Enjoy the Fourth of July in the nation’s capital with fireworks - virtually or in-person.
Each year, Washington, DC celebrates the Fourth of July with a bang. While the city is still in the midst of its recovery from COVID-19, there are still plenty of DC-flavored ways to celebrate Independence Day.
Note that many details surrounding the annual fireworks show on the National Mall are still to be determined. A Capitol Fourth, the star-studded concert that always precedes the fireworks show, will still be held from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, but information regarding in-person attendance is yet to be released. Additionally, many of the locations detailed below may still have safety restrictions and/or limited hours due to COVID-19.
Please stay tuned to our page that covers what's open and reopening in the city, as well as our travel status update. You can also follow the National Park Service's Twitter account for the National Mall for the latest information regarding the fireworks display.
Experience 'A Capitol Fourth’
A Capitol Fourth, the star-studded, pageantry-filled concert that always precedes the epic fireworks show on the National Mall, will be held from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, but information regarding in-person attendance is yet to be released. Please stay tuned to our page that covers what's open and reopening in the city, as well as our travel status update. However, remember that the incredible evening can still be enjoyed from home by watching on PBS.
Watch the fireworks against the DC skyline of monuments and memorials
Experience Independence Day at George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Capacity will be limited for this annual Independence Day celebration at Mount Vernon – make sure you read about the property’s safety protocols before purchasing a ticket. The day’s activities can include visiting the estate's museums, enjoying gorgeous views from the mansion's piazza, strolling through the gardens, visiting the final resting place of George and Martha Washington and much more. Tickets are available now.
Safely explore the culinary capital
Numerous restaurants throughout DC have safety precautions in place. Check the status on outdoor dining spots, including beer gardens, patios and rooftop restaurants. Takeout and delivery service also remains a safe option for your Independence Day cravings. And of course, this blurb wouldn't be complete without a mention of the District's Michelin-starred and Bib Gourmand restaurants.
Explore DC parks, gardens and monuments
Some of the city’s best spots for outdoor recreation, including the National Gallery of Art’s Sculpture Garden and the U.S. National Arboretum, have reopened with limited hours and capacity. National Park Service monuments and memorials around the National Mall are also open for exploring.
Catch daytime baseball at Nationals Park
The Washington Nationals annually play at Nationals Park on Independence Day, holding an 11:05 a.m. game to accommodate the activities throughout the city the rest of the day. This year, the Nats will take on the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers, meaning it's a meeting between Major League Baseball's two most recent champions. Check the Nats' website for ticket availability.
Chill out at the Capitol Riverfront
Set along nearly two miles of the beautiful Anacostia River, the booming Capitol Riverfront neighborhood is the ideal setting to share the outdoors with friends and family while celebrating summer's biggest holiday. The possibilities are seemingly endless here, so be sure to discover all of the neighborhood's dining, entertainment and exciting waterfront activities.
Enjoy a delicious dinner and riverside views at the Georgetown waterfront
The Washington Harbour on Georgetown's waterfront is an ideal location for a full day of on-the-water fun or a celebratory dinner before or after watching the fireworks. The restaurants in this waterfront plaza provide convenient access to a fireworks viewing spot, as well as simple riverside relaxation. Make sure to make a reservation at Farmers Fishers Bakers, Sequoia, Nick's Riverside Grill or Tony and Joe’s Seafood Place.
Pay homage to America’s Presidents at the National Portrait Gallery
The reopened National Portrait Gallery's America’s Presidents exhibit is ideal for an Independence Day visit for obvious reasons. The collection displays images of all past presidents, as well as beautiful sculptures and famous paintings – including a stunning portrait of Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley. The exhibit also features interactive elements to make your experience that much more presidential. Make sure to visit the Gallery's website for timed entry information and safety protocols for the museum.
Have fun with history at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Dig deep into our country’s history at the fascinating National Museum of American History, which reopens to the public on May 21. Observe the flag that inspired our national anthem, then take your young historians to Wegmans Wonderplace, an interactive and educational exhibit geared towards kids. There is also the dynamic Spark!Lab, where kids can experiment and invent on their own terms. And perhaps best of all, the museum is free to enter. Review details regarding timed entry and safety protocols on the museum's website.
Spend Independence Day with the animals of the National Zoo
Smithsonian’s National Zoo, which reopens on May 21, is a great family-friendly spot to spend an Independence Day afternoon. Observe elephants in training, help to feed the fish, meet a Great Ape keeper or explore a rainforest habitat. You can also visit everyone's favorite pandas at the Panda House (we recommend getting there early in the day). For full details regarding the Zoo's reopening, timed entry and safety protocols, visit its website.
Take in DC’s wild side
There is no shortage of outdoor recreation options in Washington, DC. You can bring the entire family to any of its gorgeous public parks and gardens, many of which are free to enter. The city and the surrounding area also feature numerous national parks, which give you and your fam even more space to run free in honor of the national holiday.
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