Jump start 2022 with a month full of terrific things to do in DC!
From live theatre to art museums and films to food, and everything in between, January is packed with an awesome mix of popular and under-the-radar activities for you to discover new interests, local businesses and different parts of the city. There's the bi-annual Restaurant Week, the return of Winter Lanterns at the REACH, the dramatic reimagining of MLK's assassination, one-night only chef's dinner at the LINE and many more not-to-be-missed events.
Check out our guide to the biggest events coming to DC this January, below.
🚨 Travel Responsibly: As the region recovers from COVID-19, safety guidelines have evolved at attractions, restaurants, shops and hotels. The District requires masks or proof of vaccination at all indoor public spaces. Advance tickets or reservations remain recommended or necessary at many spots. Your best bet: Check online or call ahead.
Going, Going . . . See Them Before They're Gone!
Britney Spears Musical. Snag your tickets to the Broadway-bound musical "Once Upon a One More Time" featuring the music of Britney Spears, as it makes its world premiere at Shakespeare Theatre Company. In this world premiere musical, classic fairytale princesses gather for their fortnightly book club, longing for a new story. When a rogue fairy godmother drops The Feminine Mystique into their corseted laps, it spurs a royal revelation: there is more to life than bird-made dresses and true love's kiss! 💲🎟 Ends Jan 9 (Extended!)
Broadway bound. Grab your tickets to Michael R. Jackson's Pulitzer Prize-winning musical, A Strange Loop, as it makes a stop at Woolly Mammoth Theatre before moving to Broadway. The comedy-drama focuses on a Broadway usher (named Usher) who dreams of writing the next great American musical. Black, queer, and grappling with a host of inherited demons, he navigates his way through the big city in this groundbreaking new show. 💲🎟Ends Jan 9
Wild night at the inn. The Anacostia Playhouse is back with their madcap musical celebration, A Snowy Nite at the Dew Drop Inn, a cabaret-style tribute to the Juke Joint, to those iconic nightspots that were known for good food, music. It features songs made famous by Big Mama Thorton, Fats Waller, Etta James, and Dinah Washington, just to name a few. 💲🎟Ends Jan 9
Namesake. Ever been curious about how DC's landmarks got their name? Visit the "Block by Block: Naming Washington" exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery and discover the namesakes of D.C.’s streets, avenues, neighborhoods and other public spaces. Featuring reproductions of 16 portraits, drawn mostly from the museum’s collection, the exhibition presents the faces and biographies behind some of the city’s most familiar locations. 🆓 Ends Jan 16
Everything is Beautiful. The highly anticipated exhibit that serves as the inspiration for a months-long celebration of Thomas debuts at Phillips Collection. Everything is Beautiful will trace Thomas' journey from Georgia to DC and beyond through artworks and archival assets, showcasing the artist’s wide-reaching influence, dynamic artistic practices, intriguing interest in puppetry and more. 💲Ends Jan 23
Female gaze. The National Gallery of Art displays breathtaking photographs from more than 120 women photographers around the world. These "new women" embraced the art form as a mode of personal and professional expression and in the process, rewrote the rules of modern photography from the 1920s to the 1950s. 🆓 Ends Jan 30
We have take-off. Wearing headphones and viewing a handcrafted diorama from a personal booth, audience members are plunged into a brothers’ story of hope and survival, playing out in breathtaking, intimate miniature. Flight is an immersive installation with no live actors created by Scottish innovators Vox Motus and designed by Jamie Harrison (Harry Potter and the Cursed Child magic effects and illusions designer). 💲🎟Now thru March 6
Walk This Way. Slow down and connect with nature surrounding the Kingsley Trail in Little Bennett Regional Park (Clarksburg MD) through play, observation, and appreciation with a newly-installed, interactive art experience on the one-mile trail. 🆓 Multiple
Get back to nature. Have coffee or tea as you can get to know your neighbors and harvest some herbs from the U Street Temperance Alley garden. 🆓 Jan 2
Movie club. Hey movie fans! DC Public Library is screening sequels of recent blockbusters like No Time to Die, Dune and Snake Eyes every Tuesday in January at MLK Library. 🆓 Jan 4 - multiple dates
Minimalist podcast. Netflix stars Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus are bringing a minimalism talk and a live version of their popular podcast on the road for their first tour in three years: the Love People, Use Things Tour. 💲🎟Jan 6
Wanda Sykes. No holds barred comedian Wanda Sykes brings the genius behind her smart-witted comedy specials and her hilarious characters on Blackish, Snatched, and Bad Moms for an evening of laugh out loud stories to Strathmore. 💲🎟 Jan 7
One-night only dinner. No Goodbyes restaurant at the Line Hotel is teaming up with friends for a series of one-night-only chef dinners. This month, Johnny Spero (Reverie) will be contributing dishes inspired by his upcoming restaurant, Bar Spero. Located at the Chef’s Table in the No Goodbyes kitchen, each dinner offers 12 diners a front-row seat to the chefs at work, plus drink pairings from cocktail expert Lukas B. Smith. 💲Jan 9
When Mo met Beethoven. Author and illustrator Mo Willems presents Beethoven Symphonies Abstracted, an exhibition of nine large-scale, painted abstractions inspired by the music and genius of Beethoven to coincide with the National Symphony Orchestra’s Beethoven & American Masters concert series. 🆓 Jan 9 - Mar 20
What a relief. Organized by The Phillips Collection and Washington Sculptors Group (WSG) and presented at Phillips@THEARC, the What a Relief exhibit showcases small relief sculptures crafted by artists-members of the WSG from the greater DC region who have reimagined the centuries-long art practice of relief sculptures. 🆓 Jan 11 - March 18
Mama mia. Enjoy ABBA’s timeless classics under candlelight as you’ve never heard them before, through the strings of the highly talented Listeso Quartet. 💲🎟 Jan 11
Wine & Watercolors. Get your craft on at Shop Made in DC at their wine and self-guided watercolors class where you'll enjoy two complimentary glasses of wine while you watercolor art inspired by maker designs. 💲🎟 Jan 12
Artist happy hour. Celebrate Edmonia Lewis' (considered the first African-American sculptor) birthday with a specialty cocktail at a virtual happy hour hosted by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. 🆓🎟Jan 12
Argentinian art exhibition. No passport is required to visit the Embassy of Argentina to see 100 Hues, Abstracting Argentine Landscapes, a collection of photographs taken by Hernan Murno during his frequent trips to Argentina. 🆓🎟 Jan 13
Passing, In Conversation. Netflix film Passing screenwriter and director Rebecca Hall, alongside actresses Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga, join National Museum of African-American History and Culture for a virtual conversation that delves into not just racial identity but gender, class, the responsibilities of motherhood and the performance of femininity from the perspective of two Black women who choose to live on opposite sides of the color line in 1929 New York. 🆓 Jan 13
Iran film festival. The National Museum of American Art brings you the 26th Annual Festival of Films from Iran, which includes features and shorts that you can stream online or watch on the big screen at the AFI Silver Theatre. 🆓 Jan 14 - 30
Richmond slave trail. Take a guided walk of the first half of the Richmond Slave Trail on a unique experience of African Diasporic connections led by an educator and specialist in African and African Diasporic History. 🆓🎟 (Suggested donation) Jan 15
Neighborhood walk. Join Washington Walks to explore the mansions in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood, as well as the oldest private residence in the city (it's not what you might it is!). 💲🎟 Jan 15
Size matters. Known collectively as WAM--Women.Artists.Masters. artists Debra Keirce, Carrie Waller, and Maria Bennett Hock showcase representational paintings in that highlight the ways big and small work together, from miniatures that can only been seen under magnification to large canvases. 🆓 Jan 15 - March 12
Bang a gong. Greet the new year with a new moon celebration featuring guided mediation followed by a gong sound meditation session. Combined, this experience will allow you to go deeper and realign your energy for a lighter more elevated existence. 💲🎟 Jan 17
Man + Machine = Art. Originally created as an audiovisual concert, Artechouse presents Transient: Impermanent Paintings an immersive audio-visual exhibition presented as a duet of motorized piano and hyperreal projections powered by human-machine collaboration. Projected on a large scale, extremely high resolution hyper-realistic digital brushstrokes unfold like on canvas. Each brushstroke corresponds to a note, creating polyphonic synthetic landscapes. 💲🎟 Jan 17 - March 6
Eat, drink, repeat. Wine and dine as the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington’s (RAMW) celebrates the local dining scene during Winter Restaurant Week Take advantage of specially priced meals, including to-go options and cocktail and wine pairings. 💲Jan 17 - 23
Letters to my father. In Dear Mapel, an autobiographical solo show written and performed by Psalmayene 24 and produced by Mosaic Theater Company, the 47-year-old explores the effect his father's absence had through specific events in his life. Part of Mosaic's New Play Development, Dear Mapel is a world premiere, in which Psalmayene 24 is both playwright and performer. Accenting this “solo show in poetry” are the percussive stylings of Jabari Exum, a Peabody Institute alum and the drummer and movement coach on Marvel’s Black Panther films whose music adds a depth and richness to this world premiere production. Offered both in-person or streaming. 💲🎟 Jan 19 - Feb 13
iRobot. The FUTURES exhibit at the newly reopened Smithsonian Arts & Industries Building asks us to imagine what the future could look like. Explore the magic of groundbreaking inventions like the completely autonomous humanoid robot, RoomieBot, with the people who make it happen. 🆓🎟 Jan 20
Kreeger Twofer. The private art museum presents two companion exhibits by master printmaker Lou Stovall who has transformed the field of printmaking in Washington, DC since the 1960s. On Inventions and Color is a survey of works and includes works from across Stovall’s career, giving insight into the artist’s innovative approach to screenprinting and his decades-long study of color. Curated by Will Stovall, the artist’s son and a painter in his own right, On Inventions and Color, the accompanying exhibition, examines the master printmaker’s 1974 series Of the Land, a collection of interconnected poems, drawings, and prints inspired by the natural world. 💲🎟 Jan 20 - April 26
Die laughing. You're playing trivia when someone suddenly drops dead. Now what? The Answer is Murder is a hilarious interactive whodunit at DC Improv where *you* might even be the killer. 💲🎟 Jan 21
Hidden influence. Premiering at Arena Stage, Change Agent dramatically conjures celebrated, controversial and unsung figures in American history surrounding pivotal events in the 1960s including the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Civil Rights Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. 💲🎟 Jan 21 - March 6
Oh what a night. The Mountaintop reimagines events the night before the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 💲🎟 Jan 21 - Feb 13
Lunar New Year. The REACH glows again with the return of Winter Lanterns, a free display of approximately 100 stunning lanterns made up of 10,000 colored LED lights, all crafted by Chinese artisans. 🆓 Jan. 27 - Feb. 6
Breaking the code. The Rosetta Stone is the most popular object at the British Museum, where is has been on almost continuous display since 1802. Join Planet Word for a virtual conversation with Edward Dolnick about the history of the Rosetta Stone and the twenty-year struggle to unlock its secrets. 🆓 Jan 27
Philly dance. Known for electrifying performances, The Philadelphia Dance Company, one of the premiere African-American modern dance companies, presents iconic as well as new choreography that highlights their continued engagement with today’s most important social issues, the company continues their legacy of bridging cultural divides. 💲🎟 Jan 28
American Indian exhibit. The National Museum of the American Indian hosts a new exhibit, Raven and the Box of Daylight, from internationally acclaimed artist **Preston Singletary and tells the story of Raven, the creator of the world and giver of the stars, moon and sun. The exhibit promises a multisensory experience with storytelling, music, soundscapes and projected images. 🆓 Jan 28 - 29
**Join Preston Singletary In Conversation with the National Museum of the American Indian (pre-recorded). Thru Jan 31
Unscripted musical hilarity. Described as Whose Line Is It Anyway? meets the TONY Awards, Broadway’s Next Hit Musical is the world’s first and only unscripted theatrical awards show where the audience votes for its favorite song and watches as the cast turns it into a full-blown improvised musical. 💲🎟 Jan 29
Pieces of Me. While the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is closed for a two-year renovation, it will hold its first off-site exhibition at the American University Museum at the Katzen Arts Center. Positive Fragmentation: From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation includes more than 150 works by 21 contemporary artists who use fragmentation both stylistically and conceptually. 🆓 Jan 29- May 22
Lunar New Year's Eve Reunion cooking demo. The National Museum of Asian Art pays homage to the Lunar New Year's Eve traditional reunion dinner with a food-filled celebration that features local Asian American chefs reflecting on family traditions and presenting a trio of dynamic virtual cooking demonstrations. Plus, locals can order a special "Lunar New Year in a Box" of small-batch sweets to accompany the event the featured chefs. 🆓 Jan 31
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