Friday, July 14
Bastille Day: Washington loves celebrating France’s national holiday, and the fact that July 14 falls on a Friday should add extra joie de vivre to events across town. Le Diplomate opens early, at 10:30 a.m.; children can enjoy face painting and a balloon artist; adults get live accordion music, mime performances, special cocktails and a St. Germain slushy-making machine on the sidewalk patio. Chez Billy Sud is throwing an extended happy hour with rosé on tap, oysters on special and DJ Neville C spinning French tunes from 5 to 9 p.m. The rooftop party at the Bird brings $5 rosé and small plates, $8 cocktails and free birthday cake from 7 p.m. to midnight. The biggest party is at Bistrot du Coin, where tables will be moved to make room for a dance floor once dinner wraps up. Expect DJs, stilt-walkers, lasers flashing overhead and plenty of champagne, starting about 11 p.m.
Luce Unplugged community showcase at Smithsonian American Art Museum: The Luce Center’s ongoing after-hours music series gets interesting with a doubleheader of Escape-ism, the arty new project from Ian Svenonius (Make-Up, Chain & the Gang) and Irreversible Entanglements, a quintet mixing free jazz, electronic noise and spoken-word poetry. Port City Brewing provides free tastings, while a cash bar sells full-size drinks. 6 to 8 p.m. Free.
Reggae night at Del Campo at Dusk: Have you seen the view from Del Campo’s rooftop deck? Did you even know the Penn Quarter restaurant had a rooftop deck? The Del Campo at Dusk rooftop happy-hour series moves to the Caribbean for Reggae Night, with a DJ spinning Jamaican tunes while chef Victor Albisu and his staff serve up unlimited food. (There are two options for drinks: a cash bar or a $30 open-bar ticket, which is the better value if you’re having cocktails.) 6 to 9 p.m. $35; drinks extra.
Saturday, July 15
Lotus and Water Lily Festival at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens: Cherry blossoms are nice, but they’re not the only flowers worthy of a festival. The week-long Lotus and Water Lily Festival at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens kicks off Saturday with gardening workshops, lotus-tea tastings, dance performances, face painting and, of course, blooming aquatic plants. Can’t get enough? The festival continues through July 22 with garden tours (Sunday), the annual Kids Day (Tuesday) and after-work paddling through the marshes (Thursday). 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.
D.C. Scoop at Union Market: Get a head start on National Ice Cream Day at Union Market, where Milk Cult, Ruby Scoops and Carmen's Italian Ice are among the food trucks and ice cream shops competing at this local festival of frozen treats. Free samples abound — participants want your vote in the People's Choice award for best ice cream — and full-size servings are for sale. 1 to 4 p.m. Free.
No Kings Collective Anniversary Block Party: The talented local design and events group No Kings Collective marks its eighth anniversary with a block party in the Liz Lot, the 14th Street NW parking lot behind the former Whitman-Walker Clinic. (You may have seen the “Work It, Gurl" mural on Instagram and Snapchat.) DJs Jerome Baker III and Fleg provide the beats and Brass Connection performs, but expect the focus to be on art installations, screenprinting and a pop-up shop. 5 to 10 p.m. Free.
Taco, Beer and Tequila Festival at the Capitol Riverfront: A brand-new festival brings together three of our favorite things: tacos, tequila and craft beer. Snack on tacos from 20 restaurants and food trucks, including Mariachis, Chaia and Rito Loco; sip craft beers from more than 40 breweries both near (3 Stars, Jailbreak) and far (Boulevard, Allagash); and sample 30 small-batch tequilas and mescals. General admission includes five tacos and unlimited beers; an extra $20 adds the tequila tasting. Noon to 3 p.m. or 6 to 9 p.m. $45-$75.
DC Zine Fest at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church: It sounds improbable that zines (a.k.a. fanzines) could return to popularity in this era of blogs, Snapchat and tweetstorms, but if vinyl and cassettes can return to cultural relevance, let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best. More than 50 vendors will be selling their independently produced zines of all stripes at St. Stephen and the Incarnation Episcopal Church in Columbia Heights. Admission is free and open to all, but if you want to bring new reading material home, keep things lo-fi and bring cash. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free.
Sunday, July 16
International Colombian Festival at RFK Fairgrounds: Singer Totó la Momposina, whose blend of African, Caribbean and Colombian culture has earned her worldwide acclaim and a Latin Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, headlines this celebration of Colombia's Independence Day. A full day of festivities includes music from cumbia to reggaeton, dance performances, children's games, and food and art vendors. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. $15.
'2001: A Space Odyssey' at the National Air and Space Museum: One year before the first astronauts set foot on the moon, Stanley Kubrik released "2001: A Space Odyssey,” which explored space travel and extraterrestrial life, and took viewers inside Clavius Base, the U.S. government's lunar base. The Smithsonian Theater screens "2001: A Space Odyssey" as part of its Sci-Fi Sundays series, and before the film begins, ticketholders can walk through the museum's "Apollo to the Moon" gallery and learn about how "2001" shaped perceptions of outer space. Light snacks are included with admission; a cash bar is available. The reception begins at 5:50 p.m.; the movie starts at 6:50. $15.
Red Derby Tiki Party: The 16th Street Heights bar brings the island spirit to its rooftop deck in support of local nonprofit District Alliance for Safe Housing. Sip on drink summery drink specials, snack on grilled pineapples and kebabs, and participate in the limbo, hula hoop and Best Hawaiian Shirt contests. 3 to 7 p.m. Free.