The summer is going by so quickly, but never fear, there is still plenty of family-friendly summer fun to be had at a variety of August events. There are concerts, county fairs, movies, a Renaissance festival, and more. For even more ideas on ways to have fun this month, check out our Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun. Also, we would love to meet you and your kiddos at our Summer 2021 Park Hop Play Dates!
DC Area Moms was established to build a sense of community among all moms in the DMV. It is with this care and concern for everyone in our communities that we encourage you to follow the ever-changing COVID protocols of the venues and events you attend as you enjoy these long summer days. Also, you can keep up to date on the latest CDC recommendations for fully vaccinated people and those who are unvaccinated. We hope you find many ways to safely enjoy time with your family as the summer comes to an end.
PNC Presents: Paper Dreams
Now – August 15
Olney Theater Center
The Imagination Stage is bringing an encore performance of Paper Dreams to Olney Theater’s series, Theater for Young Audiences. Performances are at 10am and 12pm on weekends through August 15th. This performance is best for kids ages 1 to 7. Tickets are FREE and can be reserved online.
Concerts on the Avenue
Now – September 6
U.S. Navy Memorial
This free, family-friendly summer tradition will have you tapping your feet and singing along with the world-renowned U.S. Navy Band as they perform everything from modern hits to patriotic tunes. Performances will be held every Tuesday through Labor Day and will begin at 7:30pm. Make sure you arrive early to get a good seat.
Summer Block Party: Inside Out
Now – September 6
National Building Museum
This year, the National Building Museum’s annual summer interactive exhibition features a handful of smaller projects and public programs both within the Museum and on the West Lawn. These are better suited than previous indoor interactive exhibitions to the early post-pandemic era of smaller gatherings and social distancing. Visitors will enjoy a wooden maze filled with books, a hand-built cathedral truss, public programs, interactive lawn art, and outdoor movies.
Friday Night Fishing
Fridays through August 27
Diamond Teague Park
Anacostia Riverkeeper is an organization that works to protect and restore the Anacostia River. It hosts numerous activities that give the public the opportunity to engage more with the river. You can join them for catch and release fishing during Friday Night Fishing from 5pm to 8pm. This is a free event in which you can learn from others, and gear and bait are provided.
Summer at the Kennedy Center
August 5 – 28
This summer, Millennium Stage presents free outdoor experiences ranging from live music and film screenings to dance lessons, yoga sessions, arts markets, and more on the wide-open, riverside REACH campus. On Thursdays through Saturdays this month, one can enjoy: a three-day festival celebrating India with Raga at the REACH; performances and classes from Step Afrika!; the Go-Go music and culture of DC with Don’t Mute DC; and On Deck: Women Shredding Through Boundaries, a festival carving out space for more women in action sports and music (specifically skateboarding and jazz).
Water Lantern Festival
August 7 – 8
National Harbor SouthPointe
National Harbor, MD
This event gives you the opportunity to share a unique experience with your family. If the thought of participating in the launch of hundreds of lanterns on the Potomac gives you pause, you should note that the hosting organization states that it will clean up all the lanterns after the event and that the lanterns are 100% eco-friendly. Tickets are required. Gates open at 5pm. You can enjoy music and food trucks and design your lantern until 8:30pm. Launch time is from 8:30pm until 10pm.
Howard County Fair
August 7 – 14
Howard County Fairgrounds
West Friendship, MD
The Howard County Fair is celebrating its 75th year of fair fun. Treat your family to fair food, carnival rides and games, pony rides, pig races, and more. Children under 13 are free. Members of the military and seniors can enter for free on designated days.
The Miraculous Magical Balloon
August 10 – October 8
Various Outdoor Venues
Expressed through body and facial masks, pantomime illusions, and dazzling choreography, The Miraculous Magical Balloon tells a story of a traveling actor and his magical trunk, full of toys, tricks, and surprises. This show is suited for audiences of all ages. The Synetic Theater will perform free public performances of The Miraculous Magical Balloon at parks and outdoor events throughout Arlington this summer and fall. Reserve tickets online.
Prince William County Fair
August 13 – 21
Prince William County Fairgrounds
The county fair is back this summer. Check out the camel and pony rides, Demolition Derby, The Puppy Pals Live Show, livestock show, bullriding, and wine tastings. And, of course, there is fair food and carnival rides a-plenty. Please see website for ticket packages and discount days.
Arlington County Fair
August 18 – 22
Thomas Jefferson Community Center
The Arlington County Fair has been providing quality entertainment for over 40 years. Admission is free, although ride tickets must be purchased. The Kids’ Court activities vary from year to year but typically include family-friendly interactive games, live performances, coloring, and more. Check out the event website for more information about the schedule and shuttle service that will be provided from locations throughout Arlington.
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
This outdoor film is the last of this summer’s Films at the Stone series (the only outdoor films shown at a memorial on the National Mall). The movie will start at 8pm. Visitors are encouraged to arrive early and bring blankets or low profile lawn chairs. This is a free, fun August event.
August 20 -22
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Awesome Con is a celebration of geek culture, bringing over 70,000 fans together with their favorite stars from across comics, movies, television, toys, games, and more. This year, the guest list is long and includes the likes of William Shatner, Carl Weathers, Christina Ricci, Christopher Lloyd, and Michael J. Fox. Families will enjoy Awesome Con Jr., which will have family-friendly performances, hands-on activities, a workshop area, and a Movement Zone.
The Princess Bride in Concert
Filene Center at Wolf Trap
Experience one of the most beloved films of all time as never before with the power of the National Symphony Orchestra performing the entire musical score live-to-picture! For the first time, composer Mark Knopfler’s unforgettable score has been specially arranged for symphony orchestra. The show begins at 8pm. Get tickets online. The NSO will also perform along with a viewing of Star Wars on August 27th.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
August 28 – October 24
This annual festival, which draws huge crowds every year, will transport you back to 1534. You will wander among knights, princesses, fairies, minstrels, and more at this craft show/festival/cosplay opportunity. There is fair food and ale. Little ones can play in the free children’s area that includes a pirate ship. Tickets are required and advance purchase is suggested. Refer to the event website for all sorts of information that will make your experience more enjoyable, including the most updated COVID safety protocols.