Cool Shows to See Around DC this Summer

Catch a puppet version of Wizard of Oz this summer


There’s lots of live entertainment coming to the area this summer.  Not only is seeing a show a fun activity with kids while they’re on break from school, it’s a great way to stay cool on hot summer days or, at some venues, to spend time outside on nice ones.  Happy viewing!

Outdoor Summer Concert Series
Where: Throughout the area
When: Various day and times
Tickets: Almost always FREE

Free music in the fresh air has become a staple of the season, and there are opportunities to enjoy just about every genre regularly at outdoor venues all around the DC-Metro. From Jazz on the National Mall to riverside entertainment to music amid the nature of local parks to shows in local shopping centers, the 2024 KFDC Summer Guide has a round-up of where and when you can enjoy the sounds of summer.

Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: Through June 23
Admission: $15

Celebrate 50 years of Allan Steven’s Pinocchio! A young puppet goes on a journey to become a real boy. First seen on stage at the Smithsonian Puppet Theater,the original rod-puppets are back at The  Puppet Co. stage to tell Carlo Collodi’s tale. Run time is approximately 50 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Long Way Down
Where: Olney Theatre
When: Through June 23
Admission: $40-70

Based on the award-winning novel by local author Jason Reynolds… Growing up, Will’s big brother taught him three iron-clad rules of how to behave when gun violence claims someone close: Don’t cry. Don’t snitch. Get revenge. So when his brother is himself gunned down, Will is determined to follow the code and gets in the elevator on the top floor of his apartment building, armed and ready to hit the streets in search of vengeance. What happens on the way down is an emotional hip-hop journey through the cycles of violence that have plagued Will’s family and too many others. Rated PG.

Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: June 20 – August 3
Tickets: $12

From late June through early August, Wolf Trap presents Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods, over 70 family-friendly performances at 10:30am Tuesdays through Saturdays. Amidst 117 rolling wooded acres and nestled in a shady grove, the stage is set for lively adventures in music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater. The productions welcome all ages, though most are geared toward younger children. The full schedule of shows is available on the Wolf Trap website. And you can read a KFDC review of the series from a past summer here (it’s an old post, but the series is still very much the same).

Miss Nelson is Missing
Where: Imagination Stage | Bethesda, MD
When: June 20 – August 10
Tickets: $9.50-36.50 (find discount tix)

The students of Smedley Elementary School’s Room 207 are not just badly behaved–they’re the “worst kids of all!” No matter what their sweet and caring teacher Miss Nelson tries, they simply won’t listen (or stop throwing paper airplanes across the room). Fed up with their behavior, Miss Nelson leaves her class in the hands of dreaded substitute teacher Miss Viola Swamp, infamous for bringing “woe to those who misbehave.” Terrified of “the Swamp,” the kids must work together and with Detective McSmogg to find their kindhearted teacher and win her back. Recommended for ages 4+.

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale
Where: Adventure Theater | Glen Echo Park, MD
When: June 21 – August 18
Tickets: $25 (find discount tix)

Toddler Trixie and her father bustle through the streets of New York City down the block, through the park, past the school, to the Laundromat. But returning home, Knuffle Bunny is gone, and Trixie cannot tell her father what is wrong. Recommended for all ages. Enter the giveaway for a chance to win tickets!

The Kite Runner
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 25-30
Tickets: $39-149 (find discount tix)

Based on Khaled Hosseini’s beloved, international best-selling novel, The Kite Runner is a powerful new play adapted by Matthew Spangler that follows one man’s journey to confront his past and find redemption. Afghanistan is a divided country, and two childhood friends are about to be torn apart. Told across two decades and two continents, this unforgettable journey of forgiveness shows us all that we can be good again. Recommended for ages 13+

Funny Girl
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 25 – July 14
Tickets: $49-189 (find discount tix)

Featuring one of the greatest musical scores of all time, including classic songs “Don’t Rain On My Parade,” “I’m the Greatest Star,” and “People,” this bittersweet comedy is the story of the indomitable Fanny Brice, a girl from the Lower East Side who became one of the most beloved performers in history, shining brighter than the brightest lights of Broadway. Recommended for ages 10+.

The Wizard of Oz
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: July 4 – August 4
Tickets: $15
The Puppet Co. tells the great American fairy tale in this award-winning musical production using several styles of puppetry. The story takes place at the 1900s Kansas State Fair, with performers in costumes, guiding the audience down the yellow brick road. Run time of approximately 55 minutes. Recommended for ages 4+.

Young Frankenstein
Where: Anne Arundel Community College | Arnold, MD
When: July 12-21
Tickets: $20

The Talent Machine Company’s production of the hilarious Mel Brooks musical comedy Young Frankenstein features an incredibly talented cast of performers ages 14 to 18. The show runs from July 12 through 21 at Anne Arundel Community College, Pascal Center for the Performing Arts in Arnold, MD. Evening and matinee performances are available. Many members of the cast are from the award-winning production of Mean Girls last summer, which just earned the top Ruby Griffith Award for All-Round Production Excellence among regional theaters. Talent Machine shows set a high standard and we never disappoint!

The Sound of Music
Where: Thomas Jefferson Commmunity Center | Arlington, VA
When: July 19-28
Tickets: $15/adult, $12/child (find discount tix)

Encore Stage & Studio presents its signature theatre by kids for kids… The beloved story tells the tale of young postulant Maria Rainer, whose free spirit has trouble fitting into the rules of Nonnberg Abbey. She is commissioned by the Mother Abbess to serve as the governess of seven children. She transforms the Von Trapp home from a place of rules and regulations to one filled with joy, laughter, and music. Over time, Maria wins over the love of the children and the children’s father, Captain Von Trapp. Join us for this enchanting tale in Encore’s production of The Sound of Music!

Back to the Future: The Musical
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: July 23 – August 11
Tickets: $49-199 (find discount tix)

Great Scott! Back to the Future, the beloved, cinematic classic is now a Broadway musical with its destination set for Washington, D.C., in 2024. When Marty McFly finds himself transported back to 1955 in a time machine built by the eccentric scientist Doc Brown, he accidentally changes the course of history. Now he’s in a race against time to fix the present, escape the past, and send himself… back to the future. Recommended for ages 6+.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 1 in Concert
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: July 24
Tickets: Start at $38

Get ready to embark on the penultimate leg of Harry’s journey as Warner Bros. and CineConcerts bring to the screen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows™ Part 1. Harry, Ron and Hermione face their latest set of challenges and foes both new and old as the seventh film comes to Wolf Trap, projected on a giant screen and accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra. Relive every harrowing moment with an experience you’ll never forget.

Olney Outdoors
Where: Olney Theatre | Olney, MD
When: July 25 – August 31
Tickets: Vary by performance

Return outdoors with over 25 summer programs to be held on the newly renovated Root Family Stage at Omi’s Pavilion. From the opening weekend Applause Series performance of West Side Story to the closing concert featuring the legendary Chita Rivera, this promises to be our biggest summer ever. See the full schedule and show details here.

Disney in Concert: The Sound of Magic
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: June 22-23
Tickets: $39-99

Join a symphonic celebration of Disney music, animation, and memories—100 years in the making! Your favorite characters and soundtracks come to life in this live-to-film concert like never before as the NSO takes you on a magic carpet ride through the most memorable moments from Peter Pan, Moana, Aladdin, The Jungle Book, Frozen, The Lion King, Fantasia, Encanto, and more.

Kidz Bop Live
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 10, 1pm & 7pm
Tickets: $39-129

The ultimate family-friendly pop concert for children (and their parents!). Featuring awesome sets, costumes, choreography, and surprises, families can sing and dance along with the KIDZ BOP Kids as they perform today’s biggest hits on stage, including “Anti-Hero,” “About That Time, “As It Was,” and many more.

Rumours of Fleetwood Mac
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: August 9-10
Tickets: $55-130

Personally endorsed by Fleetwood Mac founding member, Mick Fleetwood, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac is the ultimate tribute to one of rock and roll’s most remarkable groups. Channeling the spirit of Fleetwood Mac at their very best, Rumours of Fleetwood Mac offers a unique opportunity for fans, both old and new, to rediscover the songs and performances that have ensured Fleetwood Mac’s place as one of the most loved groups of all time.

Mamma Mia!
Where: Kennedy Center | Foggy Bottom, DC
When: August 13 – September 1
Tickets: $49-199 (find discount tix)

A mother. A daughter. Three possible dads. And a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget! Set on a Greek island paradise where the sun always shines, a tale of love, friendship, and identity is beautifully told through the timeless hits of ABBA. On the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to discover the father she’s never known brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited decades ago. Mamma Mia! is the ultimate feel-good show.

MJ the Musical
Where: National Theatre | Downtown DC
When: August 13 – September 8
Tickets: $59-169

He is one of the greatest entertainers of all time. Now, Michael Jackson’s unique and unparalleled artistry comes to DC as MJ, the multi Tony Award-winning new musical centered around the making of the 1992 Dangerous World Tour, begins a tour of its own. MJ goes beyond the singular moves and signature sound of the star, offering a rare look at the creative mind and collaborative spirit that catapulted Michael Jackson into legendary status. MJ is startin’ somethin’ as it makes its DC premiere at The National Theatre in August 2024.

DinoRock presents Dinosaur Babies
Where: The Puppet Co. | Glen Echo, MD
When: August 15 – September 8
Tickets: $15

DinoRock returns to the Puppet Co. with their life-sized, colorful prehistoric puppet friends. The show is sure to delight little ones who love dinos and musical fun! Run time approximately 45 minutes. Recommended for ages 5+.

The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long
Where: Wolf Trap | Vienna, VA
When: August 16
Tickets: $29

It’s Wolf Trap’s annual The Sound of Music Sing-A-Long! Before the Oscar-winning family favorite film begins, you’ll be led through a vocal warm-up, gifted an interactive fun pack, and the audience will judge if your costume really is “Something Good!” Join in on what is sure to be a marvelous time for all.


Are there any shows you’re excited to see this summer that you don’t see listed here?  Let us know in the comments!


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