27 Family-Friendly Cultural Events in Washington, DC


Mark your calendars for these top 27 family-friendly cultural events! Washington, D.C. is home to people of more than 170 nationalities and ethnic groups, making it one of the most vibrant and diverse cities in the U.S. It is also home to numerous museums and galleries, and host to a wide range of events, including concerts, plays, exhibitions, and festivals. Here is a list of family-friendly cultural events that my family love. There’s at least one for each month of the year in 2024! Note: Make sure you confirm with the organizer before making any plans.

January Family-Friendly Cultural Events

January 15 – MLK – It Starts With Me!

This kid-friendly event celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with musical performances, book reading, and reflective activities. Receive a FREE book when you sign up for the Beyond the Book Club. More info HERE.
Location: Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library – Central Library
Cost: Free

February Family-Friendly Cultural Events

February 10 – Lunar New Year Family Celebration

Celebrate the year of the dragon with SAAM’s annual celebration! Enjoy dance and music performances, hands-on crafts and authentic art demonstrations, family-friendly activities, tradition of the lion dance performance, and special treats from the Courtyard Café.
Location: Smithsonian American Art Museum – Kogod Courtyard
Cost: Free (Get tickets HERE)

March Family-Friendly Cultural Events

March 16 – St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Celtic dancers, bagpipe bands, school groups, fire trucks, equestrian units, service organizations, characters, and more will march at the the 22nd St. Patrick’s Day Parade at Rio.
Location: Rio Gaithersburg
Cost: Free entry

March 10 – Nowruz Festival

Celebrate the Persian New Year with music, dance, performances, while shopping traditional jewelry and crafts, and enjoying traditional foods.
Location: Hilton Fairfax, VA
Cost: Free entry

March 16 – Ireland at The Wharf

Bagpipers, live music, and Guinness beer will bring you the luck of the Irish! More info HERE.
Location: The Wharf
Cost: Free entry

March 20 to April 14 – National Cherry Blossom Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is a must with kids and a major event in our nation’s capital! The free Cherry Blossom Kite Festival is always a favorite along with going to unique places to view cherry blossoms. You can also purchase tickets to the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade HERE. But there are many other FREE events. Want to avoid the crowds? Check out this list of places where you can avoid them and still get the experience Or check out the Magnolias at these places while everyone is focused on the Cherrys: Smithsonian Castle Garden, Rowling Park, Dumbarton Oaks, and The Oak Hill Cemetery.
Location: Various
Cost: Free and paid

April Family-Friendly Cultural Events

April (date TBD) – White House Spring Garden Tours

Visitors can tour the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden, White House Kitchen Garden, and South Lawn of the White House. Tickets are FREE and distributed on a first come first serve basis starting at 8:30AM at the Ellipse Visitors Pavilion. More info HERE.
Location: The White House
Cost: Free (Tickets required)

April 13 and 14 – Sakura Matsuri Japanese Street Festival

The largest celebration of Japanese culture in the United States. Explore all the things Japan has to offer! Performances, food, art, sake tasting, and marketplace. More info HERE.
Location: Pennsylvania Avenue, NW – Between 3rd and 7th Streets
Cost: $10

April 26 to April 28 – Georgetown French Market

Inspired by the open-air markets in France, this event features more than 25 local boutiques, antiques stores, restaurants, and galleries with great prices. Stop by French wines, pastries, and other food specials from restaurants. More info HERE.
Location: Georgetown – along Wisconsin Avenue From O Street to Reservoir Road
Cost: Free entry

May Family-Friendly Cultural Events

May (date TBD) – Passport DC and Around the World Embassy Tour

The Passport DC and Around the World Embassy tour is probably my favorite event in D.C.! Celebrate D.C.’s thriving international culture by stepping inside as many as you can of the 50-plus participating embassies. A typical visit involves: tour of embassy, kid-friendly cultural events, food tasting, art, music, and dance. More info HERE.
Location: Participating embassies on Embassy Row and International Drive
Cost: Free

June Family-Friendly Cultural Events

June 8 to June 9 – Capital Pride Celebration

One week of events where your family can celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Three fun events are:

  • Pride Block Party: entertainment, food trucks, vendors at 17 St. NW between P and Q.
  • Pride Parade: this historical parade goes through Logan Circle and Dupont Circle Pride
  • Festival: exhibitions, food, and beverage garden on America’s Main Street in Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

July Family-Friendly Cultural Events

July 4 – National Independence Day Parade

Unfolding on Constitution Avenue, you’ll be surrounded by the sights, sounds, and spirit of our nation’s biggest birthday bash, all under the watchful gaze of history itself.
Location: Constitution Ave. between 7th and 17th
Cost: Free

June 26 to July 7 – Smithsonian Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival in DC is a unique and immersive cultural experience that goes beyond entertainment. It’s a chance to learn, connect, and celebrate the richness and diversity of human traditions from around the globe. This year the Smithsonian Folklife Festival will celebrate the Indigenous Voices of the Americas.
Location: National Mall
Cost: Free

August Family-Friendly Cultural Events

August 24 – National Book Festival

The National Book Festival brings together thousands of book lovers, authors, illustrators, and literary enthusiasts for a celebration of all things bookish. Hear from renowned authors and get your favorite books signed by your favorite authors and take a selfie with them. Dedicated areas offer story time sessions for children, crafts workshops, and interactive activities to ignite a love of reading in young minds. Enjoy live music, poetry readings, and other artistic performances that add to the festive atmosphere and MORE.
Location: Walter E. Washington Convention Center – East Salon ABC (Street Level, South Building)
Cost: Free

Starts August 24 – Maryland Renaissance Festival

A journey through the medieval times with 8 stages, jousting, street entertainment, and pub performances, that will make you and your family have fun the 16th-century style! More info HERE.
Location: Crownsville Road in Anne Arundel County.
Cost: Ticket prices vary by date

August through September – Busch Gardens Bier Fest

Sample traditional German food and enjoy more than 75 beer varieties from 10 different countries, while enjoying some thrill rides.
Location: Busch Gardens – Williamsburg, VA
Cost: Varies

September Family-Friendly Cultural Events

September Saturdays & Sundays – Bluemont Vineyard “Crush with Us”

This event is for guests 21+ but it’s too good not to share! To celebrate harvest season, Bluemont Vineyard lets you dip your toes into a grape-filled wine barrel, stomp your feet, and press them onto a tea towel to create your own keepsake.
Location: Bluemont Vineyard, 18755 Foggy Bottom Road, Bluemont, VA
Cost: $29 per person

September (date TBD) – Fiesta DC and Parade of Nations

Fiesta DC coincides with Hispanic Heritage Month and celebrates the rich Latin American and Hispanic customs through music, dancing, and an amazing Parade of Nations. More info HERE.
Location: Parade is on constitution Avenue and 7th Street. Festival is at Pennsylvania Avenue between 9th and 14h Streets
Cost: Free entry

September (date TBD) – DC Jazz Fest

Whether you’re a die-hard jazz fan or simply looking for a unique and vibrant cultural experience, the DC Jazz Festival is definitely worth checking out. It’s a celebration of music, community, and the rich history of the nation’s capital.
Location: Various locations across DC and The Wharf
Cost: Free entry

September (date TBD) – World Culture Festival

The World Culture Festival in DC is a vibrant celebration of global diversity, unity, and peace through music, dance, meditation, and other cultural expressions. It’s typically held over a few days in September or October on the National Mall, attracting thousands of people from all over the world. Learn more HERE.
Location: Various locations across DC and The Wharf
Cost: Free entry

October Family-Friendly Cultural Events

October (date TBD) – Fort Belvoir Oktoberfest

Featuring carnival rides, games, music, and dancing as you experience German culture and sample authentic beers and cuisine. More info HERE.
Location: 9025 Richmond Hwy, Fort Belvoir, VA 22060
Cost: Free entry

October (date TBD) – Turkish Festival at The Wharf

The Turkish Festival features authentic Turkish cuisine, live music and entertainment, folk dancing and performance, Turkish arts and crafts vendors, Turkish coffee, and kid-friendly cultural events and games. More info HERE.
Location: Pennsylvania Avenue NW between 3rd Street and 7th Street
Cost: Free entry

October (date TBD) – Kids Euro Fest

Two days of Kids Euro Fest Family Days, in which the European Union and Member States feature European performances, interactive workshops, food vendors, and music for all the family. We had a blast at our last Kids Euro Fest! More info HERE.
Location: Embassy of France and Embassy of Sweden, Washington, D.C.
Cost: Free (registration required)

November Family-Friendly Cultural Events

November (date TBD) – Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Dia de los Muertos is a Mexican holiday celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed away which entails food, drink, parties, and activities that they enjoyed in life. Programming includes: Traditional Day of the Dead Altar, artists and creators, and tasting experiences. More info HERE.
Location: Mexican Cultural Institute of the Embassy of Mexico at 2829 16th St. NW, Washington, DC
Cost: Free (pre-register for Tasting Experiences)

November (date TBD) – Czech Christmas Market

Visit the Embassy of the Czech Republic for a different kind of Christmas Market. Find unique artisanal and handcrafted gifts while trying Moravian wines and Czech pastries, and listening to Czech Christmas Carols.
Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic Washington, D.C.
Cost: Free (reservation required)

December Family-Friendly Cultural Events

December (date TBD) – German Christmas Village

Another favorite of our family. With more than 30 vendors, arts, jewelry, clothes, toys, and beer, German bratwursts, and many more traditional treats, Baltimore celebrates the holiday spirit with its very own authentic German Christmas Village and Market. There is also a Ferris wheel and carousel for the youngest members of the family, as well as the Aquarium a few feet away.
Location: West Shore Park/ Inner Harbor Baltimore, MD
Cost: Free entry

December (date TBD) – Explore Kwanzaa

Teach your children about Black culture and Kwanzaa through music and craft activities. This and more Kwanzaa events here.
Location: Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum
Cost: Free entry

I have to say I am very excited about this lineup of events! I hope you get to enjoy some of these 27 ways of exploring Washington, DC’s rich cultural scene with your family.