National Book Festival
The Skinny: First, let's get one thing straight. No, it's not a flea market for used books. The National Book Festival attracts thousands upon thousands of people to the National Mall. Kids can meet some of their favorite storybook characters. Adults can meet some of their favorite authors (from all genres) and get their books signed. Celebrities even get a chance to read to local school children. The entire event is put on by the Library of Congress.
Marine Corps Marathon
The Skinny: The Marine Corps Marathon takes runners on a scenic tour of the Washington area. It starts in Arlington, Va., and winds through Georgetown and other parts of the District. Along the way runners pass the National Mall, numerous monuments and the Capitol. The marathon is known to many as The People's Marathon because no prize money is involved. You run it just to run. It's the world's largest marathon that doesn't offer a prize. It was also voted the Best Marathon For Families.