August Family-Friendly Events Guide


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.

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. We hope you find many ways to safely enjoy time with your family as the summer comes to an end.

August Events DC

Concerts on the Avenue

August 2, 9, and 16
U.S. Navy Memorial
Washington, DC
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. Head down to the U.S. Navy Memorial to enjoy one of their last performances of the summer. In August, performances will be held on the first three Tuesdays of the month and will begin at 7:30pm. Make sure you arrive early to get a good seat.

Play Date at NMNH

August 2, 9, 16, and 23
Natural Museum of Natural History
Washington, DC
On Tuesdays, NMNH Educators welcome kids and families for Play Dates, wherein a special topic is explored. Activities are geared for early learners but all ages are welcome. This month, the topics will be: Colorful Corals (8/2); Investigating Insects (8/9); Prehistoric Sea Creatures (8/16); and Beguiling Birds (8/23). Play Dates are free to attend.

Rock the Dock

August 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31
The Wharf
Washington, DC
Head to the Transit Pier at The Wharf for the last Rock the Dock concerts of the summer. On Wednesdays at 7pm, families can enjoy free, live music performances by a variety of artists, including rock, soul, Go-Go, classic rock, and country. While at The Wharf, enjoy take out or drinks from one of its many tasty restaurants.

Live! at the Library: Live Performance by Sudden MPac and Screening of Wall-E

August 4
The Library of Congress
Washington, DC
If you want a double dose of family fun, head to the Southeast lawn of the Library of Congress for a free music performance and a movie screening. From 7pm until 8pm, Sudden M Pac will perform funk, R&B, and soul classics. Afterward, the LOC will present Wall-E, the 2008 animated classic about everyone’s favorite lovable and lonely trash-collecting robot. The events are free and no preregistration is required, but capacity is limited so arrive early to grab a spot on the lawn.

Friday Night Fishing

August 5, 12, 19, and 26
Diamond Teague Park
Washington, DC
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. Every Friday evening in August, from 5pm to 8pm, you can join them for their catch and release learn-to-fish event, Friday Night Fishing. Gear and bait are provided at this free, family-friendly event. Participants can register and fill out the required waiver online.

Music & Stamps Family Day with Guest Artist Rafael Lopez

August 6
National Postal Museum
Washington, DC
This event celebrates Latinx music and the series of postage stamps depicting mariachi musicians that was recently issued. Rafael Lopez, an award-winning illustrator and artist, designed the stamps which celebrate the vibrant colors and sounds of mariachi music and Mexican culture. Mr. Lopez will attend this free Family Day celebration and lead guests through stories, crafts, games, and musical performances.

Water Lantern Festival

August 6 – 7
Southpointe Event Area
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 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 6 – 13
Howard County Fairgrounds
West Friendship, MD
The Howard County Fair is celebrating its 76th year of fair fun. Treat your family to fair food, carnival rides and games, pony rides, pig races, and more. Children 12 and under are free. Members of the military and seniors can enter for free on designated days.

Olney Outdoors Kids and Family Performances

August 6, 13, and 20
Olney Theater Center
Olney, MD
The Olney Theater will host three family-friendly productions on its outdoor stage this August: Arts on the Horizon presents Birds of a Feather (August 6), Only Make Believe presents Gamers (August 13), and Anamer Castrello presents Cri-Cri The Singing Cricket (August 20). All performances will be at 10am and 12pm. Tickets are $15 and can be reserved online.

Summer Saturdays Family Day

August 6, 13, and 20
Tudor Place
Washington, DC
Summer Saturdays is a special weekly program that welcomes families with children of all ages to explore a particular feature of the Tudor Place gardens. Each session includes a mini-lesson about history and the natural world, and a take home craft. In August, Summer Saturdays topics are related to architecture, seeds, and outdoor art. Tickets are available online.

Encanto: The Sing Along Film Concert

August 10
The Filene Center at Wolf Trap
Vienna, VA
Has the constant singing of “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” in your home waned in recent months? You can reignite your kids’ (and your own) obsession with the award-winning soundtrack to Encanto at Wolf Trap’s presentation of the film in its entirety. A live band will play along to all of this award-winning soundtrack. Tickets are available online. Some VIP ticket packages are available in limited quantities. They include extras such as an Encanto gift pack, a photo-op on an Encanto themed red carpet, and more.

Family Entertainment Night

August 10
Columbia Heights Community Center
Washington, DC
Bring the whole family down to the Columbia Heights Community Center for an evening of family fun. The DC Parks and Recreation Department and District Bridges will host this event that will delight attendees with puppet shows, music performances, and other entertainment. Family Entertainment Night will run from 5pm until 7pm. It is free to attend.

U.S. Navy Band Concert

August 10
U.S. National Arboretum
Washington, DC
The U.S. Navy Band’s Concert Band will perform a free concert at the National Arboretum’s Ellipse Meadow. Take your chairs or a blanket and a picnic for your family to enjoy as the full moon rises over the Capitol Columns. This event is free and registration is preferred.

Prince William County Fair

August 12 – 20
Prince William County Fairgrounds
Manassas, VA
This county fair is packed will all sorts of summer fun. Check out the camel and pony rides, Demolition Derby, The Space Adventure Thrills Show, livestock show, mechanical bull riding, and wine tastings. And, of course, there is fair food, midway games, and carnival rides a-plenty. Please see website for ticket packages and discount days.

Hip-Hop Block Party

August 13
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Washington, DC
This day-long event will celebrate the first anniversary of the Smithsonian Anthology of Hip-Hop and Rap. Local and national names will perform during a day program and an evening program. The evening program will be followed by a dance party DJ’d by DJ Spinderella. Throughout the day, this free event will offer activities and presentations that explore the origins and influences of hip-hop music and culture.

WWE Monday Night RAW

August 15
Capital One Arena
Washington, DC
It’s been two years since Monday Night RAW visited DC. Join in the fun and cheer on WWE Superstars such as the Miz, Riddle, Seth Rollins, RAW Women’s Champion Bianca Belair, and more! Tickets are available online. Make sure you check the website for information regarding parking and bag size limitations.

Arlington County Fair

August 17 – 21
Thomas Jefferson Community Center
Arlington, VA
The Arlington County Fair has been providing quality family-friendly 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.

8th Annual Chuck Brown Day

August 20
Chuck Brown Memorial Park
Washington, DC
This free family-friendly event celebrates the legacy of Go-Go legend and DC’s own Chuck Brown. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs to enjoy the afternoon’s entertainment which will include UCB, Rare Essence, Doug E Fresh, and the Chuck Brown Band. There will be a kids activity area and food trucks will be on site.

Around the World Cultural Food Festival

August 27
Oronoco Bay Park
Alexandria, VA
Celebrate and learn about cultures around the world at this free event. Attendees will have the opportunity to enjoy food from restaurants representing a wide variety of countries. Additionally, there will be singing and dancing performances, vendors, and artisans of cultures from around the world.

Maryland Renaissance Festival

August 27 – October 23
Annapolis, MD
This annual festival, which draws huge crowds every year, will transport you back to 1536. You will wander among knights, princesses, fairies, minstrels, and more at this craft show/festival/cosplay opportunity. Visitors will be entertained by over 200 performers. 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.

Previous articleTop 5 Food Halls in the DC Area
Next articleThe 8 Best Patios to Dine With Kids
Julie is a proud born and bred Texan, but has called DC home since 2001. She studied at the University of Texas and then moved to DC to get her MPA at the George Washington University. Julie worked for ten years for a Member of Congress, where she loved working to impact public policy. In 2013, her world turned inside out when she gave birth to twins and decided to become a stay-at-home mom. Currently Julie lives in the H Street Corridor with her husband, two kids, and their increasingly grouchy senior dog, Presley. Yes, please: movie dates with her husband, trying new restaurants, exploring DC with her kids, last minute road trips, being outdoors, festivals (of any kind), girls’ night out, and a rainy day with “Pride and Prejudice.” No, thank you: hot and humid summers, mistreating animals, Legos (ouch!), public speaking, laundry, raw fish