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 weekend! 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 trip out of town.
As 2018 (slowly but surely) rolls into summer, here are some fun things to keep in mind:
- Outdoor movies are one of the best parts of a D.C. summer. National Harbor is screening "The Lego Batman Movie."
- Many pools open over Memorial Day weekend! Here's a map of places to cool off.
- Have some frugal fun with our Free & Cheap Things to Do in D.C. guide.
Remembrances, Memorials and Celebrations
Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally
Sunday, 12 p.m., downtown
The rally's organizers say they aim to honor the more than 85,000 prisoners of war or people missing in action. The actual ride kicks off at 12 p.m. Sunday, but you'll see bikers roaring through town all weekend long. Other events include a candlelight vigil at the National Cathedral and a street fair. See details here.
National Memorial Day Concert
Sunday, 8 p.m. West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
This free concert features a number of performers, ranging from Tony or Emmy winners to the National Symphony Orchestra.
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. Get there early for a good seat. You can also stream the parade online.
Rockville Hometown Holidays Music Festival & Memorial Day Parade
Saturday, Sunday and Monday, Rockville
Puruse the Taste of Rockville, enjoy four stages of live music and great up for Monday's parade in downtown Rockville.
8th Annual Chantilly Farm Bluegrass & BBQ Festival
Friday to Sunday, Chantilly
Balsam Range, The Seldom Scene, Junior Sisk, Ramber's Choice and more than a dozen other artists are set to bring a bluegrass sound for a weekend of camping, music and food. Tickets are $40 for Friday and Saturday or $35 for Sunday.
Dardanella: The Great Gatsby Lawn Party
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Upper Northwest
In the grand shadow of the National Cathedral, you can step back into the roaring twenties for Saturday's Gatsby-themed lawn party. It's a perfect time to dig out that flapper dress you bought three years ago. Tickets start of $55, but the $85 open bar of prohibition-themed cocktails may be worth the splurge.
Grandiose "The All White Soiree" at the W Hotel
Saturday, 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
It's Memorial Day weekend, and that means you can break out your white pants (finally!). Tickets start at $35 for admission to the party, which features DJs, hookahs and valet or garage parking.
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.
The Midnite BBQ
Saturday, 4 p.m. to midnight, RFK Stadium
Enjoy photobooths, DJs, games and a menu favoring vegetarian and pork-free options. Tickets start at $30.
The Great American Pig Out
Sunday, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., U Street Corridor
Indulge in endless roast pig and drinks alongside bluegrass music at American Ice Company. All-you-can-eat tickets (which include sides) cost $25, and a $50 ticket comes with all the beer and bacon you can swallow. That's not a challenge.
Take a Trip
If you want to take a mini-vacation this weekend, here's our guide of when to leave town and how to avoid traffic.
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:
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:
Really pumped to visit somewhere new? Here's our top picks in New Jersey:
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:
The Kooks (Friday, Lincoln Theatre), Nappy G (Friday, 18th Street Lounge), Lissie (Saturday, 9:30 Club), Willie Nelson (Sunday, The Anthem) and more artists are set to be in D.C. this weekend:
Friday Night Concert Series at Yards Park
Friday, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Yards Park
Pebble to Pearl will perform at the series' first night of the season.
CHVRCHES "Love Is Dead" Happy Hour at Songbyrd
Friday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Adams Morgan
The Scottish pop band got American audiences hooked on a tour that seemed to hit every city and music festival, but there's a good chance you haven't heard Lauren Mayberry's crystalline voice on the radio or in a bar... until Songbyrd's listening party!
HAMILTUNES: An American Sing-Along
Saturday, 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Mount Vernon
Scratch that "Hamilton" itch, even if you didn't get tickets to the Kennedy Center show. The sing-along is free with admission to the estate.
Laughs and Fun
The Flop House Podcast Live
Saturday, 8 p.m., Chinatown
For those of us who've never seen "Citizen Kane" but will analyze "The Room" endlessly and remember to bring plastic spoons to every screening, there's the Flop House podcast. "The Daily Show" writers Dan McCoy and Elliot Kalan join their bartender friend Stuart Wellington to dive into bad movies. You'll find them at the Sixth & I Synagogue for $25.
Art and Exhibits
Pike and Rose's "The Beach"
Friday and Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Rockville
This summer, 250 tons of sand will transform a parking lot at Pike & Rose into a staycation destination. Check out our preview here:
DMV Comedy Showcase
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., Dupont Circle
The DC Improv Comedy Club hosts local comics Katherine Jessup, Tyler Richardson, Ross Benoit, Martin Amini and Mia Jackson for a $20 show.
World's Biggest Bounce House
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, 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. From May 16 through June 30, art lovers have the chance to dance, celebrate and immerse themselves in the wonders of light.
Hooded, Or Being Black for Dummies
Friday, May 25 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 26 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 27 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
This play, which was written by a D.C. local, centers on a suburban Maryland prep school student concerned that he's lost touch with his "blackness" It's been getting rave reviews and is at the Atlas Performing Arts Center this weekend.
Emilio Cavallini: Objectual Abstractions
Through Sunday at the Embassy of Italy
Emilio Cavallini worked with designers including Gucci and Alexander McQueen before crossing over to art. In his work on display at the Embassy of Italy, he draws on his fashion experience. Check out more details here.
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, the National Postal Museum's dive into the live 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.
Sports and Sporting
DC Duck Race
Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Yards Park
Sponsor a rubber ducky to race while supporting the Rotary Club's grantmaking efforts that support organizations including the Salvation Army, the Anacostia Watershed Society, Libraries Without Borders and more.