Things to Do

Last-Minute DC-Area Ideas 6/23-6/26: Smithsonian Celebrations, Concerts, and New Exhibits

Fun things to do this weekend in the Washington, DC, region.

Smithsonian's Solstice Saturday Celebration 2019. Photograph by Angela N./Flickr.

No plans this weekend? Here are some last-minute things to do.

  1. Celebrate the summer solstice. Head to Smithsonian’s Solstice Saturday Celebration to enjoy extended museum hours, a dance party at the National Museum of Asian Art, an Astronomy Festival near the Museum of the American Indian, the Living Longer Festival and glow yoga at the Art and Industries Building, and a performance from the 21st Century Consort at the Hirshhorn (Sat, free, the National Mall).
  2. Kick off the Folklife Festival. The Smithsonian’s Folklife Festival starts this week (Thurs-Mon, free, the National Mall), with activities all weekend including the opening ceremony at the Freer Gallery of Art (Thurs, free), a concert with Dubai-based band NOON and DC’s Experience Unlimited (Thurs, free), a screening of the film My Garden of A Thousand Bees (Fri, free), another concert featuring bluegrass icon Alice Gerrard (Fri, free), a performance in remembrance of Puerto Rican percussionist Tito Matos (Sat, free), an Ode to the Ozarks (Sun, free), and lots of other events, workshops, and performances.
  3. Celebrate Pollinator Week. Learn about pollinators and how you can help protect them at the Pollinator Festival (Sat, free, Anacostia) or explore an outdoor installation on an Around Pollinators tour (Fri-Sun, free but registration required, Adams Morgan).
  4. See a new exhibit. Head over to “The Art of Banksy” exhibit to view the works of the famous street artist (Thurs, $35+, Chinatown), experience the beauty of Frida Khalo’s artwork at “Portraits of Frida” (Sat-Sun, $20, Petworth), or attend the Birthright Exhibit” premiere at the National Portrait Gallery (Sat, free, Penn Quarter). The Smithsonian is opening “We Belong Here” to coincide with the anniversary of Title IX (opening Thurs, free).
  5. Jam out at a concert. Listen to live music at a concert with Latin artist MISTER G (Thurs, free but registration required, the National Mall), a Rayshun Lamarr concert at Franklin Park (Thurs, free, downtown), a Pebble to Pearl concert (Fri, free, Navy Yard), or at Fridays at the Park at National Landing with covers of some of your favorite pop songs (Fri, free, Arlington).
  6. Watch a movie. Attend the screening of They/Them (Thurs, free), Best in Show (Thurs, free), Soul (Thurs, free), Passenger 57 (Tues, free), or National Treasure (Fri, free).
  7. Festivals galore. Taste authentic Caribbean street food at the Caribbean American Heritage Month Celebration (Sat, free); head to the Summer Mercado Street Festival for lots of food, drinks, and live music (Sat, free, Takoma); or go to the National Cathedral for the One Journey Festival (Sat, free, Cleveland Park). You can also continue Pride month celebrations at Arlington Pride Festival (Sat, free, Rosslyn) or Growing Pride at the Garden (Sun, free, Alexandria).
  8. Learn about nature. Participate in a service project and help clean up Arlington during a summer solstice celebration (Fri, free, Arlington). Learn how to take care of your plants at Plant Care Basics at National Landing (Thurs, free) or attend a plant swap and sale (Sun, free).
  9. Celebrate DC. Shop local businesses at the Van Ness Summer Pop-Up (Sat, free, Van Ness) or the Summer Craft Fair (Sat, free, Columbia). You can also experience DC art, commerce, and culture at Streetsense’s Streetmarket (Sat, free, Shaw).

Sophia Young
Editorial Fellow
Maggie Hicks
Editorial Fellow