Friday, Oct. 20
International Yardfest at Howard University: The Notorious B.I.G., Jay-Z and Drake are among the superstars who have taken the stage at Yardfest, the centerpiece of Howard University’s Homecoming celebrations that draws students, alumni and local hip-hop fans to a free day-long concert on the main quad. Performers are usually kept secret in advance; last year’s headliners included Common, Lil Uzi Vert and Faith Evans. Noon to 6 p.m. Free.
Boo at the Zoo at the National Zoo: Heads up, parents: The National Zoo's annual Boo at the Zoo trick-or-treat-athon has sold out on Saturday. If you want to take the kids to see animals, watch “extreme pumpkin carving demonstrations,” dance to music and, of course, collect some candy, Friday evening is the only non-school night, and you should get tickets quickly. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. $30.
Grand opening at Shop Made in D.C.: You don’t have to be from Washington to appreciate Shop Made in D.C., a hybrid store-cafe devoted to locally made products, food and booze. Browse jewelry, clothing and home goods crafted by D.C. residents, including shirts and hats from District of Clothing and stationery and bags from Printed Wild. The Neighborhood Restaurant Group (owners of Red Apron Butcher and ChurchKey) is curating the food and drink offerings, which will include Tibetan dumplings from Dorjee Momo, tacos from Tortilladora and Bullfrog Bagels, as well as beer and cider. RSVP for the opening weekend festivities to receive a Made in D.C. canvas tote. Free.
Soul Strolls at Congressional Cemetery: Congressional Cemetery is the resting place for soldiers, politicians, madams, spiritualists and one of the Lincoln assassination conspirators. You'll “meet” some of the cemetery's famous residents during “Soul Strolls” of the grounds at twilight and after dark. (BYO flashlight.) Wine and beer are sold in the cemetery's chapel before and after tours; a VIP ticket includes three drinks in a “speakeasy” in the public vault — a burial chamber where the bodies of three presidents have been temporarily interred. 5:30 to 10 p.m. $22 adults, $12 children. $55 VIP.
Saturday, Oct. 21
Kids Euro Festival: The European Union’s annual Kids Euro Festival offers two weeks of free cultural events for the whole family at venues across the city, including the National Gallery of Art, public libraries and embassies. There are story times, featuring books from and about the European Union. for younger ones, and movie screenings, dance performances, science experiments and painting workshops for older children. Through Nov. 5. Locations vary. Events are free, although some require advance registration.
Evening Star Cafe 20th-anniversary block party: The Del Ray restaurant celebrates its second decade by shutting down the street and throwing a block party. Grab pulled-pork sandwiches, hot dogs and barbecue chicken from the grill, and wash them down with 11 different Bluejacket beers, including The Ave., a brand-new IPA inspired by Bell's Two-Hearted Ale. Noon to 6 p.m. Free; $5 suggested donation to George Washington Middle School. All food and drink priced a la carte.
Dizzy Gillespie Centennial Celebration at the Kennedy Center: Born 100 years ago on Oct. 21, trumpeter/bandleader Dizzy Gillespie helped shape jazz and the bebop movement with hits such as “A Night in Tunisia” and “Con Alma.” This concert celebrates the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master and 1990 Kennedy Center honoree with a lineup that includes the Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band, Paquito D’Rivera and Jimmy Owens. 8 p.m. $19-$69.
Halloween cover benefit show at the Pinch: Members of some of the city's finest hardcore and punk bands — including Kombat, the Rememberables, Bacchae, Rashomon and Pure Disgust — form cover bands and play the songs of their favorite groups, including Weezer, Jawbreaker and Rage Against the Machine, to raise money for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. It's organized by the team behind the annual Damaged City punk festival, so you know it's going to be good. Remember to wear a costume: Prices go up if you don't dress up. 7 p.m. to midnight. $10 if wearing a costume, $15 if not.
Air and Scare at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center: Bring the costumed kids to this annual Halloween party, where they can meet “Ghostbusters” and “Star Wars” characters, participate in “spooky” science experiments, carve pumpkins and tour the museum. Younger children can enjoy story time and puppet shows. Everyone gets to collect free candy. Noon to 5:30 p.m. Free admission; parking $15 per car.
Glow-in-the-Dark party at Hank's on the Hill: The Hank's Oyster Bar location on Capitol Hill is known for its creative cocktail parties, which have been inspired by everything from tiki culture to “Road House.” Their latest venture turns up the music and turns down the lights in a nod to those infamous college black-light parties. Expect glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark cocktails and a few surprises. Neon clothing is optional, but recommended. 3 p.m. to midnight. Free.
Sunday, Oct. 22
‘Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry’ at the National Gallery of Art: The highlight of the National Gallery of Art’s fall season is an exhibition organized by Arthur Wheelock, its longtime curator of Dutch art, who has gathered 10 paintings by Vermeer (many not seen in this country in many years) as part of a show that puts the artist in the context of other genre painters from the Dutch golden age. Through Jan. 21. Free.
Bluejacket fourth-anniversary celebration: The big draw at the Navy Yard brewery's birthday party is the annual release of Bourbon Barrel-Aged Double Mexican Radio, a sweet imperial stout spiced with ancho chiles, cinnamon, vanilla and cocoa nibs that has spent the past six months in Jim Beam, Heaven Hill and Buffalo Trace barrels. Bottles go on sale at noon, and it will be available on tap while it lasts, alongside other aged beers. There will also be live music and grilling on the patio. Noon to 4 p.m. Free; food and drink priced individually.
Melted: A Fall Beer and Cheese Party at Right Proper Brewing Company: Right Proper's semiannual beer-and-cheese party proves that beer and cheese are the perfect match. Try all-you-can-eat cheese dishes — think fondue, raclette or upscale mac 'n' cheese — paired with five different Right Proper beers at the Shaw brewpub. Noon to 3 p.m. $45.
— Fritz Hahn, Macy Freeman, Philip Kennicott and Holley Simmons