The 25 best things to do in D.C. this weekend and next week

The National Cherry Blossom Festival’s weekend agenda includes the opening ceremony, a kite festival, a family day at the Smithsonian and live music at the Tidal Basin. (Matt McClain/The Washington Post)

Welcome the National Cherry Blossom Festival with a kite festival, family day and live music at the Tidal Basin, or explore the new “Afrofuturism” exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, which features Chadwick Boseman’s “Black Panther” costume and Octavia Butler’s typewriter, among other artifacts. Welcome the Washington Spirit to the team’s new home and say “hello again” to local distillery Republic Restoratives, which is reopening for the first time in more than 1,000 days.

Thursday, March 23

Spring Wine Fling

Winter and summer each have Restaurant Week with dining-out specials, but there’s a deal to be had in spring, too: In the second half of March, the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington is inviting D.C. chefs to create two-course dinner menus that incorporate special wine pairings. As part of Spring Wine Fling, you’ll get an appetizer, entree and two wine pairings for $55 at restaurants across town, including Spice Kraft Indian Bistro, RPM Italian and Quattro Osteria. (Through March 31. $55 for a prix fixe dinner menu.)

‘Jagged Little Pill’ at National Theatre

Who would’ve guessed back in 1995 that “You Oughta Know” and other Alanis Morissette alt-rock classics like “Ironic” would end up being belted out on Broadway one day? This jukebox musical, tailor-made for Morissette superfans, debuted in NYC in 2019 and is now touring the country, including a stop at D.C.’s National Theatre. “Juno” writer Diablo Cody whipped up a story about a seemingly perfect suburban family’s inner turmoil to go along with songs from the Gen X idol’s breakthrough album and wider catalogue, including new tunes just for the musical written by Morissette herself. (Through March 26. $60-$130.)

Friday, March 24

‘Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures’

Chadwick Boseman’s “Black Panther” costume, Octavia Butler’s typewriter and Nichelle Nichols’s “Star Trek” uniform are among the objects in the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s new exhibit, which looks at how Black Americans have embraced technological changes to reimagine the past and the future, and create new worlds outside existing paradigms. As always, free timed tickets are required for museum entry, with reservations open 30 days in advance. Tip: If no passes are shown for a date you wish to visit, same-day passes become available at 8:15 a.m. (Through March 2024. Free; timed-entry tickets required.)

Bethesda Film Fest at Imagination Stage

Bethesda offers one of the smaller film festivals in the D.C. area, featuring seven short documentaries at two screenings, but it manages to pack a lot of stories into a brief time. “Amor,” international photojournalist David Rochkind’s take on parenthood in the face of loss, and “Rooted Wisdom,” with historian Anthony Cohen revealing the part the natural world played in the Underground Railroad, contrast with local topics, such as those seen in “East of the River,” which explores how the residents of Kenilworth Park transformed a landfill into a park after the death of a child, and “The Legacy of Lee’s Flower Shop,” telling the tale of the historic family-owned U Street flower shop. (7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. $15.)

DC History Conference at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

If you want to learn stories about “the real D.C.,” the annual DC History Conference is an amazing place to start. (To begin with, the event is free.) This year’s two-day program includes a wide range of panel discussions, roundtables and lectures, with topics including rebuilding after the 1968 riots, mapping the suffrage movement in D.C., a celebration of the 1970s counterculture newspaper the Unicorn Times and the 50th anniversary of the D.C. Home Rule Act. There are also theater performances, a lesson on researching local history at the Library of Congress, and a Friday night “After Hours” party with live music, food and drinks. While online registration has ended, in-person registration is available at the library. (Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.)

Taylor Swift dance party at Howard Theatre

Did you miss the opening night of the Eras tour? Are you still mad that Taylor isn’t stopping in the DMV? Though it may be little solace to hardcore Swifties, the Howard is hosting “Look What You Made Me Do: The Taylor Swift Dance Party,” where fans can shake it off all night long. (8 p.m. $20-$50.)

Chiiild at Union Stage

Canadian Yonatan Ayal, also known as Chiiild (pronounced “child”), is a multi-instrumental artist making neo-soul and R&B music that also feels indie. His 2023 album, “Better Luck in the Next Life,” builds on the experimentation of Chiiild’s last project, but there’s less wallowing in the low moments. The music is still moody, and there’s a lingering darkness that threads through all the tracks. But on this one, more light peeks through and sometimes even shines. On the optimistic “Bon Voyage,” Ayal sings about embarking on a new journey with someone. “Meet me on the mountain in a daydream, everyone out here on the same thing,” he sings on a calm beat, his voice eventually echoing as if he’s really on a mountaintop. The featured artists on this project — including Lucky Daye and Charlotte Cardin — are seamless fits. On no other song is this more true than “Hell and High Water” featuring Alina Baraz, another artist who blurs the lines between genres. The track’s electronica undertones feel like they’re lifting both their beautifully toned voices to the surface of a turbulent river. “Hope they find me and talk about how / I went through hell and high water just to feel alive,” Ayal sings from a grim, post-breakup world. (10:30 p.m. $20-$40.)

Saturday, March 25

Peak bloom at the Cherry Blossom Festival

The trees around the Tidal Basin should be at peak bloom this weekend, so get ready for the influx of cherry blossom Instagram photos — and maybe make a few posts of your own. Tickets for the festival’s opening ceremony at the Warner Theatre on Saturday, which features performances by J-pop band Travis Japan, classical duo Petael and other artists, are sold out, though the event will be live-streamed on the festival’s YouTube page. For an in-person party, the free stage in the welcome area by the Tidal Basin is open to the public. Festivities start at 10 a.m. each day, when food trucks and kiosks begin offering goodies; join the tourists enjoying a large ice cream sundae despite chilly winds or sample a Cherry Blossom FestivAle from Old Ox Brewery. A giant frame decked out with cherry blossom designs is perfect for photo opportunities, and leashed dogs can take advantage of a pet comfort station. Performances start at noon, with a lineup including new wave singer Ari Voxx, the Carpathia Folk Dance Ensemble and blues fusion group Mama Moon and the Rump Shakers. (Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; welcome area open daily through April 2. Free.)

Blossom Kite Festival at the Washington Monument

For one day each year, tens of thousands of kites fill the air from the Washington Monument down to the Tidal Basin for the Blossom Kite Festival. Part of the annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, the event brings together amateur and professional kite fliers sending aloft an array of kites in nearly every shape, color and size imaginable. Michigan-based professional kite flying team the Windjammers are planning to stage several aerial performances choreographed to music, each pilot flying stacks of up to a dozen red, white and blue diamond-shaped kites with long tails trailing off each one. Regardless of what’s happening in the air, the festival has more to offer on the ground. The Sakura Taiko Fest at Sylvan Theater features traditional Japanese drumming, while the family field area features kid-friendly activities, such as kite making, face painting and watercolor painting. (10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free.)

Sounds of the DMV: Hip-Hop Showcase at the Kennedy Center

Washington’s hip-hop scene has always been diverse, but this lineup of artists proves that the community’s dynamism is still in full force. D.C. native Dior Ashley Brown, dubbed a “hip-hop polymath” by Post music critic Chris Richards, kicks off the evening with a hard-hitting political set aimed at the empowerment of Black women. Rapper Nia Dinero merges hip-hop, pop and R&B for a unique sound she calls “hip-pop.” The evening is hosted by producer Nonchalant and rapper Fly Zyah, who was recently recognized as one of the Kennedy Center’s Next 50 Cultural Leaders. (7:30 p.m. $25.)

Smithsonian Cherry Blossom Family Festival at American Art Museum

Bring the whole family to this annual springtime festival in the Kogod Courtyard featuring a taiko drumming performance, traditional Japanese dance and a performance by Les the DJ. Kids can craft their own cherry blossom tree to take home, make a koinobori kite to fly at the kite festival or create an origami sakura. There’s a scavenger hunt in the art museum’s galleries and festive, blossom-themed treats available for purchase. (11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Free.)

Everything you need to know about the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Republic Restoratives tasting room reopening

“We’ve been closed for 1093 days,” says the social media post from Republic Restoratives, “but on March 25 we’re reopening.” The Ivy City distillery shuttered its tasting room at the outset of the pandemic and never returned to regular sampling or browsing hours — just scheduled pickups. Tickets for the grand reopening include your first cocktail, spirit tastings, a free bottle engraving session — maybe you remember the distillery’s bottles of Purpose Rye engraved with “I’m Speaking” from 2020 — plus music and a party. Little Miner Taco will be on-site with birria tacos for sale. (Noon to 5 p.m. $20.)

As You Are Bar first anniversary

The LGBTQ spot on Barracks Row serves many roles: daytime cafe, happy hour hangout, late-night karaoke and dancing destination, meeting place, gaming and crafting space. You can experience all of them this week, though the official party on Saturday is a little more focused: a $20 open-bar “Power Hour” from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m., and DJ Mim spinning dance music from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. If that seems late, consider stopping by for brunch, which runs from noon to 5 p.m. (Open noon to 3 a.m. Free admission.)

Akua Dixon, Dave Douglas and Jeff Cosgrove at YMCA Arts Center

“Plays well with others” is a prerequisite for pretty much any jazz player, but Maryland drummer Jeff Cosgrove has been testing the idea over in Frederick this past year, organizing and playing in various small concerts with an impressive array of top-tier talents. This spring, he is throwing a three-gig series in Frederick titled Jazz Inside Out, and its keystone performance features the agile cellist Akua Dixon and the elastic trumpeter Dave Douglas. (7:30 p.m. Free.)

Books and Brews at Hellbender Brewing

More than your usual book swap, this gathering at Hellbender Brewing includes 17 local authors discussing and selling their books. Bring a used paperback or two to trade or talk over with other local bookworms, but you might discover some new fiction over a couple of glasses of stout or kolsch. (1 to 7 p.m. Free.)

Sunday, March 26

Women’s History Month Trivia Night at Busboys and Poets

Do you know the common name of the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, or the nationality of Wangari Maathai, the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize? If so, you’d probably make a pretty good teammate at the ninth annual Women’s History Month Trivia Night, held at Busboys and Poets in Hyattsville. The five rounds cover a wide variety of topics relating to women’s history in the arts, politics and sports. Teams are limited to five members, and entry fees benefit the nonprofit Resonance Network. Don’t have a team? Arrive early and you can be matched with other solo players at the event. (5 to 7:30 p.m. $16 per person or $70 for a team of five.)

Washington Spirit Opening Day at Audi Field

After years of bouncing between the Maryland SoccerPlex, Audi Field and Segra Field, the Washington Spirit has a new full-time home: The 2021 National Women’s Soccer League champions will play every match of the forthcoming season at Audi Field. Opening day finds the Spirit facing OL Reign, winners of the 2022 NWSL Shield. It’s a quick return to D.C. for U.S. national team defender Emily Sonnett, whom the Spirit traded to the Reign on draft day for a pair of picks. (4 p.m. $25-$65.)

Ukrainian Easter Bazaar at Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine

The colorfully and intricately decorated Easter eggs known as pysanky are the stars of the bazaar at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine. Purchase the eggs, or learn to make your own at a (now sold-out) beginner’s class. The day includes a buffet of homemade Ukrainian foods, such as pierogies and stuffed cabbage rolls, and vendors selling egg decorating kits, smoked meats, icons, crafts and CDs. (10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.)

Ibeyi at 9:30 Club

Naomi and Lisa-Kaindé Diaz, the fraternal twin sisters who have made three albums as Ibeyi, are the children of two musicians. Their father was famed Afro-Cuban percussionist Miguel “Angá” Diaz, and their mother is French Venezuelan singer Maya Dagnino. The 28-year-old siblings grew up primarily in Paris, speaking Spanish and French. Yet they sing mostly in English, as well as Spanish and Yoruba. Naomi, the duo’s co-producer and beat maker, still lives in Paris. Lisa-Kaindé relocated to London, near the studio where the duo records, most recently 2022’s “Spell 31,” with co-producer Richard Russell. He functions as a catalyst for Ibeyi’s eclectic songs, which layer the sisters’ lovely multi-tracked vocals over mostly electronic backing tracks. The group’s sound has gotten more lush over its nine-year run, and the sisters are now backed onstage by two other musicians, drummer Ismael Nobour and keyboardist-bassist Nicholas Vella. “We can just sing and be in front of you, and connect more,” said Naomi of the new lineup. “The sound is bigger, and it changes the show completely.” (7 p.m. $30.)

Monday, March 27

Women for Iran: A celebration of Nowruz and Women’s History Month at the Green Zone

An evening of Iranian-inspired cocktails, music, food and wine honors both the Persian New Year and Women’s History Month at the Green Zone. An all-star team of female bartenders will be crafting drinks, while chef Ria Montes of Estuary creates bar snacks to pair with the beverages. A portion of sales benefits the Iranian American Women Foundation. If this is anything like recent fundraisers hosted by the Green Zone, get there early before the bar hits capacity. (6:30 p.m. Free admission.)

Profs and Pints: ‘When Washington Burned’ at Little Penn Coffeehouse

Sure, you’ve seen the White House and the Capitol building. But have you ever wondered about the D.C. landmarks that were burned over 200 years ago? Hosted at Little Penn Coffeehouse, George Washington University professor and Mount Vernon lecturer Denver Brunsman tells the story of how British troops torched nearly all of Washington’s public buildings. (6 p.m. $13.50-$17.)

Tuesday, March 28

‘The Jungle’ at Harman Hall

Sit yourself down to a stunning, sensory-overloading immersion in the refugee experience. Joe Murphy and Joe Robertson’s kaleidoscopic play, directed by Stephen Daldry and Justin Martin, finally reaches Washington, in a co-production for Shakespeare Theatre Company and Woolly Mammoth Theatre that originated in London and then ran in New York. The audience is divided into national groups, as if we, too, were denizens of a camp for migrants in Calais, France — a device modeled on actual events. Over the course of nearly three hours, the stories of those trapped in international limbo unfold, with the dramatizing of all the attendant outrages and heartbreak. (Through April 16. $49-$139.)

Wiki at Comet Ping Pong

On Wiki’s 2021 album “Half God,” the rapper’s hometown of New York City is front and center. A mainstay of the New York rap scene, Wiki — whose real name is Patrick Morales — was a member of the underground hip-hop group Ratking in the 2010s. But this project isn’t just about bragging about where you’re from. Instead, it’s about being a witness to your home changing for the benefit of others. On “Roof,” Wiki looks down on his city from above. He considers how the people who look like ants from his vantage point relate to the blocks they’re walking on, often coming to pessimistic conclusions. “Some see it solely for the taking / See the only course to take and make it better ’fore I’m gone and wasted,” Wiki raps as flames subtly crackle alongside a guitar loop. On “The Business,” he comes down even harder on the city’s transplants. “Almost feels like global warming, are we out of time?/ Almost feel like blowing up this whole s--- out of spite,” he says about feeling like it’s too late to save his city. Wiki’s anger simmers on this one, the softer drums letting his delivery cut through like a knife. But perhaps the most stinging line is about what he sees as the gentrifier’s hypocrisy. He asks, “After all the schooling you did, don’t know what community is?” (9 p.m. $20.)

Combo Chimbita at DC9

The quartet Combo Chimbita doesn’t do small. This Spanish-language band is made up of Colombian Americans from New York City. Their songs are no longer than average, but many of them feel like mini epic journeys led by lead singer Carolina Oliveros’s emotionally gripping voice. This rock and psychedelic band with roots firmly planted in cumbia insists on taking up as much sonic space as possible. The band’s third album, “IRE,” was released in 2022, and the explosive and joyful energy of its previous projects is back and better. Times have changed, and after a pandemic brought injustices everywhere to the surface, Combo Chimbita knows its music is even more necessary. On the standout “Mujer Jaguar,” Oliveros is crying out — it’s almost singing by wailing — while fiery drums come in and out to assist. Oliveros’s voice sounds sad yet strong and determined. Her chanting is coming from pain but not floundering in it; instead it turns that pain into hope for listeners. (8 p.m. $20-$22.)

Wednesday, March 29

Sara Baras: ‘Alma’ at the Kennedy Center

Over a 30-year career as a dancer and choreographer, Sara Baras has earned multiple awards, including Spain’s National Dance Award and the 2020 Olivier Award for outstanding achievement in dance — and the unofficial title of Flamenco Queen. See her fancy footwork and regal costumes during “Alma,” Baras’s first show at the Kennedy Center since 2015, which shows off flamenco techniques fused with modern interpretations from Baras. (8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday. $25-$39.)