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What to Do in DC in September (2022)

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This post covers the top things to do in September in Washington, DC in 2022, 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.

 


TOP 10 THINGS TO DO IN SEPTEMBER

This section covers our top ten list of things to do in DC for September.

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 

While we think of baseball as a summer sport, there will still be games to attend this September. This is the perfect event for the whole family!

Washington Nationals

The Washington Nationals have several home games scheduled for September, including matches against the New York Mets, Philadelphia Philles, and Atlanta Braves.

Purchase tickets here.

Washington Football Team

Football season has finally arrived! There will be two games played here at the FedExField: against the Jacksonville Jaguars on September 11th, and against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 25th.

Purchase tickets here

DC United

DC also has a soccer team, the DC United, playing here at the new Audi Field near the Wharf. This September will find teams such as the Colorado Rapids and Inter Miami CF visiting.

Purchase tickets here

For more family-friendly ideas, check out our things to do with kids section.


2. Go to a Concert

September is still rolling with the summer concert vibes, and DC has plenty of concerts to attend

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

Check here for more concerts in DC.


3. See a Stand-Up Performance

You don't need to head to NYC to catch a great comedy performance.

DC has plenty of great comedy (and theatre) to see, and this month in particular will be a great time to enjoy some live stand-up.

Bill Burr will be appearing on September 15th at Capital One Arena.

Amy Shumer is in the area with a show at DAR Constitution Hall on September 15th, and later in Baltimore on September 28th.

Mike Epps is appearing at MGM National Harbor on September 23rd and 24th.

Jeff Dunham is appearing at the Warner Theatre on September 23rd and 24th.

If you're looking for even more laughs, check this list of stand-up comedy shows taking place in the Washington DC area this month.


4. DC Shorts International Film Festival

Sept. 9th - 19th, 2021

This may not be your typical vacation attraction, but if you’re a cinephile who's local or happens to be in DC, you should definitely consider checking out the 2022 DC Shorts International Film Festival.

DC Shorts International Film Festival Advertisement. Source: DCShorts.com

The 10-day event will include film screenings, Q&As, filmmaker workshops, and parties.

The event seems to grow every year and has reached screening over 100 films from over 20 countries, so there's something for everyone here. 


5. DC JazzFest

August 31st - September 4th

It's the 18th anniversary of this local favorite, a festival that's free to attend (although tickets can be purchased for those who'd like better seating).

The concerts takes place at the Wharf. Here you'll find not only some of DC's finest musicians, but an international line-up of some of the best in the game.

In addition to the concerts there will be Q&A sessions, a competition, and other shows at various stages in the area.

For more information, visit the JazzFest website.


6. Smithsonian Magazines Museum Day

September 17th, 2022

Smithsonian Magazine's Museum Day is a great way to see a museum for free. Participants can reserve a ticket on August 15th to be used September 17th, and is a valid entry for two adults.

One location almost guaranteed to be included is the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, which is a great attraction for families with kids of all ages.

If you're curious about other Free Museum Day locations, make sure to check the "Find a Museum" search engine on their site to find the best options.

For a list of other great museums to visit while you're in DC, click here


7. King Street Art Festival

September 17th and 18th, 2022

Around 200 artists will assemble for the annual King Street Art Festival for a weekend this September where visitors can peruse over $1 million worth of art, shop, and get to personally chat with the artists.

This free event takes place in historic Old Town Alexandria, a great place for restaurants and shopping as well. 

While you're in the area, you should also check out George Washington's Mount Vernon.


8. H Street Festival

September 17th, 2022

What started as a block party is now an 11-block-long street festival in one of the thriving neighborhoods of DC.

You’ll find a unique Northeast flair to H Street Festival with live music, fashion shows, art exhibits and the local restaurants serving up some special fare. Find more information here

The Capitol is a short walk from H street, so we recommend taking a tour of Capitol Hill and visiting the Capitol and the Library of Congress


9. Adams Morgan Day

September 11th, 2022

Taking place in Northwest DC, Adams Morgan Day is the oldest neighborhood festival, having celebrated 40 years last year and still going strong!

This is a family-friendly event full of art, music, and activities for everyone. Residents welcome visitors to this event to explore the neighborhood, where local businesses and restaurants offer deals for the day.  

We recommend checking out our Adams Morgan guide while you're there, to wander off the beaten path and delve into the history of the neighborhood.


10. Look into a Tourist Attraction Discount Pass for Savings 

Tourist attraction discount 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. 

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

Attractions you can see with these passes include:

  • CitySights Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • International Spy Museum
  • Madame Tussauds
  • The Capital Ferris Wheel
  • George Washington's Home

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 IN SEPTEMBER

DC at night is lovely and full of things to do. We have a number of things to do at night in DC listed in our top 10 section above, such as attending a sports event or a concert. 

Below we have a list of a few more things to do after the sun goes down. 

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


Take an Evening Tour

In addition to our daytime walking tours, we also offer nighttime tours that are a bit more...scandalous.

White House at Night: Secrets, Scandals, LegendsDark Side of Dupont, and Lincoln Assassination are just a few of the tours we offer at night.

You can also come out and see the memorials by moonlight, a way to enjoy the National Mall lit up at night while getting a great tour experience. 

To check out our full tour schedule, click here.


Free Outdoor Movies

Outdoor movies take place all around DC after dark in the summer and going into Autumn. 

While a lot of places stop showing after August, there are still a few places, like the Congressional Cemetery Cinematery and the National Harbor that offer screenings.

Bring a blanket and some snacks and sit back and enjoy the show.

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


Art All Night

Come out to DC's largest all-night festival, Art All Night. There are exhibits, performances, and interactive exhibits as well! The event takes place from 7 pm-3am and completely free to attend.

The event takes place in 16 different main street corridors including outdoor and indoor spaces. Visit each neighborhood's website for more details about what they have planned.

For other fun art events in September, check out our Top 10 section above. 


Brew at the Zoo

The National Zoo is hosting Brew at the Zoo, an evening event filled with beer and animals. Included in the ticket is unlimited beer tastings hosted by from 45+ breweries. There are also food drucks, live music and more.

The big event is seeing the big cat feeding once the sun goes down.

The event takes place from 6pm-9pm and is a great way to experience the zoo for those aged 21+. Get your ticket here

Note that proof of vaccination is required.


Salute the Sunset

The US Army Concert Band will be performing Salute the Sunset concerts at National Harbor throughout September.

This event is entirely free to attend and open to the public, so all you have to do is show up and enjoy the show!

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FREE THINGS TO DO IN SEPTEMBER

DC is loaded with free things to do! A lot of the items we've listed in other sections like the Adams Morgan Day and H Street Festival are 100% free to attend. 

Here are a few more free activities for September.

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


Take a Walking Tour

In addition to our pay-what-you-wish guided walks, we also offer free, self-guided tours as well as free and cheap ($1.99) GPS-led audio tours.

And there is no cost to join our guided walking tours, but you have the option to pay what you like, or can afford, only after the tour is over.

 You can find out more about all our walking tours here.


Celebrate Fiesta

Fiesta DC is celebrating their 50th Anniversary this year at their 2-day weekend celebration of Latino Culture!

On September 25th at 11:00 am the Fiesta Parade starts at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street (near the National Archives) on the National Mall heading west.

The festival itself will be held along Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, between 9th and 14th Streets. It features stage entertainment and live performances that celebrate Latino culture. 

Click here to learn all about the event. 


DC State Fair

Even though DC's not a state, it doesn't mean we can't enjoy it like it is one!

This year marks the 13th annual DC State Fair, which features arts and crafts vendors, food and drink kiosks. Also, different organization will have booths set up that you can peruse and purchase from.

There are also contests for all ages. Everyone is encouraged to attend! For more information, click here.


Feel Good Fridays

Feel Good Fridays is an event set in the NoMa neighborhood offering free coffee, desserts, and treats at both the NoMa-Gallaudet Metro Station and the plaza at 810 First Street NE. It takes place every Friday from 8:00 - 9:00 am. 

They are also having live music each Friday from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm at First and Pierce Streets, NE. Bring your lunch along!

With two metro stops, the NoMa neighboorhood is a growing neighborhood nestled between Union Station and Union Market and offers the District's only free outdoor Wifi Network.

Come out and shop and discover one of DC's hidden gems! 


FAMILY-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES IN SEPTEMBER

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 are also kid-friendly, like visiting a museum, so be sure to read through the other sections for more ideas.

You can also check out our master post on things to do with kids in DC for more ideas.


National Mall Walking Tour for Kids

Our newest walking tour is meant just for our younger visitors. 

It's a shorter highlight tour with less walking and less talking... and more fun!

We have a scavenger hunt for kids to do at each memorial, where they will learn some fun facts about each memorial and history along the way (but shhh, don't tell them).

See more details from our post on our National Mall Tour: Kids Version.


National Museum of American History

Kids will enjoy visiting the National Museum of American History as the entire museum is very kid friendly.

It's open each day from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm and admission is free.

The information desk offers families a guide for "America on the Move" which includes games and other interactive exhibits for families to engage.

There are also simulator rides that are available for a fee. 


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About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the producer of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 28 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 4) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.
Updated: July 27th, 2022
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