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.

August Events DC

Concerts on the Avenue

August 1, 8, 15, and 22
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. Performances will be held on the first four 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 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29
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: Animals in the Rainforest (8/1); Spots and Stripes (8/8); Teeth in the Ocean (8/15); Pockets and Pouches (8/22); and Prehistoric Sea Creatures (8/29). Play Dates are FREE to attend.

Rock the Dock

August 2, 9, 16, 23, and 30
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.

Summer In The Parks at Fort Slocum Mini Oasis

August 3, 10, 17, 24, and 31
Fort Slocum Park
Washington, DC
The National Park Service and the Rock Creek Conservancy are hosting Summer in the Parks events on Thursdays from 6pm to 8pm. These FREE, family-friendly events aim to celebrate the public lands that bring the community together. The events will include games, activities, and music from DJ Lance Reynolds. Take a blanket, some lawn chairs, and a dinner picnic to make an evening out of it! This event is FREE, but please register online. And when you do, you can submit a song request to the DJ!

Friday Night Fishing

August 4, 11, 18, and 25
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.

Water Lantern Festival

August 5 – 6
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 5:30pm. 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 5 – 12
Howard County Fairgrounds
West Friendship, MD
The Howard County Fair is celebrating its 77th 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.

Summer Saturdays at Tudor Place

August 6, 13, and 20
Tudor Place
Washington, DC
Summer Saturdays is a special weekly program that welcomes children from age 4 to 8 (and their caregivers) to explore the Tudor Place gardens. Each session will have a different theme. Depending on the week, kids will learn about games kids played in the past, gardening, art, or archaeology. Tickets are required for this event and are available online.

LEGO Discovery Center DC Grand Opening

August 9
Springfield Town Center
Springfield, VA
The latest LEGO Discovery Center location will celebrate its Grand Opening on August 9th. Families can enjoy over 32,000 square feet of indoor LEGO fun. The Center offers loads of ways to explore, create, and imagine, including a 4D sensory cinema experience, the interactive Mini World, the Imagination Express train ride, opportunities to build, and much more. Visitors much purchase timed-entry tickets online. Make sure you check out exclusive ticket specials for members of the military, veterans, and their families.

Smithsonian Nighttime Adventures

August 11
Smithsonian Natural History Museum
Washington, DC
Enjoy this hugely popular museum after the crowds have left for the day. Kids ages 8 to 14 and their adult chaperones are invited to explore certain areas of the Museum, including Fossil Hall, as they play games and complete challenges, collecting objects to take home along the way. This adventure is super fun for curious kids who will learn about things such as pollinators, the history of the Earth, mammals, and the mysteries of the ocean. Tickets are available online and do sell out.

Montgomery County Fair

August 11 – 19
The Montgomery County Agricultural Fairgrounds
Gaithersburg, MD
Nothing says summer like a county fair. And the Montgomery County Fair does not disappoint. Take the family out for a day of carnival rides and games, fair food, and Grandstand events that include a Monster Truck show, Demolition Derby, Chesapeake DockDogs (a canine aquatic competition), and Touch-A-Truck. Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate. Children 11 and under are FREE!

Prince William County Fair

August 11 – 19
Prince William County Fairgrounds
Manassas, VA
This county fair is packed will all sorts of summer fun. In past years, there have been camel and pony rides, a Demolition Derby, a 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.

Emery Heights Community Day

August 12
Emery Heights Community Center
Washington, DC
Bring the whole family down to the Emery Heights Community Center for a day of FREE, family-friendly fun. The DC Parks and Recreation Department and Friends of Emery will host this event that will delight attendees with entertaining live music performances, an on field fitness class hosted by Go-Go Fitness, and live professional wrestling brought to you by C3W Wrestling! This community celebration will run from 12pm until 8pm.

23rd Annual National Book Festival

August 12
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
Washington, DC
The National Book Festival returns this year with the theme, “Everyone Has a Story,” and a litany of in-person activities and author talks. The featured authors this year include R.K. Russell, Meg Medina, Joy Harjo, R.J. Palacio, and Elliot Page. Check out the event website for its full schedule as well as a full list of this year’s participating authors. Tickets are not required for this FREE and fun family-friendly event.

Hip-Hop Block Party

August 12
National Museum of African American History and Culture
Washington, DC
This day-long event will celebrate 50 years of hip hop’s impact on our culture. 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 a surprise world-renowned DJ. Throughout the day, this FREE event will offer activities and presentations inside and outside of the museum that explore the origins and influences of hip-hop music and culture. Passes are required, but they are FREE. They will be made available to the public at noon on July 31st.

Arlington County Fair

August 16 – 20
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. Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the Pie Eating contest!

A League of Their Own

August 18
The REACH at the Kennedy Center
Washington, DC
Enjoy a summer evening under the stars at the REACH. On Friday nights, your family can enjoy outdoor screenings of classic films. These screenings are FREE and tickets are not required. They start at sundown, around 7:45pm.

9th Annual Chuck Brown Day

August 20
Location TBD
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 that will commemorate this local legend. There will also be giveaways and refreshments. As of publication, a location has not been announced. Please refer to event website for updates.

Around the World Cultural Food Festival

August 26
Oronoco Bay Park
Alexandria, VA
Celebrate and learn about cultures around the world at this FREE event (food and beverages are available for purchase). 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.

Family Fun Day

August 26
Asian Art Museum
Washington, DC
This FREE event offers families and their children age 5 and older engaging hands-on activities such as story times, scavenger hunts, and sketching challenges. It will take place in the Museum’s Peacock Room and in the Japanese art exhibition Rinpa Screens (Freer gallery 5).

Maryland Renaissance Festival

August 26 – October 22
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 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.

Drag Storytime

August 27
Unity Park
Washington, DC
This Drag Queen Storytime, held monthly, aims to help kids develop a love of reading as well as self-love, an appreciation of others, and the diversity among us. The DC Public Library, which is a hosting partner, will be there with their famous “book bike,” additional books, and info about local libraries. This event is FREE to attend and geared for kids of all ages and their families.

DC Jazz Festival

August 30 – September 3
Various Locations
Washington, DC
Celebrate the art of jazz over Labor Day weekend. Over 30 venues in the area will host over 100 concerts throughout the Festival (info regarding all shows will be released soon). The Wharf DC will host DC Jazz Fest on September 2nd and 3rd. This event will include a hugely entertaining lineup on multiple indoor and outdoor stages. Check out the website for schedules and ticketing information.