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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 21 – Screen on the Green starts today on the National Mall. Tonight’s movie is The Karate Kid.
    • Tuesday, July 22 – Life moves pretty fast — take a break and go see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, playing for free at Bethesda’s Outdoor Movie Series. The movie begins at 9 pm.
    • Wednesday, July 23 – Watha T. Daniel-Shaw Library is hosting a sing-a-long movie night beginning at 6:30 pm. This week’s movie: Mulan.
    • Wednesday, July 23 – NoMa Summer Screen continues with a showing of The Dark Knight. Visiting food trucks include SUNdeVICH, DC Slices, and Orange Cow.
    • Wednesday, July 23 – Next up for Bethesda’s movie series: Wes Anderson’s visually pleasing Moonrise Kingdom.
    • Friday, July 25 – Drool over George Clooney flying around on planes in the comedy-drama Up in the Air.
    • Friday, July 26 – Practice your cup-tapping skills and see Pitch Perfect in Bethesda.
    • Sunday, July 27 – The Freer Gallery is hosting the Made in Hong Kong Film Festival; this week’s film is Mr. Vampire, a popular comedy horror zombie film. The screening begins at 3:30 pm.


  • Monday,  July 21 – Cuban band Conjunto Chappottín features the musical stylings of trumpet player Jesus Angel and singer/percussionist Miguel Cuni Jr.
  • Tuesday, July 22 – Italian  and Austrian dancers Mimmo Miccolis and Gloria Benedikt are performing a contemporary dance program called “An Evening for Humanity.” Never seen contemporary dance before? Go check it out.
  • Tuesday, July 22 – Get your fill of indie rock at the Electric Maid: Catscan! will be playing, along with performances by Morus Alba and Easter Teeth.
  • Thursday, July 24 – See a crop of the District’s most talented musicians perform at the Kennedy Center with the NSO Summer Music Institute’s chamber ensembles.
  • Thursday, July 24 – Harry Potter is DJing at Patty Boom Boom on U Street. Stop by for some 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s jams (and maybe a few rounds of Quidditch?).
  • Friday, July 25 – The late night jazz jams never seem to stop at Bohemian Caverns. Stop by at 11:30 pm and stay until lights out.
  • Friday, July 25 – American Babies is playing at Hill Country’s Backyard Barbecue. The musical selections will include pieces from their most recent album, which frontman Tom Hamilton describes as a “40-minute existential meltdown.”
  • Friday, July 25 – Eclectic DC “pop folk rock” band Turtle Recall is bringing their uptempo, hodgepodge music to Gypsy Sally’s. See them for no cover charge at 6:00 pm.
  • Friday, July 25 – Check out Moonshine Society, performing their unique take on roots rock, blues, and R&B  at The Hamilton.
  • Friday, July 25 – The V Spot DC presents glittHER, a women’s LGBTQ dance party at Zeba Bar. The free party starts at 9:00 pm.
  • Saturday, July 26 – It’s National Dance Day — celebrate with a trip to the Kennedy Center, where you can watch free dance performances from dancers around the city.
  • Saturday, July 26 – Head to The Hamilton’s Loft to see a performance by the Justin Trawick Trio. The group’s music ranges across genres, from folk to bluegrass to hip-hop.
  • Sunday, July 27 – See the NSO Summer Music Institute orchestra perform, with a feature by 14 year old prodigy Emma Resmini.



  • Tuesday, July 22 – BYT and New Belgium is hosting a sweet Grätzer happy hour at Bar Pilar. Stop by for $5 Grätzers, free caricatures, an Instagram photo contest, and lots of swag. Be sure to RSVP!
  • Tuesday, July 22 – STEM4US! and the Office of Senator Mary Landrieu is hosting a power lunch event at the Capitol Visitor Center between 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm. The theme: “Boosting American innovation by funding great ideas of women, African American, and hispanic innovators.” RSVP for the event here.
  • Thursday, July 24 – FREE CUPCAKES at the Capitol South Metro. Curbside Cupcakes is teaming up with ONE to advocate for ending poverty in Africa. Get a cupcake, support a good cause.
  • Friday, July 25 – Grab your dog and bring it along to Rosslyn’s Yappy Hour event at Le Méridien Arlington. Snacks and drinks will be available for purchase on the terrace.



  • Monday, July 21 – If you’re a history buff, check out Professor David Silbey’s lecture on World War I. The Cornell University professor will be speaking for free at the Georgetown Neighborhood Library.
  • Tuesday, July 22 – A new art installation is debuting at the Office of Planning, made of photographs edited solely in iPad applications — proving that maybe, just maybe, your Instagram account will get you somewhere after all.
  • Wednesday, July 23 – Wednesday is hump day, but that doesn’t mean you have to slump around after work. Head to Franklin Park for Workout Wednesday and take part in a free exercise class.
  • Wednesday, July 23 – Ever wondered how to get started as an artist on Tumblr? The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is offering a free, hour-long class on how to market your art on Tumblr and gain an audience.
  • Thursday, July 24 – ARTISPHERE is hosting the opening reception of E:11 Coda, a “sound art” exhibition. Drinks will be served.
  • Friday, July 25 – The Freer and Sackler Gallery is hosting an open house, showcasing its best summer exhibits before they close for the summer. Stop by at 6 pm or 7 pm to check out all three exhibits.
  • Saturday, July 26 – The Luce Center has a cigarette machine that sells original art for $5. Check out the artists who made the works in the machine, and make your own “artpak” for free.


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