For Your Memorial Day: Celebrations, Day Trips, Remembrances

What to Know

  • Get out early Sunday then scope out some museums: It will be a muggy, hot day and storms arrive in the afternoon.
  • Scattered showers shouldn't wash out your Memorial Day plans, so just bring your rain gear to a parade or BBQ feast.

Welcome to Memorial Day! Got an extra day off? Congratulations! There are parades, concerts and more in D.C., but also it's such a good chance to take a day trip even if you stayed in town for the weekend. 

As 2018 (slowly but surely) rolls into summer, here are some fun things to keep in mind:

Remembrances, Memorials and Celebrations

Rolling Thunder
9 a.m.-3 p.m.; various locations including National Mall and Arlington National Cemetery

The rally's organizers say they aim to honor the more than 85,000 prisoners of war or people missing in action. Events happened all weekend, with plenty more set for Monday. You can head down to the National Mall to see bikers roaring through "Thunder Alley" (aka Constitution and 22nd streets NW) throughout the day. Monday's schedule also includes a wreath-laying at Arlington National Cemetery and an annual observance at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. See details here.

National Memorial Day Parade
Monday, 2 p.m., downtown

The largest Memorial Day parade in the county honors fallen soldiers from all American wars, from the Revolution to Iraq and Afghanistan. The parade will travel along Constitution Avenue between 17th and 7th streets NW. Get there early for a good seat. You can also stream the parade online.

Rockville Hometown Holidays Music Festival & Memorial Day Parade
Through Monday, Rockville

Take in the Rockville Concert Band and a Memorial Day ceremony before the annual parade in downtown Rockville. Planners say more than 20,000 are expected to attend this year.

DC Black Pride 2018
All weekend, various venues

Liberation DC is hosting events at clubs and hotels across the city. All-weekend passes start at $80, while cover charges for individual events run about $10.

Old Rag

This mountain in Shenandoah is a challenge — but a rewarding one. Here's our guide of do's and don'ts to taking the hike. (Important: Bring water and show up early!)

Do's and Don'ts: Hiking Old Rag Trail in Shenandoah National Park

Virginia Day Trips

Whether you're feeling like a trip to Kings Dominion, want to hike Great Falls or descend into Luray Caverns, there's lots of great day trips in the commonwealth:

Top 10 Virginia Day Trips for Spring

Maryland Day Trips

Explore a new-to-you spot in Maryland: Ride the Capital Wheel at National Harbor, hop on the mountain coaster in the Deep Creek Lake area, or stroll and shop your way through Annapolis or Frederick. Find ideas for Maryland trips here:

Top 10 Maryland Day Trips for Spring

New Jersey

Really pumped to visit somewhere new? Here's our top picks in New Jersey:

15 New Jersey Towns Perfect for a Summery Getaway


We know heading to the shore can be a traffic nightmare. So we've rounded up the places you can go without suffering the Bay Bridge:

10 Places to Swim If You Want to Avoid Bay Bridge Traffic

Art and Exhibits

Pike and Rose's "The Beach"
Open daily, Rockville

Now open for summer, a parking lot at Pike & Rose has transformed (via 250 tons of sand) into a staycation destination. Check out our preview here:

This summer, 250 tons of sand will transform a parking lot at Pike & Rose into a staycation destination.

World's Biggest Bounce House
Through Monday, Fort Washington, Maryland

Is this REALLY the world's largest bounce house? We'd like to find out. Tickets range from $9 to $25.

All weekend, Southwest Waterfront

A one-of-a-kind experience from Paris has made its way to the District. Through June 30, art lovers have the chance to dance, celebrate and immerse themselves in the wonders of light.

Immersive Art Exhibit Celebrates the Wonders of Light

Alexander Hamilton: Soldier, Secretary, Icon
Through March 3, National Postal Museum

If you didn't have the staying power to snag tickets to "Hamilton" at the Kennedy Center, explore the National Postal Museum's dive into the life of the former secretary of the Treasury.

Outbreak: Epidemics in a Connected World
Through 2021, National Museum of Natural History

You have plenty of time to check this one out, but the new exhibit digs into the science of spreading disease through case studies.

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