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9 things to do this weekend to kickoff August in DC, Virginia and Maryland | Aug. 5-7

Hunt for rare dino fossils or old town ghosts, have your fortune read over Turkish coffee, pick sunflowers in a field or blend your own hot sauce. August is here!

WASHINGTON — It's the first weekend of the month! Time to get out and explore something new - or stick with the classics you know and love. We don't judge.

Here are a few fun ideas for how to get out and about as you look to make the most of these hot, mid-summery days.


A Midsummer Night's Dream At The Playhouse at the National Building Museum

  • Friday, Aug. 5 at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 6 at 4:30 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 6, at  8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m.
  • National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW Washington DC
  • Admission: Tickets start at $20

Check out "A Midsummer Night's Dream" like never before on the unique set at the National Building Museum! This cool museum focuses on architecture, design and urban planning, and every year during the summer, the museum presents unique installations in its majestic and beautiful Great Hall; in 2015, they turned the entire space into a giant ball pit! This year, it's a set fit for Shakespeare himself.

"The Playhouse provides a venue for unique experiences related to theater—from behind-the-scenes tours to sword-fighting demonstrations and other hands-on activities," organizers shared of the many festivities occurring surrounding the installation. 

Among the various experiences, visitors are invited to see the full production put on by Folger Theatre at this brand new set.

"This once-in-a-lifetime production full of yearning lovers, mischievous fairies, and bumbling amateur actors colliding beneath the glowing moon is 90 minutes of sheer delight and romance," organizers said.

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East End Market's Saturday Festival

  • Recurring; Saturday, Aug. 6 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Riverside Community Center, 5200 Foote St, NE, Washington, DC 20019
  • Admission: Free

Come celebrate community and education with this new nonprofit that has spotlighted its goal of bringing a local market to the "vibrant yet underserved neighborhoods of Ward 7."

"Enjoy summer with music, great food, neighbors, face painting, a bounce house, small businesses, health vendors, and a fire truck!" the group shares. "Let’s bring back all the good things that Ward 7 has to offer!!!"

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Check out some of the world's best in tennis at the Citi Open

  • Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7
  • Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, 5220 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011
  • Admission: Ticket prices vary

Join thousands of other spectators in enjoying a day at the courts, watching tennis stars play right here in Rock Creek Park for this annual sporting event. 

"In July of 1969, the inaugural tournament became one of the first open professional tennis tournaments held in the United States," the website states. 

The event was set to be stacked with talent this year; four former World No. 1 players, seven Grand Slam champions, four former Citi Open titlists, four gold medalists and 10 top-20 players among the men’s and women’s fields hit the courts. This weekend, the finals will go down to see who takes home the Citi Open trophy.

RELATED: Tennis superstar Rafael Nadal raves about DC | It's A DC Thing

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ART BUZZ: Free Art Show + Sip & Paint + Bottomless Mimosas!

  • Recurring; Saturday, Aug. 6 from 5-9 p.m.
  • Wasted Lounge | 816 H Street NE, Washington D.C. 20002
  • Admission: Free; must be 21+ with ID to attend

This original, weekly showcase on H Street, called "Art Buzz," is geared towards "creating a space for artists to network, mingle, display their art and have fun while also bridging the gap between the art community and people who just love to be around art," according to organizers. 

If you haven't picked up too many paintbrushes in your life - don't sweat it. You don't have to be an artist to attend and the event is free and open to anyone who loves art.

"Food and drinks are available, bottomless mimosas and drink specials, music, and freestyle art 'sip & paint' stations where artists of all skill levels can hang out & freestyle on canvas," the event description reads. 

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Immigrant-Owned Mini Markt

  • Recurring; Saturday, Aug. 6 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • 1921 Biergarten at the Heurich House, 1307 New Hampshire Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20036
  • Admission: Free

This immigrant-owned small, local business market is sure to yield a few special finds in the Biergarten of the Heurich House.

"The museum was once the home of brewmaster Christian Heurich, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1866 from Germany," the website shares. "Today, the museum explores the American Dream through the legacy of historic Heurich household staff, brewery workers, and the craftspeople who built the home — many of whom were immigrants — while also supporting DC’s modern workers through our Small Business Development program."

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Egypt on the Potomac Walking Field Trip Series

  • Saturday, Aug. 6; two sessions available - 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. 
  • Meridian Hill Park, near 16th & Crescent Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20009
  • Admission: $35

If you're new to the District or looking to learn about some special influences in the cityscape you've never picked up on before, this tour might be the ticket. 

"Did you know there is wisdom embedded throughout the visual make up of Washington, D.C.?" organizers posted. "Join an Egypt on the Potomac Field Trip facilitator to uncover secrets hidden in plain sight along the 16th Street Meridian Hill Corridor of Light"

RELATED: 'The greatest city in America' | 50-year local and award-winning architect illustrates book of favorite DC spaces

During the tour, you'll have the opportunity to explore aspects of African mythology, African American, American and D.C. history. 

"The Field Trip illuminates the ancient Egyptian influence on the founding fathers of the United States of America, as well as their acknowledgment of the Nile Valley origins of civilization," organizers said.

The tour will total less than a mile through Meridian Hill Park and up 16th Street.

RELATED: ‘A time-traveling journey' | Immersive King Tut exhibit debuts at National Geographic Museum


Credit: WUSA9 Brielle Ashford

Pick your own sunflowers at Burnside Farm

  • Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
  • Burnside Farms, 11008 Kettle Run Road, Nokesville, VA, 20181
  • Admission: Tickets start at $17

Six weeks of blooms recently kicked off at Burnside Farm, and visitors are now welcome to head out to the beautiful field and enjoy some time picking. The farm shared that they plant more than 30 varieties of "cutting" sunflowers on more than 50 acres in successive crops - plus, on weekends, there are often food trucks!

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Turkish Coffee Brewing & Coffee Reading Workshop

  • Saturday, Aug. 6 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • Turkish Coffee Lady, 1001 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314
  • Admission: Free

"Turkish coffee is the world’s oldest coffee brewing method, and Turkish coffee culture is a 500-year-old ritual," organizers shared of this special event. "The distinctive experience of drinking coffee comes from this fine grinding, giving rise to a velvety froth, satisfying mouth feel and fragrance. It has a unique aroma and presentation; in other words, it has its own identity and tradition."

Coffee lovers unite - get your buzz and your fortune read at the Turkish Coffee Lady before the weekend's out. Turkish Coffee leaves dregs, known as telve, at the bottom of your cup - organizers explain it is a thick, muddy residue. Much like reading tea leaves, the residue can be used to interpret your future!

"Please join us for a fun presentation on Turkish coffee culture and private fortune reading sessions. We will also talk about Turkish coffee traditions and its centuries-old history. Please reserve your seat by August 4th." 

RELATED: Learn the art of decorating with frosting, sprinkles and fondant at Chantilly cake shop

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Hunt for ghosts in Manassas

  • Saturday, Aug. 6 from 9 p.m. to 10:45 p.m.
  • 9101 Prince William St, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Admission: $35

Spooky season just can't come soon enough this year - here's an event to get you into the (extra) early spirit. 

"Explore Historic Old Town Manassas as we hunt for ghosts that have been around for almost 160 years and don't be surprised who or what shows up!"

Join the "Ghost Doctors" - who organizers say are your own friendly paranormal investigators - to go on a real ghost tour; not that typical, historical story-telling stuff.

"At the end of this investigation, walk away with the knowledge of what it is to be a real ghost hunter."

These hunts are highly interactive, engaging and really hands-on with your friendly paranormal investigators -- the Ghost Doctors!

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Virginia Black Business Expo

  • Friday, Aug. 5 through Sunday, Aug. 7
  • Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center, 2371 Carl D. Silver Parkway, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
  • Admission: Starts at $10

Organizers say that this event is the largest expo in Virginia and plans to feature 150 Black-owned businesses during August, which is National Black Business Month.

"The Expo is a multi-day event dedicated to mobilizing, empowering, and uplifting the community through shopping, networking opportunities, relationship building, live demonstrations and business education from local industry experts," organizers said. "The event will celebrate Black culture, delicious food, entertainment, and community."

RELATED: Princess Diana 'walk through documentary' exhibit comes to Tysons Corner


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Annual Rotary Club of Annapolis Crab Feast

  • Friday, Aug. 5 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. 
  • Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, 550 Taylor Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401 
  • General Admission: $90, children (3-12): $25

Sometimes, all you want to accomplish over the weekend is eating some really good food. Annapolis has you covered with the 77th annual Crab Feast.

"This special event is not only the world’s largest crab feast but also a major fund-raiser that benefits local community and cultural organizations," reads the event description. The feast is all-you-can eat and drink, including large male crabs plus sweet Maryland corn on the cob, BBQ, draft beer, and assorted sodas and water. Visitors can also expect to find a bake sale and a cake raffle.

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Hunt for rare fossils with a paleontologist in Laurel

  • Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10 a.m. to  2 p.m.
  • Dinosaur Park, 13100 Mid Atlantic Boulevard, Laurel, Maryland, 20708, United States 
  • Admission: Free

Instead of taking yet another trip to a Smithsonian museum this weekend, how about finding something that could go in one?

That's what they're known for at Dinosaur Park! It's a 41-acre space in Laurel, Maryland, featuring a rare deposit of fossils from the Cretaceous Period (144 to 65 million years ago). On the first and third Saturdays of the month, guests of all ages are invited to join paleontologists and volunteers on-site to interpret fossil deposits. 

"Hundreds of fossils discovered by visitors have been collected and cataloged to date, enhancing our knowledge about the ancient ecosystem that once existed here. Perhaps, you will make an important discovery on your next visit!" officials say on the website.

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Summer Spirit Festival by Howard University radio

  • Sunday, Aug. 7
  • Merriweather Post Pavillion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy, Columbia, MD 21044
  • Admission: Tickets start at $74

Catch Howard University radio's Summer Spirit Festival this weekend! Enjoy some summertime sounds either hanging out in the grassy lawn or with a seat up close. The lineup for this year includes Erykah Badu, Anthony Hamilton, Method Man, Red Man, Marsha Ambrosius and more.

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Blend your own hot sauce workshop

Sunday, Aug. 7 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

Plants Alive! 15710 Layhill Road, Silver Spring, MD 20906

Admission: $30

Spice up your days off with a little bit of creative cooking at this Silver Spring workshop. 

"Discover the art of making hot sauce from one of Cultivate the City's lead farmers!" Organizers said. "Every year, we make several different types of hot sauces from our unique (and super spicy) fresh peppers, and we're finally ready to share the knowledge and show you how to make your own."

"Learn about some of the secret ingredients that make their way into most of our sauces and the flavor profiles of different peppers, how to determine heat levels without killing your taste buds, and how to make a shelf-stable product with minimal processing."

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