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The best things to do — virtually and in person — while social distancing in the D.C. area

The Washington Post logo The Washington Post 11/12/2020 Fritz Hahn, Anying Guo
A full-sized X-Wing Starfighter, which appeared in the film "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," is on display in the restoration hanger of the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The museum is the first of eight Smithsonian facilities reopening to the public this month. (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock) © Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock A full-sized X-Wing Starfighter, which appeared in the film "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker," is on display in the restoration hanger of the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. The museum is the first of eight Smithsonian facilities reopening to the public this month. (Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock)

Editor’s note: The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted everyday life around the D.C. area and beyond. This is a collection of our favorite in-person and online events, updated every Thursday. Events beyond this week that require advance tickets or reservations are included below the day-by-day listings. Events are free unless otherwise noted.

Thursday

Shot and a beer: Thursday brings two great chances to receive the coronavirus vaccine while getting a free beer for your trouble. D.C. is offering a free Johnson and Johnson shot to anyone between 4 and 8 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Victura Park, followed by a free beer from Solace brewing. In Columbia, Sapwood Cellars has a vaccine clinic outside the brewery from 4 to 6 p.m., and everyone receives a free beer during their 15-minute post-vaccination period.

Rise and Thrive at Union Market: Over the next few weeks, the shops, restaurants and exercise studios in and around Union Market are teaming up for Rise & Thrive, a series of events aiming to revitalize and heal your mind, body and soul. Among this week’s events: an early-morning Vinyl & Vinyasa session at Byrdland Records combining yoga and a DJ (Friday from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m.), and a D.C. Mural Tour exploring the neighborhood’s street art (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 11 a.m.). Check the calendar for more events, including rooftop yoga in support of Black Lives Matter (Monday and Wednesday at noon), an art exhibition, book talks and an outdoor zumba class that ends with nonalcoholic cocktails. Through May 16. The lineup of events changes daily; ticket price varies by event.

The New Bells of Netherlands Carillon outdoor exhibition: Three new bells are being added to the Netherlands Carillion in Arlington later this year, but first, they’re being shown outdoors at the Embassy of the Netherlands. These bells are dedicated to Americans with a global legacy: Secretary George C. Marshall, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and former first lady and advocate Eleanor Roosevelt. This is a rare opportunity to see the exquisite bells, which were cast in Netherlands, up close before they’re hung. Their debut coincides with the anniverdary of Netherlands’ liberation from occupation in World War II. Through May 8. (UPDATE: All tickets for the outdoor exhibit have claimed, and there are no walk-up tickets available.)

“Children of Medea” at Constellation Theatre: Constellation’s production of playwright and actor Sue Jin Song’s one-woman show follows the story of a teenage Korean American girl named Cynthia, whose mother disappears. Cynthia struggles with school while also raising her younger sister and trying to live up to her father’s expectations, and soon disappears into a universe of her own making. There, she meets characters from Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Presiding over it all is Medea, at long last reclaiming her infamous role in Greek mythology. $20. Streaming through May 16. (An earlier version misidentified Medea as a figment of Cynthia’s imagination and has been updated to reflect the playwright’s intent.)

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Friday

Museums continue to open: Washington’s museums continue their awakening this month. The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center reopened Wednesday, allowing visitors to see Alan Shepard’s Freedom 7 capsule and an X-Wing starfighter from “Star Wars.” (The fighter is on display in the restoration hangar, which means you can see it from a distance.) The next big push comes on May 14, when four Smithsonians — the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, the Renwick Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum — and the National Gallery of Art reopen their doors. But because of capacity restrictions, all require visitors to register in advance for free timed admission tickets. Passes for the four Smithsonian museums become available at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, while the National Gallery releases tickets at 10 a.m. on Monday.

Drive-in at Union Market: While pop-up drive-in theaters experienced a renaissance during the pandemic, Union Market has been screening movies in its parking lot since summer 2012. The popular series returns this week with “Inside Out,” the 2015 Pixar animated story about the big emotions inside an 11-year-old girl, and continues on the first Friday of the month through October. While all 125 parking spaces are sold out for this Friday, Union Market is bringing back walk-up seating, which allows guests to spread out on blankets or low chairs in the area between the market and the parking lot. These spots are free and available on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early and make a picnic from the vendors inside the market. The parking lot opens at 7:30 p.m., and the film begins at 8:30 p.m.$20 for cars, free for pedestrians.

Scythian’s Throwdown at the Hoedown: With indoor concert venues still operating at reduced capacity, expect to find more favorite musicians performing outdoors over the coming weeks and months. B Chord Brewing, a farm brewery located about 45 minutes outside the Beltway in Round Hill, Va., has become a popular option for Americana and bluegrass artists, who perform on a wooden stage while fans gather at picnic tables or on the wide-open, amphitheater-style lawn. (Because there’s so much space, groups are required to stay 10 feet apart.) This weekend brings the return of Scythian, the fiddle-led Celtic folk-rock group that went from Washington’s most exciting bar band to headlining the 9:30 Club, Union Stage and Irish festivals across the country. Since Scythian’s first two shows of the year take place over Mother’s Day weekend, kids 12 and under are admitted free. Grab a pint of the Hoperation Haze IPA, settle in and sing along. Friday and Saturday at 4 p.m. $30-$35; Children age 12 and under free.

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Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Series: The Capitol Riverfront Drive-In Movie Series, which launched in a parking lot south of Audi Field in the fall, has returned for a six-week run, with films “inspired by post-pandemic goals,” such as traveling and house parties, that were selected by an online vote. This week is “Get on Up,” starring Chadwick Boseman as James Brown; other highlights include “Ocean’s Eight” (May 7) and “Bridesmaids” (May 28). The lot has room for 100 cars, and tickets for all weeks are on sale now, with each film benefiting a different local charity. Fridays through May 28. $20 per car.

Georgetown Glow: Spring Edition: Need a reason to get out of the house after dark? The seventh edition of Glow brings colorful light art to the alleys of Georgetown through the end of June. Because of the pandemic, it’s being held in spring for the first time. The five works by local artists include multicolored suspended lights that trigger music and voices as visitors approach, and an installation that echoes the practice of lighting sky lanterns in Asian cultures. Artists will be on-site answering questions most Saturday or Sunday evenings between 7 to 9 p.m., and guided walking tours and photo tours are available. Through June 27.

The Alexandria Drive-In Theatre: The Alexandria Drive-In, which made a splash last summer, returns to the vast parking lot of the Victory Center on Eisenhower Avenue with movies every Friday and Saturday. Food trucks provide the snacks — ordering is done by phone to limit contact — and proceeds benefit Athena Rapid Response Innovation Lab, a local nonprofit group that builds desks for students and provides PPE protective equipment for health-care workers. $40 per car.

‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Viewing Parties: When season 13 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” kicked off, indoor dining was forbidden at D.C. restaurants and bars. But as customers have returned, so have viewing parties. JR’s in Dupont and Red Bear Brewing in NoMa have two of the most popular in town. Good to know: Red Bear always screens the previous week’s episode at 7 p.m. before the action appears on the giant screen at 8 p.m. Reservations are suggested.

New Music Friday Happy Hour at Byrdland Records: Nothing can quite replace the rush of a live concert, but step out for a few minutes every Friday to browse through the latest vinyl at Byrdland Records, the Songbyrd Records offshoot near Union Market. “New Music Friday” gets a whole new meaning at Byrdland’s weekly happy hour, where you can browse more than 5,000 new and used records while enjoying refreshments provided by Topo Chico. 5 toNothing that quite matches the joy and absurdity of watching a bunch of chihuahuas compete against each other in a race. Throw in a costume contest and a raffle benefiting Rural Dog Rescue, as well as a special screening of the 2008 film “Beverly Hills Chihuahua,” all waterside at the Wharf. Reservations can be made in advance, and the nonrefundable ticket price for the event also goes to Rural Dog Rescue. Though the website says priority is given to chihuahuas, other dogs and their human counterparts are welcome. 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. $30.

Saturday

Suns Cinema five year anniversary: This Mount Pleasant theater was one of the bright spots of D.C. arthouse cinema before the pandemic, and its founders are celebrating its fifth anniversary with limited edition Suns Cinema tote bags — party bags containing a pair of their specialty daiquiri cocktails (cheekily called “Daiq to the Future”) in customized flasks — plus popcorn, buttons and Twix bars to enjoy during Suns’ ongoing series of streaming screenings. $45. 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Europe House Live: The in-person version of the European Union’s annual Embassy Open House is cancelled for the second year in a row. While there’s nothing like exploring embassy buildings that are normally closed to the public, the E.U. provides a shot of musical culture with a streaming program on Facebook Live. More than two dozen acts are representing different countries, including Swedish pop star Virgin Miri, Ireland’s We Banjo3 folk group, and Bulgaria’s Orfeia women’s vocal ensemble. Alyssa Milano hosts the event. 5 p.m.

Del Ray Artisans Spring Art Market: The annual outdoor market, held in multiple tents in Colasanto Park, next to the Del Ray Artisans Gallery, features ceramics, jewelry and photography created by 17 local artists. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

GenOUT Youth Chorus: Youth Invasion: If you’ve watched the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington in recent years, you might have seen GenOUT, a choral ensemble for teenagers that’s become a fixture of the Gay Men’s Chorus concerts. But the dozens of singers who are members of GenOUT have their own show in the spring, called Youth Invasion, where the songs range from pop to musicals to spirituals. In addition to more than 50 members of GenOUT, this year’s concert features appearances by New York City’s Youth Pride Chorus and Nashville’s Major Minors, who have similar missions to GenOUT. The hour-long concert is available to stream through May 9. 7 p.m. Free; donations requested.

Sunday

Mother’s Day outdoors: Spend some of Mother’s Day outside. Brookland-based Bluebird Sky Yoga is offering an outdoor yoga class at the National Arboretum from 10 to 11 a.m. Barre3 in Old Town Alexandria is also hosting morning outdoor barre classes on Barca Pier on the Potomac River. Register online for a class, and bring a yoga mat. Or head to Eastern Market on Capitol Hill or the Olney Farmers and Artists Market, whose summer market starts Sunday with an early 8 a.m. opening. Local artists and business owners are selling art, baked goods and hosting a juried art show.

Sunday concerts at the Phillips Collection: The museum is bringing the 80th season of its weekly concerts to music lovers everywhere, live from its ornate Music Room. Five world premieres, each inspired by a piece of art displayed at the Phillips, are included in honor of the museum’s 100th anniversary, but each week features different soloists, duos and ensembles. Concerts will be available to watch for seven days after the live stream. Through May 23. 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Monday

Meditation and Mindfulness with the National Museum of Asian Art: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art moved its regular in-person meditation sessions online last spring, when Washingtonians were searching for stress relief, and they remain a popular resource. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, local meditation teachers offer 30 minutes of stillness and peace via Zoom, with the Friday sessions incorporating pieces of art from the gallery’s collection. You don’t need meditation experience to join — just an open mind. Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon.

Tuesday

Epiphany Tuesday Concerts From Home: The Church of the Epiphany can’t hold concerts in its historic downtown building, but that hasn’t stopped the church’s long-running lunchtime concert series. Performances by musicians and vocalists are filmed in the church, with stained glass windows serving as a backdrop, and posted to the church’s YouTube channel at 12:10 p.m. on Tuesdays, when concerts traditionally begin. Available for streaming starting at 12:10 p.m. at epiphanydc.org.

That’s a Vibe: Take a primer in music history at Respect Her Crank!’s latest event. Learn how some of the most popular American songs have sampled or taken inspiration from songwriters from decades past, and how artists such as Sade and Jhené Aiko have more in common in their songwriting and melodies than what meets the ear. Singer and songwriter Amber Mimz leads the workshop about the elements of songwriting before teaching the audience before how to write an irresistible loop and hook. 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Plan Ahead

These notable upcoming events require reservations or advance ticket purchase.

Wolf Trap summer concerts: Jurisdictions across the region continue to loosen restrictions on outdoor activities, and Wolf Trap is the first major outdoor concert venue to announce the start of its season. After a series of free “Thank You” concerts for health-care workers, educators and volunteers at the end of June, Wolf Trap marks its 50th anniversary on July 1 with a concert featuring the National Symphony Orchestra, award-winning actor and singer Cynthia Erivo and soprano Christine Goerke of the Metropolitan Opera. Other highlights in July include New Orleans’ Preservation Hall Jazz Band (July 17), D.C. go-go legends Big Tony and Trouble Funk (July 18) and Broadway star Norm Lewis with the National Symphony Orchestra (July 30-31). Concertgoers will be required to purchase tickets for socially distanced “pods” of two to eight people; no single tickets are available. All tickets for July performances go on sale May 7 at 10 a.m. on wolftrap.org; performances for August and September will be announced later.

National Zoo reopening — and Xiao Qi Ji’s debut: The biggest news to come out of the Smithsonian’s reopening announcement is that the public will finally be able to see panda cub Xiao Qi Ji in person for the first time — if they’re lucky. The National Zoo reopens May 21, and the public can claim free timed-entry passes beginning May 14. However, getting to see the cub — who turns nine months old on the 21st — requires a different free timed-entry pass, the Asian Trail/Panda Pass, which will be limited and given out on-site. (In other words, parents, don’t promise the kids they’ll get to see a panda.) Of course, Xiao Qi Ji isn’t the only fresh new face at the Zoo: juvenile Komodo dragon Onyx and Przewalski’s horses Barbie and Cooper arrived since the zoo shut down in November. The National Zoo will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning May 21. Information about Smithsonian reopenings is available on si.edu/visit.

National Landing Movies in the Park: Drive-in movies may still be all the rage, but not every urban dweller has a car, or wants to rent one to sit in a parking lot for a few hours. The National Landing Business Improvement District is cautiously moving back to in-person, vehicle-free outdoor screenings in May, sectioning off “social distance circles” in a softball field at Virginia Highlands Park, near Pentagon City. Preregistration is required — there’s already a wait list for “Moana” on May 7 — and groups of up to four are allowed for films including “The Secret Garden” (May 14) and “Bill and Ted Face the Music” (May 28). Fridays at 8 p.m. from May 7-28. Virginia Highlands Park, 1600 S. Hayes St., Arlington. Free, registration required.

Wednesday Night Live: The D.C. Improv reopened April 15 with a string of sold-out shows, but not everyone is ready to laugh out loud in a room full of strangers. D.C. Improv is working with the Bullpen, the large beer garden near Nationals Park, to present socially distanced performances by six local comics, including Danny Rouhier of the “Grant and Danny Show” on 106.7 the Fan; D.C. comedy veteran Lafayette Wright, who represented D.C. on the first series of Kevin Hart’s “Hart of the City”; and Denise Taylor, a regular at the Time Machine Roast and an opening act for W. Kamau Bell and Judah Friedlander. Tickets are sold either in pairs or in tables of four to six people. May 19 at 7 p.m. The Bullpen, 1201 Half St. SE. dcimprov.com. $20 per person.

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