This just might be the weekend when the rain finally stops. (Maybe. At least by Sunday.) With that in mind and our fingers crossed, here are this weekend's best bets in nightlife, festivals, music, theater and much more around the Washington area.
- Best and brightest: D.C.'s top 10 new restaurants
- Washington on the water: Eat, drink and play with a view
- Capital Weather Gang forecast: Rain Saturday but a clear Sunday
Through Sunday: This is not your typical night at the theater. Working with the German company machina eX on "Happy Hour," Spooky Action Theater has found a way to blend the video game experience with a stage performance. For “Happy Hour,” two teams of 10 theatergoers compete while guiding their human avatars out of another room where they’re being held captive, using only tools provided by the bartender (who also supplies drinks). The performance schedule runs through June 5 and tickets are $20-$40.
Friday-Sunday: The Washington Nationals play host to the Miami Marlins this weekend at Nationals Park, capping the series on Sunday with Yoga in the Outfield, the team’s first yoga promotion of the season. Fans get a Nationals yoga mat with their specially priced ticket, with the chance to bask in the sun — and perhaps wind down from the thrill of victory. Sunday's game starts at 1:35 p.m., with the yoga session taking place afterwards; the yoga-and-game tickets cost $50-$80. For the other three games (there's a doubleheader on Saturday), tickets are available here.
Friday-Sunday: Enjoy an after-hours tour — no school groups here — at the Spring Wine Festival and Sunset Tour at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s estate on the Potomac River, while sampling from 20 Virginia wineries and listening to jazz performances. The popular (see below) evening event also takes guests to our first president’s wine cellar and details his attempts to start a vineyard at the vast plantation. From 6 to 9 p.m. each evening. Note: Only VIP tables remain, and it's a pricey ticket.
Saturday-Sunday: "Turf and Terrain," the Arts in Foggy Bottom Outdoor Sculpture Biennial featuring outdoor works by 14 regional artists, gets underway with a walking tour on Saturday afternoon led by curator Danielle O’Steen, followed by a reception at the Watergate Gallery. On Sunday evening, artist Eames Armstrong performs “Fog” along the “Turf and Terrain” trail, writing with water on brick sidewalks. The exhibition runs through Oct. 22, and admission is free.
Saturday: Twenty-eight European Union member states welcome visitors to their embassies for Shortcut to Europe, the annual European Union Embassies' open house. Sample goods from across the pond without the jet lag, stopping at the Embassy of Belgium for chocolate, cookies, fries and waffles; the Embassy of Spain for paella, Iberico ham and bagpipe performances; and the Slovenian embassy for walnut roll cake, apple strudel, regional wines and music demonstrations. The embassies, which are spread throughout Northwest Washington, are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission is free. (But make sure you have official identification.)
Saturday: One of the region’s biggest music festivals has scaled back from a weekend-long bash to a single-day affair. That means the Sweetlife Festival at Merriweather Post Pavilion is cramming 14 acts into an all-day outdoor jam, from polarizing headliners the 1975 and Halsey to gender-bending Shamir — who might remind you of Prince — and rapper-on-the-rise Vince Staples. Also in the mix: new-wave veterans Blondie and Eagles of Death Metal, the band onstage when terrorists attacked the Bataclan in Paris last fall. Concertgoers will be well fed, too, with the namesake sponsor, Sweetgreen, joined by Little Sesame, Buredo and the Pepe and Big Cheese trucks, among others. The festival starts at noon, and tickets are $100-$125 (VIP is sold out).
Saturday: Hellbender keeps it local for its D.C. Hopfest at the brewery in Northeast, an event to raise money for the D.C. Brewers’ Guild. That means you can taste IPAs from 17 area breweries, including some that don’t often make it to the city, such as Calvert, Denizens, Caboose and Adroit Theory. (And you’ll be washing down food from the Arepa Zone food truck.) Tickets include a commemorative tasting glass and unlimited pours. The party runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and tickets are $50.
Sunday: The Taste of Arlington street festival, now in its 29th year, turns busy Wilson Boulevard (between North Taylor and North Randolph streets) into a pedestrian-friendly affair, with two concert stages, a dog park and carnival games. The main attraction: food from more than 40 arealocal restaurants, including regulars Northside Social, the Liberty Tavern and Circa, alongside such newcomers as Yona, Pepita Cantina, Texas Jack’s Barbecue and Barley Mac. Also new this year: The Deschutes Brewery traveling pop-up Street Pub, which includes a 400-foot bar with more than 60 taps flowing with Deschutes regulars and rarities from the Oregon brewery. (The bar stays open an hour later than the rest of the festival.) The event runs from noon to 6 p.m. and admission is free; the taste book ticket package ($35 in advance, $40 at the gate) includes 10 tickets for food and drink booths.
Sunday: Chefs from 17 Washington restaurants — including Del Campo’s Victor Albisu, Rappahannock’s Dylan Fultineer and Sixth Engine’s Kyle Bailey — compete to create the best lamb dish at Lamb Jam at Union Market, benefiting D.C. Central Kitchen. Pair it with
local beers, wines and spirits, and take advantage of the DIY spice rub bar. The event runs from 3 to 6 p.m. and tickets are $60.
Sunday: The spring edition of the Old School Hip-Hop Bar Crawl hits U Street, with DJs spinning — you guessed it — old-school hip-hop at Red Lounge, Cloak and Dagger, Ben's Next Door, Solly's, Amsterdam and Pure. The party starts at Red Lounge at 3 p.m., which a new venue opening on the hour through 8 p.m. Tickets are available online for $20 and will be available at each venue for $25, which will get you a wristband that gets you in the door on each stop of the trail.
Sunday: The Avett Brothers, playing EagleBank Arena (on George Mason's campus), seem to be taking a dark turn on their ninth full-length studio album, "True Sadness." But the first two tracks released from the album, which comes out in June, have more of a foot-stomping, rollicking sound that will feel familiar to fans who listened to the band before 2009's "I and Love and You." The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $39.50-$55.