In our opinion, there’s never a bad time of the year to visit Washington DC. The city’s vibrant culture, spectacular museums, historic buildings and political significance are enough of a reason for a trip in any season. But each month brings its own unique charms – and June is no exception. Here are just a few very great events happening this June that show why you should stop delaying your Washington vacation and start planning a visit for this month!
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
Held each summer, this outdoor celebration of folk culture takes place from June 29 to 30 in 2019. The two-day event packs in piles of live entertainment, from dance shows to concerts, as well as events centred on dance, handicrafts and other fascinating cultural elements drawn from all over the planet. It’s organised by the highly respected Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, so you know it’s going to be high quality. Oh, and best of all, it’s free.
The festival takes place on the National Mall – the centrepiece of the city and the site of an array of significant buildings, museums and monuments. Check out our Best of Washington DC Tour or our Two-Day Washington DC Sightseeing Tour to see how you can visit in your own time and at your own pace, as part a of a flexible tour taking in the city’s other highlights too.
Jazz in the Gardens
Another summer highlight on the National Mall is Jazz in the Gardens, a series of outdoor jazz concerts that run through the warmer months in the National Gallery of Art’s beautiful sculpture garden. The program runs May through August, but June promises the warmest evenings. Bring along your own folding chair or blanket and prepare for a thoroughly delightful – and, again, totally free – experience.
Movies to watch outdoors
Nothing says summer like an open-air movie screening, and there are plenty to choose from in Washington DC in June. Canal Park, Farragut Park and Freedom Plaza are just a a few of the locations where you can catch an alfresco blockbuster this month. And guess what? Yes, once again, many of these screening won’t cost you a dime to access.
There’s more to Washington DC by night than wonderful jazz and atmospheric movie screenings (although those things on their own would be more than enough reason for a visit). One of the great benefits of a June visit to Washington DC is that the shorts-and-T-shirt weather lingers into the night – and there’s a huge range of things to do once the sun goes down. That means you can pack more activities into each day of your trip. Some of our favorite evening activities in Washington DC include the Sunset Parade at Lincoln Memorial, a military spectacle held each Tuesday from June 12; and the free nightly concert at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. Or if you want to see a wide selection of Washington’s most iconic sights lit up beautifully at night, we recommend taking a Washington DC night tour.
This could also fall under the previous heading, as attending a baseball game is a very fun way to spend an evening. In June, baseball season is in full swing and you’ll never feel more like a local than when you’re swigging beer and cheering on your chosen team at one of the city’s several stadiums.
Washington DC’s LGBT Pride celebrations are an annual highlight of the summer calendar. This year, they run from June 7 to 10, opening with a joyful party and parade in the Dupont Circle area. More fun follows throughout the weekend, in the form of live music shows, club nights and more.
National Capital Barbecue Battle
You simply can’t visit Washington DC without indulging in some barbecue – and where better to do it than at the National Capital Barbecue Battle? This vast celebration of all things barbecue has been going strong for close to three decades now, but it shows no signs of flagging. Held on Pennsylvania Avenue, the event will run between June 22 and 23 this year. Over the course of these two days, you can pick up free samples as well as paid-for treats from many different stalls, take in some live music and up your barbecue skills by watching cooking demonstrations. And of course, as the name suggests, there’s a competitive element too. The Giant® National Barbecue Championship Cooking Contest runs all weekend, with the winner being declared on the final evening.
Want the smoothest, simplest and most fascinating trip possible to Washington DC this June? Check out our full range of Washington DC tours.