5 Things to Do in DC

The House and the Senate may be racing to wrap up business before the summer recess begins in July, but the rest of us are settling into a “living is easy” groove. We’ve got five fun ways to spend a summertime day, or evening.

May 31–June 5: The DanceAfrica festival returns to the District this month. Take the Metro’s Red Line three stops north to Brookland, home of the Dance Place school, where such troupes as Ezibu Muntu African Dance Theater and Soul in Motion will appear. Also, see free, open-air performances at the Monroe Street Farmers Market.

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June 4 & 5: It’s the 33rd Annual Dupont-Kalorama Museums Consortium Walk Weekend. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but simply put, this means free entry all weekend to (and, despite the event’s name, free shuttle buses linking) six of the area’s museums, including the Phillips Collection, Dumbarton House, the Anderson House, and the President Woodrow Wilson House.

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June 5: The National Gallery of Art caps its series celebrating Senegalese novelist and filmmaker Ousmane Sembène with a screening of his first feature, La Noire de, the story of a young African woman literally enslaved by a wealthy white couple in 1960s France.

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June 25 & 26: Once upon a time—the War of 1812, the Civil War—D.C. was an actual battleground. This month, the weapons involve basting brushes, beef brisket, and secret sauces. Yes, it’s the 24th Annual Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle—set to take place on Pennsylvania Avenue, roughly midway between the White House and the Capitol Building.

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And starting June 1 & 2, “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band plays free outdoor “Summer Fare” concerts each Wednesday (on the West Terrace of the Capitol) and Thursday (at the Sylvan Theater, on the grounds of the Washington Monument) evening into the fall. The music begins at 8 p.m. sharp.

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