11 Ways to Experience Summer Arts in DC

Summer in DC is a wonderful experience where many activities are available to the residents and tourists alike. The weather is warmer and there are many adventures to be had both indoors and while enjoying the sun outside.

Here are a few activities, that you can do with friends and family, that you do not want to miss out on!
Jazz in the Garden 


Starting late May and running through early September you can spend your Friday nights from 5:00- 8:30 enjoying nice jazz music while appreciating the sculptures at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. Enjoy the warm air, live music, and great art with your friends and family or go by yourself and still have an awesome experience.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival mission_festival_largeStill want to experience live music but jazz isn’t your style? Go to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival! Not only is there live music but there is the chance to learn about new cultures, try their food, and even learn phrases from their language. You are able to immerse yourself in a new culture without having to leave the comfort of your district. The festival is held on the National Mall from June 29th- July 4th and July 7th- July 10th. While already down by all the Smithsonian Museums it gives you an excuse to stop in to see some exhibits and cool down.

A Capitol Fourth


Experience the 4th of July on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Celebrate America’s independence in the most patriotic city in the country! There will be a concert and fireworks so grab your friends and enjoy the show. Watching the artists preform might even inspire you to go view more art during your DC summer.

Visit Art Museums

Renwick Gallery

Renwick Gallery

Cool down for a bit and go inside museums for a chance to appreciate some extravagant art. Some great art museums include Renwick Gallery, National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Hirshhorn Museum, and The National Portrait Gallery. The experiences you have at these museums will leave you inspired and craving more art.

The Phillips Collection



By visiting the Phillips Collection you are able to cool off and enjoy the art! The Phillips Collection is the first modern art museum in America! They have multiple new exhibits to celebrate the new summer season, displaying artwork like you have never experienced it before. It is located in Dupont so while you’re down there you are also able to enjoy some shopping and trying out some trendy restaurants.

Busboys and Poets


Busboys and Poets  is a a place to experience food, art, books, poetry, and culture. The name is in reference to American poet Langston Hughes and the restaurant works to inspire creativity in each person who comes to visit. The arts are vastly represented through paintings and poetry. In the summer it is a great place to cool off and get some food while still being around art.

Woodrow Wilson Plaza Concerts 


Experience all different types of music genres at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza around lunch time Monday- Friday. The outdoor plaza space is perfect for nice summer weather. Grab friends and go appreciate the sounds and different cultures that will leave you feeling inspired and thankful for the arts.

Explore the National MallUnknown-3Whether you are a tourist or a resident of the DC area there is no denying that the National Mall contains the most important buildings in the country. Many historical moments have taken place on the National Mall and it is important to be grateful for it. At least once during the summer you should be able to pay the National Mall a visit to enjoy the architecture and history of the beautiful city.

National Museum of Women in the Arts


Celebrate the women artists behind some of your favorite creations by visiting the National Museum of Women in the Arts this summer! Explore the summer exhibitions before it’s too late and while you’re there catch a Gallery Talk. Book a tour or wander through the museum by yourself, either way you don’t want to miss the wonderful art done by the female artists.

Lunder Conservation Center


Not only is experiencing art important, but the process of restoring and conserving the art gives you insight into the lengths people go through in order to preserve the arts. At the Lunder Conservation Center you are able to go behind the scenes and watch the conservators at work in five different studios. By visiting you get a different look into the art world that you have never seen before. This is a must see for experiencing the art world this summer!

Labor Day Capitol Concert


To celebrate the end of the summer and the season changing into fall go out and enjoy the Labor Day Capital Concert  featuring the National Symphony Orchestra! The concert is held the Sunday before Labor Day and a great last hurrah for appreciating the DC arts in the Summer. There is great talent in the National Symphony Orchestra and you may even leave inspired to experience more art in the new season!

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