August—the sun is out, the rooftop bars are packed, and tourists are wandering the streets of D.C. With Washingtonians getting ready to kick back for the weekend, we’ve rounded up 15 of the best happenings in D.C. you won’t want to miss!
1. Catch a concert at your favorite local venue
- Capital One Arena: Moneybagg Yo (August 11)
- The Anthem: Sylvan Esso (August 11)
- Echostage: Road to Moonrise Festival: GRiZ (August 11)
2. 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)
3. Explore D.C.’s landmarks by bike
Let’s face it, D.C. is a beautiful place with a lot to see—maybe even too much to see. It can be overwhelming trying to do it all! So why not split the difference? Instead of trying to hit all the major landmarks and monuments on foot, hop on two wheels so you can speed up the process without missing the sights on the Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour! Learn more here.
4. Bust a gut at one of these comedy shows
What better way to destress after a long week than having a laugh at a comedy show? Whether you like stand-up or improv, there’s bound to be something here that tickles your funny bone!
- D.C. Improv: Michael Colyar (August 11-12), Tony Woods & Friends (August 13)
5. 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.
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!
7. 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.
8. Get a private tour of two beloved Smithsonians
It isn’t a recreation of “Night at the Museum” but it’s a close second! Experience a private tour, complete with your personal guide, of the Smithsonian Portrait Gallery & American Art Museum. You’ll get to see some of the most renowned works these museums have to offer and learn from an expert how it all “fits into America’s very unique story”! Learn more here.
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!
10. See a movie at select AMC Theaters and get discounted food and drink
It’s a classic date idea for a reason—you just can’t beat movies with popcorn and soda! Now, when you go to a movie at a participating AMC Theater, you can a discount on you drink and popcorn! Learn more here.
What’s better than a free outdoor movie?! Just outside of D.C. at National Harbor, the Movies on the Potomac summer series is in full swing. Fun for all ages, every 6 p.m. on Sunday features a family-friendly film, and this Sunday, August 13 is “Incredibles 2.”
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.
13. Experience the spooky side of D.C. on a ghost tour
D.C. is a historical treasure trove—but with that history comes haunted happenings that can’t be explained and legends dating back hundreds of years. D.C. Ghost Tour: The Haunted Side of The Capitol will show you the scary side of the District you never knew! Learn more here.
We’re entering a special part of summertime: sunflower season! Sunflowers are blooming and popping up as we cross the threshold into the second half of summer. Thankfully, you can enjoy this time by visiting an entire field of sensational sunflowers only 45 minutes away from D.C. Learn more here.
15. Explore D.C. with drink in hand on 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.