Things to Do DC

The Weekend Scene: 15+ Things to Do on Memorial Day Weekend in the DC Area

From the National Memorial Day parade to the Art, Flowers and Flavors Festival, here are events for the long weekend

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Memorial Day weekend is finally here! We hope you get a chance to rest, recharge and reconnect with people you care about over the long weekend.

Our picks for the weekend show how the D.C. area is reawakening — the National Memorial Parade and D.C. Black Pride are both coming back in a big way.  

Want to get out of town for the weekend? Sunday and Monday will both have great beach weather. Check out these 10+ Places to Swim Near D.C. If You Want to Avoid Bay Bridge Traffic.

Hungry? Tommy McFly caught up with Washington Post Food Critic Tom Sietsema about this year’s dining guide. Or check out the historic Waffle Shop that has reopened and added pizza to the menu.

Also: The Scene team has officially launched The Weekend Scene newsletter! Every Wednesday, we’ll send our top favorite picks to your inbox, giving you plenty of time to plan your weekend. We would really appreciate if you subscribe here.

Things to Do in the DC Area for Memorial Day Weekend

Local pools opening weekend
D.C. pools open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The Scene

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Possible Sites for 2 New Smithsonian Museums Narrowed to 4

Pool season is here, and it will be warm enough for a swim this weekend — especially Sunday and Monday.

Cool off in one of D.C.’s 23 outdoor pools. They open for the season on Saturday. It’s free for D.C. residents, but anyone can purchase a pass for one, five or 10 visits. Here’s more information.

NOVA Parks’ five waterparks are also open this weekend. All parks are set to be open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday , Sunday and Monday. Here’s more information, including hours and locations.

Prince George’s County pools and splash parks are back, too. Most are open until 4 p.m. Here’s a full list of hours and locations.

Montgomery County pools are open for pre-season swimming starting on Saturday. Here are the locations and hours.

Free Pick
Eastern Women's Baseball Classic
Saturday, May 28 and Sunday, May 29
Games in Purcellville, Virginia, at Firemens Field Park (250 S. Nursery Ave.) and Franklin Park (17501 Franklin Park Drive)

The Diamond Classic is billed as the longest-running women’s baseball tournament in the country. Local teams D.C. Thunder and Baltimore Pirates will participate alongside others.

The first game is Atlantic Storm vs. East Coast Yankees at 9 a.m. Saturday, and the last games start at 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Here’s the full schedule.

USAA Poppy Wall of Honor
National Mall, near the Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Through Sunday

A moving display of 645,000 poppy flowers on the National Mall gives an opportunity to remember fallen service members. Each flower represents a service member who has lost their life since World War I.

The wall stretches more than 130 feet long and 8 feet high. You can see it between the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Constitution Gardens Pond, next to Constitution Avenue NE. The display is open through Sunday.

DelFest
Performances Thursday, May 26 to Sunday, May 29
Allegany County Fairgrounds (11400 Moss Ave., Cumberland, Maryland)

Bluegrass legend Del McCoury is bringing back DelFest after a two-year pandemic hiatus. Bands on the lineup include The Del McCoury Band, The Travelin’ McCourys, Tyler Childers, Railroad Earth and Béla Fleck. Four-day passes include camping. Or, check out the late-night show options starting at $25.

D.C. Black Pride

D.C. Black Pride weekend is “bigger and bolder than ever” with parties, workshops, a wellness fair and more. The Unity Ball, happy hours, receptions, rooftop parties and all-night club ragers will take over venues across the city.

Renaissance Washington DC Downtown will host daytime events including the Rainbow Row expo for LGBTQIA+ businesses and organizations (Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.), free health screenings; workshops on topics from livable communities to body positivity; a screening of “Fierceness Served;” an elimination-style poetry slam and more. Here’s the full rundown of events.

Rolling to Remember
Events Friday through Sunday
Washington, D.C.

Thousands of bikers ride into D.C. annually on Memorial Day weekend to remember prisoners of war and military members killed in action, plus to raise awareness about the epidemic of suicide among veterans.

Events include the Blessing of the Bikes (5 p.m. Friday at the National Cathedral), a candlelight vigil at the Vietnam War Memorial (8 p.m. Friday) and a rally with Jon Stewart in support of legislation to help veterans exposed to toxic burn pits (1 p.m. Saturday, RFK Stadium Parking Lot 8).

The big Rolling to Remember ride happens Sunday, including a motorcycle drill team performance at 9:30 a.m. followed by a performance from the band The Real Last Circus. Here's the schedule.

Art, Flowers and Flavors Festival
Saturday, May 28 to Monday, May 26, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
National Botanic Garden (26320 Ticonderoga Road, Chantilly, Virginia)

Sample Virginia wines, beer, food and chocolate among the sculptures and flora at the National Botanic Garden in Chantilly, Virginia. Artists will exhibit their work and there will be live music. Tickets cost $25 and include three samples. More goodies are available for purchase.

Free Pick
Hi-Lawn Rooftop Grill-Out & Picnic Party
Friday, May 27 to Monday, May 30
Union Market rooftop

Music, lawn games, creative grilled eats and drinks make for a fun weekend on the Union Market rooftop. Drag queen Jaxknife will host the summer’s first “an all-inclusive fruit-themed” dance party Saturday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

It’s free to attend, and you’re welcome to bring a picnic blanket. Food, including special “Lawn Dogs,” and summery draft cocktails will be available for purchase.

Jurassic Encounter
Through Monday, May 30
Bull Run Special Events Center (7700 Bull Run Drive, Centreville, Virginia)

The Jurassic Encounter brings your family to the dinosaur age with 45+ life-size animatronic and still dinosaurs. It’s the final weekend to roar at the T-rex, dig up “bones” and learn about prehistoric life.

Tarara Winery Summer Concerts: The Reflex
Saturday, May 28, 6 p.m.
Tarara Winery (13648 Tarara Lane, Leesburg, Virginia)

Tarara Winery’s summer concert series kicks off '80s style with The Reflex on Saturday at 6 p.m. Bring your own picnic, or purchase beer, wine and food truck eats. Check out the full summer schedule here.

Free Pick
Salute The Sunset Concert Series
The Plaza at National Harbor, Maryland
Saturday, May 28, 7 p.m.; then Wednesdays and Saturdays all summer long

National Harbor brings in the Navy Band this weekend for its Salute the Sunset concert series.

Flashy Memorial Day Weekend
Late Sunday to early Monday
Flash, 645 Florida Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.

Looking for a Sunday night party? TwiN and Sean Morris will drop beats until 5 a.m., and the bar is open late until 4 a.m. The cover is $30 in advance or $40 at the door.

Honor Movement Foundation 60k Ruck and “Final Miles”

Hikers carrying heavy backpacks will undertake an tough, weekend-long hike from Loudoun County. It will culminate in a walk across the Memorial Bridge to Arlington National Cemetery. The final walk will be led by gold star families, bagpipers, wounded veterans and other honorees.

If you’re interested in participating, The Honor Movement Foundation and the Ruck to Remember ask you to register at one of these locations:

  • Friday, May 27 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Centric Arlington
  • Saturday, May 28 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bluemont Station Brewery & Winery
  • Sunday, May 29 from 3 p.m to 8 p.m. at Old Ox Brewery. Also, Gold Star families and others will share "Stories of Valor.”
  • Monday, May 30 from 5:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima). This is where the Final Miles starts.

Memorial Day Observances in the DC Area

National Memorial Day Parade
Monday, May 30, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Constitution Avenue from 7th Street NW to 17th Street NW, Washington, D.C.

The nation’s largest Memorial Day parade is back in full force after two years, and the public is invited to pay tribute to military members who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The Eli Young Band will kick things off with a special performance at 1 p.m. at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street NW; then the parade begins at 2 p.m. You can watch the parade along Constitution Avenue from 7th Street NW to 17th Street NW.

It’s free and open to the public. Organizers suggest attendees should arrive early and consider bringing a lawn chair. The closest Metro station is National Archives/Penn Quarter/Navy Memorial, organizers say. Here’s a guide to the parade.

National Memorial Day Concert
Virtual, Sunday at 8 p.m. on PBS

The annual Memorial Day Concert that’s broadcast from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol will be available to watch on television — but it’s not open to the public this year. Here’s viewing information.

Memorial Day at the National Army Museum
1775 Liberty Drive, Fort Belvoir, Virginia

The National Army Museum is set to host special activities to honor military members, including a poppy paper flower craft, the “Operation Safe Passage” interactive role-playing experience and “Hands-On History” programs.

A moment of silence will be held at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday.

Admission is free but anyone over 2 must get a timed ticket.

Falls Church: 40th Annual Parade and Festival
Festival 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; ceremony at 11 a.m.; parade at 2 p.m.

The 40th Annual Parade and Festival returns on Monday. Catch live music, food and craft vendors and kids’ entertainment at the festival from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a Memorial Day ceremony at 11 a.m., followed by the parade at 2 p.m.

Memorial Day Concert by the Quantico Marine Corps Band
18900 Jefferson Davis Highway, Triangle, Virginia
Monday, May 30, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

The National Museum of the Marine Corps will host a free concert on the parade deck. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or chair to sit on.

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