“Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity,” a signature work of the “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden, Feb. 23-May 14. (©Yayoi Kusama)

Things to Do Right Now in Washington, D.C.

By Irena Laster on 01/21/16, updated 03/16/17

Beyond politicos and power lunches, Washington, D.C. bustles with inventive fare, artsy enclaves and monumental experiences for all ages. With endless options to choose from, start here to plan the perfect outing in the nation’s capital.

Through April 30

@NatGeo: The Most Popular Instagram Photos: With 62 million followers and over 1 billion likes on Instagram, National Geographic's photographs inspire "#wanderlust" all around the world. This eye-popping exhibition lets viewers see these pictures in a new way at the National Geographic Museum. $10-$15. Daily 10 am-6 pm. 1145 17th St. NW. 

National Geographic Museum

“500 Years of Treasures from Oxford”: The Folger Shakespeare Library displays rarely seen 10th- to 17th-century books and manuscripts, including Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales,” from the library of Corpus Christi College at the University of Oxford. Free. Mon.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm. 201 E. Capitol St. SE.

Folger Shakespeare Library

Through May 14

“Orchids: A Moment”: More than 100 blooming beauties from the collection of the U.S. Botanic Garden and Smithsonian Gardens make a colorful and ever-changing display at the architecturally striking Hirshhorn Museum. Free. Daily 10 am-5:30 pm. 7th St. and Independence Ave. SW


“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors”: At the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, get lost in one of six Infinity Rooms, or check out other key works from the legendary artist's whimsical exhibition. Free advanced timed-entry passes are released online every Monday at noon for the following week. 7th St. and Independence Ave. SW

Through May 20

"Ragtime": Now playing at Ford's Theatre, the Tony-winning musical based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow, depicts three families of different backgrounds striving for the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness during the turn of the 20th century. $18-$64. Show times vary. 511 10th St. NW.


Directed by Peter Flynn, "Ragtime" stars all-star D.C. cast facing challenges of finding the American Dream. March 10-May 20, 2017 (Courtesy of Maxwell MacKenzie)

March 14-26

Environmental Film Festival: For its 25th anniversary, this fest screens more than 150 films in locations across the D.C. area on topics from climate change to endangered wildlife. Highlights include “Before the Flood,” featuring Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, and “Naledi: A Baby Elephant’s Tale,” the true story of an orphaned pachyderm. Many screenings free; times and locations vary.

Environmental Film Festival

March 15-April 16

National Cherry Blossom Festival: The annual springtime extravaganza celebrates Japan’s gift of cherry trees to Washington in 1912. As the pale pink flowers bloom by the thousands on the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin, the city puts on parties, performances, a kite festival, fireworks, a parade and much more. See the full schedule here

National Cherry Blossom Festival

March 25

D.C. Hopfest 2017: 25 local breweries from DC, Maryland, and Virginia will pour over 20 IPAs and hop-forward beers to raise money for the D.C. Brewers Guild! Craft beer lovers can relax inside Hellbender’s Brewery, and enjoy unlimited 3oz pours of hard-to finds and one-offs brewed for the festival, and wood-fired pizza provided by Timber Pizza. $50. 6 pm-10 pm. 5788 2nd Street NE. Ages 21+. Tickets available here.    

March 28-April 2

Hamburg Ballet - John Neumeier's The Little Mermaid: For the first time in 13 years, the Hamburg Ballet Company performs a visually stunning adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic tale at the Kennedy Center. $29-$125. Show times vary. 2700 F St. NW.

The Kennedy Center of Performing Arts

May 19-21

Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour: Bring a blanket to the East Lawn of George Washington's Mount Vernon Estate, and enjoy spectacular river views while sampling wines from 20 of Virginia's top wineries. $40. 6 pm. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. Tickets available here.

Spectacular views from Mount Vernon