Summer is coming to an end. The school year is starting again and pumpkin spice will soon begin to sneak its way back into almost everything, so Fall must be around the corner. (Fall officially begins on September 22nd.) This month, we can enjoy a prolonged summer at a few county fairs, festivals, and other events. Many DC neighborhoods are hosting festivals celebrating what makes their communities special. There are also several local sports teams offering family-friendly fun. As the summer comes to a close, don’t forget to check out our Ultimate Guide to Summer Fun for ideas on how to make the most of what is left of the season.
September Events in Washington, DC
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.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
August 28 – October 24
This annual festival, which draws huge crowds every year, will transport you back to 1529. You will wander among knights, princesses, fairies, minstrels, and more at this craft show/festival/cosplay opportunity. There will be 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.
September 1 – 5
The 17th Annual DC JazzFest will feature an impressive lineup of performers, from local legends to NEA Jazz Masters. Festival experiences will include in-person and live stream performances, up-close-and-personal “Meet the Artist” conversations, and the DCJazzPrix international jazz band competition Finals live at Union Stage. See the event website for information regarding tickets, schedules, and health and safety protocols.
National Children’s Museum Reopening
The highly anticipated grand opening of the National Children’s Museum will occur this month! The Museum combines learning elements found in a science center with children’s museum experiences. Through hands-on science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) based exhibits, programs, and virtual offerings, the Museum sparks curiosity and ignites creativity for children under the age of twelve and their families. Advanced Tickets are required and they will be operating at a limited capacity. Masks are required.
Greenbelt Labor Day Festival
September 3 – 6
The Greenbelt Labor Day Festival was started in 1955 as a way of raising funds to build a Youth Center. It has been held every year since. This year, the Festival will be modified due to COVID. It is expected that the event will include the annual parade, craft fair, and Bingo. There will not be carnival rides or midway games. Please check the website for an updated schedule and its Facebook page for the most up to date information.
Washington Nationals Post-Game Fireworks
Nothing says summer like a day at the ballpark. As the summer comes to a close, fans can support the Washington Nationals as they take on the New York Mets on September 4th. After the game, attendees will enjoy an exciting fireworks display.
National Symphony Orchestra: Labor Day Concert
The Kennedy Center’s REACH Plaza
The National Symphony Orchestra’s annual Labor Day Concert will return this year. However, instead of being held at the U.S. Capitol, it will be at the REACH Plaza at the Kennedy Center. The concert is free and no ticket is required. Seating is first-come, first-served.
Kensington Labor Day Festival
Kensington’s 53rd Annual Labor Day Festival kicks off at 11am. Armory Avenue will be filled with food and drink vendors, live music, bounce houses, and other family fun. Check out the festival website for more information.
American Ultimate Disc League Championship
September 10 -11
Since 2013, DC has had a professional Ultimate Disc team called the DC Breeze. As part of the American Ultimate Disc League (AUDL), they have qualified for the postseason in five of the last six seasons. The AUDL is excited to bring Championship Weekend 10 to Washington, DC for the first time. Watch the top four teams in the league battle it out for the 2021 AUDL title. Purchase tickets on website.
Fiesta DC Festival and Parade
September 11 – 12
700 Pennsylvania Ave NW (Saturday Festival)
Constitution Ave NW (Sunday Parade)
Fiesta DC has been celebrating Latino culture for 50 years. This family-friendly annual celebration will feature the Fiesta DC Festival on Saturday which will include entertainment, food vendors, and educational and community information. On Sunday, the “Parade of Nations” will include Native Latino cultural dance troupes as well as civic organizations, schools, and performers. Check out the website for a schedule of performers.
Takoma Park Folk Festival
Takoma Park, MD
This free annual event, organized by volunteers, celebrates folk music and the arts. An outdoor craft show will be held from noon to 6pm at the Takoma Park Community Center. Live music performances will be live-streamed on Facebook and in person from 4pm until 9pm. Check the event website for a schedule of performers and additional event updates.
Adams Morgan Day
For over forty years, the Adams Morgan Day festival has highlighted the history and the diverse and creative cultures of the neighborhood. It is a family-friendly celebration with music, art, and activities for all ages. Attendance and entertainment are free. The festival’s diverse music lineup is phenomenal and the “Family Fun Zone” will offer kids the opportunity to play soccer, flag football, and other games. Families can watch and participate in demonstrations of dance styles from around the world and Dance Plaza and kids can enjoy Drag Queen Storytime at 11am at Unity Park.
National Book Festival
September 17 – 26
This year, the National Book Festival will host a variety of virtual and in-person experiences. Attendees will be able to engage in live author conversations online, watch the broadcast special on PBS, listen to NPR podcasts, tune in to Washington Post Live author interviews, and attend a ticketed event at the Library. On September 12, Levar Burton will host “Open a Book, Open the World: The Library of Congress National Book Festival” on PBS. The one-hour special will serve as an introduction to this year’s Festival and its exciting lineup of authors, poets, and writers. Check out the event website for its full schedule as well as a list of this year’s participating authors.
Lincoln Cottage Family Day and 5K
President Lincoln’s Cottage
Celebrate the 159th anniversary of Lincoln’s decision to issue the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation at the very home where he drafted it. Participants in the Cottage’s Freedom 5K will run through the 250 acre grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. After the 5K, little ones can participate in the 100-yard Tot Dash for free. The Family Day event is also free, but donations are appreciated. Activities include pony rides, arts and crafts (including making cards for veterans), story hour, and more.
H Street Festival
H Street NE between 3rd and 14th Streets
Attendees can expect to see a variety of music, dance, youth performers, poets, and fashion shows as you wander the 11 blocks of the festival. There will also be a lot of food options, art vendors, and informational booths. This event gets very crowded, so if you are taking children it may be more enjoyable to take them in the early part of the day, before the crowds get big enough to make keeping up with kiddos a challenge.
Alexandria Old Town Art Festival
September 18 – 19
John Carlyle Square
This art festival is rated as one of the top 100 art shows in Sunshine Artist Magazine. For the 19th year, attendees will be able to peruse juried art from gifted artists in regions from all over the country. Organizers request that attendees be mindful and follow all CDC guidelines. Check out the event website for a list of scheduled exhibitors. Admission is free.
Colonial Market & Fair
September 18 – 19
Mount Vernon Estate
Mount Vernon, VA
Discover the 18th century at the annual Colonial Market & Fair. Take in the sights and sounds of the marketplace on Mount Vernon’s 12-acre field and chat with dozens of colonial artisans selling traditional handcrafted food and wares. Colonial music transports you back to the 18th century as expert artisans demonstrate period crafting techniques. There’s plenty of fun for the whole family. Admission to the Colonial Market & Fair is included in admission to the Estate. Tickets are available online.
Washington Mystics vs. Minnesota Lynx
Entertainment and Sports Arena
Cheer on the 2019 WNBA Champions during their last game of the regular season. They will play the Minnesota Lynx and you can be there to see the action in person. Check out the team’s website for a few printable kids’ activities that will get them pumped to support their home team.
Grand Reopening of the MLK Library
Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library
The DC Public Library invites families to celebrate its all-ages grand re-opening celebration at MLK Library. From 10am to 5pm, enjoy an outdoor family-friendly festival of fun activities, exciting performances by artists like go-go band Bela Dona, games for children, opportunities to connect with organizations from around the District, the 2nd Annual Know Your Power Teen Arts Festival, great author talks and interviews, food trucks and more. It will be a celebration to remember!
800 Block of Upshur Street NW
A group of volunteer residents organizes this festival which celebrates “the creativity, diversity, culture, and people of Petworth and its surrounding neighborhoods.” In addition to music, food, and games, attendees can enjoy a dog show and Petworth history storytelling. Check out the event website prior to attending, as organizers will finalize COVID protocols closer to the date of the event.
Salute the Sunset
National Harbor, MD
Saturday evenings are U.S. Military Band nights at National Harbor starting at 7pm. Bring a chair and enjoy an evening with performing ensembles of the U.S. Army Concert Band. Concerts are free and open to the public.