Top 10 Summer Events for Kids in the Washington DC Area

The Washington, DC area is bustling with activity in the summer. What are the best events to take kids? Here are my suggestions of the best annual summer events for children and families in the Washington, DC area. (In Chronological Order)
  • 01 of 10
    ••• Photo © Chris Graham
    The National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC is a flag-waving event with patriotic marches and floats. Kids love the energy of the participants and the importance of the annual tradition of remembrance for those who have died serving our country. (May)
  • 02 of 10
    ••• Photo courtesy of Rosslyn BID

    Watching movies on a large screen outdoors has become a popular summer activity. There are several outdoor movie festivals in the Washington, DC area. Most of the movies are free and offer a great opportunity for families to enjoy some time together under the stars. (May-August)

  • 03 of 10
    ••• Photo © Celebrate Fairfax
    Northern Virginia's largest annual community-wide celebration features live entertainment including a variety of music, children's activities, a community market place, a laser show and fireworks. (June)
  • 04 of 10
    ••• Photo © Bethesda Urban Partnership
    The children's street festival celebrates children and the arts, including musical performances, dance troupes, roving entertainment and hands-on art & craft activities. The free event in downtown Bethesda features face painters, costume characters, balloonists, jugglers and more. (June)
    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    ••• Photo © Wolf Trap

    Special family-friendly performances are held throughout the summer at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and plays are geared towards school aged children. National Park Service Park Rangers lead nature walks after the performances. (June-August)

  • 06 of 10
    ••• Photo © Miller Taylor
    The DC Caribbean Carnival includes fun for the whole family with an annual Caribbean style parade, an international marketplace, live performances from local and international artists, food, crafts and entertainment. (June)
  • 07 of 10
    ••• Photo © Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    Kids love to celebrate the 4th of July! America's birthday is a great day to spend with family, whether you attend a parade, an all day festival or a fireworks display in the city or the suburbs. There are plenty of options in the Washington, DC area.

  • 08 of 10
    ••• Recess Monkey. Photo by Alison Dunn

    Strathmore's Backyard Theater provides innovative performances for children every Thursday morning in July at 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. The Music Center at Strathmore, a 1,976-seat concert hall and education complex is located at 10701 Rockville Pike (Route 355), in North Bethesda, MD, immediately adjacent to the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station. (July)

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    ••• Photo © Brandy Taylor/Getty Images
    There's something special about a good old-fashioned county fair. Kids love the carnival rides, live animal shows, musical entertainment, arts and craft exhibits, and child-friendly food. Each county fair has its own specialty, so check out the scheduled events before you go. (July-September)
  • 10 of 10
    ••• Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to, Inc.
    The festival recreates a 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances on 8 stages, a jousting arena and lots of games. See a fire-eater, watch jousting in full armor, marvel at jugglers and magicians, and listen to music and much more. (August-October)