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30+ Things to Do This June in Washington, DC

Summer starts strong with an incredible month of events in the nation’s capital

With a full reopening of DC starting June 11, you can make summer plans for unforgettable experiences in the nation's capital. June is packed with a great mix of in-person and virtual events as many of the city’s businesses and attractions begin to welcome visitors again. After you’ve read through this list, make sure to check out the rest of our summer content, as well as our things to do for the week and weekend.

The National Capital Barbecue Battle – Virtual Experience – May 28 – June 30
Usually held in-person on Pennsylvania Avenue, the National Capital Barbecue Battle will offer a virtual experience this year, extending the celebration to a month-long extravaganza. The event will feature free live streamed performances from Dirty Heads and Elle King along with BBQ recipes, an online kids' zone, health and wellness information, a sports experience and more.


 

Free Bingo Nights at Union Market – Tuesdays through Aug. 31
DC Fray and Union Market come together to host this free evening outdoor event series that offers a safe, in-person activity for a Tuesday night. Register for free and you can play 6-8 rounds of bingo with a prize waiting at the end of each round. Expect the occasional free drink and plenty of outdoor space to kick back and relax.
7-9 p.m.
Neal Place at Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE, Washington, DC 20002


 

Objects from the Studio: The Sculptor’s Process – June 1 – Aug. 31
The Kreeger Museum offers this fascinating exhibition featuring sketches, maquettes and other interesting objects from the studios of some of the most important modern sculptors. Gain insights into the artistic process of creators such as Richard Deutsch, Carol Brown Goldberg, John L. Dreyfuss, Kendall Buster and many more. Visit the Kreeger Museum’s website for health precautions and timed entry information.
Hours & Tickets
The Kreeger Museum, 2401 Foxhall Road NW, Washington, DC 20007


 
Capital Pride Parade

Capital Pride Celebration – June 1-30
The Capital Pride Alliance serves DC’s LGBTQ+ community through entertainment, community outreach and diversity celebrations. Each year, the nonprofit organization curates Capital Pride, which features a popular collection of events. This year, the festival offers a mix of virtual and in-person activities with a theme of “#StillWe Are Colorful,” which is a nod to the resilience, struggles, celebrations, and pride that exist within the LGBTQ+ community. You can also learn more about getting involved with Capital Pride, and make sure to follow the organization on Twitter and Facebook.


 

Visit reopened DC museums
Many of DC's most beloved museums have reopened their doors with capacity limits, timed tickets and safety policies in place. The wondrous list of reopenings includes the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery, the National Gallery of Art, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the National Museum of the American Indian, the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian's National Zoo, the National Building Museum and Tudor Place. Check out our What's Open page to see what other DC locales you can visit this month.


 

June Family Days at ARTECHOUSE – Tuesdays and Wednesdays in June
Families that book a visit at DC’s ARTECHOUSE through the link above will receive special pricing along with an activity guide inspired by the attraction’s original interactive exhibition, Renewal 2121. The installation transports you 100 years into the future and immerses you in an industrial city where nature is combating the onslaught of an overreaching metropolis, a stark warning if mankind continues at its current pace. Hope is found through cherry blossoms peeking through neon lights, showing the way for those ready to take action. Through the limited Family Days offer, single tickets are just $17 and Family Packages are $60.
Monday – Thursday: 12-8 p.m. |  Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Tickets
Safety guidelines
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024

 

Trivia in the Garden – June 4
Visit the historic Dumbarton House grounds for outdoor trivia on the first Friday of June. Topics will include plants and animals, movies, geography, politics and DC history. Light refreshments will be available and please note that teams are limited to six (6) people. Make sure to bring your own blanket or lawn chair so you can properly socially distance. Tickets are just $10.
7-8 p.m. |  Tickets
Dumbarton House, 2715 Q Street NW, Washington, DC 20007


 

Capital Harvest on the Plaza – Opens June 4
Located in the Woodrow Wilson Plaza at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, Capital Harvest on the Plaza is open from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Fridays beginning June 4. During your visit, you’ll find plenty of farm-fresh deliciousness and artisanal crafts, as well as recipes and tips for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Stay tuned to the market’s website for updates on participating farmers and artisans.
11 a.m. – 3 p.m. |  Free admission
Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004

 

The Drive-In at Union Market – Begins June 4
The popular summer destination is back and ready for action every first Friday of the month through October. Admission is $20 per car and the lot allows up to 125 cars, but visitors on foot can also enjoy the show from Neal Park, free of charge. Level up your theater concessions with the variety of flavors offered at the Market and enjoy your favorite action, comedy and cult classics.
7:30-10:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Union Market, 1309 5th Street NE Washington, DC 20002


 

Filmfest DC – June 4-13
Pop some popcorn and get excited to bring the theatre experience to your living room for this year’s edition of Filmfest DC. Pick and choose from a great lineup of 60 films featuring independent filmmakers from 35 countries. The virtual festival spans 10 days to provide ample time to view a variety of genres from the comfort of your own home. Stay tuned to Filmfest DC’s website for program details and ticket information.


 

Free Community Days at the National Museum of Women in the Arts – June 6 & 20
One of DC’s premier art museums usually opens its doors for free just one Sunday each month, but June is special. The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) will host two free community days this month. Visitors will be granted access to NMWA’s extensive collection of seminal work by female artists, which includes pieces by Frida Kahlo, Amy Sherman, Judy Chicago and many more.
Hours & Tickets
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005


 

Will on the Hill – June 7
Members of Congress and the media take to the stage to try their hand at Shakespeare, mixing in plenty of humor and references to current politics along the way. This summer tradition is now in its 19th year, providing funding for Shakespeare Theatre Company’s community programs, including in-school workshops and educational resources that connect students to theater. Prepare yourself for an uproarious virtual show. Tickets are available on a pay-what-you-will basis.
7:30 p.m. |  Tickets
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


 

Her Flag – June 10 – July 12
The National Museum of Women in the Arts has partnered with Her Flag, an art and travel project curated by artist Marilyn Artus that honors the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment. Artus worked with a woman artist from each of the 36 states that ratified the Amendment by 1920 to create an incredible flag that will be featured on the exterior of NMWA’s façade along New York Avenue for more than a month. Each artist crafted imagery inspired by the anniversary and her home state, making for an epic collage that touches a variety of subjects and themes.
Hours & Tickets
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005
 

Dupont Circle Pop-up – June 12
Artists and makers will be situated in front of retail shops all over the Dupont Circle neighborhood for this event hosted by Historic Dupont Circle Main Streets. More than 50 vendors will sell paintings, scarves, chocolates, jewelry, pottery and additional items. Pop-up shops will feature imported food, fine art, shoes and more. The neighborhood also features a plethora of restaurant options.
12-6 p.m. |  Free admission


 

Bourbon and Bluegrass – June 13
Grammy Award winner Dom Flemons headlines this annual celebration of American music and delicious cocktails broadcast live from President Lincoln’s Cottage. All proceeds go towards preserving the Cottage. Several ticket options are available, including a VIP selection that includes cocktail crafting lessons, a VIP Virtual Porch and two cocktail kits. Hollertown and Moose Jaw Bluegrass will also perform.
4-7 p.m. |  Tickets
 

Animal Wisdom – Through June 13
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company teamed up with American Conservatory Theater to present this special on-demand performance of Heather Christian’s “one-of-a-kind opus”. Animal Wisdom is a sort of musical séance, a film that allows singer/songwriter/soothsayer Heather Christian to lay to rest the souls that haunt her. She shifts shapes from rock star to priestess to folklorist, a riveting performance that digs into family mythology and the notion of ghosts. Streaming begins May 15, but you can purchase tickets now.
Tickets

Where We Belong – June 14 – July 11
Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company streams this new production in association with the Folger Shakespeare Library. Where We Belong is a one-woman piece by Mohegan theatre-maker Madeline Sayet. The story is set in 2015, when Sayet travels to England to pursue a PhD in Shakespeare only to find a country that will not acknowledge its own role in colonialism, just as the Brexit vote is set to occur. Madeline details a journey to England that echoes the one taken by her ancestors in the 1700s following treatise betrayals in the U.S. and in turn, presents what it means to live and belong in a world increasingly globalized.
Tickets


 

Step Afrika! Juneteenth Celebration – June 19
Spend Juneteenth with the coolest dance company in the District. Step Afrika!'s virtual celebration will honor the determination, resilience and reclamation of freedom with brand new choreographic pieces inspired by the Black experience: Trane, Little Rock Nine and The Movement. Streaming will be available on YouTube and Facebook, and if you need any more convincing, you can watch a trailer for the show. Registration and admission are free and you can donate to Step Afrika! at your convenience.
8 p.m. |  Register
 

Craft Beer Festival – June 19-20
Sample the latest craft beer creations from breweries such as Aslin Beer Company, Anxo Cidery, Beale’s Brewery, Port City Brewing Company and many, many more at this festival hosted by George Washington’s Mount Vernon. In addition to the 32 craft beers available for tasting and purchase, there will be an 18th century beer-making demo, foods from Half Crown Bakehouse and the Mount Vernon Inn Food Truck, live music and garden talks. Visit Mount Vernon’s website for tickets and health precautions.
6-9 p.m. |  Tickets
George Washington’s Mount Vernon, 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway, Mount Vernon, VA 22121


 

Midnight at The Never Get – Through June 21
Stream this scintillating performance from Signature Theatre Company, which takes place in New York City circa 1965. Trevor, a cabaret singer, is in love with his songwriter, Arthur. With their relationship forbidden, the duo takes to the back room of an illegal Greenwich Village gay bar to create The Never Get. The Off-Broadway musical offers whimsical tunes and a powerful love story.  You can purchase a ticket and stream the show on-demand through the Marquee TV app.
Tickets


 
Smithsonian Castle exterior

Smithsonian Folklife Festival: Making Matters – June 25-27
One of DC’s most beloved summertime traditions, the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival on the National Mall, will continue with a virtual edition this year sporting a theme of “Making Matters”. Enjoy a weekend series of craft workshops, kitchen demos, Story Circles and much more. Supplies will be provided for your at-home enjoyment. Spots are limited, so register now to make sure you receive a material kit.
Schedule & Registration


 

Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle – June 26 – Sept. 19
The Phillips Collection, which celebrates its centennial this year, showcases Jacob Lawrence’s 30-panel series entitled, Struggle…From the History of the American People. Lawrence painted the stunning series between 1954 and 1956, and this exhibition marks the first time that the pieces have been reunited since 1958. The display will also feature two new panels discovered in 2020 and 2021, adding fascinating new context to this lesser known series that still showcases Lawrence’s legendary narrative artistry. You can also view Lawrence’s essential Migration Series at The Phillips Collection.
Hours & Tickets
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009


 
Georgetown Glow Spring 2021 in Georgetown DC

Georgetown GLOW: Spring Edition – Through June 27
After the 2020 edition was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, Georgetown GLOW has returned with a two-part series of outdoor installations, with the first lighting up DC’s most historic neighborhood through June 27. The region’s only free, curated, outdoor public light experience will be open to all both day and night, and you can read up on the spring edition’s artists and installations (there are five in total) on Georgetown GLOW’s official website. Mark your calendar of the next edition as well, slated to run from July 2 – Sept. 26.
More info


 

Sonya Clark: Tatter, Bristle, and Mend – Through June 27
The National Museum of Women in the Arts features this fascinating exhibit from textile artist Sonya Clark, renowned for her work in mixed media that addresses Blackness, history and identity. This first survey of her 25-year career offers her most acclaimed sculptures, including pieces made from currency, beads, cotton plants, pencils, a hair salon chair and much more. In total, 100 works of art are highlighted in the exhibit, focusing on themes of labor, language, heritage and visibility. Timed tickets are required for museum entry. For more details about visiting, check out the museum’s website.
Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. | Sunday, 12-5 p.m. |  Tickets
National Museum of Women in the Arts, 1250 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20005


 

Blindness – Extended Through July 3
Based on a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago, this new production from Shakespeare Theatre Company deals with the disturbing premise of a pandemic that causes blindness. A recorded audio performance by Olivier Award winner Juliet Stevenson mixes with an intense sound and light installation to create a story of government indifference of paranoia that turns into a cry of hope and resilience. The actor-less installation will be limited to 40 guests at a time inside Sidney Harman Hall.
Tickets
Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20004


 

Sarah Irvin: A Group of Related Things – Through July 17
Culture House DC showcases this exhibition in partnership with Massey Klein Gallery on Saturdays from 12-3 p.m. and by appointment. A Group of Related Things is a survey of Sarah Irvin’s work of the last five years, including drawings, alternative photography, video and sculpture. Each piece touches on Irvin’s experience caring for her child, incorporating a range of political, philosophical, societal and generational themes in the process.
More info
Culture House DC, 700 Delaware Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024


 

Avant Garden: Viral Art Project – Through July
The Avant Garden at Culture House DC showcases the Viral Art Project through this July. Hundreds of artists from around the world, including famous designers, professionals, students, children and more, created posters that raise awareness of the struggles faced over the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The outdoor installation is free to view.
More info
Avant Garden at Culture House DC, 700 Delaware Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024


 

Distance Frequencies – Through July
Rorschach Theatre presents this immersive approach to storytelling that culminates with a live, site-specific show in July. Distance Frequencies blends a seven-chapter story that you encounter outdoors and in-person. With each chapter, you will receive a map, instructions to a new DC location and a box of artifacts to bring along, allowing you to make the way through the story at your leisure. The narrative follows a young artist as he encounters and unopened letter from 1935 that sends him on a voyage through DC history. Tickets can be purchased for the entire experience or the live show only.
Full Story: Tickets |  Live Show Only: Tickets


 

Intersections: Marley Dawson – Through Sept. 5
The Phillips Collection hosts two site-specific art pieces by Australian artist Marley Dawson as part of its ongoing Intersections series. The first, inspired by the Goh Annex stairway at the museum, features two groups of kinetic sculptures that form a spiral. The second is a wall-mounted sculpture that features hundreds of brass rods hung on a brass track, a piece in conversation with Morris Louis’ painting Number 182. Make sure to read through The Phillips Collection’s health and safety guidelines as you plan your visit.
Hours & Tickets
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009

 

Renewal 2121 – Through Sept. 6
After the COVID-19 pandemic and rising concerns over climate change, this installation at ARTECHOUSE transports you 100 years into the future. You’ll be immersed in an industrial city where nature is combating the onslaught of an overreaching metropolis, a stark warning if mankind continues at its current pace. Hope is found through cherry blossoms peeking through neon lights, showing the way for those ready to take action. Renewal 2121 is an original ARTECHOUSE production and was inspired by DC’s illustrious cherry blossom season. Use the 'Tickets' link below for a special 10% discount.
Monday – Thursday: 12-8 p.m. |  Friday – Sunday: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. |  Tickets
Safety guidelines
ARTECHOUSE, 1238 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20024


 

Seeing Differently: The Phillips Collects for a New Century – Through Sept. 12
This year marks the centennial of The Phillips Collection, which is considered America’s first museum of modern art. The museum honors the occasion with this breathtaking exhibit that highlights more than 200 works from the museum’s 6,000-piece collection, taking you on a 200-year journey through the artistic themes of setting, history and identity via videos, paintings, prints, sculptures and more.
Hours & Tickets
The Phillips Collection, 1600 21st Street NW, Washington, DC 20009


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Aaron Byrd (@rhythmatik)

Check out Black history in Arlington, Va.
Just across the Potomac River from DC, Arlington, Va. has its own intriguing Black history that you can explore this summer. From the Benjamin Banneker Boundary Stone to Freedman’s Village to Arlington National Cemetery and Green Valley, the city features numerous landmarks that highlight historic Black experiences and people. All of the attractions are free to visit.


 

Victura Park at The REACH
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' grand expansion, The REACH, hosts this outdoor pop-up wine garden and cafe on weekends. The Hilton Brothers and Chef Erik Bruner-Yang have collaborated on this winery-inspired setting, which offers charcuterie boards and light snacks, as well as beer, wine, adult seltzers and other beverages. Check out the full menu. Note that guests are required to maintain social distance and wear a mask when not sitting down. No more than 10 guests are allowed inside the Pavilion for ordering and payment. You can read about the safety protocols before attending this free pop-up event.
Friday: 4-9 p.m. |  Saturday & Sunday: 12-9 p.m.
The REACH at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, 2700 F Street NW, Washington, DC 20566


 

Experience The Capital Wheel
Soar 180 feet in the air on the area’s only observation wheel, which spins right on the National Harbor’s majestic waterfront. The Capital Wheel features 42 climate-controlled gondola cars that seat up to eight and circle every day and night of the year, providing stunning views of Alexandria, Va., DC’s monuments and the Potomac River. Sunset rides are particularly scenic. Use code VISITDC for a 10% discount on tickets through Dec. 31, 2021.
Monday – Thursday, 4-8 p.m. |  Friday – Sunday, 12-8 p.m. |  Tickets
The Capital Wheel at National Harbor, 141 American Way, National Harbor, MD 20745

 

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The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC

The Best Events and Festivals Happening in Washington, DC

 

 

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