Whether you’re looking to take your mind off midterms or are ready to get into the Halloween spirit, here are this weekend’s best events from festivals to bar crawls to inspirational speeches.
Big Wave Rider Greg Long speaks at National Geographic: Competitive surfer Greg Long nearly drowned in 2012 while surfing off the coast of California. Though he returned to surfing as soon as he recovered physically, the traumatic experience left him with emotional damage that would take years to heal. Long, who was named one of the National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year in 2013, will speak about his struggle to overcome self-doubt and return to the waves.
National Geographic Grosvenor Auditorium, 1145 17th St. NW. 7:30 p.m. $24.
Matt Bai speaks at Barnes and Noble: As a former New York Times reporter and current Yahoo! News political columnist, Matt Bai has seen his fair share of presidential scandals. In his new book, “All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid,” Bai looks at the Gary Hart sex scandal of of the 1980s, exploring the turning point when officials’ personal lives gained a foothold in politics.
Bethesda Barnes and Noble, 4801 Bethesda Ave., Bethesda, Md. 7 p.m. Free.
JEFF The Brotherhood plays at Rock & Roll Hotel: Garage rock duo JEFF The Brotherhood will hit the stage at Rock & Roll Hotel. The Nashville-bred brothers, who have played with Ty Segall and Best Coast and have been featured on NPR, BBC and SPIN, are known for their summer-splashed, psychedelic tunes.
Rock & Roll Hotel, 1353 H St. NE. 9 p.m. $15.
Art Walk in the Glen Echo Park: With a new photography exhibit, still-life paintings and silversmithing, Glen Echo Park is home to a vibrant community of artists. Tap into your inner artist at the park’s free Art Walk, which features glass studio work, stone carvings, Latin dance performances and art classes.
Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, Md. 6 p.m. Free.
Columbia Heights Day: This one-day-only festival will highlight locals with eclectic talents, from artists to jewelers to musicians who will perform live sets. The festival will play host to old-school festival fun like moon bounces, bocce, dunk tanks and pie-eating contests, along with dozens of vendors from Capital Kombucha to Rita’s Water Ice and the Peace Corps. Bouncing off the idea of Adams Morgan Day, the festival began in 2007 as a way to celebrate the Columbia Heights community.
Columbia Heights, 11th St. NW and Harriet Tubman School Yard. 11 a.m. Free.
Mark Bittman at Lisner Auditorium: If you’re hoping to impress your crush with a home-cooked meal or just searching for the quickest breakfast recipe to make it to that 8 a.m. class, look no further. Mark Bittman, the lead New York Times Magazine food writer will come to campus to talk about his newest book, “How to Cook Everything Fast.” Whether you’re an aspiring chef or have yet to venture past making toast, check out this event for tips on time-crunch cooking.
Lisner Auditorium. 7 p.m. $15.
The Walking Dead Bar Crawl: To celebrate the return of AMC’s cult series “The Walking Dead,” hundreds clad in zombie costumes will walk the streets, where they’ll enjoy drink specials from local participating bars and even zombie-inspired makeup stations. The walker with the best costume will be awarded a $200 bar tab, so be sure to don your grimiest attire and perfect your zombie groan.
Penn Social, 801 E St. NW. $30. This is a 21-and-older event.
Taste of D.C.: Take a trip to Pennsylvania Avenue for Taste of D.C., a culinary spectacle from Saturday to Sunday. With over 40 restaurants like Ben’s Chili Bowl, District Doughnut and Carving Room making an appearance, you’ll have access to all of D.C.’s best bites in one place. Once you’ve satisfied your hunger, check out the festival’s other features, like a beer garden with live music performers and a wine walk with 50 varieties of wine. Tip: Make sure to bring cash to sample the “tasting” menus at each booth.
14th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, Noon. $10.
Steven Pinker at Politics & Prose: Steven Pinker, a Harvard professor and cognitive scientist, recently released “The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person’s Guide to Writing in the 21st Century.” At his talk Sunday at the cafe-turned-bookshop Politics & Prose, Pinker will discuss the psychology behind social media and how changing times are altering the way that we write.
Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 1 p.m. Free.