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

Folklife Festival

Dates: June 22-27 & June 30-July 4

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 United Arab Emirates, and Earth optimism and conservation. 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.

Lotus and Water Lily Festival

Dates: Saturdays and Sundays, July 9-31, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m. -4 p.m. Sunday

Location: Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens

Price: Free

In addition to spectacular flora, for the month of July, visitors to the aquatic gardens can enjoy ranger-led talks and tours, crafts, and many other special activities. You can learn more here.

National Building Museum Summer Block Party: The Playhouse

Dates: July 1-August 28

Location: National Building Museum

Price: Block party is included with general admission ($7 for children ages 3-17, students w/ID, and seniors 60+, $10 for adults), special performances are an additional fee, full pricing and tickets available here.

This unique festival returns for its eighth year as the National Building Museum’s great hall is transformed into a Shakespeare theater for the summer! Visitors can stop by during the day for immersive tours and activities, or return in the evening for a special performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Visit here for a full schedule of events and additional details.

Otakon

Dates: July 29-31

Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center

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 14-17 and 21-24

Location: Georgetown Park

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! View a full listing of events here.

DC Jazzfest

Dates: August 31-September 4

Location: The Wharf DC

Price: General admission is free, advanced options available starting at $59, more details here.

Jazzfest returns for its 18th 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!

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 home opener was Thursday, April 7, 2022, and the last home game is October 2. You can view the entire regular season schedule here.

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

Cost: Ticket price varies based on opponent

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!