The Reach: Please Touch

The Reach: Please Touch

The Reach Opening Festival is under way at the Kennedy Center, and you can get free tickets to events through Sept. 22.

The Reach is taking ars gratia artis (art for art’s sake) to a new level with the opening of their $250 million complex where the line between artists and audiences is intentionally blurred.

The facility describes itself as “a living theater where diverse art forms collide to break down the boundaries between audience and art.” Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a Washington Post article that what happens in the Reach is “the opposite” of what happens in the Kennedy Center. It’s not sitting and watching, it’s standing and doing. It’s not gowns and tuxes, it’s jeans and flip-flops.

All day, every day, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., the Reach is hosting events that are free and open to the public. What can you do and see there?

  • In the Moonshot Studio, learn to draw, write poetry, mix beats and choreograph.
  • Be part of the Royal Swedish Opera or the Lion King in the Virtual Reality Lounge, or get a taste of what Traveling While Black is like.
  • Finally figure out how professional dancers work their magic in Installation: Slow Dancing, a film showing dancers in 10 minutes of extreme slow motion.
  • In between events, step out on the Skylight Pavilion and immerse yourself in music, projected images, sounds and live performances
  • Area schools can get into the game too, with field trips scheduled every day in which D.C. public school students get to watch a performance and participate in workshops.
  • Teachers can attend special events as well, including a conversation with renowned children’s author Mo Willems (author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus).
  • Watch films, including Black Panther, the 2018 blockbuster starring Chadwick Boseman; America to Me, a documentary about students in elite Chicago neighborhoods; and Showboat, a Washington National Opera production of the 1920s classic musical.
  • Collaborate with friends and strangers in Infinite Monster, a space you can go into to draw a monster without being able to see what the others are drawing until you come out again. See your creation after online!
  • Listen to Olmeca, billed as an artist, activist and scholar, talk about art, culture and politics as seen through the eyes of struggling populations. He’s a first-generation American who has lived in the jungles of Chiapas, Mexico.
  • See comedians Rachel Dratch and Jon Glaser perform sketch comedy with members of Second City.
  • Master Class: Dancing for All Abilities with MYB Music in Motion is geared toward children with disabilities, though anyone 5 and older is welcome to participate.
  • Learn more about the Peace Corps, a program in which volunteers assist those struggling with poverty, famine and other major life stresses in other countries. Started by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, this highly respected organization is still thriving today.

All events are free. Most are open to the public, but some are invitation only. Peruse the entire schedule, then get your free passes.

The Reach, next to the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St NW

It’s Labor Day Weekend — Celebrate!

It’s almost here — the last hurrah of summer. Last dip in the pool, last ice cream dripping down the cone, last beer outside in a plastic Solo cup, last time to sleep in on a Tuesday. Back to pencils and books and meetings and fading tan lines.

Make sure your summer ends with a bang — plan to go to one of the fun Labor Day events listed below.

Labor Day Weekend Music Festival — Hear local bands and musicians play at this two-night fest for free; 7 – 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31 and Sunday, Sept. 1, Lincoln Theatre, 1215 U St. NW.

National Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Concert — Singers Mykal Kilgore and Nova Payton will sing popular R&B songs, 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol; free.

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival — Enjoy carnival games, funnel cake, live music and more at this annual family-friendly fest, 6-11 p.m. Friday, Aug. 30; 10:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31; noon-10 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 2; free admission.

Caribbean Boat Party — Hop aboard and enjoy food, drinks and dancing to a Caribbean beat, 9:15-11:15 p.m., Boomerang Yacht, 2nd level, Georgetown waterfront in front of Nick’s Riverside Grill; tickets, $35, food and drink extra.

Last Party of the Summer — Dig into your closet for some fringe, capes or bell bottoms and head over to see this Earth, Wind and Fire tribute band, 8:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30, Gypsy Sally’s, 3401 K Street Northwest, Water St. NW.

Nats vs. Marlins, Mets — The Nats are playing at home every day tomorrow through Wednesday, Nationals Park, 1500 South Capitol Street SE; tickets, $14-$415.

Reggae vs. Soca Fest — Dance the night away — or the whole weekend. Fest runs from 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31-4 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2, Karma DC, 2221 Adams Place NE; tickets, $20.

National Book Festival — More than 100 authors will speak, hold discussions and sign copies of their books, 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt. Vernon Pl NW, Washington

No Excuses — Free Workouts for Summer 2019

Want to hit the gym without taking a hit to your wallet? Check out our list of free, convenient weekly workouts to shape up without paying a cent.

Washington, DC

Georgetown waterfront businesses rotate to provide a free fitness class at 6 p.m. on Wednesdays through Aug. 28; participants include Down Dog Yoga, Lululemon, CorePower Yoga and more. Space is capped at 100, so registration in encouraged.

November Project is a worldwide free fitness phenomenon professing “no sign-up forms, no BS.” Meet Mondays at 6:30 a.m. at Meridian Park, Wednesdays at 5:25 and 6:20 a.m. at the Lincoln Memorial steps, and Fridays at 6:30 a.m. at rotating locations listed on their blog.

Navy Yard
Work out on the riverfront with a rotating calendar of HIIT, yoga and more. Check out the ever-evolving calendar for a workout that suits you.


Crystal City
Mind Your Body Oasis holds glow yoga at the fountain every Sunday at 7 p.m. through August. Check their Facebook page for updates.

Fairfax County
What better place to foster a quiet, meditative mood than a library? Maybe you can even get a book on your way out! Check out a class at Herndon Fortnightly Library 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Mondays, or at Tysons-Pimmit Regional Library 7:30-8:30 p.m. Mondays. Bring your own mat. See a full calendar of library events here.

Mosaic District
Spark Yoga hosts Yoga in the Park every Wednesday from 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Sundays 9-10 a.m. Bring your own mat. On Tuesdays, change it up with Barre and Circuit Training in the Park, also hosted by Spark. All cancellations due to weather will be announced via Spark’s Facebook page 60 minutes before class begins. Arrive about 15 minutes early to sign a waiver. Outdoor classes end Sept. 1.

Fairfax Corner
Come to Yoga on the Plaza 8:30-9:30 a.m. Saturdays. Ends Aug. 31.

Check out the classes at Athleta Fit Club at Reston Town Center. Courses rotate, including Plyoga, Tabata, Latin Dancing and more. View the full calendar here. If you’d rather be meditating with a peaceful lake as a backdrop, drop in for free yoga on Sunday mornings at 9:30 at Lake Anne Plaza. Finally, Restonians can head over to Reston Station, where Beloved Yoga hosts free yoga at Metro Station Plaza from 6:30-7:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays through September.


Silver Spring
In Silver Spring, yogis can meet at the fountain downtown for a free class led by Grace Yoga 7-7:45 p.m. Wednesdays. Ends Sept. 25. If you work in Silver Spring and you want a relaxing way to wait for traffic to die down, try attending free community yoga at Potomac Massage Training Institute from 5:15-6:15 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.

National Harbor

Try free Yoga on the Plaza presented by Gold’s Gym Saturdays at 10 a.m.

Various Locations

Planet Fitness
If you’re lucky enough to be between the ages of 15 and 18, you can work out for free at Planet Fitness this summer. See the details here.