Sep 21, 2023 - Things to Do

D.C. weekend events: Panda Palooza, Jonas Brothers and more

Giant pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. Photo: Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute

This weekend in D.C., check out Panda Palooza at the National Zoo, the DAR Museum's paint brunch, a floating concert on the river and more.

๐Ÿผ 1. Send off the pandas

Say farewell to Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji, the National Zoo's giant pandas, at Panda Palooza โ€” a nine-day celebration.

What's happening: Enjoy panda-themed activities including arts and crafts, yoga classes, scavenger hunts and screenings of "Kung Fu Panda" and "The Miracle Panda."

Why it matters: The giant pandas will be flown to China, closing out a decades-long international animal care and conservation effort by the National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

  • This will be the first time in 23 years that there will not be giant pandas in D.C.

What they're saying: "Although this farewell is bittersweet, we must celebrate these bears and their impact on fans and on our understanding, care and conservation of their species," says Brandie Smith, director of NZCBI.

When: Saturday through Oct. 1

Where: National Zoo

Cost: Free. Reserve an entry pass.

  • Entry passes are released on a rolling schedule. Passes will be available on Friday and Saturday.

What's next: Zoo spokesperson Annalisa Meyer tells Axios' Anna Spiegel they're working with partners in China to develop a new giant panda program.

  • "After 51 years of success, we remain committed to the conservation of this species, which includes gaining a better understanding of the giant panda habitat. โ€ฆ Now it is a question of what the science and conservation needs are for the future."

๐Ÿ“ธ 2. Fotos y Recuerdos Festival

  • Enjoy a salsa and bomba workshop by the Washington Ballet, book signings for the Lil' Libros series "The Life of" and museum tours from 11:30amโ€“3pm Saturday at the National Portrait Gallery's Hispanic Heritage Month fiesta. Free.

๐Ÿ’ 3. Go Caps!

  • Enjoy an afternoon by the rink as the Washington Capitals take on the Buffalo Sabres in a preseason matchup at 2pm Sunday at Capital One Area. Tickets start at $29.

๐ŸŽธ 4. Jonas Brothers

  • The Five Albums, One Night tour is making its first stop at Capital One Area 7pm Saturday. Tickets start at $58.
  • If you can't make this show, the Jonas Brothers will be back on Dec. 3.

๐Ÿ–Œ๏ธ 5. DAR Paint Brunch

  • Sip mimosas and eat pancakes while creating a portrait inspired by the DAR Museum's newest exhibit, "Pleasing Truths: Peer and Portraits in the American Home." The brunch is 10amโ€“noon Saturday at the DAR Museum. Tickets are $25.

๐ŸŒŠ 6. River concert

  • Listen to pop music from D.C.-area theater artists on a floating stage at The Wharf's Transit Pier 2pm Sunday. Free.

๐ŸŽ‰ 7. Celebrate Petworth

  • Celebrate the diversity and culture of the Petworth neighborhood with live music, kids arts and crafts, a dog show, local vendors, food and more 11amโ€“5pm Saturday. Free.

๐ŸŽต 8. History Makers 2023

  • Rick Ross, Monica, Black Alley & Kenny Burns' hip-hop tour will be at The Anthem in The Wharf 8pm Friday. Tickets start at $79.

Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Washington D.C. stories

No stories could be found

Washington D.C.postcard

Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Washington D.C..


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more