Things to Do

Best Things to Do in the DC Area 6/5-6/11: Capital Pride Parade and Festival, Jazz in the Parks, and Pride on the Pier

Plus, "Good Bones" at Studio Theatre.

Capital Pride Parade 2021. Photograph by Evy Mages .

Happy Monday, everyone!

Grab a lawn chair and enjoy live music outdoors at the summer’s first Jazz in the Parks, or attend one—or all—of Capital Pride’s beloved festivities.


Best Things to Do This Week

  1. Capital Pride Parade and Festival. The Capital Pride Parade will take to the streets in support of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies beginning at the intersection of 14th Street NW and T Street NW. The outdoor festivities feature food trucks, vendors, and a music block party. The following day will bring the massive Pride Festival downtown along Pennsylvania Avenue for a day of live entertainment across three stages, as well as more than 300 exhibitors plus bites and beverages (Sat-Sun, free, Downtown and Dupont).
  2. Jazz in the Parks. If you haven’t snagged a ticket to the popular Jazz in the Garden, here’s another local outdoor concert series to visit. Jazz in the Parks returns to The Parks at Walter Reed this summer for four musical events on the lawn. This month’s headliner is bass player Corcoran Holt with Farafina Kan Percussion Ensemble (Sat, free, Takoma Park).
  3. Pride on the Pier. If you are looking for a less crowded alternative to enjoying the Pride festivities, then visit Pride on the Pier at the Wharf. The fourth annual event includes a drag show, live music by DJs Juba and Honey, a screening of the Pride Parade, and a fireworks finale over the waterfront (Sat, free, Wharf).
  4. “Good Bones” play. The new Studio Theatre stage play Good Bones by Pulitzer Prize winner James Ijames highlights themes of displacement and gentrification through the eyes of an urban planner returning to her hometown house in a neighborhood that coincidentally resembles DC (closes June 18, $55+, Logan Circle).

Want More Things to Do?

Good Bones play. Left to right: Cara Ricketts (Aisha), Joel Ashur (Travis), and Johnny Ramey (Earl). Photograph by Margot Schulman.

Budget-friendly. DC photographer Airin Yung is taking portraits of LGBTQIA neighbors at Malcolm X Park (Sat, free, Columbia Heights). Run with Olympian Mason Ferric and then party at Franklin Hall (Mon, free, Northwest DC).

Arts and culture. Learn to draw sketches on an iPad with artist Carlos Carmonamedina (Sun, free, Smithsonian American Art Museum), or create throwback crafts at Handi-hour (Thurs, $25, Smithsonian American Art Museum). Explore vintage photos in the exhibition “This Is Britain: Photographs from the 1970s and 1980s” before it closes (closes Sun, free, National Gallery of Art). Watch comedy movie The Birdcage outdoors at Marie Reed Soccer Field (Tues, free, Adams Morgan). Learn about LGBTQ comics and then create your own with professor Helis Sikk at Busboys and Poets (Wed, free, Cardozo). Participate in a tree study and water color painting at Tudor Place’s Art in the Garden (Sat, $55, Northwest DC). Don’t miss the opening reception of “Embodied” by local muralist Rose Jaffe (Fri, free, Northwest DC). Join a networking reception with Thai Ambassador Tanee Sangrat (Tues, $65, Adams Morgan).

Community and history. Discover the importance of coral reefs with the Scubanauts at the museum (Mon, free, Smithsonian Natural History Museum). Smithsonian curators discuss the influence of African American music (Tues, free, virtual, Smithsonian African American History and Culture Museum). Honor service men and women at the Navy Memorial’s Battle of Midway wreath-laying ceremony (Mon, free, virtual, Penn Quarter). Writer David Chrisinger chats about his new book The Soldier’s Truth at Hill Center (Tues, $10, Capitol Hill). Check out the opening reception of Black Music Month Doo Wop and R&B exhibits at the library (Wed, free, MLK Library).

Theater and shows. The Tony award-winning Broadway musical Hadestown arrives at the National Theatre (Tues through June 18, $70+, Downtown). Enjoy Afro-Peruvian arts in Kumanana, a musical at the GALA Hispanic Theatre (Wed through June 25, $20+, Columbia Heights). Riot!, the Capital Pride opening party features a drag performance at Echostage (Fri, $35+, Northeast DC). Comedy and pizza makes a good combination at Bulldog (Thurs, free, Chinatown). A new multimedia production, C.S. Lewis On Stage: Further Up & Further In, opens at Shakespeare Theatre Company (Wed through June 18, $59+, Penn Quarter). The New York City Ballet performs dances by choreographers George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins (Tues-Sun, $29+, Kennedy Center). The EuroAsia Shorts film festival opens with cinematic screenings and discussions (Wed through June 23, free, various locations).

Music and concerts. Local go-go and jazz group The JoGo Project plays live at Songbyrd (Wed, free, Union Market). Groove to tunes played by four local DJs at the 9:30 Club’s Mixtape Pride Party (Fri, $25, Cardozo). Go-go band Rare Essence drums up beats on the library rooftop (Sun, free, MLK Library). Attend a commemorative military concert at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial (Tues, free, Southwest DC). Singer Declan McKenna performs at The Anthem (Mon, $45+, Wharf). Jessica Lea Mayfield performs acoustic sounds at Jammin Java (Fri, $22+, Vienna). The Baltimore Jazz Festival returns (Sat-Sun, $25+, Baltimore). Pop artist Cinema Hearts sings at Songbyrd (Thurs, $13+, Union Market).

Game night. There’s bottomless bowling and bocce at Pinstripes Georgetown (through August 31, $85, Georgetown). Guess the lyrics of ’90s and 2000s hip-hop and R&B songs at music trivia (Wed, free, Southeast DC). Test your trivia knowledge at Wunder Garten (every Mon, free, NoMa). Play trivia with a team or solo at Big Bear Cafe (every Wed, free, Northwest DC).

Sports. In celebration of last month’s coronation, the Nationals are hosting a UK-US Friendship Day complete with a baseball game, military flyover, and musical performances (Wed, $16+, Nationals Park).

Get involved. March for dykes and trans rights at the 30th Annual DC Dyke March; you can volunteer as a marshal (Fri, free, location to be announced). Volunteer at Arcadia Farm at Woodlawn (Sat, donations welcome, Alexandria).

If you enjoyed these events, please don’t forget to share this post with a friend on social media, and sign up for our newsletter for more things to do.

Briana A. Thomas is a local journalist, historian, and tour guide who specializes in the research of D.C. history and culture. She is the author of the Black history book, Black Broadway in Washington, D.C., a story that was first published in Washingtonian in 2016.