What to Do in DC In June (2019)

This post covers the top things to do in June in Washington, DC (updated for 2019), including nighttime activities, free things to do, and family-friendly options.

Be sure to read our master post on things to do in DC for even more ideas.

 

 

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TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN JUNE

This section covers our top ten list for June.

For more ideas on favorite things to do in DC, check out the following posts:

Some of the items listed in this post are included for free with the purchase of a tourist attraction discount pass


1. Attend a Sporting Event 

Beer and baseball are the perfect way to fend off the summer swelter, and lucky for us we’ve got a great lineup for the Washington Nationals.

And while you are here, you could watch the Presidents Race at each home game.

 

 

Find a game to see while you’re here:

  • June 4-5 vs. Chicago White Sox
  • June 13-16 vs. Arizona D-backs
  • June 17-20 vs. Philadelphia Phillies
  • June 21-23 vs. Atlanta Braves

Click here for ticket information.


DC United Soccer (Football)

We also have out DC United soccer team playing at the Audi Stadium:

  • June 1 @8 pm vs. San Jose Earthquakes
  • June 26 @ 8 pm vs. Orlando City SC
  • June 29 @ 8 pm vs. Toronto FC

For tickets click here.

This is a great option for families. For more family-friendly ideas, check out our things to do with kids section.


2. Attend a Major Concert

June brings plenty of performances to Washington, DC in venues all around the city. 

Below is a list of some performances being put on in DC, from big-name acts to local bands:


3. Attend a Broadway Musical

DC has plenty of great theater right here, so there’s no need to go to NYC, and July has some really cool shows.

Winner of four Tony Awards, Hello Dolly is hitting the stage of the Kennedy Center starring Broadway legend Betty Buckley.

Running from June 4th- July 7th, it’s a show you won’t want to miss, so get your tickets here

 

 

Of course, this isn’t the only musical or big show playing in DC. Check out the full list here.


4. Take a Sightseeing Tour 

There are so many ways to explore Washington, DC, but of course, we think that our pay-what-you-wish tours are the way to go.

 

 

In addition to bus tours and boat cruises, there are bike and segway tours.

You can explore on your own. We offer a GPS-enabled audio tour app, free self-guided tours and neighborhood guides. 

Learn about all those monuments and memorials in DC and plan your visit to each of them.


5. Smithsonian Folklife Festival

June 29-30, 2019

Come experience traditions from around the world right here on the National Mall!

These two days of celebration are hosted by the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.

 

 
Like the other Smithsonian museums, it is free to the public, so be sure to come and experience the music, song, dance, crafts, cooking, and other celebrations of cultures around the world.

https://festival.si.edu/.

For more free things to do in DC in June, check out our free things to do section below.


6. National Capital Barbecue Battle

Whether BBQ to you is a type of food or an event, you don’t want to miss this annual cook-off downtown, the weekend of June 23 and 24, 2019. There will be live music, interactive exhibits and, of course, food!

 

 

Tickets are required and can be purchased here.

And if you’ve come for food, then check out our food tours.


7. Visit Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is one of the best known military cemeteries in our nation. 

Take a free walking tour or a trolley tour to learn about specific graves and history, or take a self-guided tour to enjoy at your own place.

 

 

Visitors will immediately notice the beauty of the landscape as they stroll through the cemetery, which is home to over 8,600 native and exotic trees.


8. Military Evening Concerts

On many nights of the week, you can find a military band performing throughout the city.

From pop tunes to patriotic songs, these performances take place in some of the most beautiful venues – outside at the memorials.

 

 

Check out our nighttime activities section for more details.


9. Military Parades

Likewise, on many evenings each week, you could also find military parades to enjoy.

 

 

The US Marine Corp’s Fife and Bugle Teams perform their Sunset Parade at the Lincoln Memorial on Tuesday evenings. The Marines also offer their Evening Parade from the Marines Barracks on Friday evenings.

We detain both in our things to do at night section.

The US Army performs its Twilight Tatoo, a military pageant that will definitely rock you to your feet. This is particularly popular with families and we detail it in our family-friendly section.


10. Look into a Tourist Discount Pass 

Tourist attraction passes bundle together many popular attractions and tours into one discounted price and can save you over 50%.

They also can save you time with skip-the-ticket-line privileges. 

 

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We detail how these passes work and help you decide which, if any, is best for you. 

 


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THINGS TO DO AT NIGHT

June is a lovely month weather-wise so spending some time outside after the sun goes down is a treat! Some of our top ten items are great for evenings like watching a baseball game.

Here are a few more night time activities for the month of June.

 

 

For more nighttime activities, visit our post on things to do at night in DC


Take a Tour!

We offer a number of tours in the evening. Our daily 8 pm Memorials and Moonlight Tour lets you explore the National Mall after the sun sets.

Other night tours that we offer include:

  • Lincoln Assassination
  • Secrets & Scandals of the White House
  • Georgetown Ghost Tour

Reserve a spot now

You might also be interested in a bike or bus night tour.


Sunset Parade at Lincoln Memorial

Starting June 12, every Tuesday you can watch musical performances by “The Commandant’s Own,” the Marine Drum and Bugle Corps, as well as a precision drill by the Marine Corps Silent Drill Platoon.

Due to the construction at Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial this year, the 2019 parade will be at the Lincoln Memorial.

Read more about the Sunset Parade here


Military Evening Concerts

US Navy Band

The US Navy Band performs at the Capitol’s west steps (the side facing the Mall) on Mondays and one at Navy Memorial on Tuesdays. 

It’s open to the public and no tickets are needed. See their schedule here.

US Air Force Band

The US Air Force Band performs on Fridays at the Air Force Memorial and on Tuesdays on the west steps of the US Capitol.

It’s open to the public and no tickets needed. See their schedule here.


Kennedy Center Millennium Stage 

Nightly at 6 pm, the Millennium Stage lights up at the Kennedy Center featuring an act that is sure to please.

The concerts are free to attend (and can be busy!), do not require tickets, and usually last an hour.

While you’re at the Kennedy Center, don’t forget to walk through the Halls of Nations and States and make your way up to the roof for one of the best views of Washington, DC.

Entrance to the Kennedy Center is free and you can take our free self guided tour of Kennedy Center along with you.


Stay Late at a Museum

Celebrate the long summer days by staying late at the Smithsonian Museums.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery already stay open until 7 pm every day.

While most Smithsonian museums usually close at 5:30 pm, some, like the Air and Space, Natural History, and American History will have their hours extended to 7:30 pm on certain days this summer.  

For the daily schedule of extended hours, visit the Smithsonian website.

 


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FREE THINGS TO DO IN JUNE IN DC

DC is (fortunately) overloaded with free things to do! A lot of the items we’ve listed in other sections like the Kennedy Center and National Zoo are 100% free to enter!

Here are a few more activities for the month.

 

 

For even more budget-friendly ideas, check out our post on free things to do in DC


Tour the US Capitol Building

If you are in DC on a particularly hot June day, then cool off inside with a tour of the US Capitol Building!

Tours are offered throughout the day and take you to see the Crypt, Rotunda, and National Statuary Hall.

If you want to know all about the surrounding Capitol Hill, join us for one of our free walking tours. You’ll get to learn about the history of Capitol Hill, see the Supreme Court, and go inside the beautiful Library of Congress.

The tour also includes tickets to the inside of the Capitol tour, so you’ll get to experience all of it in one go. 


Outdoor Movies

June- August 2019

Depending on which outdoor screen and neighborhood you’re looking for, some of them extend into August. These outdoor movies are free and often play classics or new releases.

With huge blow-up screens, bring a blanket and some snacks. 

One great place to watch is Farragut Park. Their lineup for June is:

June 7: Crazy Rich Asians
June 14: A Dog’s Way Home
June 21: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

For a complete schedule of films, dates, and locations, visit here


Jazz in The Gardens

There’s a free jazz performance every Friday from 5 pm- 8:30 pm in the National Gallery of Art‘s Sculpture Garden.

Bring your picnic blankets and lawn chairs and lounge while seeing some top performers including The US Army Blues Swamp Romp, The Slackers, and more.

For a full list of performers this summer, click here


Pride Weekend in DC

June 7-10, 2019

It kicks off in the Dupont Circle neighborhood with a block party and a parade on Saturday, and the Pride Festival downtown on Pennsylvania Ave on Sunday.

The theme “Elements of Us” for Celebration 2019 will be found through dance parties, concerts, and the festival atmosphere through the weekend.

It is a free and family-friendly event and should be a lot of fun!


Visit the History of Baseball

A great way to cool off is to take a tour of the exhibits of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.

One of our favorite exhibits, Baseball Americana, is still around and guides you through the history of American baseball. You can even pose for your own baseball card!

Since you’re in the area, we also offer tours of Capitol Hill and make sure you check out the tours of the Library of Congress.

 


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THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS IN JUNE

Washington, DC is super family-friendly! There are also so many activity options available, there is sure to be something to fit everyone’s tastes.

 

 

A few activities we’ve listed above like taking a Potomac River cruise. Here are a few more kid-friendly things to do in June.

Be sure to read our master post on things to do with kids in DC for even more ideas.


Head to the Zoo! 

A part of the Smithsonian Institution (meaning admission is free!), the National Zoo offers families a variety of animals and fun when they visit.

Don’t miss the zoo’s largest draw – the giant pandas that are currently on loan from China.

Other animals highlights include gorillas, elephants, lions, and zebras, or watch the orangutans walk the high wire every morning

The zoo grounds are open from 8 am – 7 pm.


Twilight Tattoo

An evening military show just across the river at Fort Myers in Virginia. This free and open to the public event showcases Drum & Bugle Corps, Drill Teams, and live music.

Kids will love the gun and cannon fires and the military charges as the narrator guides you through its history from the Revolutionary War till Today.

This is also singing and dancing and you can even meet some of the participants after the show. 

For more about the Twilight Tattoo, visit our post


Cool off at the Georgetown Waterfront Park 

Escape the DC humidity along the banks of the Potomac River at the Georgetown Waterfront Park .

Children will enjoy splashing around on the accessible fountain splash pad and lounging on the riverfront steps leading up to the water.

Our Historic Georgetown walking tour starts here and our family-friendly Ghosts of Georgetown Tour begins not too far away. 


Celebrate Father’s Day!

In addition to the traditional barbeque and baseball game, why not celebrate Father’s Day with the “Father of our Country” George Washington at Mount Vernon?

You can meet and greet the General through the weekend at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m in the program “Father to the First Family.”

Find out more about visiting Mount Vernon.

 


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About the author

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with three published books about the city. She has traveled extensively and lived in London, UK where she attended University College London for a Masters in History and in Seoul, South Korea where she taught English. While her family is now based in DC, she still explores the world. Her two children (both under the age of 3) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts. She has been a part of the Free Tours by Foot team since 2011.