The 25 best things to do in D.C. this weekend and next week

The annual E.U. Open House opens the doors to European embassies for a day of tours, free food, musical performances and dancing, but visitors should have a plan to deal with the long lines. (E.U. Delegation to the United States)
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Free embassy tours keep coming this weekend, as the members of the European Union open their doors to visitors for an afternoon of culture and fun. Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated with two different programs dedicated to Hawaii, and the National Museum of Asian Art features an after-hours celebration with DJs, a K-pop party and a night market with vendors inside the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building. Also on the agenda: Eurovision viewing parties, the JxJ music and film festival, a toast to Maryland craft beers and a weekend remembering Vietnam veterans.

Thursday, May 11

Eurovision viewing parties at Wunder Garten

Eurovision is more than an international pop music competition. It is a celebration of spectacle: bizarre costumes, sets full of shooting flames, half-naked backup dancers. It is traditional folk instruments shoehorned into upbeat EDM songs and overwrought ballads. It is as baffling as it is cheesy. It is everything. Eurovision had 161 million viewers last year, with an additional 18 million watching on TikTok and YouTube. (By comparison, this year’s Super Bowl had 113 million.) The competition, which is being held in Liverpool, has three stages: two semifinals, with 15 or 16 countries performing in each, on May 9 and 11, with the top 10 from the semis moving on to the finals on May 13. In D.C., Wunder Garten is showing all three segments, complete with costume contests. Just tell your boss you’re working from home, but think twice before hopping on Zoom. Thursday at 2 p.m. and Saturday at 3 p.m. Free.

Welcome Home Weekend on the National Mall

Fifty years after the United States signed the Paris Peace Accords and withdrew forces from Vietnam, the Department of Defense has organized a weekend-long tribute to Vietnam veterans and their families in West Potomac Park and on the fields adjacent to the Mall’s Reflecting Pool. The list of special events includes concerts, film screenings, museum displays of vehicles and artifacts, a Huey helicopter flyover, parachute jumps by the Army’s Golden Knights, and panel discussions with veterans, nurses and journalists about their Vietnam experiences. Related events take place at the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian — see the full schedule for more information. Thursday through Saturday. Free.

Movies on the Memorial: ‘Top Gun’ at the U.S. Navy Memorial

It’s hard to believe, but the U.S. Navy Memorial’s outdoor film series is in its home stretch, with only two more weeks of movies projected on a large screen on the circular plaza. The next-to-last film, though, is the original “Top Gun,” which should bring out crowds who recite the classic lines (“Great. Maverick and Goose.”) and cheer during the beach volleyball scene. Bring a blanket or low chair, and arrive early for unobstructed views. 8 p.m. Free.

Friday, May 12

JxJ Festival

For the first time, the Edlavitch DCJCC’s arts festival spans the DMV, with events at Cafritz Hall at the EDCJCC in Washington, Landmark’s Bethesda Row Cinema in Maryland and Cinema Arts Theatres in Fairfax. This celebration of Jewish film and music pairs a strong mix of documentaries and dramas with concerts featuring local Jewish singer-songwriters and exploring the secret history of Jewish songwriters in early rock-and-roll. Beyond stage and screen, find events including a keynote program on the lives of Arab citizens in Israel (Wednesday) and a conversation with CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash and producer Nancy Spielberg (Friday). Through May 21. $30 for admission to three events; $180 for a festival pass.

National Museum of Asian Art Centennial Festival

The final weekend of the Freer Gallery of Art’s 100th anniversary is a busy one. Friday features K-pop and Asian dances performed by multiple troupes outdoors on the Freer Plaza from noon to 1 p.m.; Asian and Asian American food vendors, including Rice Culture and Lei Musubi, selling lunch outdoors from noon to 5 p.m.; and, to cap the day, an after-hours party from 7 to 9 p.m. with DJ 2-Tone Jones of Shaolin Jazz, cocktails by Please Bring Chips and extended hours for the museum’s galleries. All events are free.

Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center

For more than a quarter-century, the Kennedy Center has celebrated the legacy of “first lady of jazz” Mary Lou Williams with a program that highlights leading women in the jazz scene. This year’s two-day festival features living legend Doreen Ketchens, multi-hyphenate Somi, saxophonist-vocalist Camille Thurman and singer-stage star Dee Dee Bridgewater. But a fitting tribute to Williams requires not only the past and present, but the future. A performance by the latest cohort of the Next Jazz Legacy — an apprenticeship program working for a more inclusive jazz world — features emerging artists mentored by the likes of Meshell Ndegeocello and Patrice Rushen who are carrying Williams’s torch. Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. $40-$55.

The Golden Gays at Crazy Aunt Helen's

Think “‘Golden Girls: The Musical’ — but with drag.” That’s the concept behind the Golden Gays, a trio of performers who tour the country paying hommage to “The Golden Girls” through comedy and song. The Golden Gays drop by Crazy Aunt Helen’s on Barracks Row for a special Drag Dinner event. 6 to 10 p.m. $20.

Saturday, May 13

E.U. Open House

For the second weekend in a row, Washington’s embassies open their doors to the public, showcasing their native art and culture and trying to seduce you into planning your next vacation there. This Saturday, it’s the European Union’s turn, so you can admire a Lamborghini and a Vespa at the Italian Embassy while sipping a Lavazza, learn about Sweden’s plans to be carbon-neutral and enjoy views of the Potomac from the House of Sweden’s rooftop, or hear firsthand about polar explorations and mountain climbing from Polish adventurers while sampling sweets and listening to a piano concert at the Embassy of Poland. (A full list of events and activities is available on the E.U.’s website,

As with last week’s Around the World Embassy Tour, there will be long lines, and a little bit of planning goes a long way. Here are a few tips from a veteran embassy-goer:

Plan your visit by neighborhood, not country. Embassies are grouped in some obvious clusters, including Kalorama, Columbia Heights, Van Ness and Massachusetts Avenue north of Rock Creek Park. Pick one, and bounce between the embassies there. Upside: If there’s a long line at the Former Spanish Ambassador’s Residence, you can duck over to Poland or Lithuania, while those hanging out near the Italian Embassy can head next door to Denmark for a virtual bike ride through Copenhagen, or to learn about hygge, which might come in handy after all those lines. There’s a similar situation with the embassies near Peirce Mill, where Hungary, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands — which is hosting a Benelux celebration with the embassies of Luxembourg and Belgium — are a few streets from one another.

The best-known countries draw the biggest lines. Every year, France and Germany throw a joint open house at one of their embassies. (This year is France’s turn to host.) Not only will you have to wait to get in, but it’s not within easy walking distance of other embassies. If you have to visit, make it your first stop. Ireland and Italy are also known for their popularity; you could probably visit multiple embassies around Dupont — say, Luxembourg, Estonia, Bulgaria, Romania and Portugal — in the time it would take to get into and through the Irish Ambassador’s Residence, which, to be fair, is a pretty cool building. And while Hungary isn’t as popular of a tourist attraction as Spain, for example, in previous years, it’s been relatively easy to get in for the wine tasting, Rubik’s Cube classes, vizsla dog show and dance performances.

This is not an after-brunch activity. Embassies are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and lines build throughout the day. The early bird gets the best access — and you don’t want to be the one to get to the Embassy of Poland after the pierogies have run out. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Books in Bloom Festival at Color Burst Park

Chasten Buttigieg and Nikki Giovanni headline the seventh edition of Columbia’s literary festival. Giovanni, an acclaimed poet and influential member of the Black Arts Movement, most recently wrote a picture book called “A Library” about the magic of public libraries. She’ll read selections of her work and discuss both children’s literature and social issues. Buttigieg, a teacher and the husband of Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, is about to release a young-adult adaptation of his 2020 memoir, “I Have Something to Tell You,” and he’ll discuss his experience of growing up gay in a small Midwestern town. The progressive-leaning festival features a panel discussion on banned books with representatives from public schools, libraries, and Busboys and Poets, plus a poetry showcase and more than a dozen authors who’ve written everything from murder mystery trilogies to a history of misogyny against women in power. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free.

National Museum of Asian Art Centennial Festival

The bad news is that there are no tickets left for the centerpiece of the National Museum of Asian Art’s festival: a concert with Eric Nam and Raveena inside the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building. The good news is that it will be simulcast on large screens outside on Freer Plaza, no tickets required, so you can still hear (and dance to) Nam’s K-pop grooves. The fun begins at noon with a Redeye Market, inspired by Asian night markets, featuring vendors including Moon Rabbit, Lucky Danger, Balangay, and Ekiben. Redeye Market noon to 4:30 p.m.; concert at 6:30 p.m. Free.

Hawaiian Voyaging and Dance at the National Museum of the American Indian

In celebration of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, the National Museum of the American Indian turns its attention to Native Hawaiian communities. This two-day festival has a joint focus. Visitors can learn about sailing in Hawaii, including trying to tie the knots used to construct a canoe, and also watch traditional and contemporary hula performances and find out how to make a lei. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Free.

Halau Nohona Hawai’i Ho’ike at Northwood High School

The nonprofit Hawaiian cultural organization Halau Nohona Hawai’i hosts an afternoon of “Lei Punahele,” or “Our favorite things,” at Northwood High School in Silver Spring. It begins with vendors and Hawaiian food, followed by a concert with ukulele, guitar and ipu drums, and hula performances. 1 to 4 p.m. $10-$20 in advance; $20-$25 at the door.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Concert and Reception at Harmony Hall Arts Center

Japanese koto musicians and Polynesian and classical Indian dancers are among the performers featured at this annual event, sponsored by the Prince George’s County Department of Parks and Recreation. It’s not just watching: There are Bollywood dance and Japanese calligraphy workshops, and Chickboy D.C. provides free Filipino food. 1 to 3 p.m. Free.

Maryland Craft Beer Festival

An annual celebration of beers from across the Free State, the Maryland Craft Beer Festival brings 66 breweries and cideries to Carroll Creek Park in the heart of Frederick. Each brewery brings a selection of products — some have two or three on tap, and others have up to eight to sample. (You can get an idea of the breadth from the updated list on the festival’s website.) This is an ideal way to get to know smaller, far-flung breweries that don’t distribute in the D.C. area: Instead of driving to a town near the Pennsylvania border or making a detour across the Eastern Shore to track down beers you’ve heard about online, you can sample them all in one place. Beyond beer and cider, the day includes two stages of live music, plus food trucks and vendors. 1:30 to 5 p.m. $45; $15 designated drivers.

Chisel at the Black Cat

It’s been more than a quarter-century since Chisel — the mod power-pop trio fronted by Ted Leo — broke up, not long after releasing its second album, “Set You Free.” Leo, drummer John Dugan and bass player Chris Norborg reunited earlier this year for a concert in California and now are coming back to D.C., which served as the group’s home base in the ’90s. With time, Leo told The Post’s Chris Kelly, Chisel’s songs, influenced by the Jam and the Buzzcocks, have become more focused: “There was a franticness to the playing that I think never served the songs as well in the live context as I always used to hope we could present them,” Leo says. “We’re trying to serve the song a little better.” 8 p.m. $25.

Eurovision Watch Party at DC9

The world’s biggest singing competition takes over Liverpool on Saturday, but you’ll be able to catch all the costumes, kitsch and over-the-top staging at watch parties in D.C., too. Wunder Garten is showing the finals as well as semifinals (see Thursday’s listing), but if you want to hear the music on a club-quality audio system, head to DC9 for its viewing party. (And if you’re wondering why anyone cares about Eurovision, check out our “guide for perplexed Americans.”) 3 p.m. Free.

D.C. Defenders XFL Championship Viewing Party at the Brighton

The Washington Commanders probably aren’t going back to the playoffs anytime soon, let alone the Super Bowl, so if you want to watch a local men’s football team in a title game, here’s your opportunity. Those who aren’t traveling to Texas to watch the Defenders take on the Arlington Renegades can head to the Wharf, where the Brighton is hosting the official viewing party, with WPGC’s DJ Flexx and chances to play Defenders trivia to win autographed prizes, or take photos of the XFL’s North Division trophy. 8 p.m. Free; registration required.

Georgetown Garden Tour

Georgetown is particularly lovely in the spring, especially if you get the chance to venture into manicured backyard gardens. The self-guided 93rd annual Georgetown Garden Tour takes place throughout the east and west sides of this historic neighborhood, and you set the pace and order of each stop. This is a rain-or-shine event, and proceeds go to beautifying Georgetown’s public green spaces. Tickets can be purchased in person at Christ Church, 3116 O St. NW. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. $45.

Vintage market at Tysons Biergarten

Kids and dogs are welcome at this two-day indoor market, which includes 25 vendors selling vintage clothes, handmade products and art. Grab a locally made craft beer and some bar food to eat while you shop. Noon to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Free.

Del Ray Artisans Spring Art Market in Colasanto Park

Held the day before Mother’s Day, this market by the nonprofit Del Ray Artisans might have the perfect gifts for procrastinators. Shop ceramics, fiber, jewelry, photography and more from over two dozen featured artists in Alexandria. The outdoor event is held rain or shine. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free.

Sunday, May 14

Plant Swap at Aslin Beer Company

As the second annual D.C. Plant Week comes to a close, finish the celebration with a plant swap at Aslin Beer Company’s 14th Street beer garden. A drink is included in the ticket price, and bringing plants to trade with other guests is encouraged. The event is restricted to those over 21. 4 to 7 p.m. $5.

Mostly Mothers: The Eternal Maternal at Congressional Cemetery

This Mother’s Day-themed tour at Congressional Cemetery is dedicated to “women for whom motherhood was central to their identities, their lives and sometimes their deaths,” so visitors will hear stories about a wide variety of “mothers,” ranging from Barbara Gittings, known as the mother of the LGBTQ civil rights movement, and Sarah Reed, who died in the 1873 Wawaset ship disaster; she was pregnant, and it is believed she died trying to save her stepchildren. 1 to 2:30 p.m. $5.

Monday, May 15

Industry Movie Night at Electric Cool-Aid

We wish we could tell you what the featured film is at one of the area’s coolest weekly outdoor movie nights, but Electric Cool-Aid tends to drop that info on its Instagram on Mondays. What we can say is that recent weeks have featured “Clueless,” “Beetlejuice” and “Mean Girls,” which is a pretty decent streak. And even if you don’t love the film, well, Electric Cool-Aid has $9 beer-and-a-shot specials and some of the best frozen cocktails in town. 8 p.m. Free.

‘Traversing the Baltic Sea’ at the House of Sweden

When the Vasa was launched in Stockholm in 1627, the Swedish warship was one of the most heavily armed ships of the time — and it promptly capsized and sank in Stockholm harbor on its maiden voyage. When the intact ship was raised from the water in 1961, it was thought to have had only men aboard, but new research shows that a skeleton discovered on the ship belonged to a woman. Sophie Nyman, director of design and content at the Swedish National Maritime and Transport Museums, shares new revelations about the Vasa, and other wrecks that lie at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free.

Wednesday, May 17

Blind Wine(d) at Lulu’s Winegarden

How much can your eyes and your nose tell you about the wine in your glass? Probably much more than you think. Daniel Runnerstrom, a sommelier familiar to regulars at Maxwell Park and the Iron Gate, leads the sensory class on the patio at Lulu’s. The evening starts with a glass of sparkling wine before Runnerstrom leads a participatory tasting of three wines, accompanied by snacks. It’s definitely a party trick worth knowing. 6 to 8 p.m. $60.