Celebrate summer’s last big weekend Sept. 1-4 with free events, outdoor activities and cultural experiences in the nation's capital.
Take in DC JazzFest
Washington, DC’s star-studded jazz history reigns on with the DC JazzFest, an annual showcase of national and local musicians taking place this Aug. 30 through Sept. 3. This can't-miss event is the District's premier jazz festival, serving up a diverse selection of national and international masterclass artists at venues all over the city. Many of the concerts are free, including the Jazz Hop in historic Anacostia on Sept. 1. Read up on the many other reasons why you should attend the musical celebration.
Reserve your table for Summer Restaurant Week, Aug. 28 to Sept. 3.
Reserve your table for Summer Restaurant Week, which runs from Aug. 28 to Sept. 3. Savor every last bite of summer while taking advantage of specially priced meals, including to-go options and cocktail and wine pairings, courtesy of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington and 150+ participating eateries. Below, we've detailed some standout hot spots, brunch musts, international cuisines and more to help you decide where to dine next.
Enjoy the banks of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers
Take advantage of the waning days of summer and head to one of the many waterfronts in and around the District. Make a splash with plenty of safe, family-friendly outdoor water activities to choose from, including kayak and paddleboard rentals, grabbing a meal to-go and enjoying gorgeous on-the-water scenery.
Take a stroll through a DC park
DC’s outdoor offerings turn the city into a summertime playground. There’s the 2,000+ acres of Rock Creek Park, the Capitol Columns at the scenic U.S. National Arboretum, the neoclassical beauty of Malcolm X Park and more. Additionally, you can check out the gorgeous gardens of Tudor Place and gaze at outdoor sculptures at the Hirshhorn.
Snag a hotel deal while in town
Celebrate Labor Day weekend with a trip to DC, where numerous hotels offer special discounts and packages in honor of the end-of-summer holiday. Options are available for a wide range of preferences and budgets. Some exclusive deals provide convenient access to The Wharf, which hosts DC JazzFest on Sept. 2. Make sure to complement your hotel stay by booking a table during Summer Restaurant Week (Aug. 28 - Sept. 3).
Visit the Zoo and See Giant Pandas
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and its thousands of animal species make it ideal for a Labor Day weekend excursion. Make sure you secure a timed entry pass beforehand.
Make monumental memories
The National Mall is America’s front yard, where the past, present and future come together. The monuments and memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the strikingly detailed Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the World War II Memorial, honor American forefathers and heroes in majestic fashion. Visiting the Mall is an ideal way to pay tribute on Labor Day weekend.
Learn about espionage inside the International Spy Museum
Visit the International Spy Museum in L’Enfant Plaza to discover the ins and outs of the espionage trade, from gadgets to strategies to costumes. During your visit, kids will love the Undercover Mission, which allows you to hone your spy skills while exploring the incredibly interactive museum.
Take a journey through The Mansion on O
The Mansion on O and the O Street Museum together make an only-in-DC spectacle, with 100 rooms inside the mansion and 70 secret doors that offer surprises at every step. Friday and Saturday nights mean Family Fun Nights, which include a socially distant tour with all types of history, intrigue and mystery awaiting along the way. Bring a shopping bag, as all items are for sale. Note that children under 17 must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Make the trip to the historic Mount Vernon
Head to Virginia to spend a day at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s former estate that also features a museum. With a panoramic view of the Potomac River, choose from a tour of the Mansion, Gardens, the Tombs or the Distillery and Gristmill. Start your visit in the Ford Orientation Center to see a film, and then plan your day with the help of the living history guides.
Attend the National Symphony Orchestra's Free Labor Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol