Posted September 17, 2018

4 Can’t-Miss Cultural Activities in Washington D.C. This Fall

Destinations

Washington D.C. comes alive in the fall with cultural events and exhibitions all across the city. Fill your calendar over the next couple months with everything from public art installations to food festivals in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Autumn is arguably the most vibrant season in Washington, D.C. Along with crisp temperatures and colorful foliage, the city’s buzzing with cultural events all around town. This fall, you’ll find everything from untold stories about the Titanic, to how Oprah built her empire, followed by some of the best seasonal food and drink D.C. has to explore.

Washington DC in the Fall Season Image credit: Matthew Chenet

Fall is Washington D.C.’s best season. Besides the gorgeous turning leaves and cooler temps, the city boasts dozens of new cultural exhibitions you can’t miss — from public art installations to food markets and more. Rest assured, this is a destination that’ll never leave you bored! Image credit: Matthew Chenet

Ready to plan a culture-packed weekend in the nation’s capital? Here are four ways to make the most of it:

  • One of the most talked about exhibits this year is “No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man” at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Through January 2019, you’ll have a complete sensory immersion into the world of Burning Man, the annual cultural festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, which usually attracts more than 75,000 people.All in the honor of creativity, these mind-bending, large-scale installations are constructed into a man-made city that’s then burned down when the festival is complete. The awe-inspiring installations will be on display including many never-seen-before works from Burning Man artists. Obviously, it’s hard to keep all this creativity within four walls, so keep an eye out for stunning sculptures and installations scattered throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.
The Art of Burning Man Exhibit Taylor Dorn (Smithsonian)

Experience Burning Man, the annual cultural festival in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert, through this sensory, colorful exhibit at the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Image credit: Taylor Dorn (Smithsonian)

  • Oprah Winfrey’s impact on American culture is undeniable and her story is worthy of museum halls around the world. Lucky for us, the National Museum of African American History & Culture is the chosen place to tell her story, in their latest special exhibition, Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture. Through June 2019, the exhibition charts her effect on both American and global culture as a world-famous talk show, actress, film producer, philanthropist and media mogul. In addition to epic television clips (remember the car giveaway?), the exhibition features original artifacts from both Harpo Studios where the show was filmed, and items from her personal collection.
Oprah Winfrey Show Exhibit Image courtesy of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

“Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture,” at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture uses the story of Winfrey and her 25-year daytime talk show to explore contemporary American history and culture — especially issues of power, gender and the media. Image courtesy of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

  • Calling all foodies! Emporiyum Food Market weekend on November 9 – 11 is the place to be to nosh on artisan goods from across the country, including some District favorites like Buttercream Bakery, Maketto and Lost Sock Roasters. You can also find thoughtful holiday gifts for your fellow food-enthusiast friends and enjoy music from a local DJ. Held at Dock5 at Union Market, Emporiyum is one of the premier food events in town and tickets sell out fast.
Emporiyum Food Market Washington DC Dim Sum Media

Stroll the Emporyium Food Market in Washington D.C. and stock up on tasty local (and all-American!) fares, wares and flavors. Image credit: Dim Sum Media

  • Forget what you think you know about the Titanic (sorry Leo and Kate) and make your way to the National Geographic Museum for the real story. From now until January 2019 Titanic: The Untold Story showcases the link between a top secret Cold War mission and the 1985 discovery of the sunken ship by oceanographer and National Geographic Explorer-at-Large, Robert Ballard. Prepared in collaboration with the National Archives and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library Titanic features items from the luxurious ocean liner, original images, and never-before-seen ship memorabilia.
Titanic Ship in Halifax Harbour image courtesy of Joseph H. Bailey/National Geographic Creative

In Halifax Harbour, the R.M.S. Titanic prepares for sea in her only voyage. As The flagship of the White Star Line, she was the most luxurious of passenger liners in an age dedicated to luxury. One-way passage in the finest of her firs t-class suites cost the equivalent of nearly 50,000 dollars in today’s funds. Hailed as being unsinkable, she did just that on her maiden voyage. Image courtesy of Joseph H. Bailey/National Geographic Creative

Wrap your visit to the exhibition and stay in DC with a convenient bundle with the Discover the Titanic package at one of 11 participating DC-area Kimpton Hotels, which includes two discounted tickets to the museum.

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