June 2018 Family Friendly Events Guide


There is a lot of family fun to be had in the Washington, DC area in June. Whether you’re looking to learn about history or other cultures, listen to some good music, challenge yourself physically, see the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile in person, or just enjoy being in the great outdoors, there is something for you…and your kids. Get out there with kiddos before the worst of the summer heat sets in and all you want to do is be in a pool, spray park, kiddie pool, or even a garden hose.

Martha Washington’s Birthday Celebration
Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, VA

Celebrate the first First Lady’s birthday at their historic estate. Visitors will be able to greet Martha Washington on the Mansion’s piazza. A super cool bonus is that at 1pm, a citizenship ceremony honoring new U.S. citizens will be held that visitors can observe.

Imagination Bethesda
Downtown Bethesda
Bethesda, MD

This is a street festival that celebrates children and the arts. Numerous area businesses and nonprofits will host activity tents (aimed for the under 12 crowd) where kids can do craft projects, participate in dance demos, learn about musical instruments, and much, much more. There will also be an entertainment stage that will host children’s performers every hour on the hour.


Kids Obstacle Challenge
Wicomico Motorsports Park
Charlotte Hall, MD

Kids aged 5-16 will undertake a 1.5 to 2-mile obstacle course. Along the route, they will encounter 13-15 obstacles such as a rock wall, a rope swing over water, army crawling through mud, and much more. All participating kids must have a ticket, but parents can run the course with their children for free!

JUNE 2-3

Washington Folk Festival
Glen Echo Park
Glen Echo, MD

The 38th Annual Washington Folk Festival is a free family-friendly event that celebrates folk music, dance, and crafts. Musicians, storytellers, and dancers will perform on seven stages, providing over 60 hours of entertainment…for free. Did I mention it’s free?

(1st Sunday of Every Month until NOVEMBER 4)
Civil War Artillery Demonstrations
Fort Washington Park
Fort Washington, MD

The Fort Washington Guard, while wearing Civil War era uniforms, will demonstrate how cannons were fired during that time in our history. Demonstrations begin at 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm and last about 15 minutes.


Kids In Canal
Canal Park
Washington, DC

Canal Park will host free, kid-friendly entertainment every Wednesday for twelve weeks this summer. Performances include magic shows, musicians, puppet shows, and more. After you enjoy the free entertainment, you can splash around in the Canal Park fountains or enjoy a yummy meal at one of the many restaurants in the area.


Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival
Kingman and Heritage Islands Park
Washington, DC

This event has grown by leaps and bounds since it began in 2010. It is expected that this year’s festival will draw 10,000 people to enjoy dozens of bands performing on multiple stages. There will be food, drinks, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. All attendees must have a ticket, but kids under 10 are free. Check out the event website for a ton of info including how to get there and what items you can bring in the festival.


Pride 2018 Parade
22nd & P Streets NW to 14th & R Streets NW
Washington, DC

The Capital Pride Festival, which runs from June 7-10, is one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ pride events. The Pride Parade, which begins in DuPont Circle, is a 1.5-mile route and will include floats, marchers, and entertainment. There will be a Family Area on Stead Field. There will also be a Block Party (consisting of entertainment and a beverage garden) adjacent to the parade. Also, check out the other fun events to support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, such as the festival and concert on June 10.

JUNE 14-17

Greek Cultural Festival
St. Theodore Greek Orthodox Church
Lanham, MD
11am-7pm (9pm on Sat. and Sun.)

Festival-goers will enjoy a wide variety of Greek foods, including featured entrees on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Sunday is grilled octopus day!). There will also be live music, folk dance performances, rides, and activities for kids. Admission and parking is free.

JUNE 16-17
DC Jazzfest at the Wharf
The Wharf
Washington, DC
10:45am-7:15pm / 12pm-6:30pm

The 2018 DC JazzFest runs from June 8 through June 17. It features 125 performers at over 40 venues in the city. The performances at The Wharf are highlighted here because this venue seems to have the most daytime performances that little ones could attend, and all the performances are free. There are a few other free daytime performances in the festival’s  Jazz in the ‘Hoods lineup.


Children’s Theater-in-the-Woods
Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts
Vienna, VA

Throughout the summer, you can enjoy a wide variety of performances including dance, magic, puppets, music, theater, and even wizard training!
Shows are geared for kids 4 years of age and older. The 2018 season kicks off with a show by Michael & the Rockness Monsters. After shows, families are encouraged to “Stay and Play” for free. On select dates, kids can earn their Junior Ranger Badges by completed nature-based activities, or they can participate in hands-on, small-group workshops with performers.


Universoul Circus
National Harbor
National Harbor, MD
Show Times Vary

For 25 years, the Universoul Circus has been wowing audiences with thrilling acts from all over the world. They urge guests to “get ready for a bigger, faster, louder, funkier show like no other with EVEN MORE SOUL!” Children 11 months and younger are free. Also, it should be applauded that they host free shows for homeless families in many of their tour stops.

JUNE 23-24

Giant National Capital Barbecue Battle
Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 7th Streets NW
Washington, DC
Saturday 11am-9pm / Sunday 11am-7pm

If meat is your family’s thing, this event is for you. You can enjoy BBQ from a number of pitmasters, meet some celebrity chefs including local Chef Timothy Dean, partake in wine and microbrew samples, gawk at DC’s first Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, and enjoy music from 30 bands on three stages throughout the weekend. The kids will enjoy seeing the Oscar Meyer Weinermobile, the Planter’s NUTmobile, and the exhibits and visitors from local professional sports teams such as the Capitols, Mystics, Wizards, and Valor. You’ll need to purchase tickets, but kids 12 & under are free.


JULY 4-8
Smithsonian Folklife Festival
The National Mall between 12th and 14th Streets
Washington, DC
11am-6pm (evening concerts most nights at 6:30)

This annual festival aims to strengthen and preserve the traditions of cultures by inviting visitors to learn recipes, try crafts and games, singing and dancing, and more. This year, the Festival will feature the cultures of Armenia and Catalonia. The Marketplace will be set up in the Smithsonian American History Museum, wherein artisans from the featured cultures will sell their wares. There will be special hands-on activities for kids at 11am each day in The Marketplace. The festival days are capped off with free evening concerts that will begin at 6:30pm.

JUNE 29-30

Independence Fireworks
Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, VA

This family-friendly event is a great way to kick off your July 4th celebration. Take part in 18th-century dancing demos, games (like bocce ball), artisan demonstrations, tours of the historic mansion, musical performances, and, of course, fireworks!! The fireworks display begins at 9:30 on both nights.


Colonial Living Experience
Claude Moore Colonial Farm
McClean, VA

Participants will spend a weekend immersed in 18th-century life. You will dip your own candles for light at night, sleep in an A-frame tent with a wool blanket, cook food over a fire, and choose daytime activities such as woodworking, farming, or making natural cosmetics. There is a mandatory training session on June 27th from 6pm-8pm. Encampment begins at 6pm on Friday and ends at noon on Sunday. Families are welcome, but participants must be 6 years of age or older and have the physical capability to participate in colonial activities.


Do you think something else should be added to our guide? If so, please email us at info {at} dcmomsblog.com.  Thanks!

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Julie Hart
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