Summer is around the corner, bringing concerts, BBQ, bar-hopping, and art exhibits with it! No matter what the start of summer has you looking for, D.C. is sure to have it! Whether you need to get away outdoors, immerse yourself in art, or go on a culinary adventure, D.C. has something for everyone!
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, open for your exploration throughout the month of May!
2. Catch a concert at your favorite local venue
- Capital One Arena: Paramore (June 2), Ricardo Ajona (June 9)
- The Anthem: Declan McKenna (June 5), Pixies (June 10), Dermot Kennedy (June 13), Darius Rucker (June 22)
- The Atlantis: Hot Chip (June 2), Modern English (June 4), Franz Ferdinand (June 5), Pixies (June 6), Tank and the Bangas (June 9), Yo La Tengo (June 10), Tank and the Bangas (June 14), Marc Roberge (June 16), Darius Rucker (June 20), Rodrigo y Gabriela (June 24), X (June 25), Jeff Tweedy (June 28)
- 9:30 Club: Brandon Wardell (June 2), Sampa the Great (June 4), Palace (June 6), AJJ (June 10), Yo La Tengo (June 11), Ruel (June 12-13), Thee Sinseers and The Altons (June 17), lovelytheband with Beach Weather (June 23), Joseph (June 24), Rodrigo y Gabriela (June 25), X (June 26), Jeff Tweedy (June 27)
- Echostage: Dion Timmer x Kompany (June 3), Logic (June 8), Candyland w/ Betty Who (June 10), Duke Dumont (June 17), Planet Two Friends (June 23-24), Anjunadeep DC (June 30)
3. Head to the theatre for one of these plays, musicals, or ballets
- The Kennedy Center
- “Shear Madness” (through Oct. 1)
- “The Enigmatist” (June 6-July 2)
- “The Lion King” (June 22-July 29)
- “1776” (June 26-July 17)
- National Theatre
- “Hadestown” (June 6-18)
- Woolly Mammoth Theatre
- “Incendiary” (May 23-June 25)
4. 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.
6. Bust a gut at one of these comedy shows
- D.C. Improv: Sam Jay (June 4), Tony Roberts (June 8-11), Gaspare Randazzo (June 9), Jason Cheny (June 14), Jessica Kirson (June 15-17), Petey DeAbreu (June 15-17), David Gborie & Jamel Johnson (June 18), Ian Lara (June 22-24), Rafi Bastos (June 25), DeRay Davis (June 29-July 2)
- The Atlantis:Hannibal Buress + Eshu Tune (June 17-18)
What’s better than a free outdoor movie?! Just outside of D.C. at National Harbor, May 4 kicks off the beginning of its Movies on the Potomac series. 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.
8. Take in drinks and a view on one of the 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.
9. Check out The Washington Ballet at CityCenterDC
The Washington Ballet is celebrating its fourth annual Dance For All series by offering three free performances at The Plaza at CityCenter from June 8-10. Dance For All acts as a community engagement initiative to bring dance throughout D.C. with free performances and dance classes. The Washington Ballet company dancers’ performances will take place at 6:30 p.m. with seating first-come, first served.
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.
D.C.’s Capital Pride Alliance works year-round to advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, and June’s Pride Month is no different! The group hosts a series of events and talks throughout the month, as well as the city’s renowned Pride Parade, on Saturday June 10.
12. Embrace your cool at Awesome Con
Awesome Con is returning to D.C. June 16-18! In honor of it’s 10-year anniversary, this pop culture convention is debuting a jam-packed schedule, featuring a panel with members of the “Lord of the Rings” cast, including Sean Astin, Andy Serkis, and Elijah Wood! See the full schedule of events and talks here.
13. 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.
14. Attend the Home Rule Music Festival
From June 16 through 17, Washingtonians are welcome to gather on the Great Lawn for this family-friendly event! Home Rule Music Festival highlights the music and culture of D.C., showcasing Go-Go and jazz, selling records, patronizing local food trucks, and more! Learn more here.
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.
16. See the original Emancipation Proclamation
In honor of Juneteenth, this year the National Archives will be putting the original Emancipation Proclamation, ending slavery, on display from June 17-19. Learn more here.
17. Celebrate Father’s Day
Father’s Day is just around the corner on June 18, and you may be looking for a last-minute way to celebrate the father, or father-figure, in your life. Luckily, we’ve got you covered! Learn more here.
18. Commemorate Juneteenth In D.C.
June 19th — also known as Juneteenth, Emancipation Day, or Freedom Day — marks the official end of slavery in the United States, with the last slaves in Texas having been freed. In 2021 President Biden made Juneteenth a federal holiday in the U.S. to commemorate the landmark day. Learn more here.
Summer is famous for BBQ’s, and one of epic proportions is coming to the District! Hosted by Giant, the National Capital Barbecue Battle will bring entertainment, barbecue contests, tastings, and more to Pennsylvania Avenue on June 25-26. Here’s to pigging out! Learn more here.
20. Check out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Following a two-year hiatus, the 2022 Smithsonian Folklife Festival has returned to the National Mall for two separate runs, June 29–July 4, and July 6–July 9 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Presented by the Smithsonian’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage in partnership with the National Park Service, this year the free festival is hosting two programs: one exploring “The Ozarks: Faces and Facets of a Region” and the other “Creative Encounters: Living Religions in the U.S.” 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.
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. Go on a quick getaway
Summer is quickly approaching, but there’s still time to plan a weekend escape or two to celebrate the beginning of summer! 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.