August may be the final month of the summer, but there is still plenty of time to enjoy it and things to do in D.C.! To help you make the most of these last dog days of summer, we’ve compiled a jam-packed roundup of all the best things to do!
This whimsical Dr. Seuss immersive experience has been taking the DMV by storm! Get ready to watch your favorite childhood stories come to life as wander through towering Truffula Trees, take a spin on the Circus McGurkus carousel ride, make your way through Sneetches Mirror Maze and much more. You won’t want to miss this family-friendly experience!
2. Catch a concert at your favorite local venue
- Capital One Arena: Sam Smith (August 4), Moneybagg Yo (August 11), Lionell Richie and Earth, Wind & Fire (August 18), Lil Baby (August 31)
- The Anthem: Death Grips (August 8), Queens of the Stone Age with Phantogram (August 9), Sylvan Esso (August 11), Queens of the Stone Age with Phantogram (August 14)
- The Atlantis: Gogol Bordello (August 5), Bush (August 6), Shakey Graves (August 8), Drive-By Truckers (August 10), Parliament Funkadelic feat. George Clinton (August 14), Thievery Corporation (August 17), Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (August 27), Gary Clark Jr. (August 28), The Pretenders (August 31)
- 9:30 Club: Bush (August 5), Tessa Violet (August 8), glaive (August 10), Yoke Lore (August 22), Local Natives (August 24-25), Wax Motif (August 26), JVKE (August 31)
- Echostage: Road to Moonrise Festival: Getter (August 4), Green Velvet Presents: La La Land (August 5), Road to Moonrise Festival: GRiZ (August 11), DJ Snake (August 18), Jai Wolf (August 25), Sebastian Ingrosso (August 31)
3. Grab fresh foods and live music at the Capital Harvest Market
Every Wednesday through October, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Woodrow Wilson Plaza you can purchase fresh fruits and vegetables and artisanal goods while taking in live music at the Capital Harvest Market or “Capital Harvest on the Plaza” (CHoP). The market aims “to foster a sense of community, stimulate economic development and improve quality of life by providing local and sustainably sourced foods and products” for the D.C. community! Learn more here.
4. Learn to arrange a breathtaking flower arrangement at She Loves Me
She loves me, she loves me not, she loves me! Local D.C. flower shop She Loves Me knows the secret to beautiful bouquets…and now, you can too! Each month, She Loves Me hosts a number of flower arrangement workshops, centering on seasonal flowers and how to make breathtaking bouquets of your own! This month, workshops are available on Wednesday, August 9 and August 22! Learn more here.
Swingers – The Crazy Golf Club in Dupont Circle officially turns two this summer! And what better way to celebrate two full years in D.C. than with 2 for $20 birthday cocktails? On Tuesday, August 15th, guests can choose from three delicious specialty drinks in honor of the venue’s big milestone.
Plus, if you join in on the festivities, you will receive a complimentary round of crazy golf to use at a later date. Sounds like a win-win to us! Drop in at 1330 19th St NW, or book your spot here in advance.
What’s better than a free outdoor movie?! Just outside of D.C. at National Harbor, the Movies on the Potomac series is running through September. Fun for all ages, every 6 p.m. on Sunday features a family-friendly film, while couples and adults can come for Thursday’s 7 p.m. date night showings. Find a full calendar listing of films here.
Coming to the historic Howard Theatre, this jaw-dropping Authentic Flamenco production by the Royal Opera of Madrid will make for a night to remember. Originating in Spain, the mesmerizing show features award-winning artists, including internationally renowned flamenco dancer, Yolanda Osuna. The show will only be in D.C. for a limited time from August 31 to September 7, so be sure to snag your tickets while they last!
8. Head to the theatre for one of these plays, musicals, or ballets
- The Kennedy Center
- “Shear Madness” (through October 2024)
- “The Play That Goes Wrong” (August 1-13)
- “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” (August 2-September 24)
- “To Kill a Mockingbird” (August 15-27)
9. Unleash your inner bookworm at the National Book Festival
The Library of Congress’s National Book Festival is returning to Washington, D.C., this weekend! The free festival will take over the Walter E. Washington Convention Center on Saturday, August 12, following this year’s theme, “Everyone Has a Story,” meant to celebrate “the storyteller in us all.” The genre-spanning festival will feature more than 120 writers who will participate in book readings and signings, live performances, and more, including appearances by actor Elliot Page, crime journalist Sarah Weinman, and Uyghur poet Tahir Hamut Izgil, among others! Learn more here.
10. Take a hike—literally!
Washington, D.C., may be a city, but it boasts a number of beautiful places in and around the District proper that are just as great for exploring the wilderness! Secret D.C. has come up with some of the most stunning trails for hiking in and around D.C. to help you do just that. Learn more here.
What could be more awe-inspiring than immersing yourself in your favorite art? Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience allows you to do just that! The exhibits use floor-to-ceiling projections to showcase Vincent Van Gogh’s famous works, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in his art.
12. Bust a gut at one of these comedy shows
- The Kennedy Center Kristina Wong (August 3-5), Ali Wong (August 15-19), Maria Bamford (August 19), Dulcé Sloan (August 24)
- D.C. Improv: Carmen Lynch (August 3), Roy Wood Jr. (August 4-5), Josh Gondelman (August 6), Michael Colyar (August 11-12), Tony Woods & Friends (August 13), Sheryl Underwood & Friends (August 17-20), Cipha Sounds (August 17-19), Cristela Alonzo (August 24-26), Kay’s House Party (August 27), Tony Rock (August 31-September 3), Vannessa Jackson (August 31)
13. Patronize your favorite local businesses
Use the summer weather as an excuse to head outside and support your favorite local businesses and shops! From Lily’s Flower Truck to Shop Made In D.C. to local bookstores, the possibilities are endless!
14. Celebrate the return of the NMAAHC Hip-Hop Block Party
The National Museum of African American History and Culture– NMAAHC Hip-Hop Block Party returns to D.C. this summer for its second year on Saturday, August 12! The event brings together some of hip-hop’s most influential artists and DJs for an hour of fresh beats, and hip-hop discussion. This year’s event will honor 50 years of hip-hop history according to the recent update from the Smithsonian. Learn more here.
15. Take in drinks and a view on one of these beautiful rooftops
The weather is warming up, and we’re officially nearing rooftop bar season. Needless to say, we’re loving it, especially when it comes with a side of gorgeous city views and the perfect excuse to grab a drink with some friends! Learn more here.
16. Par-take in a fun-filled round of mini golf
Fun for all ages, mini golf is always a hole-in-one! Luckily, the D.C.-area has a variety of options, from the beloved chain Swingers to Tyson Corner’s Perch Putt, and from the classic East Potomac Mini Golf to the newly-opened Puttery, grab a drink and putt away!
D.C. is a vibrant city but still filled with beautiful places where you can admire nature and stop and smell the roses — literally! Grab a friend (or go solo) and take a leisurely stroll through one of these beautiful gardens!
18. Embrace your inner child at the Maryland State Fair
Just over an hour drive from D.C., the Maryland State Fair is running three separate weekends—August 24-27, August 31-September 4, and September 7- September 10— and will feature rides, games, animals, and all of the fair food you can eat! Did we mention live music, including from Baltimore’s own All Time Low?!
19. Enjoy a boat tour through Georgetown on the C&O Canal
Georgetown’s Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal boat tours have returned for a second season! Guided one-hour historical boat rides are available four times a day (10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m.) Wednesday through Sunday. Each tour cruises a mile down the C&O Canal National Historical Park. Learn more here.
Just slightly over 2-hours from D.C. is the monstrous outdoor waterpark, Water Country USA in Williamsburg, Virginia. Every water slide, game, and splashing activity you could imagine exists at this park. From a 23,000-square-foot pool to the Jet Scream slide designed only for the brave of heart. Learn more here.
Across the river at Oronoko Bay Park on the Alexandria waterfront, you can explore cultures worldwide through the ultimate uniter—food. On Saturday, August 26 you can take in the culture of more than 20 countries through native dishes and stunning performances at Around the World Cultural Food Festival! Learn more here.
Baseball! A hot dog, some peanuts, and cheering on the home team is a classic summer activity that never fails to be fun—win or lose!
Looking to get away from the city and enjoy the outdoors? Why not embrace the warm weather with a hike followed by a dip at one of these outdoor swimming spots?! Some can even allow for kayaking! All located just a short drive from D.C., these spots are worth the trip. Learn more here.
24. Mark the 60th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington
You can join the family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday, August 26 to mark the 60th Anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington. The event will honor the trailblazing civil rights leaders and participants of the original march, as well as “continue the decades old fight for democracy, social justice, and civil rights.” Learn more here.
Have you ever wished you could interact with dinosaurs? Well, now is your chance! This exhibit features 80 prehistoric specimens and even a virtual aquarium so you can interact with these magnificent creatures from millions of years ago.
Restaurant Week is back this summer from August 28-September 3, offering you the chance to dine in (or out!) at some of D.C.’s best restaurants for a great price! With lunch/brunch at $25 and dinners ranging from $40-$55, this is a mouthwatering deal you don’t want to miss!
27. Indulge in a booze cruise
The weather is warming up, and summer is sailing its way in! What better way to celebrate summer’s return than on the water with a drink in hand? Thankfully, the Potomac River offers Washingtonians and tourists alike the chance to do just that. Whether you’re looking for a tropical vibe, a more upscale affair to take in the sights, or to try your hand as a pirate at sea, D.C. has the perfect booze cruise for you! Learn more here.
28. Take advantage of the weather with a camping trip
Sometimes you just need to get away from the bustle of the city and reconnect with nature: unobstructed skies, fresh air, the smells of flowers and trees, and the sound of wildlife, wind, and branches. Whether you’re only looking to drive 30 minutes or 4 hours, these fantastic camping spots have what you’re looking for! Learn more here.
29. Enjoy the smooth sounds of D.C. JazzFest
The 19th annual D.C. JazzFest is running August 30 through September 3 at more than 30 venues across the city! Teaching you the history of D.C.’s jazz roots and aiming to inspire a new generation of jazz musicians and enthusiasts, this year’s festival will feature renowned artists such as Gregory Porter, Samara Joy, the Vinny Valentino Group, and many more!
Looking for an exciting surprise? What’s more exciting than a blindfolded dinner? Dining in the Dark allows you to pick a surprise three-course meal based on your dietary preferences (green for vegan, blue for seafood, or red for meat) that will stimulate your senses! Learn more about these two different offerings here and here.
With the Potomac River in our backyard, paddle sports such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and canoeing are very popular in the DMV area. Since this summer is going to be a hot one, we have gathered places where you can give these sports a try and explore the Potomac River! Learn more here.
The Fever Originals Candlelight series is the perfect way to unwind. You can lose yourself in classical renditions of your favorite tunes amid soft candlelight. With multiple genres and musical themes to choose from, there’s bound to be a concert that’s perfect for you!
- Candlelight: The Best Anime Soundtracks from Joe Hisaishi
- Candlelight: The Best of Hans Zimmer at Miracle Theater
- Candlelight: A Tribute to Beyonce
Temperatures are soaring and ice cream is still a tried and true way to beat the heat! Luckily, D.C. has a variety of local shops and chains to help you do so! Learn more here.
34. Go on a quick getaway
Summer is upon us, but there’s still time to plan a weekend escape or two to celebrate! From the sandy shores of Delaware to the stunning heights of Maryland, there are plenty of last-minute trips not too far from D.C. Learn more here.
She’s one big mother ducker! Mama Duck—a 61-foot-tall, 64-foot-wide, and 74-foot-long rubber duck, that weighs roughly 30,000 pounds—will be in Crisfield, Maryland, from Aug. 11-13 for Little Big Townfest. Learn more here.