Category Archives: Monuments & Memorials

Where to Play on the Weekdays: September 23-27

A view of the U.S. Capitol and National Mall from the Washington Monument


Monday – Discover the history of flight at the College Park Aviation Museum. It’s a great place for young visitors, with eye-popping displays and lots of hands-on fun. They can view early airplanes up close, dress up like aviators, create flight-inspired art, and much more. Keep an eye on the runway right outside the floor-to-ceiling windows — you might see planes take off and land at the College Park Airport, the oldest continuously operating airport in the world! Open daily 10am – 5pm. Admission is $5/adults, $2/children, free for ages 1 and under.

Tuesday – Take the littlest ones to Cultural Cuddles at the National Museum of African American History & Culture. The program invites parents and caregivers to bring babies ages 0 to 12 months to discover a rainbow of color through a close-looking activity led by a museum educator in the Visual Art gallery, then engage in sensory activities for further color exploration. It begins at 10:30am, and admission is free, but you must register in advance. If you’re with older children, explore the NMAAHC on your own — passes are not required from September through February. Be sure to check out the KFDC guide to visiting the museum with kids before you go.

Wednesday – Wander, play, and explore at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria. Be sure to stop in the Horticulture Building and pick up instructions for a kids’ scavenger hunt to add some extra fun to the outing. Grounds are open dawn to dusk, the Horticulture Building 9am – 4:30pm. Admission is free.

Thursday – Take of tour of the Washington Monument! After being closed for more than three years for renovations and repairs, DC’s tallest structure is once again welcoming visitors. Free, same-day are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 8:30am at the Washington Monument Lodge, located on 15th Street NW, between Madison Drive NW and Jefferson Drive SW. Tickets are timed-entry, so you may have time to kill before your tour, but you’ll be on the National Mall, where the many free museums will make that easy to do.

Friday – Catch a performance of Elephant and Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!” at Adventure Theatre. Showtime is 10:30m, and tickets are $25. Plan to stay and play at Glen Echo Park playground afterwards, and bring along a picnic lunch or grab food from the Praline Cafe on premises.

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Filed under 2019, All ages, DC, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Virginia, Weekdays

2019 Independence Day Celebrations Around DC


What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks over the city and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th (and 3rd!). Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets | DC
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: July 4, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $18-20/adult, $11-12/age 6-11, free/5 & under

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

The annual Independence Day concert airing live on PBS, A Capitol Fourth will feature great musical pageantry. John Stamos will be back to host this year’s show, which will include performances by Carole King, Vanessa Carlton, Vanessa Williams, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, MusiCorps, and many more exciting acts. A special treat for the entire family will be Big Bird, Abby Cadabby, Rosita, Elmo, Grover, Bert & Ernie from Sesame Street on hand to celebrate America’s birthday, as the Sesame Street Muppets perform a musical medley of patriotic favorites and iconic songs from the groundbreaking children’s television series. Get there early to stake out a spot! (KFDC tip: You can also enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

Fourth of July Musical Salute
Where: The District Wharf | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 12-8pm
Admission: Free

It’s a star-spangled day at The Wharf. There will be live music throughout the day on the Pearl Street, Fish Market, and Transit Pier stages. Let the kids splash in the fountains, rock on bench swings by the water, enjoy an afternoon lunch at the waterfront, then snag a spot on one of the piers or rooftop bars for some of the best fireworks viewing the city has to offer. Read more about The Wharf in this KFDC post.

Salute to America and Fireworks
Where: Lincoln Memorial & West Potomac Park, DC
When: July 4, 6:30 – 9:30
Admission: Free

Festivities on the National Mall will be a bit different from previous years. Instead of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival going on all day and a concert and fireworks happening in the evening, there will be a Salute to America by the President honoring America’s armed forces with music, military demonstrations, flyovers and much more (tickets required). Later, fireworks will take place at West Potomac Park.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: July 3, 6:05pm & July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Kick off Independence Day on July 3rd, when the Nats play the Marlins and enjoy a postgame fireworks show. The July 4th game is all part of the Patriotic Series. Before you go, be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Catch the annual dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. It starts at 10am, but doors open an 8am am, and the first 1,000 guests will receive a special T-shirt. After that, celebrate like it it’s 1776! Enjoy family activities, story time, crafts, and more! Meet John and Abigail Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town.

Hang out on the LAWN
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: July 4 (through September 3)
Admission: $16/adult, $13/child

It’s not an Independence Day celebration per se, but the Building Museum’s big annual Summer Block Party installation opens July 4th and will make for a fun and unique to do that day. Lawn will feature a vast, sloping green space set on a graceful incline and dotted with clusters of communal lounging areas. Visitors can enjoy refreshments and lawn games like croquet, bocce ball, and dominoes. A scaffolding tower that reaches the height of the Museum’s third floor will offer never-before-seen views of the Great Hall, column capitals, and sculptural busts lining the roof.

Visionary Pets on Parade
Where: American Visionary Arts Museum | Baltimore, MD
When: July 4, 9-10am
Admission: Free

Dress your pet & strut your stuff — or just go to watch the animal fun. Trophies awarded for Best Costume, Most Patriotic, Most Visionary Pet, Owner & Pet look-alikes, Least likely to succeed as a Pet, Visionary Pet Tricks and more! Friendly pets of ALL kinds are welcome to this best dog-gone parade in town. It will be followed by the Pet Talent (Or Not) Show! Pets must be leashed or carried. H20, pet cooling station, and baggies provided. Free and open to the public, and no advanced registration is required to participate or watch.

July 4th Celebration
Where: Armed Forces Retirement Home | Petworth, DC
When: 4-9:30pm
Admission: Free

All are welcome to join the 8th annual July 4th Celebration at the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Enjoy live entertainment, catch and release fishing, face painting, bouncy fun, an obstacle course, and crafts. Concessions will also be for sale and plentiful.

Family Fireworks Cruise
Where: Washington Marina | Southwest DC
When: July 4, 6:45pm
Admission: $159 (look for a discount)

View the breathtaking Independence Day fireworks display from the comfort of the boat, FREEDOM. This relaxing, family-friendly cruise with the National Ferry Corporation along the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers offers front row seats to the stunning display in the sky, fun raffles, and complimentary hot dogs, chips, and an array of cookies & brownies for desert. There will also be a complimentary champagne toast for the adults during the fireworks show, plus a full bar with beverages available for purchase. Last year’s fireworks cruise sold out, so book your cruise soon.

Summer Rooftop BBQ
Where: The Eaton Hotel | Downtown DC
When: July 4, 4-8pm
Admission: $22/adult, $10/child

Wild Days, The Eaton Hotel’s indoor/outdoor rooftop music venue, is hosting a BBQ with a special menu for the holiday — and kids are welcome, too. The gathering aims to bring together members of the community around a selection of DJs, tasty food, and cocktails overlooking all of K street, inspired by the diversity and originality of DC.

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School | Fairfax, VA
When: July 4, 6-10pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Grab a bit fro food trucks starting at 6pm. Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance, and fireworks follow at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

McLean 4th of July Fireworks
Where: Langley High School | McLean, VA
When: July 4
Admission: Free

McLean’s annual Independence Day Celebration is at Langley High School this year. Gates open at 6pm, and the fireworks show begins at sunset, approximately 9:15pm. In addition to the large fireworks display, patrons can come early to enjoy musical entertainment by a local disc jockey, as well as food trucks selling a variety of entrees and snacks.


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Filed under 2019, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Music, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Special Event, Sports, Summer, Virginia, Weekdays

The Best Family Events to Celebrate the 2018 Cherry Blossom Season in DC

Peak time around the National Mall



We’re about to hit one of the best times of the year in DC: Cherry Blossom Season! Not only is the city at its prettiest when the famous flowers are in bloom, there are also loads of special events and activities to celebrate it. The National Cherry Blossom Festival, running March 17 – April 15 this year, presents all kinds of fun and enriching opportunities over several weeks, plus there are even more blossom-inspired happenings that aren’t part of the official festivities. Here are the best of them for families to help plan for a peak experience. And for tips on viewing the blossoms, check out this post. Happy Spring!

Sakura Dream
Where: ARTECHOUSE | Southwest DC
When: March 15 – May 6
Admission: $15/adult

ARTECHOUSE is celebrating spring, renewal, and the cherry blossom season with a new immersive and interactive digital experience. And if past installations there are any indication, this one is going to be amazing — and popular! In Sakura Dream, step into a moonlit, floating environment where larger than life koi fish and colorful cherry blossom petals react to your presence. Contemplate the beautiful and ephemeral nature of life over an interactive 3D sculpture of a koi pond and walk narrow lantern lit “street” that respond to your footsteps.

Cultural Performances
Where: Tidal Basin Welcome Area
When: March 17 – April 1
Admission: Free

Catch live entertainment as you take in views of the blossoms! During the bloom season and most of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, there will be music and dance performances on a special stage set up at the Tidal Basin Welcome Area. Enjoy them daily starting March 15 from 12-6pm.

Bloomia Field of Tulips
Where: The Park at CityCenterDC | Downtown DC
When: March 23-24
Admission: Free

Spring into the season with DC’s very own Tulip Festival! For two days only, The Park at CityCenter will be filled with more than 40,000 tulips per day. Entry into the garden is free, and you can take a piece of spring home with you for $1/stem. Every purchase made supports DC Central Kitchen.

Cherry Blossom Celebration
Where: Smithsonian American Art Museum | Penn Quarter, DC
When: March 24, 11:30am – 3pm
Admission: Free

Join a celebration of Japanese culture! A taiko drumming performance kicks off the day, followed by Japanese music and dance performances, face painting, and cherry-blossom themed crafts. Make your own tatebanko (a Japanese paper diorama) with friends from the Smithsonian’s Freer|Sackler Asian art museums, take a scavenger hunt to find spring themed artworks, and more! The event takes place in the Museum’s beautiful, glass covered Kogod Courtyard.

Friendship Between Nations Family Day
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: March 24, 10am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Join the National Archives for a fun, activity filled day exploring the many ways countries show their friendship, such as the gift of the cherry blossoms from Japan to the US. Investigate treaties, learn about some of the crazy gifts countries have given, and participate in interactive activities designed for the entire family to enjoy.

Go fly a kite at the Washington Monument!

Blossom Kite Festival
Where: Washington Monument Grounds | National Mall, DC
When: March 31, 10am – 4:30pm
Admission: Free

Go fly a kite! Seriously. The Kite Festival is probably my favorite event of the blossom season. The sight of thousands of kites in all colors, shapes, and sizes soaring around the Washington Monument is truly a sight to behold. It’s magical for kids — and even for me as a jaded adult! The sails you see flying at the Festival each spring range from simple to pretty darn creative. Dragons, sharks, butterflies, giant soccer balls, even some that look like big, beautiful origami works way outnumber your basic diamond. And anyone can go fly their kites, so BYO or make one there at an activity station. There’s a competition aspect to the event, too; expert kite enthusiasts will wow crowds with cool stunts, and prizes will be awarded to winners of various categories such as most beautiful, funniest, and aerodynamics.

Growing Community
Where: National Building Museum | Judiciary Square, DC
When: March 31, 11am – 2pm
Admission: Free

All ages can drop in to explore how nature can be intentionally integrated into and around built spaces to help promote community and encourage civic engagement. Work with friends and family to design and build a large scale model of your own green space inspired by a park in your neighborhood or one you would like to see added to your community. Find out more about the importance of green space in urban areas during Ten (minute) Talks and a spring-inspired story time.

Cherry Blossom Day at the Lab
Where: Children’s Science Center Lab | Fairfax, VA
When: March 31, 10am – 6pm
Admission: $13

Fuse science and cherry blossoms and fun at the Lab! Visitors will create their own unique representation of a cherry blossom. Learn and grow crystals, explore the world of chemical reactions, solubility, and become chemists. Design your own cherry blossom petal, flower, or tree to take home and celebrate the Cherry Blossom Festival. Read more about the Children’s Science Center Lab in this KFDC post.

Paints, Pigments, Brushes: All about Japanese Painting
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: March 31, 12-4pm
Admission: Free

Enter the world of traditional Japanese painting, or nihonga, in this drop-in Open Studio workshop celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival. View a display of colorful pigments and brushes, and try making your own painting alongside visiting Japanese artists Ideguchi Yuki and Iwaizumi Kei. All ages welcome with adult companions.

Japanese Culture Day
Where: Library of Congress | Capitol Hill, DC
When: April 7
Admission: Free

Learn Japanese culture through reading, writing, and craft making with Japanese cultural and linguistic professionals. Cherry Blossom princesses from the last few years will instruct children in the art of tiara-making. And the Japan-America Society of Washington, DC, will present “Japan-In-A-Suitcase,” a program about Japanese life and culture. Tad Hills, an American children’s book author and illustrator, will be joining the Japanese Culture Day for a book reading/signing. He plans to read “How Rocket Learned to Read.” Children can also explore the Library’s Young Readers Center, which is full of current and classic children’s literature – read more about it here.

Open Studio: Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival
Where: Freer|Sackler Gallery | National Mall, DC
When: April 7, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate the National Cherry Blossom Festival with the Freer|Sackler! Take a family-friendly tour and learn about nature in Japanese art (10:30 am). Then, continue to explore the Freer for pop-up art-making activities and artist demonstrations inspired by the spring season. All ages welcome with adult companions.

Family Fun: Japanese Brush Painting
Where: Green Spring Gardens | Alexandria, VA
When: April 7, 1-2:30pm
Admission: $10

Celebrate the blooming of the cherry trees and Japanese culture with Asian sumi-e brush painting at Green Spring Gardens for kids (5 years and up) and their parents. Learn about the materials and brush strokes used in this beautiful art style and take home your own brush painting masterpiece. Art materials provided. Plan for time before or after to explore the beautiful ground. Read more about Green Spring Gardens in this KFDC post.

Cherry Blossom Fun
Where: Room and Board | 14th Street NW
When: April 7, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

Join Room and Board for a morning of creative activities celebrating the National Cherry Blossom Festival and Japanese culture. Kids of all ages can make candy sushi, listen to story time, and have an anime caricature drawn of them. Parents are invited to enjoy beverages from a special tea station.

Petalpalooza
Where: The Wharf | Southwest DC
When: April 7, 2-9:30pm
Admission: Free

Formerly known as the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks Festival, Petalpalooza will include interactive art installations, larger-than-life games and activities, live music on three outdoor stages, a roller rink, a beer garden, a spectacular fireworks show by Pyrotecnico, and much more along the piers of the Southwest Waterfront, the “home of the cherry blossoms.”

Lantern Lighting & Cherry Blossom Princesses
Where: Tidal Basin | Southwest, DC
When: April 8, 3pm
Admission: Free

Children will be inspired by the beauty of the Cherry Blossom Princesses dressed in their pink kimonos. The Cherry Blossom Princess Program is an educational and cultural program for women aged 19-24 from across the United States, including leadership workshops, building public speaking skills, and creating connections that can help with college applications and future employment. The princesses light the 8.5-foot-tall Japanese stone lantern at the Tidal Basin as part of a truly spectacular celebration of the festival and the enduring friendship between Japan and the United States.

Catch Racing Presidents sightings at the Cherry Blossom Parade!

National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue, 7th – 17th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 14, 10am – 12pm
Admission: Free

The pinnacle of cherry blossom festivities is easily the parade. Thousands of people line Constitution Avenue every year to watch the spectacle of lavish floats, giant helium balloons, marching bands, and a variety of performers travel down Constitution Avenue. Tickets for grandstand seats are available for $20, but you can stake out a spot along the curb for free. Plan to arrive early to get a good view — the crowds come out for this one, especially if it’s a pretty spring day.

Sakura Matsuri
Where: Pennsylvania Ave, 3rd-7th St NW | Downtown DC
When: April 14, 10:30am – 6pm
Admission: $10/ages 13+, free/12 & under

Following the Cherry Blossom parade, many folks head over to Sakura Matsuri, the Japanese Street Festival that is America’s largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture. There will be live music and dance performances, all kinds of Asian and Western foods, martial arts demos, Japanese art, and more. All at a new location in the Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. Be prepared for a crowd.

Ikebana
Where: National Arboretum | Northeast DC
When: April 15, 1-2pm
Admission: $10

Children can learn the centuries-old tradition of Japanese flower arranging at an ikebana workshop at the National Arboretum. The hour-long workshop is for children ages 10-13. You can also visit an ikebana demonstration and see the Ikebana International exhibit at the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery. Registration required.

Anacostia River Festival
Where: Anacostia Park | Southeast DC
When: April 15, 1-5pm
Admission: Free

The National Park Service and the 11th Street Bridge Park present the 4th annual Anacostia River Festival, also a premier event of the 2018 National Cherry Blossom Festival! Celebrate the Anacostia River with some fun outdoor recreation! Explore the river by canoe, ride in a bike parade, play lawn games with your family, and experience Southeast DC’s local arts scene. This year’s festival will also celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Anacostia Park and the Year of the Anacostia — a year-long invitation to honor its history.

J-POP
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom
When: April 18
Admission: Free

At the daily Millennium Stage show, New York-based pop singer Kana Uemura will perform “J-Pop”, Japanese pop music and American pop music at a free concert suitable for children. Her play list includes her hit song “Goddess of the Toilet,” a whimsical ballad dedicated to her late grandmother who told her there was a god of beauty living in the toilet and if she cleaned the toilet carefully, she would grow up to be beautiful. Her song inspired both tears and laughter across Japan and was a #1 hit.

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Where to Celebrate Independence Day Around DC

Fireworks in the neighborhood park last year



What better place to celebrate Independence Day than in our nation’s capital? This is where the actual Declaration of Independence is housed (and will be read!), and celebrations take place among some of the country’s most iconic landmarks. But the excitement doesn’t stop there. From fireworks on the National Mall and concerts at the Capitol to special events at George Washington’s house to neighborhood parades and ballpark fun, there are loads of ways to revel on July 4th and the days leading up to it. Here are details on a bunch of them. Happy Independence Day!

Family Independence Day Funfest
Where: Tudor Place | Georgetown, DC
When: Saturday, 10am – 12pm
Admission: $7-10/child $5/adult, free/veterans & military families

Celebrate Independence Day with the family at the home of Martha Washington’s granddaughter and five generations that followed. Salute our nation’s service members! Also play traditional American outdoor games, tour verdant garden “rooms,” make patriotic crafts like a traditional whirligig toy, and of course, savor patriotic sweets. All ages welcome.

National Independence Day Parade
Where: Constitution Avenue NW, 7th-17th Streets | DC
When: July 4, 11:45am
Admission: Free

Many national holidays get a parade in DC, and July 4th is no exception. Scores of spectators are expected to line the Constitution Avenue sidewalks to watch the procession celebrating Independence Day make its way from 7th to 17th Streets. Marching bands, floats, giant balloons, equestrian groups, drill teams, and military units will be among the pageantry. Stake out your spot along the route early, as this event attracts hundreds of thousands of viewers every year.

Independence Day Celebration on the Mall
Where: National Mall, DC
When: July 4, all day (and evening)
Admission: Free

After the parade (even earlier for some), the National Mall will begin filling up for a day of July 4th festivities — the Smithsonian Folklife Festival from 7th to 12th Streets, Junior Ranger activities, concerts, and more. And the grand finale of it all: At 9:09pm, the sky above will explode with color when the amazing iconic fireworks display. Fireworks will be launched from the Reflecting Pool area, so plan accordingly. *If you want to view the fireworks without having to head to the Mall, see these suggestions from WTOP in other vantage points to view the display.

A Capitol Fourth
Where: West Lawn on the Capitol | Capitol Hill, DC
When: July 4, 8pm; gates open at 3pm
Admission: Free

Down past the other end of the Mall, A Capitol Fourth, the annual Independence Day concert that airs live on PBS, will feature even more musical pageantry. This year’s show, hosted by John Stamps, will include performances by The Beach Boys, The Four Tops, Kellie Pickler, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Choral Arts Society of Washington, the U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, and many more exciting acts. (KFDC tip: Enjoy the show with less crowds at the dress rehearsal on July 3 – same time and place!)

An American Celebration
Where: Mount Vernon | Mount Vernon, VA
When: July 4, 9am – 5pm
Admission: $20/adults, $10/ages 6-11, free for ages 5 and under.

The home of George Washington salutes the first commander-in-chief with a dazzling display of made-for-daytime fireworks during its annual Independence Day event. Visitors will be treated to spectacular smoke fireworks in patriotic colors fired over the Potomac River. The event also includes an inspirational naturalization ceremony for 100 new citizens, military reenactments, a special wreathlaying ceremony, and a visit from the “first” first couple, “General and Mrs. Washington.” See the full schedule of events here.

Fourth of July at the National Archives
Where: National Archives | National Mall, DC
When: July 4, 8am – 4pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Building with a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. There will also be historical guests, patriotic music, and family activities from 11am – 4pm. The full schedule of events is available on the National Archives website.

America’s Pastime
Where: Nationals Park | Capitol Riverfront, DC
When: July 3, 6:05pm & July 4, 11:05am
Admission: Ticket prices vary

A day at the ballpark is about as all-American as it gets when it comes to sports, and you can experience it and celebrate the holiday at Nationals Park. Kick off Independence Day on July 3rd, when the Nats play the Mets and enjoy a freedom fireworks show after. The July 4th game against the Mets will also include an aerial appearance by the Golden Knights Parachute Team and a performance by The Rockettes! Before you go, be sure to check this post for tips to save on a Nats game.

Neighborhood Parades
Where: Throughout the DMV
When: Most on July 4, times vary
Admission: Free

Keep it close to home at a community celebration. You likely are aware of July 4th events taking place in your neighborhood or nearby, but if you’re still looking for a hyperlocal fête, check out this list of parades around town. (Note that the list is from 2016, but the information is largely the same, and all of the links lead to this year’s events.)

July 4th Climb & Celebration
Where: Adventure Park at Sandy Spring | Sandy Spring, MD
When: July 4
Admission: $42-55

Spend the holiday in the tree and enjoy a day of climbing, zip lining, and American spirit From 10am – 2pm, they’ll have an All-American playlist to keep you in the patriotic mood. Don’t forget to wear your red, white and blue!

Falls Church 4th of July Celebration
Where: George Mason High School | Fairfax, VA
When: July 4, 7pm
Admission: Free

The City of Falls Church Recreation and Parks Department will present its annual free July 4th Celebration at George Mason High School (7124 Leesburg Pike). Musical entertainment begins at 7pm with a live performance, with fireworks following at 9:20pm. Blankets and flat-based chairs are allowed for seating on the field. Food and drinks will be sold on site.

Star-Spangled Spectacular
Where: Oregon Ridge State Park | Cockeysville, MD
When: July 3
Admission: $9-20

For something a little different than the usual DC July 4th festivities, head north to Oregon Ridge Park in Cockeysville, MD, on Monday. You can spread out a blanket or set up chairs on the sloping green lawn amidst a gorgeous setting as the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs their Star-Spangled Spectacular, culminating with a magnificent fireworks display. The starbursts in the sky as a live symphony plays is truly magical. The park opens at 5pm, and the show begins at 8pm both days. Be sure to note these parking instructions, as on–site parking is $15, but you can park off site and take a shuttle for free.

July 4th @ Long Bridge Park
Where: Long Bridge Park | Arlington, VA
When: July 4, 5-10pm
Admission: Free

Celebrate Independence Day at Arlington’s sixth annual July 4th Celebration @ Long Bridge Park! Join in the patriotic spirit with food trucks, live music featuring Jeff From Accounting, sports and games for all ages, moon bounces (weather permitting), face painting, and great views of the DC fireworks display. Free shuttles from Pentagon City and Crystal City metro stations.

McLean 4th of July Fireworks
Where: Churchill Road Elementary School | McLean, VA
When: July 4
Admission: Free

McLean’s annual Independence Day Celebration returns to Churchill Road Elementary School. The fireworks show begins at sunset, approximately 9:15pm. In addition to the large fireworks display, patrons can come early to enjoy musical entertainment by a local disc jockey, as well as food trucks selling a variety of entrees and snacks.

Picnic Baskets to Celebrate
Where: Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken | DC & VA
When: Pick Up July 4
Cost: $50

More like a how to celebrate than a where, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is offering a special summer picnic basket at their DC and Virginia locations. The basket includes 8 pieces of their signature fried chicken, 4 biscuits, 1 large cole slaw, and a half dozen doughnuts, and feeds up to four people. It will be available for pick up on July 4 from 7:30am – 5:30pm at G Street and from 7:30am -8pm at Falls Church. Pre-orders must be placed by end of day July 3 at 202.809.5565 or [email protected] Limited quantities of baskets will be available for walk-ins.


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Filed under 2017, All ages, Annual, DC, Educational, Exhibit, Festival, Free, Holidays, Live Entertainment, Maryland, Monuments & Memorials, Museums, Outdoor, Parade, Seasonal, Special Event, Summer, Virginia