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There’s no better way to spend your Independence Day in our nation’s capital than staying away from the area around the Capitol Building. We’ve set up the best weekend (we’re counting Wednesday and Thursday as part of the weekend) to keep you out of tourist territory and into the best of what D.C. has to offer. Take our guide along for the ride and find the best events that suit you this weekend, before and after seeing explosives shoot off into the sky.

We’re giving you four options for July 3, 5, 6 and 7 and nineteen options for July 4. U.S.A. U!S!A!

July 3

July 4th Eve Nationals Fireworks Watch Party

When: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Where: Hilton Homewood Suites Rooftop Lounge

What: A fireworks party after the Nationals vs Marlins game. Fireworks after baseball. America.

Indie Rock Karaoke

When: 8 p.m.

Where: DC9

What: An evening of karaoke with karaoke.sexy, a special July 3rd America edition. As karaoke.sexy puts it, “it’s a free event that is free.”

Undrainable Swamp People Jamboree

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Bier Baron Tavern and Comedy Loft

What: A comedy show for when you’re ready to celebrate July 4 but not necessarily America. Celebrate with local comics at the Bier Baron Tavern and do some good while you’re at it, a percentage of proceeds go to the DC Abortion Fund.

Six Flags July 4th Fest

When: July 3-6

Where: Six Flags in Bowie, MD

What: Six Flags is hosting their own Fourth of July celebrations this weekend. Fireworks displays, an all-American food festival and a foam party are just some perks that come with visiting this patriotic weekend. Be a patriot, ride a rollercoaster.

Read about the time we took a nine-year-old to Six Flags and had her rate the rides.

July 4

Get some crabs 

When: The earlier, the better

Where: The Municipal Fish Market

What: Our first Wharf pick is doing what we did long before The Wharf was “The Wharf.” Go to the fish market and get some crabs. Then bring them to a party and eat the crabs with your friends because that’s the best part of the holiday.


Barracks Row Parade

When: 10 a.m.

Where: Barracks Row

What: The only parade we’re recommending.

Bottomless Brunch

When: July 4 through 7, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Boqueria

What: Boqueria’s bottomless brunch is being extended for the holiday. Enjoy unlimited tapas and booze to start off the day and kick off the weekend.

Annual Independence Day Concert

When: 11 a.m.

Where: Washington National Cathedral

What: If you’re looking for some pomp and circumstance, you might find a program by the Washington Symphonic Brass and cathedral organists very circumstance and pomp.

Washington Nationals vs. Miami Marlins

When: 11:05 a.m.

Where: Nationals Park

What: Pass time watching America’s favorite pastime. Washington Nationals is playing against Miami Marlins, with discounted tickets to first responders.

Pizza after the game

When: After the game

Where: Nicoletta Pizzeria

What: Keep spending the day outside, near the park, near water, eating pizza and drinking frozen drinks at Nicoletta. You’ll be hard pressed to find a better location for groups full of kids or full of adults that want to imbibe.

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BeerBQ Battle

When: 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: City Tap Penn Quarter

What: City Tap at Penn Quarter is hosting their annual “BeerBQ Battle,” a competition among local breweries for the best barbecue in the D.C. area. Beer and BBQ are both American. Well, beer is German but whatever, we made it American.

NoMa 4th of July Bash

When: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: The Lot @ First and Pierce

What: A very free NoMa party, with 90s cover band As If, free food and face paint for a neighborly vibe to the holiday.

A Parisian Fourth

When: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Where: Opaline Bar & Brasserie

What: Maybe you want a fancy, Parisian take on the Fourth of July. Maybe you want a fancy, all-beef hotdog with chili and cheese coupled with potato salad. Opaline delivers.

8th Annual Crab Crack @ American Ice Company

When: 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: American Ice Company

What: In the mood to bust something open. Every year, American Ice Company hosts a Crab Crack. Take out that energy on something tasty and fun.

Martha’s Table Food Drive

When: 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Where: Brixton

What: Feel like doing some good this holiday season? Brixton is hosting a holiday food drive to support Martha’s Table. Bring in five non-perishables to Brixton’s food drive and get a Sam Adams on the house, bring in 10 and they’ll throw in a hotdog.

4th of July All Day & Night

When: 4 p.m.

Where: Flash

What: A lineup of Spanish and DC-native artists Pig&Dan, Dosem, J SWINK, and Mina for technoheads.


When: 4 to 9 p.m.

Where: Taco Bamba Chinatown

What: Celebrate America by getting hotdogs from a taco restaurant in Chinatown. Taco Bamba will have its taco cart outside its Chinatown location, offering its own take on hot dogs and tacos, a Bamba Dog, for $5 each.

Italian-style Barbecue

When: 4 to 10 p.m.

Where: Officina

What: Reserve your spot at Officina’s rooftop terrace, celebrating America’s birthday the Italian way. Stay after dinner and you’ll get a great view of the fireworks at 9 p.m.

Independence Day bash

When: 6 p.m.

Where: The Anthem

What: Another fine Wharf option is The Anthem’s Independence Day bash. They’re offering an “American Picnic inspired buffet” and views, both indoor and out, of the fireworks.


We The (party) People

When: 5 to 7 p.m.

Where: El Rey

What: Happy hour with deals on margaritas and tacos for this Tex-Mex take on the holiday. Pop in if you’re party hopping around U.

Drunk History

When: 6 to 10 p.m.

Where: Slash Run

What: Watch season one of Drunk History with Slash Run with half off hot dogs and $2 PBRs.

Image result for drunk history hot dog gif

DC Black Theatre Festival

When: Now through July 7, 3 to 10 p.m.

Where: THEARC Theatre

What: The DC Black Theatre Festival is going strong through the holiday. If you’re more interested in seeing some performances by black artists and supporting artists, head to THEARC to see what the theatre is hosting today.


When: July 4 through Sept. 2

Where: National Building Museum

What: The Summer Block Party installation Lawn opens today in the National Building Museum’s Great Hall. The piece is a synthetic recreation of American summer fit inside the structure of the museum.


July 5

Jazz in the Garden

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Where: National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

What: The weekly concert series continues with a mash up of jazz and go-go music with The JoGo Project.

5th of July Party

When: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: America Eats Tavern

What: Keep the party going at a place that screams America: America Eats Tavern. At the same time, they’re hosting their Summer Road Trip Festival to celebrate the history of food all over the country.

A League of their Own screening

When: 8:55 p.m.

Where: Union Market

What: This is crying in baseball. Everyone cries. It’s OK. It’s not a sign of weakness. These are signs, baseball signs:

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Carlos Mena

When: 9 p.m.

Where: Wild Days

What: Carlos Mena is teaming up with the founder of Aphrosoul for a night of music that explores African traditions and spirit.

July 6

Jollof Festival

When: 9 a.m.

Where: Union Market

What: Jollof is a West African rice dish and it’s crazy delicious. Get tickets, taste some food, and vote in the Jollof Wars, where vendors will be competing to see who has the best Jollof.

Immigrant and Refugee Music Festival @ Echostage

When: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Where: Echostage

What: A festival to support and recognize refugees and immigrants during the Independence Day weekend. 5% of proceeds go to the International Rescue Committee, an aid and relief organization that responds to humanitarian crises across the globe.


When: 9 p.m.

Where: 9:30 Club

What: Story District hosts their 9th anniversary of Out/Spoken, sharing LGBTQ+ stories and experiences in one show. This year, they’re taking the show to Independence Day weekend to the contribute to a holiday all about freedom and celebration.

Werk Ethic

When: 10 p.m. to 3 a.m.

Where: U Street Music Hall

What: U Hall is having an ‘80s and ‘90s house and techno night. If you show up in the first hour, your ticket is free. If you absolutely do not want to hear anything from the 21st century tonight, this is going to be the party for you.

July 7

Wildin’ Out

When: 7:30 p.m.

Where: Black Cat

What: Story District returns for their monthly showcase of true stories centered around a common theme. This month, the theme is Wildin’ Out, all about acting up and causing trouble. It’s not about the long running television show Wildin’ Out.

Byhalia, Mississippi

When: Now through July 7

Where: Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater

What: It’s the last day to see Byhalia, Mississippi, a comedy about white couple after the wife gives birth to a black baby. You might also recognize the actor who plays the husband from How to Get Away With Murder.

Josh Groban

When: 8 p.m.

Where: Wolf Trap

What: Josh Groban can basically do anything to wow us, and he’ll be singing at the Filene Center, so go be wow’d.

Read our review of Josh Groban’s most recent D.C. concert, “I Took My Mom to See Josh Groban.”

Angie Stone

When: 6:30 p.m.

Where: City Winery DC

What: Take a slow end to your weekend with some soul from Angie Stone.