Drink Like a German — and 9 More Great Things to Do This Weekend in DC

Oktoberfest, Janelle Monáe, Nick Cave, pig roasts and the return of hockey

September 22, 2023 6:45 am
Group of people holding out mugs of beer
Drink at Oktoberfest at The Wharf and more at these weekend events in D.C.
Connor McLaren Photography

Welcome to the first weekend of fall, and welcome to Oktoberfest! We’re in the midst of beer celebration season, and while most every brewer offering an “Oktoberfestbier” isn’t actually offering an official Oktoberfest beer, that doesn’t really matter. What matters is finally enjoying bearable weather, and enjoying getting ale-drunk from oversized steins. 

There are dozens of Oktoberfest activities this weekend. Some that caught our eye are the kick-offs of Prost’s and Wudergarten’s month-long celebrations, Cafe Berlin’s pig roast, Zinnia’s free-flowing German beers and The Wharf’s Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash, and an outdoor stein hoisting contest. But the best option might be heading out to Lottesville for their two-day celebration of all things lederhosen. With a dozen participating breweries, cideries and wineries (like Blue Mountain Brewing, Devil’s Backbone Brewing and Hardywood Brewing) offering seasonally appropriate kolsches, lagers, marzens, whitbier and more, you’re bound to satisfy your entire party. From Friday night through all day on Saturday, you’ll discover German-esque entertainment (German bands, stein competitions, wiener dogs, etc.) plus a 10K walk/run for charity to help rationalize the beer calories. 

Below, you’ll find nine additional activities to make the most of your early autumn. 

Friday, September 22

Boris and The Melvins at Howard Theatre

Japanese sludge metal icons Boris team up with Seattle sludge metal icons The Melvins for a co-headlining tour across the US. Boris are playing their 2002 album Heavy Rocks (the one with the orange cover), while  The Melvins are handling 1991’s Bullhead. Tickets should include earplugs. They do not. Tickets start at $35.

Lottesville Oktoberfest

This Friday and Saturday festival will feature the aforementioned Oktoberfest beers (and cider and wines) from local breweries, cideries and wineries, plus an attempt to set the world record for people singing “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Yep. Free admission, $10 parking, $9 drink tickets. 

Radical at AFI Silver

The Latin American Film Festival begins this week at AFI. This Friday night screening of the winner of the Festival Favorite Award at this year’s Sundance Film Festival features a post-show Q&A with actor and producer Eugenio Derbez and producer Ben Odell. Tickets start at $15.

This DC Restaurant Is Offering a Menu Inspired by “The Bear”
You have a chance to try dishes like “Carmy’s Silent Contemplation of a Mound of Cannoli” at Tonari for a few more days

Saturday, September 23

Nick Cave meet-and-greet for Faith, Hope and Carnage at Politics and Prose, then Nick Cave solo at Lincoln Theatre

Did anyone see this coming? Well, let me clarify. I absolutely understand why Nick Cave would have a bookstore appearance. His fiction is quite good, especially 2010’s The Death of Bunny Munro. I’m referring to the left turn Cave took when he started The Red Hand Files, which evolved into Faith, Hope and Carnage, a book about — well, faith, hope and carnage, and glimpses into Cave’s personal life. After living through the loss of two sons, Cave’s work has somehow gotten even more powerful and more intimate. See him in the a.m. at a bookstore and in the p.m. in a theater. Politics and Prose secondary market tickets start at $105(!). Lincoln Theatre secondary market tickets start at $81. 

Jonas Brothers at Capital One Arena

Did anyone see this coming? Everyone? Great, same page. Kudos to any/all teen acts that evolve into respectable adult acts (Taylor, Beyoncé, Bieber, etc.). Standard tickets start at $199.95, secondary market tickets start at $63.

D.C. United vs New York Red Bulls at Audi Field

Are the United good this year? No. Are the United as bad as the Nationals this year? Absolutely not! There’s still a chance for some postseason play! Root for the home team against the slightly-worse-than-us Red Bulls. Tickets start at $29.

Anderson Cooper on the Astors: The Rise and Fall of an American Fortune at National Museum of Natural History

You know who’s an expert about American fortunes? Anderson Cooper — CNN anchor and son of Gloria Vanderbilt and Wyatt Cooper — literally wrote the book on the Astors. He’ll be in conversation with a co-worker, CNN’s Dana Bash. Tickets start at $45.

Sunday, September 24

Moulin Rouge! The Musical at The Kennedy Center

It’s your last chance to see the Tony award-winning musical in DC. If you sit in the first few rows, expect to take some glitter home. Tickets start at $69.

Janelle Monáe at The Anthem

The extremely talented musician and actor (she carried Knives Out 2!) brings the Age of Pleasure tour to The Wharf. If you can’t find someone to take to this show, you need a new group of friends; Monáe is the sound of fun. Also, she’s on that one fun. song. Secondary market tickets start at $135.

Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres at Capital One Arena

We’re still a few weeks away from the regular season, but the return of the NHL is always a good sign for DC sports fans. The most reliable local pro team over the last few decades, the Caps should bounce back after missing the postseason last year for the first time since 2014. Tickets start at $49.

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