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Here we focus exclusively on the cheapest YET most satisfying entertainment to be found around DC. Every Monday 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!

  • GENTLE REMINDER: Consider joining the new-and-improved BYT VIP program, called VIPERS (yes!) which is all about making your life better with awesome things like: paid reserves at select (already) sold-out shows, hugs-heavy bus trips to where-the-hell-is-that venues like Merriweather Post Pavilion, pre-release MP3s and promo CD downloads, members-only ticket giveaways and discounts, priority line-jumping at BYT events, tons of loot we get from labels and PR people that we don’t know what to do with, exclusive pre-pre-pre-sales, monthly secret happy hours where you can huddle amongst the rest of the VIPER elite + pick up extra schwag, super sweet Vipers-only pow wows with some of your favorite musicians, artists and local celebs…. and, well, anything else we can think of.

Now onto this week:


    • Monday, July 7thCrystal Screen Movie Festival is screening Hot Shots, a parody follow-up of last week’s movie (Top Gun).
    • Wednesday, July 9th – MLK Library’s Summer Sing-Along series continues with a showing of the musical Chicago.
    • Wednesday, July 9th – Who doesn’t love the Muppets? NoMa Summer Screen is showing their 2011 movie at dusk, flanked by a mix of food trucks (pizza, anyone?)
    • Friday, July 11th – Watch Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson struggle with their fancy new job at Google with a free screening of The Internship. See it at Rosslyn’s Summer Film Festival in Gateway Park.
    • Saturday, July 12th – See The Wizard of Oz in amazing technicolor at Greenbelt Moonlit Movies. Bring your blankets, chairs, and coolers.
    • Sunday, July 13th – Lake Anne Summer Outdoor Movies in Reston, VA is showing The Breakfast Club at sundown. Be there or be square.



  • Monday, July 7th – Vibraphonist Chuck Redd and guitarist Graham Dechter are having a jazz jam session at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Jazz fans won’t want to miss out.
  • Monday, July 7th – Get a few laughs in at La Bomba!, Little Miss Whiskey’s free weekly comedy show. The show begins at 7:30 pm.
  • Monday, July 7th – Know a lot of things about a lot of stuff? Put your knowing to the test at Chef Ike’s Mambo Room with a round of trivia. Cash prizes go to the top two contestants!
  • Tuesday, July 8th – Groove to some gypsy music with Black Masala’s set at Capital Fringe. Find them at the Baldacchino Tent Bar.
  • Tuesday, July 8th – See D.C.’s most talented youth perform at the Kennedy Center; this performance will determine which NSO Summer Music Institute soloist will perform with the full orchestra on the 27th.
  • Tuesday, July 8th – Start practicing now for Gypsy Sally’s weekly open mic night. Set length is 10 – 15 minutes, so come prepared!
  • Tuesday, July 8th – Need a laugh on a Tuesday night? See some of the city’s stand-up comics perform at Vendetta’s free Tuesday night comedy shows.
  • Wednesday, July 9th – Head to Liv Nightclub for trivia, live music, and a fun, interactive performance by Rayceen Pendarvis. Doors open at 6:00 pm.
  • Wednesday, July 9th – New Orleans indie rockers Sweet Crude are playing for free at the Kennedy Center.
  • Wednesday, July 9th – Slip on your legwarmers and perm your hair: everybody’s favorite alternative 80’s cover band, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, is playing at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar.
  • Thursday, July 10th – Latin jazz band Duende Quartet will be playing at the Arts Walk at Monroe Street Market. Take in some culture while you take in some jazz.
  • Thursday, July 10th – Get your daily dose of soul with King Soul’s set at Bethesda’s free summer concert series. Show starts at 6:00 pm.
  • Thursday, July 10th – If improv comedy is more your style, check out After Class @ The Science Club, a free weekly show featuring D.C.-area comedians.
  • Friday, July 11th – Catch some late-night jazz at Bohemian Caverns with an 11:30 pm jam session. Bring your guitar/brass/voice; everyone’s welcome to join in!
  • Friday, July 11th – Visit the loft bar at The Hamilton for a late-night show by rock/rhythm band Lloyd Dobler Effect.
  • Saturday, July 12th – Come to Rock and Roll Hotel for a free show by DJs Rex Riot and Basscamp.
  • Sunday, July 13th – Jordin’s Paradise is hosting a “judgement-free and soul-full” open mic. Food and drinks will be provided for free. Those interested in performing can register here.



  • Thursday, July 10th – Paul’s Wine and Spirits is offering a complimentary bourbon tasting at their Friendship Heights location. Tastings begin at 5:30 pm. Don’t miss out on free bourbon.
  • Friday, July 11th – Paul’s Wine and Spirits really loves to give away free booze. Stop by for a free wine tasting, beginning at 5:30 pm.
  • Saturday, July 12th – ChurchKey is hosting beer writer Joe Stange’s book release party with a beer-tastic celebration that’s free to enter. Chat with Stange and sample 35 rare Belgian drafts (the beer, unfortunately, will not be free).
  • Saturday, July 12th – Visit Petworth Community Market and check out local vendors’ wares and foods. Support your local economy!



  • Wednesday, July 9th – Learn more about American art with the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s curator, Joann Moser. She’ll be chatting about artist Mark Lombardi’s work.
  • Thursday, July 10th – Now’s your chance to read those books you’ve always been meaning to get to. MLK Library is hosting a book club meeting once a month from now until October. This month’s book: “The Third Man” by Graham Greene.
  • Friday, July 11th – Have questions about this newfangled 3D printing technology, but were always too afraid to ask? Georgetown Neighborhood Library will be hosting a 3D printer of its own this weekend. Come see it and attend a free workshop to learn how it works.
  • Friday, July 11th – Learn how to knit just like Grandma! Spanning tree, “DC’s feminist hacker space,” is hosting a free two-hour class for those looking to break into the world of knitting and crocheting. Register through email if you’re interested in attending.
  • Saturday, July 12th – Want to stock up on some cheap summer reading? Southwest DC Public Library is holding a book sale from 10 am to 3 pm. Most books will be $1 or less, and each is buy one get one free.
  • Sunday, July 13th – Learn all about the Japanese art of tea with a live tea presentation at the Freer Gallery of Art.


Feel free to leave us your suggestions in the comments. Sharing is the new caring.