Things to Do DC

The Labor Day Weekend Scene: 15 Fun Ways to Send Off Summer

Things to do, events and free picks for this weekend in D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia on Labor Day weekend 2022

NBC Universal, Inc.

It's the end of summer according to the calendar, the location of the sun versus earth and Storm Team4’s Doug Kammerer.

Whether you're soaking up every last minute of heat or eager for sweater weather, summer 2022 is headed out with a bang.

This Labor Day weekend is going to get jazzy, literary and delicious. We're serving up an exciting and diverse restaurant week in Northern Virginia, waterfront jazz in D.C. and a food fest in Prince George's. Oh, also there’s the National Book Festival.

National Cinema Day is Saturday, and that means 3,000 theaters across the U.S. will offer movie deals for $3. Ideal for anyone who prefers air conditioning over humidity.

Want to explore outside the Beltway? Here are easy getaways and day trips to check out.

ICYMI: The Scene team has guides on top of guides of fun stuff to do — check out fun places to try golfingswimming spotsoutdoor movies and even the Maryland State Fair.  

Sign up for The Weekend Scene newsletter — every Wednesday we'll deliver you events and fun ways to spend your weekend in the D.C. area. We also are cooking up a lot of fun for fall — we see festivals, Halloween haunts and corn mazes in your future. Thanks for subscribing here.

Things to Do in D.C. This Weekend

DC Jazz Festival
Through Sept. 4
Two-day festival at The Wharf, concerts throughout the District

Whether you want a classy night out or a fun, free daytime activity for the whole family, the DC Jazz Festival has something for you.

The festival includes a free music festival on The Wharf's outdoor stages on Saturday and Sunday and the Anacostia Jazz Hop Saturday from noon to 8 p.m.

Tickets are sold separately for shows at other venues, including Arena Stage, Union Stage and Takoma Station Tavern. And the Jazz Grand Prix at Union Stage (Saturday, doors at 1 p.m., $15-$25) features a battle of the bands with a $15,000 prize at stake.

Here's our full guide, plus an interview with the festival's president.

National Book Festival
Saturday, doors open at 8:30 a.m. and festival goes until 8 p.m.
Washington Convention Center

The free National Book Festival returns to the Washington Convention Center on Saturday. More than 100 authors and presentations, multiple stages and, as we mentioned on TV, an eclectic mix of book stars like Janelle Monáe, Nick Offerman, Leslie Jordan, Mitch Albom and many more. 

Doors will open at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and the festival goes until 8 p.m. It’s open to the public — no tickets required.

Hi-Lawn’s Labor Day Celebration
Union Market rooftop
Friday to Monday

Play lawn games and let Hi-Lawn at Union Market do the grilling for you. It’s free to visit. Food and drinks can be purchased a la carte.

The hours are Friday, 2 p.m. to midnight, Saturday noon to midnight, Sunday 1-9 p.m. and Monday noon to 6 p.m.

Free Pick
Adams Morgan Walking Tour
Saturday, 10 a.m.

You may recognize Adams Morgan landmarks such as the Duke Ellington Bridge and Madam’s Organ Mural, but do you know their history? Drop by this free walking tour to get to know the neighborhood better.

The meetup will begin at 9:45 a.m. outside the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan entrance, near the McDonald’s on the west side of Connecticut Avenue NW.

Free Pick
NSO Labor Day Concert
Sunday, gates at 3 p.m., concert at 8 p.m.
West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol

A Labor Day weekend tradition returns. The National Symphony Orchestra’s Labor Day Concert will be on the Capitol’s West Lawn at 8 p.m. Sunday

The gates are set to open at 3 p.m. ahead of a dress rehearsal at 3:30 p.m. No tickets are required, but seating is first come, first served.

Expect a security search when you enter. Food and low beach or camp chairs are allowed. Prohibited items include alcohol, glass bottles, bikes, knives and umbrellas larger than 36 inches. Here’s our guide, including on where to enter.

KanKouran Concert
Howard University – Cramton Auditorium
Sunday, 8 p.m.

African dance company KanKouran will perform its 39th annual concert at Howard’s Cramton Auditorium. Tickets start at $25.

If you’re interested in African dance, check out their workshops which cost $20 each.

Things to Do in Maryland This Weekend

Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
Sept. 2-5

Rides on the Midway, BINGO, a table tennis tournament and live music are just a few things on tap this weekend in Greenbelt. The 66th Annual Greenbelt Labor Day Parade is set to begin at 10 a.m. Monday starting at Crescent Road.

Harbor Music, Wine Arts Festival Weekend
Saturday and Sunday

Wine, dine and dance during a staycation at National Harbor’s Gaylord hotel. Each ticket ($200) gets admission to four events with live entertainment including music from Doug E. Fresh, wine tastings, a fireworks show and artist features.

Free Pick
Glen Echo Park 51st Annual Labor Day Art Show
Saturday through Monday, noon to 6 p.m.
Glen Echo Park’s Spanish Ballroom

Take in a variety of art styles from more than 200 Mid-Atlantic artists. Admission is free.

Maryland Renaissance Festival
1821 Crownsville Rd, Annapolis, Maryland
Weekends through Oct. 23

The jousting tournament is a must-see, or eat all types of food on a stick.

The festival runs on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 23, plus Labor Day Monday.  To celebrate opening weekend on Aug. 27-28, kids under 15 can get in for free.

Maryland State Fair
Maryland State Fairgrounds

The Maryland State Fair will run Aug. 25-28, Sept. 1-5 and Sept. 8-11 in Lutherville-Timonium. Here's our full guide.

Things to Do in Virginia This Weekend

Fairfax City Restaurant Week
Through Sept. 4

More than two dozen Fairfax restaurants representing 12 global cuisines are offering discounts including $35 dinners, $20 lunches and two items for $10 takeout deals.

LoCo Musicians Festival
Sunday, 2-9 p.m.
868 Estate Vineyards, Purcellville, Virginia

Several bands are set to play at a concert benefitting support services for Loudoun County’s musicians. Food and — of course — wine will be available for purchase.

Get tickets in advance online for $20. Same-day tickets are $25. Kids 16 and under will need to register for a free ticket.

Free Pick
23nd Annual Labor Day Car Show
Monday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Old Town Fairfax (Next to Fire Station 3 at 4081 University Drive)

Zoom on over to the car show to check out antique wheels, muscle cars, motorcycles and more.  It’s free to attend, but the organizers suggest making a donation that will benefit charitable organizations.

Northern Virginia Water Parks

Slip and slide around NOVA Parks’ waterparks before they close for the season. The five parks, which each feature a unique nautical theme, will be open 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Contact Us