in partnership
renaissance festival 2.JPG
Enter the gates of Revel Grove and leave the hectic pace of the twenty-first century behind at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. (Image: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/ DC Refined)

Weekend Report: 11 events for a rocking Labor Day weekend

Thursday, August 30

Fun House Installation: If you can't make it to a real pool, a super-Instagrammable pool filled with balls is a good alternative. Fun House, the National Building Museum's summer exhibit, features a giant house with an ice cave-like room made of white Styrofoam in addition to the all-white pool area. The icy tones of the exhibit are appealing enough on their own, but the National Building Museum's airy main-hall is also a good way to escape the sweltering heat. On display through Monday. Tickets are $16.

Free for All Romeo and Juliet: Catch the most famous love story in the world and one of Shakespeare’s early poetic masterworks, for free, at the Shakespeare Theatre through September 2. Caught tragically between two feuding families, alike in dignity and in enmity, Shakespeare’s immortal young lovers try to fashion a new world amid the violence of the old, but cataclysmic choices and tragic twists propel them toward a final confrontation with fate. Free to attend.

Friday, August 31

Loop Installation: CityCenterDC invites Washingtonians and visitors alike to discover Loop, an original interactive installation by world renowned artists Olivier Girouard and Jonathan Villeneuve. The installation is in town through September 16, and consists of six giant zoetropes – an animation device that combines film, music and optical illusion. When a zoetrope is activated, images are shown in rapid succession, creating the illusion of motion. Free to attend.

Fractal Worlds: Explore the mind-bending sci-fi worlds and infinite 3D geometric patterns at Fractal Worlds by Julius Horsthuis, a new immersive art exhibition at ARTECHOUSE. Comprised of three installations and eight virtual reality stations, the exhibition is a visual journey of discovery powered by math, technology and infinite geometric patterns. On display through September 30, open daily from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets are $15.

Saturday, September 1

Page to Stage New Play Festival: Join more than 60 D.C.-area theater companies at the Kennedy Center for a series of free readings and open rehearsals of plays and musicals. Highlights of Saturday include a Hip Hop-infused take on The Prince and the Pauper, a teenager's journey from El Salvador, a hilarious whodunnit, and more. Free to attend.

Maryland Renaissance Festival: Enter the gates of Revel Grove and leave the hectic pace of the twenty-first century behind. Slow down. Leisurely stroll the beautiful wooded paths. Quaff an ale and relax in one of the pubs. Shop for unique, handcrafted gifts. Let the kids play in the free children’s area – complete with a beautiful pirate ship. You won’t find any video games here! No mind-numbing computer-generated special effects. The magic, pageantry, songs, and laughter are all real.

National Book Festival: Mark your calendars for the 18th annual book festival at the Washington Convention Center. Amazing authors, illustrators and poets will make presentations on stages dedicated to kids, fiction, history, biography, poetry, graphic novels and more. Free to attend.

Hasan Minhaj Stand-up: GW Program Board presents Hasan Minhaj live in the Smith Center. As the longest-running correspondent on The Daily Show, Hasan hosted the White House Correspondents Dinner in 2017 and his new sow “The Patriot Act,” will be released on Netflix this October. Tickets start at $5.

Sunday, September 2

NSO Labor Day Capitol Concert: NSO musicians Aaron Goldman, flute, Craig Mulcahy, trombone, and Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist alumna Leah Hawkins join the National Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor JoAnn Falletta for the NSO's annual free Labor Day concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Free to attend.

90s Hip Hop/R&B Boat Party: Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to bust a move nonstop to your favorite classic Hip Hop and R&B favorites from the 90’s throughout the cruise. Tickets are $35.

Monday, September 3

Labor Day Lunacy: To ease that “back to school” malaise, Jack Rose Dining Saloon is hosting a rooftop "Labor Day Lunacy" party featuring very rare beers from The Lost Abbey in Southern California, and showcasing nine hard-to-find brews, ranging from a rum- and bourbon-barrel-aged Ale, a ginger/orange peel/black pepper Saison, and a Quadrupel brewed with raisins. All beers will be $2 off from 3-9 p.m.