Things to Do

Things to Do in the DC Area 8/29-9/5: Labor Day, DC Jazz Fest, and the National Book Festival

Plus the first revival of the Adams Morgan Pedestrian Zone.

Head to the Labor Day Parade in Gaithersburg this weekend or attend another fun celebration. Maryland GovPics/Flickr.

Happy Labor Day. Yay for three-day weekends! Celebrate the long holiday weekend by watching a Labor Day Parade (Mon, free, Gaithersburg) or head to the Labor Day Mansion Poolooza (Mon, $20+, Potomac) to take a splash into a pool and enjoy a cookout. You can also enjoy food and fun at this Labor Day Festival (Mon, free, Greenbelt) or see some cool cars at the Labor Day Car Show (Mon, free, Fairfax).

Jam out. There’s some big artists coming to town this week. Don’t miss your chance to see Lorde at The Anthem (Mon, $125+, The Wharf), Bruno Mars at MGM National Harbor (Thurs & Fri, $375+, National Harbor), Sting at Wolf Trap (Fri-Sun, $30+, Vienna), and Boris at 9:30 Club (Wed, $25, U Street Corridor).

Fun festivals. The DC JazzFest at The Wharf (Sat, free but registration required, The Wharf) is back! Head to this year’s festival to watch jazz artists from all over take the stage. You can also head to the DC Jazz Fest: Music and Murals of Black Broadway Walking Tour (Fri, $40, U Street Corridor) to learn more about the DC music scene. You can listen to more live music at the Capital House Music Festival (Sat, free, National Mall) or the Summer Music Festival in the Park (Sat, free, Fort Dupont Park). Or be mesmerized by magic tricks at the DC Festival of Magic (Fri-Sun, $45+, Downtown). 

For the bookworms. Head to the Washington Convention Center for the National Book Festival (Sat, free, Mt. Vernon Square) for a day of book talks, activities, and programs. You can also hear from Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Geraldine Brooks at The Hay-Adams Author Series featuring Geraldine Brooks (Fri, $110, Downtown).

Get moving. Break a sweat at this Free zumba class (Mon, free, Silver Spring). You can also start your Labor Day morning off right with Yoga at Lost Boy Cider (Mon, $25, Alexandria) or the Labor Day Yoga Master Class (Mon, $35, Rockville).

Food festivities. There are lots of fun food events in the DC area this week. If you’re looking to enjoy some fresh air before the end of summer, head to the Adams Morgan Pedestrian Zone (Sun, free, Adams Morgan). You can also attend the official opening of Ghostburger (Fri, Mt. Vernon Square), enjoy special dishes at Tomatina at Jaleo and Spanish Diner (Starting Mon, Penn Quarter and Bethesda), or try a five-course sake tasting at the Rice, Water, Earth: Sake Tasting and Book Event (Tues, $50, Penn Quarter).

Calling all art lovers. Check out botanical artworks at the End of Wild Suburbia exhibit (closes Sun, free, Alexandria). You can also head to one of these holiday art shows: the Labor Day Arts Show (Mon, free, Glen Echo) or the Paint the Town Labor Day Art Show (Sat-Mon, free, Kensington).

Have a laugh. Grab a few friends and head to one of these comedy shows: The Magic Duel Comedy Show (Sat, $50+, Downtown), Wednesday Night Comedy (Wed, $8+, Adams Morgan), Michael Blackson at DC Improv Comedy Club (Thurs, $132, Downtown), Comedy show at City Winery (Sun, $35+, Ivy City), or Paris Sashay: 10 Years Of Comedy Weekend (Sat, $25+, Arlington).

See a movie. Head to a free movie in the summer air while you still can. This week, see An American Trail (Sun, free, National Harbor), Argo (Thurs, free, National Harbor), Summer of Soul (Tues, free, Georgetown), Operation Pacific (Thurs, free, The Navy Yard), Sandlot (Wed, free, Arlington), In the Heights (Fri, free, Arlington), and Ghostbusters: Afterlife (Sat, free, Arlington).

Maggie Hicks
Editorial Fellow
Sophia Young
Editorial Fellow