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The Best Way to Plan a Fun 2018 Summer in Washington D.C.!  

by Brian Gate

June 13, 2018 

Summertime in Washington D.C. is sunny, sanguine and stunning, its events bold, beautiful and badass. This marks the right time to plan activities with your families and kids, your loved ones and friends visiting from afar because this is when everything raconteur about D.C. is being showcased. With countless events and festivals being completely free, it’s the perfect opportunity to take on bus tours, sit back and relax in a park while people-watching, explore attractions like a local (while Instagramming, of course).

Fireworks, gorgeous and meaningful monuments, cultural events, historic holidays, biking and walking tours, free music festivals, exciting baseball games, barbeque cook-outs, beer fests, holiday jazz concerts, charity events, lit-up waterfront parks, and fascinating summer-themed markets - these are just a few of the things you can find in and within a close distance from Washington D.C. The great thing about these events is that it does not strain your wallets.

D.C. inevitably turns into a really cool place during warmer months and here are just a few of those wonderful events to consider being a part of. You’ll have a ball, I’m positive about that!

washington DC monument, summer events 2018

1. The Capital Pride Parade & Festival

June 7 - June 10, 2018
Capital Pride Alliance
2000 14th ST NW STE 105, Washington, DC 20009
(202) 719-5304
Right smack in the middle of Juneteenth and Pride Month, this year’s theme will be ‘The Elements of Us’. Organizers have smacked together a goblet of activities which includes a parade, a rooftop party, The Heroes Gala & Rally, The Opening Party, the 'Crack of Noon' Pride Brunch, the Block Party, and the Capitol Sunset Dance Party.

It’s a time for the DC Community to come together and celebrate diversity in every shape and form. The rainbow-colored, glittery event celebrates equality of all kinds - spiritual, gender, race, sexual, goals, belief systems, culture, and much, much more. Although heralded by the local LGBTQ community, the event attracts people from all walks of life. It’s just the magic dust of happiness and togetherness blowing in every single direction!

Entertainment will be provided by confirmed attendees like DJ Alex Lo presented by WERQ/PAPA Party, Nomi Smalls, DJ Kitty Glitter, Allie X, Marquis Clanton, and many more to be determined later as they confirm their attendance.

  • Pride on the Pier at Wharf DC - 12pm - 3pm
  • Capital Pride Block Party between P St. and Church St - 4pm - 10pm
  • Capital Pride Parade along 22nd and P St. NW and 14th & R St. NW - 4.30pm - 7.30pm
  • Capital Trans Pride Pool Party at VIDA Fitness - 7.30pm - 11pm

The Capital Pride Parade runs all day long on June 10th, 2018 from Noon - 9.30pm, while they slot the Capital Pride Concert for a Noon kickoff till late 10pm on the same day.

2. July 4th Celebrations

We’re talking about the capital of the United States, so, it’s a big thing! Normal summertime in D.C. would NOT be complete without the epic celebration that features mind-blowing fireworks over the rooftops of National Mall. Many people congregate around the White House, the National Mall on the front steps of Jefferson Memorial to the Lincoln Memorial to watch the fireworks. The secret is that there are more places that are not as packed to view the fireworks.

Just after nightfall, around 9pm and after playing ‘The Capitol Fourth’, the fireworks will begin its stunning display. You can catch it from across the Potomac River (which may include a trip to Iwo Jima Memorial in VA, or a cruise along the scenic Potomac River), chill out at rooftop bars like the Sky Bar atop Beacon Hotel or W Hotel, or rent a bike from Bike and Roll, Columbia Island Marina or Capital Bikeshare for a trip up to Mount Vernon Trail to find the perfect viewing spot. There’s also a serene stretch of the peninsula called Hains Point on East Potomac Park where views of the firework, Potomac River, and Anacostia River are said to be unprecedented and stunning.

july 4th fireworks, celebrations in Washington DC

3. Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle

June 23 - June 24, 2018
Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th street NW, Washington DC; 11am - 9pm
(202) 828-3099
The Giant BBQ contest not only attracts foodies from all around 50 states but also the best pitmasters and aspiring ones alike. The coveted prize of $1,000 in Giant Pork Gift Card is merely icing on the cake. These are the people who delight in making food lovers delirious with a basket of beef brisket, pork and lamb delicately-handled and BBQ'd by trained hands. Visitors are also on the lookout for the big Celebrity Pitmasters Challenge where the likes of Myron Mixon, Moe Cason, and Tuffy Stone fire up their grills. Well over 30 bands trail blaze their ways onto the 3 stages on the venue to deliver live entertainment throughout the 2 days.

Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th streets NW would be on a food and entertainment lockdown where a live street party holds the crowd 'hostage' with cooking demos and free tastings. This is, of course, nothing new to local event-watchers and tour guides - it’s the biggest, baddest event to look out for during the summer of Washington D.C. With its 25 years worth of experience and history, the event marks the Start of Summer and raises millions of dollars for the betterment of selected charitable organizations. This year, they’re going with USO Metro and Capital Area Food Bank. While you’re watching and then voting for your favorite top military chefs from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guards, music from The Plain White T’s, Back Yard Bank “BYB”, Sugar Bear, See-I and Marcus Johnson and many more will rock the arena. All of this while enjoying great drinks from Ravage Wine Samples, Anheuser-Busch, Giant Corks to Caps Wine and at the Micro-Brew Sampling Tent. If this doesn’t sound like the perfect summer event, I don’t know what is.

4. Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 27 - July 1, 2018 and July 4 - July 8, 2018
National Mall between 12th and 14th streets
11.30am - 6pm
(202) 426-6841
Like a world-class festival of its magnitude, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival flings the door wide open to the best things in life...including free admission. Held at an iconic site like the National Mall, the festival celebrates and salutes the many layers of American society through international and local cultures. Through exhibits related to arts & craft, music, food and drinks from the different societies in the country. It’s the perfect spot to be for those who enjoy everything from live entertainment to cooking demos, pottery to sculptures, storytelling to illustrations of workers’ culture.

The event is a mainstay of D.C. attractions ever since it launched in 1967; it is held for two weeks as a continuation of July 4th celebration by the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

This year, 2018, the spotlight is shone on the cultures of Armenia and Catalonia. Organizers are geared for the over-1 million visitors expected to be a part of the event through daily and evening programs where narrative sessions are also held to discuss the latest cultural norms and issues. As you devour divine food from Tamar and Tomas’ Armenian Khorovats Grill, Ginetoun Lahmajun & Wine Bar, a Catalan Cafe and La Masia Del Alabardero, Sisterfire, an 80’s female-style event, will set the stage on fire. It slots artistes like Carolyn Malachi, Martha Redbone, Urban Bush Women, Holly Near, In Process, Ariel Horowitz, Venus Thrash and many more to keep you entertained!

5. Free Jazz at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

June 22 - Aug 24, 2018; 5pm to 8.30pm
National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden
Constitution Ave NW & 7th Street, Washington, DC 20408
(202) 216-9397
Whether you enjoy listening to Latin music, Dixieland, the blues, swing, funk, hip-hop, R&B or ska, we’re sure the free live entertainment provided by the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden will be a blast. It is known for its large turnout every Friday night during summer months where food and drinks become an entrée into an amazing weekend. When concert series is going on on stage, the gorgeous sculpture garden welcomes over 1.7 million visitors from all corners of the world.

It’s the 12th year that the association is working in collaboration with Jazz in the Garden and the DC Jazz Festival. And while you’re enjoying the relaxing vibe at the garden, you’re also treated to lemongrass chicken soft tacos, Argentinean sausages, southwest black bean barbeque burger, a horseradish roast beef sandwich, edamame noodle bowl, citrus quinoa salad and much more coming in from Pavilion Cafe, the on-site restaurant.

You can find the sculpture garden between the National Gallery west building and the National Museum of Natural History - you simply can’t miss the large-scale ice-skating rink and elaborate fountain in the middle.

6. Citi Open

July 28 - Aug 5, 2018
William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center
16th St NW & Kennedy St NW, Washington, DC 20011
(202) 732-5949
Citi Open is a beloved tennis tournament that every tennis lover in the country wouldn’t miss for the world. Founded in 1969, it’s also a tradition. The open, joint tennis tournament is being played on outdoor hardcourt at William H.G. Fitzgerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park, D.C. this year for the 50th year running, and will feature top-tier talents from all over the world. It not just offers a coveted title but is also a launchpad for talented, aspiring future professional tennis players.

What’s special about this year is that they’re partnering up with the American Experience Foundation to bring tennis lovers discounted tickets whereby you can save up to $10 per ticket. 25% of the ticket price goes towards helping the foundation. AEF makes it their mission to bolster the hardships of students from low-income families and enriching their travel and educational opportunities in the hospitality industry. The hospitality and tourism industry in D.C. accounts for $7.3 million of income and employs 73,000 people from all around Washington D.C. The foundation provides regular free field trips to 8th-graders, offer scholarships to qualified students from DC Hospitality Academy, and reach out, through mentorship and internship programs, to those keen on exploring a career in hospitality.

The bonus is that some of the biggest American and world tennis names will be playing too, headlined by John Isner, Andy Murray, Kevin Anderson, Caroline Wozniacki and Sloane Stephens. With so many high-powered tennis stars playing, you can expect it to be nothing short of fast-paced, tight-gamed and exciting from the start to the end. The action also takes place off-court too; the week-long event has special offerings for the golf and tennis cup, a beer festival, a Citi Taste of Tennis event at Hamilton Live on July 30, 2018, tailgates, a junior tennis clinic and a ladies’ tennis day.

7. Comcast Xfinity Outdoor Film Festival

Aug 23 - Aug 26, 2018; 7.30pm onwards
5301 Tuckerman Ln., North Bethesda, MD 20852
(301) 581-5100

By address, the Strathmore is in Maryland, by distance, it is literally less than 30 minutes from downtown D.C. Movies under the stars events are the ones where memories with families and friends are made. An annual event, Comcast Xfinity, and Strathmore Campus are, once again, presenting movie-goers with a chance to experience a 3-day outdoor film festival which all begins at dusk every day. Proceeds benefit the National Institute of Health Children’s Charities.

The lawn’s stage and gazebo, strewn with groups settling down for a classic movie, is surrounded by food vendors from Ridgewell’s. The dynamic physical space, of rolling greens and manicured gardens, welcomes free and low-cost summer music events all year round, but especially during summer. Strathmore, measuring up to 11-acres worth of scenic space, is just a mile off of the Beltway and has its own stop on the Red Line (if you’re coming in using public transportation). The state-of-the-art Music Center holds world-class performances ranging from bluegrass to ballet, is an architectural and art marvel by itself.

8. Adams Morgan Day

Sept 9, 2018
Downtown Adams Morgan, D.C.
For a while, after disembarking from the charter bus, it might feel to you that everyone is in on the fray. The 18th street during Adams Morgan Day, held on the second Sunday of September, becomes the most packed and popular neighborhoods in the District of Columbia! 2018 marks their 40th anniversary and they are ready to give it their all during this year’s event, on top of offering live entertainment, food from local vendors, kids, and teen activities.

Sidewalk cafes, coffeehouses, bakeries, ice-cream parlors, bars, diners...everyone is ready to show off their culinary moves...all this while salsa-ing on the tabletop to live music. A plethora of restaurants along 18th street joins the bash which includes laptop cafes like Tryst, Philz Coffee, gourmet hotspots like Roofers Union and Michelin-Star restaurants Tail Up Goat, international joints like Donburi, Mintwood Place, Sakuramen and Mama Ayesha’s.

As it is, Adams Morgan is known for their bustling nightlife, where singing and dancing the blues away is the way life is celebrated. You can count on entertainment outlets like Madam’s Organ, Songbyrdor Bossa, Jack Rose Dining Saloon and The Diner to cement their firebrand reputation as a world-class live event venue, while smaller independently-owned stores have everything trendy offered at bargain prices. Yogis from Studio DC rocks their poses, Solidcore shows you how to muscle up, Morton Fine Art and DC Arts Center open your mind with inspiring masterpieces.

Get Hop-On, Hop-Off Charter Bus Service This Summer in Washington D.C.

bus charter service Washington DC

Most of the summer event venues in Washington D.C. will be packed like cans of sardine, with not a peek of a parking spot in sight. Instead of driving yourself to the party, hire a private charter bus from Bus Charter Washington DC and make your trip to the festival, concert or party an even more memorable one! In fact, put together a tailgate party! Bus Charter Washington DC gives you plenty of options across the country, and we are always ready to connect you with the right vehicle and people to bring you safely to the DC event of your choice. Whether you’re looking around for a 49-passenger charter bus, a 30-passenger mini coach packed with luxury amenities on board, or an Executive Sprinter Van, contact us and we’ll find you the perfect ride at the right price.

The number to call is 1-800-304-1993 if you wish to speak to our customer service personnel right now, otherwise, please feel free to contact us using this simple contact form. We’ll be back in touch with you in no time! Let’s make your trip to Washington D.C. an absolute BLAST!