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

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

By Irena Laster on 01/21/16, updated 04/27/17

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 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” features an all-star D.C. cast through May 20 at Ford’s Theatre. (Courtesy Maxwell MacKenzie)

April 28-30

14th Annual Georgetown French Market: The Georgetown Business Improvement District transforms the Book Hill neighborhood into a Parisian-inspired market. Enjoy live French and gypsy jazz music, face painters and street performers, as you browse items from more than 40 locally owned boutiques, antique shops, galleries and more. Free. Fri.-Sat. 10 am-5 pm, Sun. noon-5 pm. 1500-1600 blocks of Wisconsin Ave. NW

Georgetown French Market (©Sam Kittner/Georgetown BID)

April 29-30

National Harbor Food and Wine Festival: The popular Spring tradition returns to the Waterfront on the Potomac. Stroll through the harbor, and sample more than 150 international wines, spirits and beers. Guests also enjoy craft brews in the Bier Garten, hands-on demos in the Cooking Kitchen, live music and more. $39-$90. Noon-6 pm, VIP admission. 1 pm-6 pm, general admission. On the Waterfront at National Harbor Tickets available here.

National Harbor hosts its Food and Wine Festival April 29-30. (Courtesy National Harbor)

May 3

Tips for Parkinson’s: Sip custom cocktails, taste artisan foods and win prizes in a silent auction, as teams of “bartenders” compete to please at the classy new Stanton & Greene. The setting of “easy elegance” features a marble-top bar, cognac leather booths, original skylights, windows overlooking the historic avenue and maybe some politico sightings. All proceeds go toward The Michael J. Fox Foundation’s mission to find a cure for Parkinson’s. $50-$100. 6-9:30 pm. 319 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. Tickets available here

Sip cocktails at Tips for Parkinson’s, which raises money for research to end the disease. (Courtesy The Michael J. Fox Foundation)

May 6

Bonnets & Bow Ties: Spend an afternoon of mint juleps, unlimited beer and wine, live jazz, casino-style gaming and Southern-style bites, when The Willard InterContinental holds its annual Kentucky Derby party. Following the celebration, the hotel’s Red Robin Bar will sell 200 mint juleps. The lucky purchaser of the 200th mint julep will receive the first limited edition commemorative cup. $89-$99. 4-7 pm. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Tickets available here

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 vineyards. $40. 6 pm. 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway. Tickets available here.

Spectacular views from Mount Vernon