Plenty of Events Fill Your Labor Day Holiday
It is the last unofficial weekend of summer. If you aren’t planning to spend it at the pool one last time or head to the beach for your last weekend of fun in the sun, there is plenty to do in the DMV to fill your long Labor Day weekend. With rain only expected on Saturday, there will be plenty of time to picnic or participate in one of the many outdoor activities on tap this weekend including the Maryland Renaissance Festival, the National Symphony Orchestra’s annual Labor Day concert or the Carifesta Caribbean festival. And if it does rain on Saturday, visit the Library of Congress National Book Festival at the convention center or visit the National Building Museum’s Hive display before it closes after Monday.
This weekend may be a holiday to honor American laborers, but Metro workers will be busy on the Red Line, closing the Bethesda, Medical Center, Grosvenor-Strathmore and White Flint stations from Saturday through Monday. Buses will replace trains between Twinbrook and Friendship Heights. Red Line trains will operate on a regular weekend schedule between Shady Grove and Twinbrook and between Friendship Heights and Glenmont with additional trains between Silver Spring and Farragut North from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Orange and Silver Line trains will single track between Clarendon and East Falls Church with trains operating every 24 minutes. Blue Line trains will single track between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield with trains every 24 minutes. Yellow and Green Line trains will run on regular weekend schedules. And the Metrorail system will only operate between 8 a.m.-11 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 4.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
The Maryland Renaissance Festival takes place every year in Annapolis. This year, the festivities take place in Oxfordshire, England in 1527 with renaissance-themed artisans, performers including dancers and musicians, and food including giant smoked turkey legs and things on a stick. King Henry VIII with his queen, Katherine of Aragon, and their royal court visit the village of Revel Grove as part of their annual summer progress. The queen is surprised when Anne Boleyn suddenly shows up to the village festivities. However, the king is delighted as Anne has been away from court for many months. Queen Katherine is annoyed, but assumes Anne is just another dalliance of the king. She has no idea that her own life and marriage will soon be thrown into turmoil, and the course of English history will be changed forever! You can also dress up in your own costume or rent one there, if ye so wish.
Weekends including Labor Day through Oct. 22 from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. at the Maryland Renaissance Festival grounds, 1821 Crownsville Road, Annapolis. Single-day tickets are $19 for adults, $17 for seniors 62 or older, $8 for children 7-15 and free for kids younger than 7 from Aug. 26-Sept. 10 online or at the gate. Prices from Sept. 16-Oct. 22 are $25 for adults, $21 for seniors 62 or older, $10 for children 7-15 and free for kids younger than 7 online or at the gate.
Through Sunday, the Museum of Science Fiction presents its second annual convention and science and engineering festival for all ages, Escape Velocity. Highlights include drone racing, a stunt workshop, screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Metropolis, hands-on STEAM activities for kids, cosplay for adults, panel discussions on artificial intelligence and manipulating the human genome, a space party and appearances by The Expanse actor Cas Anvar, Star Trek: The Next Generation screenwriter Morgan Gendel, synth-pop pioneer Thomas Dolby, author Joe Haldeman, Klingon language creator Marc Okrand and NASA astrophysicist C. Alex Young. The full schedule is online.
Sept. 1 from 8:30 a.m.-2 a.m., Sept. 2 from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 a.m. and Sept. 3 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road NW. Tickets are $25 on Friday and Sunday and $30 on Saturday for adults, $10 for youth ages 11-16 and free for kids 10 and younger. An adult weekend pass is $50 and a VIP weekend pass is $100.
This is the last weekend to visit the National Building Museum’s Hive exhibit, which closes on Monday. The exhibit incorporates more than 2,700 wound paper tubes, with some standing several inches tall and others stretching 10 feet into the air. The tubes feature a reflective silver exterior and magenta interior, creating a visual contrast with the museum’s historic 19th-century interior and colossal Corinthian columns. The tubes are connected to create domed chambers that can be experienced from the museum’s floor and balcony. Altogether, the installation stands as high as 60 feet tall, creating a magnificent visual spectacle.
Sept. 1, 2 and 4 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sept. 3 from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Nationaol Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $16 for adults and $13 for seniors and children.
Start your Labor Day dining with an international meal at Truckeroo, which brings local food trucks to The Bullpen near Yards Park in the bustling Capitol Riverfront neighborhood to dole out everything from cookies and milk to Vietnamese sandwiches. About a dozen wheeled food sellers will show up this Friday including Bel-Feast Russian Food Truck, Ricksha Streetside Indian, Mexicano Square, D.C. Empanadas, Halal Grill, People’s Bao and Carmen’s Italian Ice among others. There are picnic tables and shade to keep things cool. There will also be games, cold beverages and live music.
Sept. 1 from 4-11 p.m. at The Bullpen, 1299 Half St. SE. Admission is FREE!
Harbor Dome: Summer Snow Globe
This is the final weekend for National Harbor’s Harbor Dome: Summer Snow Globe with craft cocktails and falling snow. Each day also features live music with a different band taking center stage. The geodesic structure can host 500 inside and another 300 outside with craft cocktails from Gina Chersevani of Buffalo and Bergan including three boozy snow cones priced at $12 each and three $10 cocktails, $8 wine and $6 beer served at multiple bars along with sleek lounge seating at 64 degrees. There will also be snowball cornhole outside while you thaw. Forget about late summer temperatures and cool down at one of the area’s most vibrant destinations. This weekend’s entertainment includes The Loving Paupers and Mary-eL on Friday, Backbeat Underground and Three Man Soul Machine on Saturday and Back to the 90s Day on Sunday with No Doubt, Blink182 and Weezer tribute bands on Sunday. The Snow Globe is for ages 21 and over.
Sept. 1 from 5 p.m.-midnight, Sept. 2 from 2 p.m.-midnight and Sept. 3 from 2-6 p.m. at National Harbor, intersection of Waterfront Street and National Plaza, Oxon Hill. Tickets are $10.
Labor Day Weekend Music Festival
The D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities is hosting a free, three-night Labor Day Weekend Music Festival, a mini-festival featuring local artists, this weekend. Performers include indie singer-songwriter Margot MacDonald, a one-woman band who accompanies herself with looped samples, along with Flo Anito and Laura Tsaggaris on Friday; the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, the classic big band that continues to perform despite the closing of the iconic U Street club, Rose Moraes and Harold Little on Saturday; and the horn-driven ’70s funk and soul of Aztec Sun, Pablo Antonio y La Firma and Kush on Sunday.
Sept. 1-3 starting at 7 p.m. each night at the Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW. Admission is FREE with tickets given away on a first-come, first-served basis beginning at 6:30 p.m. each night.
Join more than 60 DMV theater companies at the Kennedy Center’s 16th annual Page-to-Stage Festival for a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals in development by local, regional and national playwrights, librettists and composers — some with scripts in hand, others almost fully staged. The free performances reflect the dynamic make-up of all corners of the DMV, whether you are a newcomer or a veteran to theater. Among the participants are Theater Alliance of Washington, D.C., African-American Collective Theater, Mosaic Theater Company of D.C., Woolly Mammouth, Ford’s Theater and interactive performances by Dog & Pony D.C., Arts on the Horizon, and Naked Theatre Company. A full schedule and description of the plays are on the website. Other activities include a chance to perform on stage by reading scenes from festival participants’ plays during the day with Script Karaoke and to rock the mic with Kostume Karaoke to cap off the festivities on Saturday and Monday nights. Seating begins 30 minutes before each play and is one a space available basis, so it is a good idea to arrive early.
Sept. 2 from 10:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m., Sept. 3 from 6-7:30 p.m. and Sept. 4 from 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F St. NW. Admission is FREE!
Library of Congress National Book Festival
Bookworms young and old should flock to the Library of Congress National Book Festival, an annual free event that celebrates books of all shapes, sizes and topics. Take the entire family to enjoy the presence of dozens of acclaimed authors, as well as discussions, presentations and activities centered on the written word (check out the full schedule online). Pulitz Prize-winner David McCullough will open the proceedings at the main stage. Other authors include Diana Gabaldon, J.D. Vance, Thomas L. Friedman, Michael Lewis, David Baldacci, Cokie Roberts and Condoleezza Rice. Other themed stages include Contemporary Life and Young Adults. You can purchase books on the expo floor, including some pre-signed by authors. For kids, there will be story times, games, storybook characters including Clifford the Big Red Dog and Captain Underpants, and live music. Follow along with the fun through the #NatBookFest hashtag.
Sept. 2 from 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mount Vernon Place NW. Admission is FREE!
Whether you are vegetarian or not, the day-long D.C. VegFest will educate on why eating plant-based food is the way to go. You can enter and sample food from more than 130 vendors free of charge, while learning how to be more health-conscious. Other perks include a beer garden, live music, cooking demonstrations, presentations from authors and celebrities including Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats and FareWell owner Doron Petersan, former NFL player David Carter and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), and an activity area for kids.
Sept. 2 from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. at Yards Park, intersection of N Street SE and First Street SE. Admission is FREE!
I Love the 90s Tour
Sing along to every word of No Scrubs and Waterfalls with TLC, who stormed back this year with new music following a long hiatus during the I Love the 90s Tour. The trailblazing R&B girl group’s Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas headline this 90s nostalgia tour, which is basically a time-traveling dance party. Kid N Play, C+C Music Factory, Montell Jordan, Rob Base and Snap! Round out the retro lineup with songs including Everybody Dance Now, This Is How We Do It and Rhythm Is a Dancer!
Sept. 2 at 7 p.m. at Wolf Trap’s Filene Center, 1551 Trap Road, Vienna. Tickets are $45-$87.
Labor Day Capitol Concert
Say so long to summer with D.C.’s free Labor Day Capitol Concert. The annual performance featuring the National Symphony Orchestra is a majestic holiday tradition, complete with stunning scenery of the city’s monuments in the background. This year’s concert will also showcase vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. Music lovers can pack a picnic and enjoy a serene Sunday evening on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. For those who like to arrive early: gates open at 3 p.m., with an open rehearsal held at 3:30 p.m.
Sept. 3 at 8 p.m. on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, East Capitol Street NE and First Street SE. Admission is FREE!
Caribbean culture, fashion, food and music from 28 nations will be celebrated at Carifesta, an arts festival held on the Woodrow Wilson Plaza outside of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Dance through your Labor Day with eight hours of live music, from successful Caribbean artists to DJs from around the world. Grab lunch or dinner in the food court, cruise through the beer garden (if you’re 21 or older) and marvel at the works in a craft village.
Sept 4 from noon-8 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Admission is FREE!
Ai Weiwei: Trace from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. through Jan. 1, 2018, at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. Admission is FREE!
Architecture of an Asylum: St. Elizabeths 1852-2017 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through Jan. 15, 2018, at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for seniors, students and children.
Fancy Animal Carnival daily through Oct. 15 at CityCenterDC, 825 10th St. NW; Chinatown Park, Sixth Street and Massachusetts Avenue NW; and Herald Square, 13th Street and New York Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
The First Lady of Song: Ella Fitzgerald at 100 from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through April 2, 2018, at the National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue NW. Admission is FREE!
The Faces of Battle: Americans at War, 9/11 to Now from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Jan. 28, 2018, at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Marlene Dietrich: Dressed for the Image from 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. daily through Apr. 15, 2018, at the National Portrait Gallery, Eighth and F Streets NW. Admission is FREE!
Nicholas Party: Sunrise, Sunset from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Oct. 1 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. Admission is FREE!
Parallax Gap from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. daily through Feb. 11, 2018, at the Renwick Gallery, Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW. Admission is FREE!
Summer of Yoko Ono from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily through Sept. 17 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. Admission is FREE!
Trolley Car Mail from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through Sept. 10 at the National Postal Museum, 2 Massachusetts Ave. NW. Admission is FREE!
Wright on the Walls from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday through Sept. 4 at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. Admission is $10 for adults and $7 for seniors, students with ID and youth ages 3-17.
XYZT: Abstract Landscapes hands-on interactive experience from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and 5:30-10 p.m. daily through Sept. 3 at Artechouse, 1238 Maryland Ave. SW. Daytime admission is $15 for adults and $10 for children, students and seniors and evening admission (21+) is $25.