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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:


    • Wednesday, July 16th – Head to NoMa for this week’s free outdoor movie, The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Grub from Shake Shack, Takorean, and Orange Cow Ice Cream will be available for purchase.
    • Friday, July 18th – See Aberdeen, a film about a modern Hong Kong family, at the Freer Gallery as part of the 19th annual Made in Hong Kong film festival. The movie is in Cantonese with Chinese and English subtitles.
    • Friday, July 18th – Come out to Prince Street and check out the Comcast Alexandria Film Festival with a free screening of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Food and drink sales benefit the Alexandria Seaport Foundation.
    • Friday, July 18th – Rosslyn continues its weekly film festival screenings with a showing of the early 2000’s classic, How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days.
    • Sunday, July 20th – The Made in Hong Kong film festival continues with a showing of The White Storm, a film about an attempt to bring down a Thai drug kingpin gone wrong.


  • Tuesday, July 15th – Flutists Nina Assimakopoulous and Matej Grahek make up the duo Flute Loops. Watch them take on jazz, rock, and folk music at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage.
  • Tuesday, July 15th – Nick’s Riverside Grill is hosting their weekly stand-up variety show, complete with “silly songs” and audience participation.
  • Wednesday, July 16th – Try your hand at winning a cash prize at Lucky Bar’s Motley Pub Trivia night. Prizes will be offered to the three winning teams — and money prizes will be given to the top two!
  • Wednesday, July 16th – Hill Country Live offers a weekly live band karaoke night every Wednesday — pick your song and the house band will play you a cool backup tune!
  • Thursday, July 17th – Visit the Arts Walk on Monroe Street for a free Latin jazz concert, courtesy of the Polvo and Scree Quartet.
  • Thursday, July 17th – The Bellfuries, a Texas based band performing since 1998, will be playing a no cover concert at Hill Country Barbecue. Stop by, grab a bite if you’re hungry, and enjoy the show.
  • Thursday, July 17th – Bethesda Summer Concert Series runs free weekly concerts until the end of this month. Check out their second to last act, variety dance group Speakers of the House, this week at Veterans Park.
  • Thursday, July 17th – MLK Jr. Memorial Library is hosting Grammy-nominated Stephen Wade for a concert and discussion on American folksongs and his new book, “The Beautiful Music All Around Us.”
  • Thursday, July 17th – Head to Patty Boom Boom on U Street for a West Coast-themed dance party featuring 80’s, 90’s and early 00’s jams.
  • Friday, July 18th – Get in your late-night jazz jams at Bohemian Caverns, where the party is just getting started at 11:30 pm. Hang out and jam until 2 am.
  • Friday, July 18th – Bethesda Row is holding its annual summer sidewalk sale, turning the quadrant into a bazaar filled with wares, food, and live entertainment.
  • Friday, July 18th – Enjoy a no-cover concert at Hill Country Barbecue with a show by The Giving Tree Band, a seven-member band playing everything from banjos to slide guitars to violins.
  • Friday, July 18th – Watch Southern duo Rosehill perform their country-fried hits at Hill Country Live.
  • Saturday, July 19th – Can’t get enough jazz? Visit the Halstead Square Summer Jazz Concert for a free show, featuring Joe Falero and the District’s Latin Jazz All-Stars.
  • Saturday, July 19th – Joe Firstman has toured with Sheryl Crow, Jewel, and Willie Nelson. Now he’s coming to D.C. with a free show at Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue, located on the West Lawn of the National Building Museum.
  • Saturday, July 19th – David Kitchen has been playing the Mid-Atlantic for over 20 years with his signature blend of soul and rock; come see him perform with the David Kitchen Band at The Hamilton.



  • Wednesday, July 16th – Visit Cocova for a free themed chocolate tasting from 4 pm to 7 pm. The theme of the day is white and milk chocolate bars.
  • Friday, July 18th – Paul’s Wine and Spirits is hosting its weekly free wine tasting from 5:30 to 8:30 pm. Sip samples of whites, reds, and everything in between.
  • Friday, July 18th – Le Méridien Arlington continues its weekly Yappy Hour event, letting puppies of all ages join their owners for snacks and drinks on the outdoor terrace.



  • Tuesday, July 15th – The Georgetown Business Improvement District is offering a free sunset yoga class in Georgetown Waterfront Park. The class starts at 6 pm. BYOM (bring your own mat)!
  • Tuesday, July 15th – Visit the Last Rites Gallery for a free opening reception for Richard J Oliver’s and Stefano Alcantara’s new art exhibits.
  • Wednesday, July 16th – The Smithsonian American Art Museum is offering a free tour of their collection, with a focus on artists in the 1913 Armory Show. The tour is followed by a free screening of The Great Confusion, a documentary about breakthrough exhibition
  • Wednesday, July 16th – Ever wondered how to make those little moving pictures on the Internet? MLK Jr. Memorial Library is offering a free class on how to make your own animated GIFs using Photoshop.
  • Thursday, July 17th – Check out the opening reception for Chromatic Transmissions, an art show by Kelly Hughes, at the Wild Hand Workspace from 6 pm to 9 pm.
  • Sunday, July 20th – Look at some cool art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and hear from local artist Chandi Kelley, who will show off some of her own stuff and talk about her artwork subscription service, Project Dispatch.


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