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The 31 best things to do in D.C. this weekend and next week


Multiple stages of live music, art installations, hands-on family activities, a market, food trucks and a beer garden are highlights of the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s annual Petalpalooza along the Capitol Riverfront near the Navy Yard. Five zones of entertainment are featured throughout the neighborhood, and the event is capped with a fireworks display set to music, which begins at 8:30 p.m. 1 to 9 p.m. Free.

Pink in the Pool and Pink in the Park at National Landing

National Landing hosts a pair of free Saturday events for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. First up is Pink in the Pool, a kid-centric event at the Long Bridge Aquatics Center with story time, snacks and an origami class (9 a.m. to noon). Pink in the Park, originally scheduled for March 23, features a pop-up market with more than two dozen vendors, curated by AAPI art and culture organization Samasama. The day also includes live mural painting, art from the Museum of Contemporary Art Arlington, and a pop-up food and beverage area. DJ Em-Pulse and Les the DJ provide the tunes (1 to 5 p.m.). Both events are free.

First Saturday at the National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art’s monthly First Saturday series has a flower theme (surprise!) during the National Cherry Blossom Festival, so visitors can create floral art from paper or practice sketching a floral arrangement, explore paintings of flowers in the galleries, watch Japanese movies, and listen to traditional Japanese music. Little ones can have their faces painted or listen to story time. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

Kimonos and Cocktails on 17th Street NW

Bars and restaurants along 17th Street near Dupont Circle team up for the new Kimonos and Cocktails, a bar crawl featuring cherry blossom-themed cocktails and mocktails. Arrive early for a kimono demonstration, beginning in Stead Park at 2 p.m., then taste your way down the street before voting for a favorite concoction. 5 to 8 p.m. Free.

Art Blooms at the Mosaic District

The two-day Art Blooms in Fairfax’s Mosaic District brings a marketplace of 90 makers and vintage vendors, music on multiple stages, and a farmers market with food and drinks. Families can bring the kids to meet singing princesses, and everyone should take advantage of the free shuttle from the Dunn Loring Metro station. Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.

Dupont Circle Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Market

There’s a lot happening in Dupont Circle this weekend, including Saturday’s Kimonos and Cocktails bar crawl and Sunday’s tea party in the circle. But don’t overlook the Cherry Blossom Pop-Up Market, where you’ll find more than 75 makers and vendors set up across the neighborhood: along Connecticut Avenue NW between Q and S streets; on P Street between 20th and 22nd streets; and 17th Street between P and R streets. Meanwhile, on Saturday, there’s also a mural installation in Dupont Circle Park and craft activities, such as origami and bookmark making, in the garden behind the historic Heurich House. Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets has more information about neighborhood events on its website. Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Free.

Unique Markets at Dock 5 at Union Market

Find a new favorite D.C.-based small business at the Washington edition of Unique Markets, a roving pop-up shop that travels the country showing off emerging brands. More than 70 sellers are setting up shop above Union Market, with offerings including jewelry, clothing (vintage and new), bath products, candles, ceramics and packaged food. Admission includes perks like free drinks, including nonalcoholic beers from Best Day Brewing; DIY craft projects to try; stations with photo ops; and a tote bag to carry all your purchases home. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $12 for one-day admission; $16 for a weekend pass; free admission for ages 14 and under.

March Madness: Men’s Final Four

Saturday brings the men’s side of the NCAA Tournament. The first game, at 6:09 p.m., features North Carolina State and Purdue. As mentioned above, N.C. State alumni head to Lou’s City Bar in Columbia Heights, and Boilermakers watch their games at the Bottom Line on K Street. Alabama and Connecticut follow at 8:49 p.m. U-Conn alumni are heading back to Colony Grill in Clarendon, where they will have watched their women’s team play on Friday, while Alabama fans have been going to Salazar on 14th Street for their March Madness game watches. The winners, of course, play for the national championship on Monday.

‘Back 2 the Circle’ Cypher Jam and Fresh Fit Clothing Swap at the Kennedy Center

Indigenous hip-hop is front and center at the Kennedy Center’s Reach on Saturday evening, with performances by rapper Supaman, DJ Element, and B-girl and curator Miss Chief Rocka. Groove to tunes by DJs Diyanna Monet and 4REAL. Bring gently used clothing and accessories to swap, and bring your best moves for a dance contest with celebrity judges. 5 to 9 p.m. Free.

Mumbo vs. Gumbo at Sycamore and Oak

Five years ago, a complaint about go-go music playing from speakers at a phone store at the corner of Seventh Street and Florida Avenue NW launched the Don’t Mute D.C. movement, and helped go-go become the official sound of D.C. Mark the anniversary with a party at Sycamore and Oak in Congress Heights, where Mumbo vs. Gumbo features live go-go from Backyard Band and District Kings and the horn-driven sound of the Crush Funk Brass Band. Meanwhile, there’s New Orleans-style cuisine from Triceys D.C., Dionne’s and the vegan Glizzys. 3 to 7 p.m. Free.

Capital Art Book Fair at Eastern Market

More than 30 exhibitors from around the world — as close as Silver Spring and as far as Seoul — convene at Eastern Market’s North Hall to celebrate art books. Participants include artists, established publishers and indie bookmakers selling zines, photography books, graphic novels and more. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

NSO Music for Young Audiences at the Kennedy Center

This family-focused concert returns to introduce youngins to, as the Kennedy Center bills it, “some of the greatest music ever written.” The program is led by two National Symphony Orchestra musicians (bassist Paul DeNola and violinist Heather LeDoux Green) and features a “trunk full of gags” used throughout the show, though besides their instruments, the performers are silent. Come early for Musical PLAYspace, where kids are invited to try out the instruments they’ll see onstage, and stay after the Saturday afternoon performance for a Q&A with the artists and creative team. Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Sunday, 4 p.m. $20.



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