Fun in Washington, DC

From Washington Nationals games and kayaking in the Potomac River, to free exhibits at the Smithsonian museums and happy hours at trendy restaurants, the list of fun events in Washington, DC, is endless! Our program tends to attract outgoing residents who love organizing events for the group. There are social events almost nightly during intern orientation week, which has become a great way for interns to meet second- and third-year residents. During the summer, residents have made it a tradition to enjoy the Jazz in the Sculpture Garden, a free outdoor jazz series every Friday night at the National Gallery of Art. In the fall and winter, we host twice-weekly happy hours for interviewees, another great opportunity for residents to relax after work. Each month, the interns on their call free month are the residency social chairs and plan a number of fun events and happy hours throughout the month. Our residents also have formed a kickball team as well as a summer bocce ball team.

This list was compiled by residents over the years. It is by no means complete. As you explore DC if you find something that should be on this list please let us know so that we can add to it!

Resources

The Washington Post

  • On Friday publishes a weekend section – great resource for movies, clubs, concerts, summary of all the current museum exhibits, and much, much, more
  • Also publishes an Express print version that is available free at all Metro stations and other locations in the mornings – great quick news source, also with a Weekend Pass section on Thursdays

Washington City Paper

On Tap Online (a little more alternative)

Professional Sports Teams

Museums

Smithsonian: FREE

  • Art Night: All Thursday throughout the summer the Smithsonian Museums and Phillips Collection are open late.
  • National Portrait Gallery and Museum of American Art – now reopened following years of renovations.
  • National Air and Space Museum, Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles Airport, $7 shuttle from main museum

National Gallery Of Art: FREE

  • National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden – summertime café and free outdoor Jazz on Fridays
  • Ice Skating at the Sculpture Garden
  • A fun activity to get outdoors on an otherwise wintry day, the National Gallery of Art maintains a skating rink off the downtown mall from November through mid-March. If you don't own ice skates, you can rent them. The skating rink is easily accessible from the Archives-Navy Memorial and Gallery Place metro stops.

Phillips Collection: Entrance Fee – usually $10-$12 (depending on the exhibits)

  • Small museum in Dupont Circle with 20th century American Art
  • Phillips After 5 is the first Thursday of each month from 5pm-8:30pm, with live jazz, gallery talks and a cash bar (price included in museum admission)
  • Sunday Concerts held October through May at 4pm (price included in museum admission, seating not reserved)

Corcoran Gallery of Art: Entrance Fee – $10

  • Located at 500 17th street NW – Collection of 19th and 20th century American and European art, contemporary art, photography and decorative art
  • Extended hours Thursday nights; closed Monday and Tuesday

National Geographic Museum: FREE

  • Located at 1145 17th St. NW
  • Also have a series of National Geographic Live! Speakers at their headquarters building, 1600 M St. NW (tickets may be required, fees vary)

Dumbarton Oaks

  • Located in Georgetown, consists of PreColumbian and Byzantine Art (FREE entrance to museum) – entrance at 1703 32nd St. NW, between S and R Streets
  • Gardens ($8 entrance fee) – entrance at R and 31st St. NW
International Spy Museum: Entrance Fee – $18
  • Located at 800 F St. NW
  • The first and only public museum in the United States solely dedicated to espionage, the largest collection of international spy-related artifacts ever placed on public display

Newseum: Entrance Fee – $20 (10% off if buy online)

  • Located at 555 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
  • Interactive museum of news and journalism

Tours

  • DC Ducks – amphibious vehicles (www.dcDucks.com)
  • Bike the Sites – a 2.5 hour monument tour with bikes, helmets, water, and guide included for $30-55, can be done by day or at dusk (7:30pm)
  • Segway Tours – a 3 hour monument tour

Hiking

  • www.LocalHikes.com
  • www.SlackPacker.com
  • Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls National Park, off the GW Parkway on the VA side or off Clara Barton Pkwy on MD side, $5 by car, $3 by bike
  • Theodore Roosevelt Island, in between Georgetown and Rosslyn off GW Pkwy on VA side, free
  • Shenandoah National Park: Camping, Hiking 1 hour west of DC. $10 for one week pass, $20 for year long pass

Biking/Running

  • www.BikeWashington.orgMany dedicated trails for Running, Biking, Rollerblading. There are bike lanes on almost all major city streets
  • C&O Canal: Start in Georgetown
  • Mount Vernon Trail: Approx 17 mi trail from Theodore Roosevelt Island to Mount Vernon in Alexandria VA
  • Capital Crescent Trail: Georgetown to Bethesda
  • WO&D: Approx 40 mile trails extending west from Arlington
  • Rock Creek Trail: North-South trail from Foggy Bottom to Maryland – Good for trail running, cycling
  • Rock Creek Parkway closed to traffic for about 10 miles on weekends

Golf

  • Haines Point, south through East Potomac Park, large sculpture in park, golf course, very basic miniature golf course (www.GolfDC.com)
  • Rock Creek Golf Course (www.GolfDC.com)
  • Rocky George Golf Fairway, 8445 Old Columbia Rd., Laurel, very wacky course, 10am-11pm daily
  • Upton Hill Regional Park (Miniature Golf, Batting Cages) Arlington, M-F 10am-9pm, small entrance fee
  • Cameron Run Regional Park, Mini Golf, Batting Cage and Wave Pool, 4001 Eisenhower Ave, Alexandria, VA; golf until 9pm, pool until 7pm

Boating

  • Thompson’s Boat Center, in Georgetown on the water at Virginia Ave and Rock Creek Park,
  • West Potomac Paddle Boats – Tidal Basin at 15th Ave. and Maine, small hourly fee, 10am-6pm daily
  • Canoe the Potomac (Jack's Boats, 3500 K St NW under Key Bridge, Georgetown) – Take K Street until it ends, right under Key Bridge, and you will see a hut on your left called Jack's Boats. Here you can rent a canoe or kayak, depending on your energy level, and spend a warm day floating across the Potomac. You can also paddle over to Roosevelt Island to do some exploring and get seemingly lost by venturing off the beaten paths. The prices at Jack's Boats range from $8 for an hour to $25 for all day and make sure you bring cash because they do not take credit cards.

Other

  • Supreme Court: Oral Arguments, Mon, Tue and Wed from first Monday in October through April, then Court’s Opinions on Mondays from mid-May to end of June, 202-479-3211, all start at 10am, but lines start early, call the day before to find out estimated attendance, for arguments you can choose the 3 min. viewing or the whole thing, opinions only last 15-30 minutes
  • Eastern Market, 7th Street & North Carolina Avenue SE, weekend farmer’s market, arts & crafts, flea market
  • National Cathedral, 3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW, beautiful grounds, great international speakers
  • Franconia Roller Rink, 5508 Franconia Road, Alexandria, 703-971-3334, open until 10pm Mon-Thu and Sat, and 11pm on Fri., can bring your own rollerblades
  • Bengie’s Drive-In, 3417 Eastern Blvd., Baltimore, 410-391-1956, biggest screen on the East Coast, 2-3 first run movies starting at dusk, $8/person, $7/car if you bring your own food, $4/person for just the late show
  • The Waterfront, Maine Ave. SW, fresh fish, crabs, shrimp, etc, until 9:30pm daily
  • National Arboretum, NY Ave., 202-245-2726
  • Gravelly Point Park, watch airplanes take off and land, open until dusk, off the GW Parkway just north of Reagan National Airport
  • Montrose Park at 30th and R St. NW, next to Dumbarton Oaks, perfect for picnics
  • Halloween week every year – High Heel Race, 7:30pm, held in Dupont Circle at 17th St. b/t P & R
  • The National Mall is great for playing softball, kickball, flag football, soccer – lots of open spaces
  • DC public pools – pools are free for DC residents
  • Embassies – often open to public, many host fun events. You can also check out www.EmbassySeries.org for tickets to chamber concerts and food buffets held in various embassies

Discounts