One of my favorite parts about summer in Washington, DC are the free outdoor concerts and movies. What seems like an eternity ago (please time slow down) we took a sporadic drive to the Mall with our then three year old son where we walked around, played some ball by the reflecting pool and headed towards the Capitol where the U.S. Air Force Band was performing a free concert. A huge crowd was gathered on the steps and in chairs taking in the gorgeous evening and patriotic tunes. This post will help you take advantage of some great music that will allow you to relax after a long day and see a bit of our city while doing so. Get out and enjoy the lighter evenings, let your kids stay up a little longer and enjoy the music our city offers.
The Yards Park Friday Night Concert Series
The free Capitol Riverfront Friday Night Concert Series is back on the Yards Park boardwalk! Every Friday night this summer, come to Yards Park to relax and enjoy the river view, fantastic bands, food and beverage, and a large variety of great restaurants within a few minutes walk from the park. Family-friendly lyrics and grassy open space make this an enjoyable event for adults and kids alike.
Glen Echo Summer Concert Series
Concerts are free and open to the public and feature a variety of local bands and musical genres. Music in the series typically ranges widely – from Country to Reggae, Swing to Latin Jazz, African to Cajun and Blues. Bench seating is provided in the pavilion, and folding chairs are also allowed. Visitors may also enjoy the music from the picnic tables just outside the pavilion; many families enjoy bringing a picnic dinner to eat while listening. Dancers are welcome as well. Concerts are on Thursday’s at 7:30pm from June 15 – Aug. 24.
Jazz in the Sculpture Garden
DC’s favorite summer concert series returns with a variety of musical performances including jazz, Latin fusion, bluegrass, and more. Join in the Sculpture Garden every Friday from May 19 through August 4. Due to high demand, they have a free lottery system so that anyone interested in attending Jazz in the Garden has an equal chance to participate. Each concert will have its own lottery, which will open the week prior on Monday at 10:00 a.m. and close that Friday at noon. Results of each lottery will be emailed to all entrants the week of the concert on Monday at 10:00 a.m. Registration is required for all ages 2 and above.
Live from the Lawn: Cool Concerts for Kids at Strathmore
Thursday’s at 7pm starting July 13. The shows are 60 minutes, no intermission. Be home before bedtime!
Wolf Trap Children’s Shows
Performances take place in the woods and range from music and dance—interactive, educational, and fun. All shows are about an hour long and are perfect for children ages 4 and up.
Wolf Trap National Park
Offering a variety of shows outdoor. A perfect way to spend a summer evening, if you get lawn tickets don’t forget a picnic.
A Capitol Fourth at the U.S. Capitol
The show is broadcast to millions of viewers on PBS and streaming platforms as well as to our troops watching around the world on the American Forces Network. Details on the website as to how and where to attend in person.
Return outdoors with over 25 summer programs to be held on the newly renovated Root Family Stage at Omi’s Pavilion, this summer from July 7 – September 3, 2023.
Summer in Rockville Square
Every Friday from 6pm-8:30pm (image below)
Live military band concerts are free and no tickets are required unless noted:
U.S. Navy Band– Tuesday’s at the US Navy Memorial at 7:30pm
U.S. Air Force Band– Tuesday’s at the US Capitol West Lawn at 8:00pm, and Saturdays at National Harbor at 7:00pm
U.S. Marine Band
U.S. Army Band
Venues to check out:
The Anthem, The Atlantis, Comet Ping Pong, Nationals Park, The Hamilton, Howard Theatre, The Birchmere, Jammin Java, The Kennedy Center, Pearl Street Warehouse, The Pocket DC, Lincoln Theatre