It's been a challenging summer to stay cool, thankfully we've made it through the hottest days. Yet, displays of pumpkin spice, halloween candy, and even leaves changing color are preparing us for a new season. But, it’s STILL SUMMER! So, don't take the bait and skip ahead. Take these days and enjoy them to the fullest because they are the greatest gifts of summer.
The National Arboretum is a public garden, research facility, and urban greenspace on 446 acres in Northeast DC. It draws large crowds for its incredible azalea blooms, world-class bonsai exhibit, and other awe-inspiring biodiversity. The expansive meadow and trails exploring the different exhibits are a perfect place to let your mind wonder. One of our favorite parts of the park is the display of National Capitol Columns, that seems to always result in photoshoot for us. It’s a DC treasure that's always ready for your visit via bike, foot, car, or the B2 bus route, the closest public transit option.
It’s no secret that lotus and water lilies are the biggest draws to the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens during the summer. That said, the park ecosystem has so much more to offer - turtles, frogs, beavers, blue herons, owls, and falcons, just to name a few. We love having a breezy walk through the ponds then finding our way to an extensive boardwalk over aquatic gardens (see map here). Talk about #alltrailsconnect! Another way to enjoy this park is to explore it by kayak during high tide hours when you can paddle through the tidal marshes and water trails. Access the park by bike, foot, car, or the Deanwood Metro Station, the closest public transit option.
Thursday, September 1 | 6:00 - 8:00 PM
Lantern-Making Workshop @ CANAL PARK
In preparation for the September 17 Lantern Walk, make your own lantern at Canal Park! The workshop starts before the Capitol Riverfront BID's outdoor movie series. Learn more about the Lantern Walk and upcoming workshops here.
Saturday, September 3 | 12:00 - 7:30 PM
DC Blues Festival @ CARTER BARRON AMPITHEATRE
The annual DC Blues Festival is more than two decades old, and it ain’t losing steam anytime soon. Staged at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek Park, the all-day extravaganza features well-known local artists, instrument and vocal workshops, and even an instrument "petting zoo." This year’s main stage includes Lauren Mitchell, the guitar wizardry of Slam Allen, The Countess & Royalty Blues Band and many more. Admission is free of charge, so bring the whole family to celebrate blues in the park.
Sunday, September 4 | 10:00 AM
Get to Know DC Hike @ MELVIN HAZEN & SOAPSTONE TRAILS
Join SierraClubDC for a 4-5 miles hike along shaded trails and streets in the heart of NW DC. The hike will use trails going in and out up of Rock Creek Park and pass some of the Embassies near UDC. Though not a long hike, there is a descent and an ascent and lots of stream crossings (perhaps, bring walking sticks). The leader will be walking slowly, so this is not a hike for the speedy.
Sunday, September 4 | 8:00 PM
Labor Day Capitol Concert @WEST LAWN, U.S. CAPITOL
Say so long to summer with DC’s free Labor Day Capitol Concert. The annual performance featuring the National Symphony Orchestra is a majestic holiday tradition, complete with stunning scenery of the city’s monuments in the background. This year’s concert will also showcase Storm Lange and her band, Le Bonheur, as they take on American Songbook standards. Music lovers can pack a picnic and enjoy a serene Sunday evening on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. For those who like to arrive early: gates open at 3 p.m., with an open rehearsal held at 3:30 p.m.
Monday, September 5 | 12:00 - 8:00 PM
Carifesta @WOODROW WILSON PLAZA
Caribbean culture, fashion, food and music will be celebrated at this free arts festival, held at the Woodrow Wilson Plaza outside of the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. Dance through your Labor Day with eight hours of live music, from successful Caribbean artists to DJs from around the world. Grab lunch or dinner in the food court, cruise through the beer garden (if you’re 21 or older) and marvel at the works in a craft village.