WASHINGTON — Summer is officially here, and we're ready to ring in the time of year that makes the chilly months so worth it! Even if the sticky humidity gets you down, there are still tons of events to keep you having fun and learning a new thing or two all season long. Here's our round-up for summer weekend No. 1.
Every week, WUSA9 is giving you the details on at least nine local activities to check out in your off time. We'll give you three ideas (and, sometimes, a bonus item or two) every week each in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Have any more events you think your neighbors should know about? Email the time, place and description to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Saturday, June 25; times vary
- Locations vary but are generally surrounding and on the National Mall
- Admission: Free
The Smithsonian is throwing a true bash to celebrate the first Saturday of summer - they're staying open late and hosting a wide variety of parties, programs and performances, including a free concert on the National Mall!
The following museums will be open until midnight: Smithsonian Castle and Haupt Garden, Arts and Industries Building, National Museum of African Art, National Museum of Asian Art and the National Museum of Natural History.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture (passes not required after 5:30 p.m.) and the Hirshhorn Museum will be open until 8 p.m.
Take a break from wandering late-night exhibits and check out Hofstra University’s Astronomy Festival on the National Mall to gaze at stars and planets from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., or catch some nighttime glow-in-the-dark yoga in a picturesque Smithsonian garden from 8:45 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. The events are endless!
Plus, the free concert on the mall is hosted by the Folklife Festival, a days-long fest that's hosting unique events from a honey-making demonstration to the performance by Yo-Yo Ma. Click here to read all about it.
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- Saturday, June 25 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
- Meeting location: Chase Bank, 3217 P St NW, Washington, DC 20007 with check-in between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.
- Admission: $38.77
This event highlight is dedicated to those with a sweet tooth - or just the people looking to celebrate local businesses! The scrumptious tour allows residents and visitors to discover Georgetown bakeries and independent retailers with bites and crumbs galore.
In total, you'll visit 12 retail locations to pick up a different sweet from each bakery. By the end of the "tour," you'll have 12 sweets for your one ticket.
"Share the experience with a friend or two, or keep all 12 sweets for yourself! (We won't judge)," organizers said.
- Saturday, Jun 25 and Sunday, June 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
- 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20001
- Admission: $21.70 per day; kids 12 and under are free
If instead of sweet, smokey is more your jam - the district has an event for you guys, too.
It's the 30th annual BBQ Battle, right next to Congress. The fest will include free food samples, microbrew and wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, interactive exhibits, kids rides and games, rock climbing, 30 bands and even more! Plus, don't forget about the National Championship BBQ contests including a Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, featuring world champion eaters.
In addition, your munching will be for a good cause: The event benefits USO Metro along with The Capital Area Food Bank.
- Friday, June 24 at 7 p.m.
- The Plaza at Tysons Corner Center, 1961 Chain Bridge Rd, Tysons, VA 22182
- Admission: Free
Bring the whole family and your comfy blankets or lawn chairs to enjoy "Karate Kid" under the stars at the mall's outdoor area. No need to worry about the snacks - complimentary popcorn and soft drinks will be provided while supplies last!
Plus, while you're at the mall, check out a new addition - only around for a limited time! Princess Diana 'walk through documentary' exhibit comes to Tysons Corner
- Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26 at various times
- Wild Wood Pizza; 1600 Village Market Boulevard Southeast, Suite 120, Leesburg, VA 20175
- Admission: Starting at $19.22; a few dollars extra for all-veggie.
Wild Wood Pizza in Leesburg is forging ahead, ready to turn your kids into little master pizza makers!
"Count on your kids being covered in flour, tomato sauce, and memories in this hands-on pizza-making experience," the organizers advertise.
The restaurant hosts pizza-making classes for children on Saturdays, but if you don't have a kid in tow, this shop hosts classes for adults on Wednesdays, too. Those tickets start at $28.
Each ticket for the kids' class includes the cost of an in-class pizza-making kit and a non-alcoholic beverage. Adults attending with their kids are welcome to purchase beer, wine and cocktails at the bar. An adult or guardian must remain on site with the child(ren), as drop-offs are not permitted.
- Saturday, June 25 from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Gateway Park, 1300 Lee Highway, Arlington, VA 22209
- Admission: Free
If you haven't stopped by a Pride event yet - or you're trying to make it to them all - here's another to plan on checking out. Arlington Pride Festival will feature DJs, drag entertainment, food vendors, a full-service bar and more! The day will also include face painting, games and a designated area for children and pets.
"Come represent! The vibes will be immaculate," said the organizers.
- Friday, June 24 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- Takoma Piney Branch Local Park, 2 Darwin Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
- Admission: Free
Need a new hobby or want to show off some serious skills? This unique event seems to be made for you. Plus, rollerskating pros Shreddie Mercury and Amanda Finn will be onsite to answer questions and do some tricks of their own while teaching anyone who wants to know how to perfect them, too. The event is open to skaters of all abilities.
The series has rotated through different county parks and this Friday's is the second to last before they're all over.
Once you're there, you'll get to boogie on the board to a live DJ, try out food trucks and there'll even be a giveaway.
"Whether you’ve been on wheels for years or recently picked it up, you won’t want to miss these chances to skate and mingle," organizers said.
- Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Prince George's Soil Conservation District, 5301 Marlboro Race Track Road, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772
- Admission: Free
Calling all tea lovers: this cool event combines the summer weather and what it helps grow! You'll learn the ins and outs of growing fresh herbs for your own herbal tea and engage in a bit of sampling as well.
This class will be taught by Linda Jones, urban farmer and founder of Elements of Nature: Urban Botanicals and Farmaceuticals located in Clinton, Maryland. Organizers say that "Grow It, Drink It" is also being held in partnership with the Prince George's County Master Gardeners.
- Sunday, June 26 at 1 p.m. to Monday, June 27 at 1 a.m.
- 6711 Farmer Drive, Fort Washington, MD 20744
- Admission: $22.85 for the festival; varying prices for a pre-made picnic
Here's another original Pride event to add to your weekend lineup! It's the first year it's happening and will feature both a music festival and a fancy picnic set-up if you're interested in opting in.
The festival will feature live musical performances from artists at all stages of their careers, food trucks, craft vendors and more, according to organizers. Meanwhile, if you're looking to really soak up the park vibes, ‘Preddies Picnics' - a picnic company based out of the DMV - will be offering their 1.5-hour rainbow-themed picnic for one to six people. Pricing includes the set-up and a charcuterie cone.