SpotHero Summer Picks: Our Top 10 Things to do in DC This Summer

Folklife Festival

Dates: June 29-July 4 & July 6-9

Location: National Mall

Price: Free 

The Folklife Festival is a two-week long event on the National Mall and a celebration of contemporary cultures, countries, and traditions. This year’s festival focuses on the unique culture of the Ozarks, and examines living religions in the U.S. Immerse yourself in the unknown for an afternoon or for the entire two weeks. Click here for more information and a full schedule of events.

Explore Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Dates: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily April 1- October 31

Location: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, 1550 Anacostia Ave., NE

Price: Free!

Details: Spend some time exploring only national park site devoted to cultivated water-loving plants. In addition to spectacular flora, visitors to the aquatic gardens can enjoy special events like ranger-led talks and tours, crafts, and many other special activities. You can learn more here.

National Building Museum Summer Block Party: Look Here

Dates: July 1-September 4

Location: National Building Museum, 401 F St., NW

Price: Block party is included with general admission ($7 for children ages 3-17, students w/ID, and seniors 60+, $10 for adults).

Details: This unique festival returns for its NINTH year as the National Building Museum’s great hall is transformed into a unique space the summer! Visitors can stop by during the day for immersive tours and activities. Visit here for additional details.


Dates: July 28-30

Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center, 801 Mt Vernon Pl. NW

Price: Tickets begin at $40, view full pricing here.

This annual convention celebrates Asian pop culture in many forms: anime, manga, video games, and many more have a home here. Visitors can attend panels, visit galleries, shop, dance, and LARP to their heart’s content! Learn more here.

Capital Fringe

Dates: July 12-23

Location: Various locations around DC

Price: $15 per individual performance

This performing arts festival is one of DC’s largest and most unique. This year, visitors can enjoy more than 30 performances ranging from virtually every genre: drama, comedy, musical, even cabaret! A full lineup will be announced in late June, you can learn more here.

DC Jazzfest

Dates: August 30-September 3

Location: The Wharf DC, 101 District Square, SW

Price: General admission is free, advanced options available for a fee, more details here.

Details: Jazzfest returns for its 19th year to celebrate all things Jazz. Enjoy performances by Grammy winners, old favorites, and new talent, over five jazz-filled days. For a full schedule and tickets, click here.

Explore museums

Location: National Mall

Price: Varies, but many are free!

Details: Summer in DC can be brutal, a visit to the Smithsonian or the National Gallery of art is the perfect way to stay cool on a hot day. You can learn something new and beat the heat, all for free! For a full list of Smithsonian museums, hours and exhibits, click here. You can visit here for more information on the National gallery of Art.

Picnic in the sculpture garden

Dates: The sculpture garden is open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Location:  Constitution Ave NW &, 7th St NW

Price: Free!

No summer is complete without one day at the sculpture garden. Bring some snacks, or head to the pavilion cafe. You can also check out Jazz in the Garden series on Friday evenings. These  events are free, however advanced registration is required so be sure to sign up! Click here to learn more.

Head to a Nationals Game

Date: The Nationals play their last regular season game last home game October 1. You can view the entire regular season schedule here.

Location: Nationals Park, 1500 S. Capitol St. NE

Cost: Ticket price varies based on opponent

Details: Nothing says summer quite like a day at the ballpark! Grab your friends and head over to Nationals Park to root for the home team.

Head out of town

If you want to beat the summer heat by taking some time away from the District, we won’t judge you! Catching a flight? Just remember to reserve your airport parking spot in advance!

Dulles Airport

Reagan Airport

Happy Summer!