It’s always a great time of year to visit Washington, DC, especially with a family! There are a variety of events – everything from movies under the stars to world-class musical performances to free fitness classes – available in this city. Pack light, arrive early, and enjoy!
Toe-tappin’, finger-snappin’ and feel-good vibes are coming your way at these free summer concerts, no matter your musical taste. Rediscover old favorites and find new music in parks and gardens throughout DC – here’s a short list to get you started!
Rock at the Row Summer Concert Series – Thursday nights
Visit this dynamic retail and visitors space near the Pentagon for food, music, and relaxation. Every Thursday night, from 7pm to 9pm, enjoy free music on the plaza, through August 25th.
Capitol Riverfront Friday Night Concert Series at Yards Park – Friday nights
Every Friday night, beginning at 6:30, a new family-friendly act takes the stage at this riverfront park, while you relax on the grassy seating area. Nearby restaurants allow families to make a full night of it.
Jazz in the Garden: Moonshine Society
The vocals of Blues Hall of Fame member Black Betty lead Moonshine Society, band playing blues, funk, and rock. The show starts at 5pm in the Sculpture Garden, National Gallery of Art, 401 Constitution Avenue, NW.
Grab the family, some snacks and a picnic blanket and go see movies under the stars! See your favorite stars on the big screen in unforgettable locations, like riverfront parks and national parks. Be sure to arrive early if you want a good seat!
Outdoor Movie Series at Canal Park – Thursday nights
Free movies under the stars every Thursday night! The movie series runs through August 18. Catch Pitch Perfect 2, The Martian, and Skyfall this summer (all rated PG-13). Films start at sundown (8:45 or so); Canal Park, 200 M St SE.
Films at the Stone
See Race (PG-13), a film about Olympic runner Jesse Owens for free on August 25, as part of this summer film series that celebrates love, courage, and strength. The show starts at 8:15pm; Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, 1964 Independence Avenue SW.
Georgetown’s 2nd Annual Sunset Cinema
Tuesday, August 2 is the final showing in this free summer movie series. Catch Into the Wild (Rated R), beginning at sundown (roughly 8:30pm). Georgetown Waterfront Park at the intersection of K/Water Street and Cecil Place, NW.
Sometimes you just want to do something different – a little off the beaten path. Washington, DC offers that, too. Watch dragon boat races, stargaze, make new (animal) friends, or get in touch with your inner child and play games outside! Here are some ideas to get you started:
The Capital Dragon Boat Regatta
Dragon boat races are exciting to watch, and with 20 friends, you can even field your own team (training’s offered!). Saturday, August 27 at Washington, DC’s Southwest Waterfront.
Exploring the Sky
See Andromeda rising and Mercury setting on August 6 – as long as the weather’s clear! Telescopes are set up for beginning star-gazers to enjoy; 8:30pm in Rock Creek Park.
Admission is free to the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park, or the National Zoo. The Giant Pandas are legendary, but you can also see cheetahs, tigers, lions, reptiles, and much more.
Golden Triangle Business District Events
This pocket of Washington, DC offers weekly picnics and fitness classes – drop in for free! Try yoga or pilates, pick up a ping pong game, play foosball or lawn games. Locations and times vary; White House to Dupont Circle and 16th Street NW to New Hampshire Avenue NW.
Summer is a great time to visit the city we love, as residents or visitors. This is only a brief list of things to do – got something to add? Leave a comment below and share your favorites!