25+ of the DMV's Biggest Events & Festivals This Summer

Beach towel starting to look worn out from all the relaxing you've been doing? Doesn't sound like a bad summer at all.

But if you're feeling ready to hit the Metro/road/sidewalk, check out our calendar of the most enticing events, festivals and exhibitions in and around the D.C. area this season. Here's what to do:

Now through July 29

Experience something new -- where else can you find "a play about abandonment and ballroom dancing"? The Capital Fringe Festival offers up off-the-beaten-path performances of everything from comedy and drama to dance and music, and even yoga, at venues across the District. You might not know what you want to see, but the fest offers an online guide here. Really don't know what to see? Their site offers a "random show" generator -- tap it and see what you get. 

Now through Sept. 23, various dates

Go to a county fair... and eat everything fried. The goodness kicked off with the Fauquier County Fair (July 11-14) and continues all summer, wrapping up with the St. Mary's County Fair (Sept. 20-23) and the D.C. State Fair (Sept. 23). Get all the dates and details here.

Multiple Dates

Rock out. Scores of artists are coming to D.C., Maryland and Virginia this summer, including Arcade Fire at Jiffy Lube Live (July 20), Raphael Saadiq at the Kennedy Center (July 27), Wiz Khalifa and Rae Sremmurd at Jiffy Lube Live (Aug. 9), and the Avett Brothers at Wolf Trap (Aug. 18). See our guide to 50+ local upcoming shows here.

DC's Best Upcoming Concerts: Diana Ross, Beck u0026 More

July 19

Visit Brew at the Zoo. The Smithsonian National Zoo's annual beer fest will feature tastes from more than 70 craft breweries, plus live entertainment and the chance to meet and greet some animals.

Now Open

Go back to 1968. The National Portrait Gallery's "One Year: 1968, an American Odyssey" opened in late June for an 11-month exhibition, featuring 30 objects -- including photographs, paintings and magazines -- that that tell the story of a year that changed the course of history.

July 21

Indulge and escape at a food festival. On this date, you've got your pick of the Purcellville Wine & Food Festival in Virginia and the Tilghman Island Seafood Festival in Maryland.

July 21-22

Take in the sights at the Lotus and Water Lily Festival at Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens. See 3-foot-tall lotuses and vibrantly colored lilies during their peak bloom at Kenilworth, the only national park dedicated to growing aquatic plants. The fest also includes live music and dance performances, gardening workshops, live animal programs and more.

July 23-28

Explore the aquatic gardens. "Peak Week" at Kenilworth offers kids' activities, a ranger-led hike after dark to see night-blooming lilies, gardening workshops for veterans and more.


Take a brew tour. D.C. Brew Tours' Original Brew Tour is a great way to sample the area's beer scene. Your ticket includes up to 18 beer styles and VIP access at four stops, as well as a light lunch with a beer pairing.

July 29

Hit a music festival. The West Coast may have Coachella, but there are plenty of great fests just a short trip away from D.C., including the Vans Warped Tour at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland.

Various Dates

Take yourself out to the ballgame. Get tickets to a game at Nats Park -- you might want to aim for a day that includes a freebie such as a bobblehead giveaway (Anthony Rendon, Aug. 3), a Hawaiian shirt (Aug. 17) or a "Game of Thrones" figurine (Aug. 18). See the complete promotions schedule here.

Aug. 10 & Sept. 28

Forage from some of D.C.'s most popular food trucks during Truckeroo at the Bullpen adjacent to Nats Park. You have two more chances to catch the monthly(ish) food truck fest this year. Find participating food trucks here.

Open Through Sept. 3

Explore the Fun House. The National Building Museum's interactive "Fun House" is open through Sept. 3, featuring a white house and a pool full of plastic balls in the museum's jaw-dropping Great Hall.

Interactive 'Fun House' Opening at National Building Museum

Aug. 13-19

Try D.C.'s finest cuisine during Restaurant Week, when you can stretch your dollar while still living it up. Dozens of local restaurants will offer specially priced menus during this yummy week. You're going to want to make reservations... probably a few times. Find participating spots here once they're announced.

Aug. 18

Crack open some crabs. Check out the Chesapeake Crab, Wine & Beer Festival on Aug. 18 at National Harbor.

Weekends from Aug. 25 through Oct. 21, plus Labor Day

Go back in time at the Maryland Renaissance Festival to see jousting events, shop arts and crafts vendors and eat a giant turkey leg. Always a giant turkey leg.

All Summer (and through June 2019)

Take a peek into Oprah's life and history. "Watching Oprah: The Oprah Winfrey Show and American Culture" is now open at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Photos: Oprah Exhibit at African-American Museum Includes 'You Get a Car' Memorabilia, Pages From Her Diary

Labor Day Observance (Tentative)

See a patriotic performance. Although details haven't yet been announced, the National Symphony Orchestra usually performs a free Labor Day Concert on the West Front lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Details should be posted here once released.

Sept. 5

Bid farewell to summer. Enjoy the sounds and the last of the summer days Sept. 5 at the Bethany Beach Jazz Funeral on the Bethany Beach Boardwalk in Delaware.

Sept. 15

Celebrate H Street with food, music, vendors and plenty of neighborhood fun. This year's H Street Festival will take place just before the official start of fall.

Want to nominate something to add? Let us know by tweeting @DCscene.

CORRECTION (July 18, 2018, 1:46 p.m.): An earlier version of this article included outdated information about one date for Truckeroo.

CORRECTION (June 21, 2018, 4:06 p.m.): An earlier version of this article included outdated information about the Capital Fringe Festival.

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