the Cotton Club Orchestra at 13, and whose debut album “Harlem” was named “Best Emerging Artist Album” at the annual Blues Music Awards, thanks to its heady mix of roadhouse, rock and gospel. 1 to 7 p.m. Free.
Todd Rundgren at Capital Turnaround: Todd Rundgren reportedly collaborated with Kanye West on his bloated album, “Donda,” though none of his contributions made the final cut. Sure, it seems like an odd pairing of the minds, but Rundgren has a long, diverse track record of artist collaborations with the likes of Robyn and Grand Funk Railroad. For Rundgren’s forthcoming album, “Space Force,” he recruited a cast of collaborators that includes hip-hop artist Narcy, pop-rock duo Sparks and Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo. Rundgren’s chameleon-like musical sensibility is best heard on “Your Fandango,” which is a glam-pop spectacle with a chorus that sounds like a kitschy commercial jingle from the ’80s: “Everybody likes it when you do your fandango.” And if you enjoyed that ride, your brain will splatter over the whiplash of hearing “Espionage,” the hip-hop and house laced track with Narcy that would win Daft Punk’s seal of approval. Sunday and Monday at 8 p.m. $59.50.
Smoketoberfest at the Brig: For anyone who hasn’t gotten enough smoked meat during Oktoberfest, the Brig beer garden on Barracks Row is hosting a pig roast and NFL viewing party on Sunday afternoon. Tickets include meat with a choice of sides, such as mac and cheese or potato salad, and a liter of beer, including Spaten Oktoberfest. 2 p.m. $35.
Tuesday, Oct. 19
Baby Alcatraz and the Aurelions at the Black Cat: Ask Alyssa Bell what her new band, Baby Alcatraz and the Aurelions, sounds like and she’ll explain that the band isn’t exactly new, and that it sounds something like “a muscle car engine” — more precisely, a motor that took roughly a decade to build, but one that was ultimately shaped through intuition and improvisation, the same way a DJ might organize a deep night of dancing on the fly. First, the DJ part. Most people in the local nightlife have known Bell by her DJ name, Baby Alcatraz, ever since she started spinning vintage soul records at the Velvet Lounge a dozen-odd years back. Okay, next up, the roughly-a-decade part. The Aurelions? It’s just one guy, Bell’s husband Mark Cisneros, a scene fixture who’s played in more than a few fabulous D.C. bands over the years: Hammered Hulls, Des Demonas, Kid Congo Powers and the Monkey Birds, and more. According to Bell, the duo have been jamming together since forever, mostly to generate material for Cisneros’s groups, but still stashing the oddest riffs and rhythms for themselves. “Some stuff has gone into Hammered Hulls, some stuff has gone to Kid Congo,” Bell says, “but the weirder stuff we kept close to tease out and let it be as weird as it wants to be.” Opening for Shannon and the Clams. 7:30 p.m. $20.
‘45 Days: The Fight For A Nation’ at Landmark E Street: Directed by former Royal Marines Commando Emile Ghessen, this documentary zeros in on the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 2020, told from the Armenian perspective. Thousands were killed or displaced from their homes before a peace agreement was signed. Following the screening, the team behind the documentary, including director Ghessen, will take questions from audience members about the film. 7 p.m. $45.
Mystical Tales writing workshop at Temperance Alley: Ever thought about writing your own tale of horror, magical realism or folklore? Take a stab exploring the world of fantasy during this writing workshop led by Amanda Liaw. Prompts are available in the outdoor classroom, as are notebooks, pens and blankets. Attendees are welcome to bring their own writing materials and of course, their imagination, to the workshop. 7 to 9 p.m. Free.
Wednesday, Oct. 20
‘The Conductor’ at the Embassy of Austria: This 2021 documentary, presented by the Austrian Cultural Forum, takes a deep dive into classical music, its enduring legacy, and the artists and conductors who keep the spirit alive. Focusing on renowned conductor Marin Alsop, the first woman to be music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, director Bernadette Wegenstein follows Alsop around the world as she teaches the next generation of conductors. Incorporating archival footage of Alsop with her mentor Leonard Bernstein, the film sheds light on who has historically been excluded from classical music and celebrates the continuing progress of the industry. A talk with Alsop, Wegenstein and producer Annette Porter follows. Proof of vaccination is required for entry. 7 p.m. Free.