Whether you’re visiting for business or pleasure, Washington, DC, is bustling with art, history and cultural events to explore in free time. Discover what to explore this May in the Nation’s Capital.
National Symphony Orchestra Labor Day Concert Say so long to summer with DC’s free Labor Day Capitol Concert. The annual performance featuring the National Symphony Orchestra is a majestic holiday tradition, complete with stunning scenery of the city’s monuments in the background. This year’s concert will also showcase vocalist/guitarist/songwriter Aoife O’Donovan. Music lovers can pack a picnic and enjoy a serene Sunday evening on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. September 3.
Caribbean culture, fashion, food and music across 28 nations will be celebrated at this free arts festival, held at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza outside of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Dance through your Labor Day with eight hours of live music, from successful Caribbean artists to DJs from around the world. Grab lunch or dinner in the food court, cruise through the beer garden and marvel at the works in a craft village. September 4.
Step into Canal Park in Capitol Riverfront and discover samples of more than 100 wines, chat with roaming sommeliers, peruse an artisan market, grab a meal from a food truck and enjoy live music. There will also be a culinary stage, where cooks can show off their skills. September 8-9.
Adams Morgan Day
The longest-running neighborhood festival in the District returns for its 39th edition this September. 18th Street in Adams Morgan will still be buzzing with live music, food vendors, for-sale artwork and family-friendly activities. Celebrate one of DC’s liveliest, most diverse neighborhoods with this day-long extravaganza. September 10.
This annual race has become one of the most popular of its kind in the country, and the only of its kind in the nation’s capital. Cheer on athletes as they embark on a 1.5k swim through the Potomac River, followed by a challenging 40k bike course. The triathlon concludes with a 10k through DC’s most renowned landmarks followed by the rejuvenating . September 10.
H Street Festival
One of DC’s most popular neighborhoods pulls out all the stops for its annual festival, one of the most well-attended in the District. The H Street Festival will feature live music, dance performances, family-friendly activities, contests and plenty of food vendors across its 14 staging areas, with more than 250 businesses participating. September 16.
This annual celebration of Latino culture includes a parade and a festival on back-to-back days, both held in the heart of the District. Saturday’s Parade of Nations features Native Latino dance troupes and other local groups. Sunday’s festival will gather thousands with a beauty pageant, live musical and dance performances, plenty of food and much, much more. September 16-17.
DC Fashion Week
Journey to the cutting edge of fashion during this four-day fashion spectacle that features a new event each night. Opening night goes down at Dirty Martini on Connecticut Avenue NW, featuring pop-up retail, a fashion show and live entertainment for free. The week closes out with an impressive International Couture Collections Show, as international designers present their latest and greatest creations. September 21-24.
Taste of Georgetown
Now in its 24th year, Taste of Georgetown welcomes you and yours to try more than 40 dishes from some of Georgetown’s most popular eateries, including ENO Wine Bar, Pinstripes and Georgetown Cupcake. Beer and wine will be available as you stroll from appetizing booth to appetizing booth. September 24.
The Smithsonian National Zoo hosts this free event in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month. Bring along the entire family to enjoy live music, authentic cuisine and educational activities regarding conservation in South and Central America. Animal keepers will also be on-site for talks, feedings and demonstrations that highlight a range of animals from the region, including sloths, giant anteaters, Panamanian golden frogs and more! September 24.