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Here we focus exclusively on the cheapest YET most satisfying entertainment to be found around D.C. Every week we highlight free and almost free activities, a choice happy hour or two, food specials and hot tips for budget survival. PLEASE POST YOUR FREE EVENTS (FOR FREE!) ON OUR AGENDA PAGE or send us FREE TIPS to [email protected] for inclusion in the future FREE THINGS guide. So, time to plan the week! 


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  • Wednesday, October 21 – A Great Day in Harlem documents the story of 57 Harlem jazz musicians. Stick around for a discussion post-screening on the iconic piece at the Anacostia Community Museum.
  • Friday, October 23 – The National Gallery of Art is presenting Agnès Varda’s film Cléo from 5 to 7, a film set in Paris of a woman who awaits her medical tests on the day Gemini shifts to Cancer. Held at American University’s McKinley Building.


  • Friday, October 23 – Freer Gallery of Art is screening Seijun Suzui’s Kanto Wanderer, a film based on the Japanese novel which tells a story of yakuza bodyguard.
  • Saturday, October 24The Saragossa Manuscript is being screened by the National Gallery of Art. This 1965 film is a long one – three hours – so be sure that you’re ready to sit tight. Seems worth it.
  • Saturday, October 24 – If you’re somehow not embarrassed by your family’s home videos, you can learn about digitizing them and even share them with an audience at the National Museum of African American History. This sounds like my naked baby bottom’s worst nightmare.
  • Sunday, October 25 – For something to do on your lazy Sunday, head to NGA’s East Building Large Auditorium to see The Hourglass Sanatorium.


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  • Wednesday, October 21Katie Hargrove is playing some tunes in the Vinyl Lounge at Gypsy Sally’s.
  • Friday, October 23 – Saturday, October 24 – To support Casa Ruby and hear some good music, head over to the Pinch (Friday) and St. Stephen’s Basement (Saturday) for the 9th annual Halloween Cover Benefit Show. It’s cheaper if you go in costume.
  • Saturday, October 24 – Baby Bry Bry and the Apologists are playing at the Anacostia Arts Center. Sounds like it’s going to be an emotional show.

Baby Bry Bry and the Apologists

  • Saturday, October 24 – Baxter BLDG is host to some cool local bands and some not-so-local bands. Sounds fun.
  • Saturday, October 24 – Bier Baron is having a Halloween Bloodbath Burlesque. There’s a costume contest and a 50/50 raffle benefitting military and law enforcement.



  • Wednesday, October 21 – Comedians have really sad jokes sometimes. Determine whether or not comedians need a hug at Handsome Cock on U Street.
  • Wednesday, October 21Town Tavern in Adams Morgan is hosting Last Resort Comedy.
  • Saturday, October 24 – The National Museum of American History is hosting a Food History Festival in honor of Food History Weekend. The festival will include cooking demonstrations, film screenings, and tours that explores food history in America. Delicious.


  • Sunday, October 25 – Pike and Rose is having their first annual Piketoberfest, featuring a beer garden, live music, food tastings, a sidewalk sale, and a pumpkin patch (via press release).


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  • Wednesday, October 21 – If you’re a budding entrepreneur, you can pitch your start-up idea to D.C. tech companies this week with Governor O’Malley at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center.
  • Friday, October 23 – For those of you who ~love~ fashion, art, or both, the Smithsonian American Art Museum is dedicating a day to examine photographer Irving Penn and his influence on art and fashion featuring talks, scholars, photographers, and other cool things. Come back later that night for our party. Sorry, that’s not free.
  • Saturday, October 24 – Since the Halloween spirit is the only one that matters, the 7th Silver Spring Zombie Walk should be marked on your calendar. Features a costume contest and a zombie dance party.


  • Sunday, October 25 – To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the DC Punk Archive, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is host to photographer Glen E. Friedman, who’s been influential in the punk scene, with a talk led by Alec MacKaye.
  • Sunday, October 25 – A Creative DC and Maketto are hosting IRL from 11:00 a.m. – 2:30 p.m, open to anyone who wants to get to know the people in D.C. or support local businesses.


  • Monday, October 26 – Friday, October 30 – If you’re realizing now that it’s about to be the last week of October and you’ve yet to go to a fall festival, the annual fall fest on Woodrow Wilson Plaza arrived just in time. It’s at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center and there will be hot cider.
  • Tuesday, October 27 – Since everyone loves a good scary story, Upshur Street Books is letting the creepy tales of our city come to life with Haunted DC. Historians Robert Pohl and Tim Krepp will be filling you in.


That’s all, remember – PLEASE POST YOUR FREE EVENTS (FOR FREE!) ON OUR AGENDA PAGE or send us FREE TIPS to [email protected] for inclusion in the future FREE THINGS guide. Feel free to leave us your suggestions in the comments. Sharing is the new caring.