Summertime brings a variety of free concerts to the Washington, D.C., area. So pack a picnic, grab your lawn chairs, and head outdoors to listen to some great music. Check out these family-friendly performances by local bands and musicians in D.C. and the Maryland and northern Virginia suburbs.
Free Washington, D.C., Concerts
You'll find music at these venues in the nation's capital.
- Military Band Concerts: The Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force bands perform patriotic concerts on alternating days at a variety of D.C. destinations throughout the summer. Just about every night of the season you can attend a free concert.
- U.S. Capitol (West Front, National Mall): Military bands perform here throughout the summer (see above), but special concerts are also held in honor of Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day.
- U.S. Navy Memorial (701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW): The U.S. Navy Band performs on the Navy Memorial Plaza every Tuesday evening between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
- National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (7th Street and Constitution Avenue NW): The Jazz in the Garden Series is held every Friday evening from late May through August.
- Washington Harbour-Georgetown (K Street NW): A variety of local bands perform on the plaza along the Potomac River waterfront on Wednesday evenings throughout the summer.
- Capitol Riverfront (Yards Park): Enjoy a variety of concerts on Friday evenings throughout the summer.
- Fort Dupont Summer Theatre (Fort Dupont Park, Minnesota Avenue SE and Randle Circle SE): Jazz concerts are Saturdays at 6 p.m.
- Woodrow Wilson Plaza (1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW): Free concerts are offered at lunchtime on weekdays at the Ronald Reagan International Trade Building. The Live! Concert Series on the Plaza begins in late July and runs through late September.
Free Maryland Concerts
Head out of the capital to an outdoor concert at one of these Maryland locations.
- National Harbor (20745 Oxon Hill ): Enjoy the free Salute the Sunset Concert Series along the Potomac River on Saturday evenings. Concerts are performed by bands from the nation’s Armed Forces from mid-May through late September.
- Bethesda (Veterans Park, Norfolk and Woodmont avenues): Concerts include a range of music including jazz, rock, blues, international, and swing. Performances are on Thursday evenings from May through July.
- Glen Echo Park (7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo): The concert series includes a wide range of music every Thursday evening from mid-June through August.
- Gaithersburg City Hall Concert Pavilion (31 S. Summit Ave.): A variety of performances are offered for children, adults, and the whole family from June through September.
- RIO Washingtonian Center (209 Boardwalk Place, Gaithersburg): Live music is played outdoors on Saturday evenings from May to September.
- Strathmore Hall (10701 Rockville Pike, Bethesda): Free outdoor concerts are held on Wednesday evenings in July and August.
- Glenview Mansion (603 Edmonston Drive, Rockville): On select Sunday afternoons, free concerts are offered.
- Rockville Town Square (200 E. Middle Lane, Rockville): Free outdoor concerts are held on the square on Friday evenings from April through September.
- Downtown Frederick (Baker Park, 121 N. Bentz St.): The summer concert series features musical performances in a variety of genres and styles on Sunday evenings from June through August.
- Downtown Silver Spring (two locations: Ellsworth Drive and Veterans Plaza): On Thursday afternoons at the Fountain Plaza Stage on Ellsworth Drive, enjoy the Lunchtime Lounge live concert series. Then on Thursday evenings, head to the Silver Spring Civic Building on Veterans Plaza for a variety of live music.
Free Northern Virginia Concerts
These Northern Virginia locations will offer free outdoor concerts this summer.
- Netherlands Carillon (Route 50 and the George Washington Memorial Parkway, near Arlington National Cemetery): Enjoy Saturday performances by guest artists playing music on the carillon's 50 bells.
- Potomac Overlook Regional Park (2845 N. Marcey Road, Arlington): Evening concerts are held on the second Saturdays of the month in summer.
- Old Town Alexandria: Concerts are held in a variety of locations in Alexandria throughout the summer including Market Square, Lloyd House, Murray-Dick-Fawcett House, and The Lyceum.
- Tysons Corner Center (1961 Chain Bridge Road): Free concerts are held on the plaza on Friday evenings throughout the summer.
- Reston Town Center Pavilion (11900 Market St.): The annual free concert series features live bands on Saturday nights performing a variety of music including blues, swing, jazz, Latin fusion, bluegrass, zydeco, and more.
- Lubber Run Amphitheater (North Columbus and North Second streets, Arlington): Free concerts are held throughout the summer at Lubber Run Park on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evenings.
- Cherry Hill Park (312 Park Ave., Falls Church): The Thursday evening concert series features local musicians of various genres.
- Fairfax County Parks: A variety of free concerts are offered in many Virginia parks. Performances range from children's puppet shows to big band, jazz, bluegrass, rock, classical, and world music.
- Herndon Town Green (777 Lynn St.): Friday Night Live! presents free outdoor concerts every Friday night.
- Historic Leesburg (25 W. Market St.): Saturday night free outdoor concerts are performed on the front lawn of the Leesburg Town Hall.
- City of Manassas (Harris Pavilion, 9201 Center St.): The Summer Sounds concerts are scheduled on alternate Saturday evenings throughout the summer.
More Summer Activities in Washington, D.C.
- Summer Family Fun in Washington, D.C.
- Summer Theater in Washington, D.C.
- Free Outdoor Movies in Washington, D.C.