After narrowly averting a crisis, Congress recessed for its summer break. This “Free for All” writer must recess as well. Hopefully the following barrage of free activities and events will provide you with enough consolation to hold you over until syllabus week!
The first Friday of every month, thirteen galleries in Dupont Circle throw open their doors for informal open house gatherings. Links to some of the galleries can be found here.
While in Dupont, do not forget the renowned Phillips Collection. The permanent collection is free Monday through Friday, with the exception of the first Thursday of every month when the gallery hosts Phillips After 5.
The Galleries 1054, located just blocks from campus at – wait for it – 1054 31st St., hold receptions from 6 to 8 p.m. on the third Friday of every month. If you cannot get there right away, the wait might be worthwhile as September through November the events will feature catering from Sea Catch Restaurant.
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Virginia really is more than the state where the Rosslyn Metro station lives! Check below for some free activities where you can get your kicks in the Old Dominion State.
Looking for some inspiration for the weekend? Animal House, at the Rosslyn Outdoor Movie Festival this Friday, July 29, is sure to provide plenty of party cues and creative ideas for all those ready to engage in serious debauchery this weekend.
Located just steps across Key Bridge at Arlington Gateway Park, the film festival serves up comedies weekly, all in keeping with this summer’s theme “SNL in the Movies.” The lineup for the next few weeks includes Hot Rod, Mean Girls, Night at the Roxbury and Shrek, with all features starting at dusk. If you are not held up at Dixie on the way, head over early for pre-show games and prizes.
Old Town, new Art
If you are hoping for a more cultured excuse to cross the river, head on over to Old Town Alexandria’s Art League to catch Frances Borchardt‘s “Prints in Pieces” exhibit before it closes August 1. Employing an atypical, printer’s style display method, this photographer’s work features Maryland’s South Shore in a unique montage format.
The Art League is located at Old Town’s picturesque waterfront, a day trip-worthy location accessible via Metro. See here for other Alexandria activities and museums, such as the National Inventors Hall of Fame.
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Drinking to Your Future
Tragedy has knocked out not one, but two local favorites. Swarms of nerd-camp-attending high schoolers have taken over campus. House parties are a success if they last until midnight.
What is the Georgetown drinking scene coming to? Perhaps free booze at George this Thursday will relieve some of the pain.
Whether or not this little-known spot will prove to be the next Paper Moon, no can know for sure. What matters for the immediate future though, is that this Thursday, July 21, from 7 to 9 p.m., Brazen Careerist and a few other DC area start-ups will be providing some liquid courage to help facilitate the infamous “networking.”
An additional plus, George is actually closer than Thirds, and can be found in the courtyard that you probably did not know existed behind Café Milano.
If you want to see what it is like to be on the other side of the bar, you can also do that for free this summer. In order to entice prospective students, The Professional Bartending School of Arlington, Virginia offers a free visit class, a.k.a. the perfect opportunity to learn enough to impress your friends and/or hot date.
While one class may not turn you into a professional, the School is close enough that it is worth a shot. From M and 33rd Streets you can catch the 38B for a quick bus ride over to Arlington.
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If Gelardin and Netflix just are not doing it for you lately, head on over to the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium to catch one of the many atypical films showing.
Every weekend the Gallery shows a variety of films ranging from classic to documentary to avant-garde in coordination with the International Federation of Film Archives.
This weekend promises to entertain with James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake showing at 2:00pm on Saturday, July 16, and the newly preserved French films Mots Croises and Bonheur Conjugal! on Sunday, July 17, at 4:30pm followed by a piano performance.
Doors open half an hour before each showing. See the Gallery’s program for more information and show listings for the quarter.
Keeping it Classic
If you want to take the more light hearted route this weekend, stop by the National Archives on Saturday, July 16, for a showing of the original Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater. Unfortunately, Willy Wonka candy is not included.
P.S. This humble writer may or may not definitely be at the free outdoor showing of Breakfast at Tiffany’s this Thursday, July 14, at the Capital River Front.
Photo by StudioTempura
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Feeling like a beauty pageant contestant? Tired of sweating obscene amounts and murmuring “aum” to try to find inner peace? Genuinely interested in world peace? If any of the above three apply, then boy do we have the event for you this week!
His holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet will be dropping by the U.S. Capitol West Lawn this Saturday, July 9th for “A Talk on World Peace” as a part of the Kalachakra for World Peace 2011 Conference put on by the Capital Area Tibetan Association. The Nobel Prize winner’s talk will take place at 10:05am following a Tibetan cultural performance at 9:30am.
The best part of the whole event though, might well be the half hour long question and answer period that begins at 10:45am. For anyone interested in hearing some potentially candid remarks about Tibet’s future straight from the horse’s mouth, this will be it.
Photo by abhikrama
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This Folk Ain’t No Joke
The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival will be kicking off this Thursday, June 30th. The outdoor event takes place on the National Mall through the 4th of July, and then again the 7th through the 11th. The diversity hullabaloo will feature live music, dance performances and cooking demonstrations.
Not to miss: Soul Train at the Motor City Stage this Thursday, June 30th at 8 p.m. and the Columbian salsa music feature at the Al Son Que Me Toquen Stage at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 8th.
Walk It Out
If there was such a thing as a gallery crawl, ArtVentures would be it. From 5:30 to 8 p.m. this Thursday, the art walk event put on by Capitol Hill’s Chamber of Commerce showcases a whopping 16 galleries on or near H Street and purportedly includes a “yarn bombing” installation.
All that right brain activity will probably probably stir up your appetite, so it is a good thing that you can pick up a discount pass at every gallery for the subsequent “Dine Around.” Some twenty area restaurants will be participating, so choices abound. The galleries and restaurants are just a few blocks from Union Station, so you can get there by Red Line or Circulator.
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Madness Endorsed by the Neighborhood?!
If you are just as upset as we are about missing out on the world’s biggest skinny dip, fret no more. Rumor has it that the Potomac River waterfront will be having its own wet and wild event this Sunday, when the Georgetown Business Improvement District hosts a water balloon fight from 1-3 p.m. at Washington Harbour.
Yes, a water balloon fight! Waterfront establishments Tony and Joe’s and Nick’s Riverside Grill will be serving up burgers and seafood. Other restaurants will be offering drinks and gelato, with steel drums and face painting completing the festivities.
Local Tunes with a View
For those of you looking for something involving less H2O and more clothing, Fort Reno Park will be hosting local bands every Monday and Thursday night at 7:15 p.m. Locals have given the concert series rave reviews on Yelp, and to top it off, the concerts take place at the highest point in all of D.C. Plus, it’s only a bus ride away: just hop on the 31 bus at Wisconsin and Dumbarton and ride down Wisconsin to the Brandywine Street stop.
Photo by Nikki Tysoe
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As if free cupcakes and tickets to the Newseum are not enough, a plethora of other free events in D.C. have been announced recently, and are definitely worth a sojourn out of the bubble.
Outdoor Movie Night
Entitled “Best of the Oscars,” every Thursday night through July 28th the Capital Riverfront outdoor movie series will deliver some of Hollywood’s best. The events also feature food trucks, popcorn, cotton candy and sorbet, but do not forget to bring along your own bug spray. This week’s film is The Blind Side, and films begin at 8:45 p.m. To get there, the best way is to take the Green Line to Navy Yard.
Geek out, Alex Trebek Style
If you need some incentive to head over to the National Archives, this Thursday the Archivist of the United States will be hosting food-themed jeopardy and awarding prizes to promote their new exhibit, What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?, which explores the way the government affects the diet of the American people. Are there any other history major foodies out there?! If so, take the Yellow line to the Archives/Navy Memorial station.
This Thursday, the Embassy of Brazil wraps up its 4th Annual “Brazil Docs” at the E Street Cinema. You can browse the schedule and trailers here. The decisions will be tough though, as the acclaimed documentaries run every 2 hours and all look promising. To get there, take the 32 bus from Wisconsin Avenue.
Photo from Coffee for the Brain.
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For those of us not looking to break the bank in D.C. this summer, Vox will be scouring the Internet for fun things to do - fo’ free.
Dancing in the streets
This week’s big free extravaganza is Capital Pride. The nation’s fourth-largest LGBT pride celebration gets into full swing on Saturday with a parade starting at Dupont Circle at 5:30 pm. There’s also a street festival on Saturday at 7th Street, NW, and Pennsylvania Avenue.
Otherwise, today’s edition focuses on perennial favorites, the “oldies but goodies,” if you will.
The DC Jazz Festival will be wrapping up with free music on the National Mall this Sunday. Do not miss out on Eddie Palmieri at 6:20pm, as the 9 time Grammy Award winner is sure to put on a good show.
The “Jazz in the Garden” series will not be ending anytime soon, so if you want to eventually kill two cultural birds with one stone but are still too afraid to venture beyond the front gates, check out one of the weekly Friday jazz concerts at the Sculpture Garden next to the National Gallery. The series’ 11th season runs through September 9th.
All Day, every day
The Kennedy Center provides entertainment practically all day, every day, but unfortunately not all of it is free. The good news though, is that the Center’s Millennium Stage offers free shows 365 days a year. Acts range from Indian hip-hop to National Symphony Orchestra prelude concerts.
Another plus: the dress code is definitely less stuffy than it is for the Center’s pricier events so you will feel right at home walking in wearing your overpriced jorts.
Image: The National Gallery of Art
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