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9+ things to do this weekend in DC, Maryland and Virginia | July 1-4 🎆

From daylight fireworks and rollercoaster rides to 18th-century bread-making, a bar crawl and a historical winery tour, there's so much on tap this holiday weekend.

WASHINGTON — Monday is the 4th of July and that's the perfect reason to plan a firework-worthy weekend! Whether it's your favorite holiday or low on your list of summertime favorites, we've got everything from exhibits to concerts and cruises to make memories over the next few days.

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 bashford1@wusa9.com.


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Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia

Check out a massive, historic hornet's nest at a new Smithsonian exhibit

  • Friday, July 1, 2022, through July 2024
  • National Museum of Natural History, 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560 
  • Admission: Free

This brand new exhibit will highlight the connection between people and nature through a variety of interactive displays and intriguing specimens. The experience's crowning jewel might be a massive and historic Asian giant hornet's nest. Yep - it's "Nest Zero"  that was discovered in Washington State in 2019. You might remember the "Murder Hornet" hysteria that kicked up following reports the invasive insects arrived in the U.S. 

Visitors will hear the story of Matt Buffington, an entomologist at the museum and the USDA, who helped locate and remove "Nest Zero." 

RELATED: Invasive Asian giant hornet found in Washington state

Plus, don't be too frightened if the buzzing bugs aren't your forte. The nest will be empty!

ANOTHER DC EXHIBIT TO SEE:  ‘A time-traveling journey' | Immersive King Tut exhibit coming to National Geographic Museum

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Dupont Circle Independence Day Bar Crawl 

  • Saturday, July 2 from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. 
  • Dupont Circle
  • Washington, DC 20036
  • Admission: Individual tickets are $15 but drop if bought in pairs or groups

Maybe creepy crawlers aren't your vibe - but a bar crawl might be!

Mer Events is putting on this festive bar crawl to celebrate America's birthday. Everybody is invited to wear red, white and blue and get cover-free admission to Dupont Circle bars.

"Crawl your way over to each bar throughout the day and sport your American pride with endless drink specials allowing you and your friends to fuel yourselves on shots of luck and chilly pints," the event description reads.

Credit: AP
Fireworks explode over Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and U.S. Capitol, at the National Mall, during the Independence Day celebrations, in Washington, on Sunday, July 4, 2021 (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

National Mall 4th of July festivities

For some, the National Mall on the holiday is the place to be. Or, maybe for you it's the place you avoid. Either way, the fun activities taking place on all sides could make it worth the stop!

Beware if you're taking the metro to get around this year's holiday events - wait times are expected to be massive!

READ MORE: Metro wait times could hit 60 minutes on July 4

National Independence Day Parade 

  • Monday, July 4 from 11:45 a.m. - 2 p.m.  
  •  Constitution Avenue NW from 7th Street NW to 17th Street NW.  
  • Admission: Free

Onlookers at the parade can expect to see everything from marching bands, giant balloons and equestrians to drill teams and more!

Annual fireworks on the National Mall

  • Monday, July 4; Start time at 9:09 p.m.
  • Admission: Free

"It’s the biggest holiday in the Nation’s Capital!" National Park Service shared.
"The National Mall provides prime viewing for the annual fireworks display, which promises to be one of the most spectacular in recent memory." 

The display will be launched from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. 

A Capitol Fourth Concert

  • Monday, July 4; Gates open at 3 p.m.
  • West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
  • Admission: Free

A talented group of artists with the National Symphony Orchestra will help celebrate this star-studded salute to the Independence Day event.


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Winery at Bull Run historical tour

  • Friday, July 1; Saturday, July 2, or Sunday, July 3 | Recurring weekly 
  • 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.
  • 15950 Lee Highway, Centreville, VA 20120
  • Admission: $36.50 per ticket 

Sip wine and learn some local history at this unique event! "Walk the hallowed grounds of the Winery at Bull Run and discuss the Civil War battles, Hillwood Estate, the vineyards, and the present-day life of our working farm winery," the organizers said.

Visitors can expect to enjoy four tastes of wine on the one-hour walking tour led by a personal tour guide.

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Netherlands Carillon Live Concert Series

  • Saturday, July 2 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. | Recurring
  • Netherlands Carillon, 1400 N Meade St, Arlington, VA 22209

Visitors can take in the sounds of carillonneurs playing concerts of jazz, pop, and patriotic music on the carillon's 53 bells. If you've never been to a concert, you can expect musicians playing the bells using a keyboard. Join the fun at 5 p.m. to hear National Park rangers share more information about the bells and at 6 p.m. for the concert.

Watch unique made-for-daytime fireworks on July 4 at Mount Vernon

Monday, July 4 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Admission: $26 for people 12 and older; $13 for children 6-11 and free for children under five.

"Celebrate our nation's independence at the home of the father of our country," the historic estate invites.

During the event, visitors can meet George Washington, watch a naturalization ceremony where people from across the world become U.S. citizens in a moving moment, listen to 18th-century music in the Upper Garden and watch fireworks in the daylight!

You can also enjoy fresh-baked bread and watch the 18th-century baking process with Resident Baker Justin Cherry of Half Crown Bakehouse.

"Each loaf is baked in a reproduction 18th-century clay oven and made of grains authentic to the time period, and, when possible, ground at George Washington's Gristmill," organizers specified.

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Busboys and Poets Open Mic Night

  • Monday, July 4 at 8 p.m.
  • Shirlington location, 4251 S. Campbell Ave, Arlington, Virginia, 22206
  • Admission: $8
  • Note: Proof of vaccination is required.

If you'd rather skip any festive activities and instead just have a laugh on a Monday night, check out the ever-popular Busboys and Poets and their two-hour open mic event that will feature a diverse chorus of voices and a vast array of professional spoken word performers, open mic rookies, musicians and a different host every week.

This week's host will be the talented KaNikki Jakarta; the First African American Poet Laureate of Alexandria, Virginia. She's an award-winning performance poet who has toured the US and the UK. Plus, she's the author of three novels, two poetry collections, a memoir and a short story.

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Old Town Manassas Independence Day Celebration

  • Monday, July 4 from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Historic Downtown Manassas, 9431 West St, Manassas, VA 20110
  • Admission: Free

Celebrate America this Independence Day with one of the largest fireworks displays in Northern Virginia, according to Historic Manassas.

The celebration surrounds the Historic Downtown train depot, the Harris Pavilion and the Manassas Museum.

"There will be great rides for the kids starting at 3 p.m, a face painter, caricature artist, food concessions and novelty vendors will begin at 4 p.m. Come participate in the Watermelon Eating Contest, Bike Decorating Contest and Pie Baking Contest," organizers shared of the festivities.

Plus, be sure to bring your lawn chairs and blankets and come early to get the best seats on the Manassas Museum Lawn for the firework display at 9:15 p.m.!

RELATED: Princess Diana 'walk through documentary' exhibit comes to Tysons Corner


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Take a Ghost tour of Frederick

  • Friday, July 1 at 8:15 p.m.
  • Admission: $15 for adults, $9 for kids 8-12
  • Brewer's Alley Restaurant and Brewery, 124 N Market St, Frederick, MD 21701
  • Note: Rated PG-13, not recommended for younger children

If Halloween is more your thing, instead of the 4th of July, you can pretend it's October instead at this special tour.

"Take a remarkable journey through Frederick’s gruesome and bloody past," organizers advertise. "Nearly 300 years of war, executions and revenge. True documented stories of the “'paranormal' with 'Maryland’s oldest operating ghost tour!'

The 90-minute adventure is recurring throughout the month and into the fall.

National Harbor Concert Nights

  • Saturday, July 2 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.
  • 150 National Plaza National Harbor, Maryland
  • Admission: Free

Saturday evenings are military band nights at National Harbor! Organizers advise visitors to bring a chair and enjoy each Saturday night with performing ensembles from a variety of United States military bands. This Saturday will showcase the Air Force Airmen of Note.

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Six Flags America: July 4th fest featuring three nights of fireworks

  • Saturday, July 2; Sunday, July 3 and Monday, July 4
  • 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • 13710 Central Ave, Bowie, MD 20721
  • Admission: Daily tickets start at $49.99 Monday

If you're looking for some thrills with your fireworks, Six Flags in Bowie might be the spot! The theme park is going all-out for the holiday, extending hours at both the theme park and the water park that come with a day's worth of rides, slides and entertainment, plus nightly fireworks this weekend.

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Rockville Independence Day Celebration

  • Monday, July 4 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park, 1800 Piccard Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

For a more intimate holiday get-together, Rockville’s Independence Day Celebration could be the right choice. The annual event is held at Mattie J.T. Stepanek Park in King Farm and will also feature food and beverages available for purchase, from Armand’s Pizzeria and Grille to Holy Crepes.

"This location offers wonderful spectator viewing and ample and convenient parking for the 4th of July festivities," organizers said. Plus, be sure to stick around for the 20-minute fireworks display.

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Watch the Annapolis or Baltimore fireworks from a cruise on the water

  • Sunday, July 3, and Monday, July 4
  • Annapolis City Dock, 1 Dock Street, Annapolis MD, 21401 | Baltimore Finger Piers, 555 Light St, Baltimore, MD 21202
  • Cruise times vary, generally between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
  • Admission: $35 for children 11 and younger and $65 for adults

If you're looking to get away from the city, try a little road trip out to Annapolis or Baltimore to take in fireworks from the water. The trips are selling out fast, so be sure to check to see if you're preferred day is still available.

Plus, a selection of complimentary desserts will be available. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase from the full bar.

Click here for a full list of fireworks across Maryland.

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