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!
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.
When: 8 p.m.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
When: 10 a.m.
Where: Barracks Row
What: The only parade we’re recommending.
When: July 4 through 7, 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When: 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.
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.
When: 4 p.m.
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.
When: 4 to 10 p.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
When: 4 p.m. to 12 a.m.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
When: 6:30 p.m.
Where: City Winery DC
What: Take a slow end to your weekend with some soul from Angie Stone.