Summer conjures images of outdoor fun and quality family time. Spend the long, sunny and lazy days with these family-friendly events held in the D.C. area. Whether you are a movie buff or a history enthusiast, there are several that meet your needs and interests.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
June 26 - June 30; July 3-7
The annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival kicks off June 26 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Experience diverse cultures and traditions, as you explore the art, dance, craft and stories of various countries. This year, the festival showcases the heritage of Hungary, talks about language diversity, and discovers the unique African American culture. Participate in hands-on crafts, dance and language lessons; enjoy different styles of folk music and experience scrumptious cuisines.
Family Day at Gadsby's Tavern Museum
134 N. Royal St., Alexandria Virginia
Various dates/$5 adults, $3 child (ages 5-12)
The Gadsby Tavern Museum is a part of the vibrant D.C. history. The museum consisting of two buildings, a circa 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Hotel are named for Englishman John Gadsby. The family fun days are a great way to tour the historical tavern and participate in 18th century entertainment, music and games. No reservations are required.
National Building Museum
401 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.
May 2 - September 2
$5 per course per person
Just in time for summer, the popular indoor Mini Golf exhibition is back at the National Building Museum. Designed by local architects, the course features nine-hole course perfect for kids ages 4 and up. The exhibit is available during the regular museum hours; however, you may want to check out the mini golf nights for a late night session. The mini golf nights are held on specific dates only, when the museum remains open until 9 p.m.
Screen on the Green
Mondays, July 22 - August 12
While the D.C. area offers an array of outdoor movie festivals during the summer, Screen on the Green remains one the most popular choices since 1999. The annual free movie extravaganza kicks off July 22 and runs through August 12 on the National Mall between 7th and 12th Streets. This year's line-up, which is the "true celebration of modern American cinema" will be screened every Monday, beginning at 8:30-9:00 p.m.
NoMa Summer Screen 2013
L Street between 2nd and 3rd Streets, NE, Washington, D.C.
Wednesdays, May 22 - August 14
7:00 until 11:00 p.m.
Rain or shine
NoMa Summer Screen is an ongoing free, 13-week outdoor film series, which kicked off May 22. Hosted every Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the Loree Grand Field the event includes music, giveaways, picnicking, along with a screening of a kid-friendly movie on the giant screen. Films start at dark.
Yards Park Friday Concert Series
355 Water St SE, Washington, D.C.
Fridays, 6.30- 8.30 p.m.
Yards Park is D.C.'s new waterfront destination that hosts the ongoing Friday Concert series. Bring your blankets, food and drinks to enjoy a new band every week against the backdrop of the scenic Anacostia River. Food and drinks are available for purchase.
Christmas in July
Union Street between Cameron & Duke Street - Old Town Alexandria, Virginia
Saturday, July 20
Old Town Alexandria hosts an annual, free Christmas in July event, which includes a range of activities for the whole family. Along with pictures with "Summer" Santa & Mrs. Claus, story time, an ice cream social, musical entertainment, you may partake in sales and promotions and designer trunk shows, among others.
Wolf Trap Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods!
1551 Trap Road, Vienna, Virginia
$8 to $10/ Children under two are free.
Tuesdays - Saturdays, 10:30 a.m.
The Wolf Trap's outdoor theatre for children has been a summer "tradition for generations." At Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods, kids indulge in a fun session of music, dance, puppetry, and storytelling, in a wooded setting. Recommended for kids ages 4 and up. Tickets may be purchased online, by calling 1-(877)-WOLFTRAP.
Loudoun Country Fair
Loudoun County Fairgrounds
17558 Dry Mill Road, Leesburg, Virginia
July 29 - August 3
Daily passes- $10 adults/ $5 children
Fun for the whole family with a plethora of activities planned -- Miss Loudoun County Fair Pageant, eating contests, animal demonstrations, shows, carnivals and also includes the popular Demolition Derby.
National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta
The 2nd annual National Harbor Dragon Boat Regatta will be held on the National Harbor on August 24. This family friendly event showcases Asian culture and features the premier and local dragon boat teams racing against each other. The race is open to ages 12 and up. Training sessions are also offered.