This year's Seersucker Social on June 4 includes a bike ride, croquet, and mint juleps. Photograph by Ben Droz
New Patios and Rooftop Bars
At Standard (1801 14th St., NW), a beer-and-BBQ joint that opened in March, picnic tables line a large patio. The mostly outdoor hangout serves six brews on tap and a mean bratwurst.
A block from the 9:30 Club, American Ice Co. (917 V St., NW; 202-758-3562) is DC’s hottest new bar. The patio is almost always crowded, with patrons sporting everything from cutoffs to heels. Craft beers come in Mason jars, and the All-Nighter, a $7 pulled-pork sandwich available after the kitchen closes, makes a good post-concert meal.
At Smith Commons (1245 H St., NE; 202-396-0038), in a converted warehouse, urban creatives mingle over inventive cocktails (try the Tarboro Viking for a kick of ginger in your bourbon). Reserve the second-story back porch—big enough to accommodate 50—for your birthday, or take a date to the more intimate third-story patio.
Live Music at Capitol Skyline Hotel
10 I St., SW; 202-488-7500
At the Capitol Skyline Hotel, bikini-clad scenesters crowd on weekend afternoons. The hotel is teaming up with Sheldon Scott and the Hilton brothers to bring in DJs and concerts by up-and-coming artists. Bring munchies from the downstairs “food-truck garden,” nab a cocktail at the poolside bar, then jockey for a lounge chair. Saturday and Sunday 10 to 9; $15.
Watch Indie Plays at the Capital Fringe Festival
During the Capital Fringe Festival, July 7 to 24, 160-plus independent-theater productions take over 14 Washington stages with everything from improv to dance to burlesque. Tickets are $17 a show plus a $7 festival button.
Check Out Local Musicians at the Fort Reno Concert Series
Two blocks north of the Tenleytown Metro, Fort Reno Park is transformed twice a week during the summer into a concert venue showcasing local musicians on the rise. The free shows, Monday and Thursday from late June through early August, start around 7 and end by 9:30, so pack a picnic.
Dress Up for a Bike Ride and Lawn Party
Eric Brewer thinks working hard is no excuse for dressing down. That’s why he founded Dandies & Quaintrelles, which hosts twice-a-year themed bike rides. This summer’s Seersucker Social ends with a lawn party at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens on June 4. Throw on your best vintage sundress or bow tie and start pedaling. Tickets are $10 and don’t include food and beverages. Click here to see more photos from last year's ride.
We used to make fun of museum parties. But then we checked out Asia After Dark—July 28 from 6:30 to 10:30 at the Freer Gallery of Art (1050 Jefferson Dr., SW). Guests at this popular shindig enjoy an after-hours tour of the Freer exhibits and a killer courtyard dance party. Click here for tickets ($22), which include one free drink.
On June 10, Brightest Young Things turns the Newseum into a rainbow fantasyland for Somewhere . . . , the official party of the Capital Pride festival, the GLBT community’s annual celebration. Check Eventbrite for $20 tickets.
Rent Canoes at Jack's Boathouse
3500 K St., NW; 202-337-9642
Pack a cooler, call a friend, and grab canoes from Jack’s Boathouse. Heading west on the Potomac takes you to secluded mini-islands where you can enjoy lunch; going east takes you to the Georgetown waterfront. Canoe rentals are $14 an hour per person for the first 90 minutes, $10 each additional 45.
Free Weekend-Long Arts Festival
July 15 through 17, Baltimore hosts Artscape, America’s largest free arts festival, with breakdancers, fashion shows, pop-up galleries, theatrical performances, food stands, concerts, and more. Last year’s Wale concert and foam party were big hits.