Top 10 Summer Activities in Washington DC for Students

Top 10 Summer Activities in Washington DC for Students Top 10 Summer Activities in Washington DC for Students

Summer in the city is amazing! DC comes alive with more people and more events than you can count. As a student taking English courses in Washington DC, you will have plenty of options for summer fun. Even better – most summer activities are free or cheap! You do not need to break the bank to enjoy all the summer happenings in DC.

For students attending language schools in DC, you need to be prepared for heat and humidity. Fortunately, in addition to tons of great outdoor options, there are also many ways to beat the summer heat indoors. To help you figure out what you want to do this summer, we’ve compiled the top ten summer activities in DC.

1. Free Museum Visits

Washington DC is home to multiple free museums. Most of the Smithsonian museums are free to visit year-round, and these museums are incredible! For example, you can visit the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art, and the Museum of Natural History for free. Plus, the National Zoo in Washington DC is also free to visit.

2. Museums Worth the Money

In addition to the vast number of free museums to visit in DC, there are also museums that do have a cost. However, if you have to pay to enter a museum in DC, you should expect it to be worth it! For instance, the International Spy Museum is a unique and fun museum to visit where you can learn real international spy secrets, as well as spy movies secrets. Additionally, you can visit the National Geographic Museum for $12 as a student.

3. Kayaks, Paddleboards, and Pedal Boats

If you spend any amount of time walking around DC in the heat of the summer, you know that the sticky humidity just calls people to the water. For those looking for water fun, you have a variety of options. Individuals can visit the National Harbor waterfront to kayak, paddleboard, and pedal boat. Additionally, tourists love the Tidal Basin Paddle Boats, and I have a feeling international students will too.

4. Folklife Festival

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an annual summer favorite. This major summer festival will be held June 27 – July 1, 2018 and July 4 – 8, 2018 adjacent to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. This free festival is jam-packed with excitement. This year’s festival will focus on Africa, Armenia, and Catalonia; however, the festival is always representative of multiple cultures. The festival includes fashion, food, a marketplace, live music, and storytelling.

5. Visit the Gardens

See some gorgeous blooms up close by visiting either the United States Botanic Garden or the National Arboretum. These places offer beautiful escapes from the classroom and the busyness of the city.

6. Walk Through Old Town Alexandria

Summer is also the perfect time to explore some new-to-you areas of DC. It is easy to get stuck going to the same places all the time, but as the weather makes it more enjoyable to walk around and explore, get out of your habits and go somewhere new. For example, take time to explore Old Town Alexandria or Georgetown. You can even take it up a notch by taking an official walking tour to learn more about these historic areas of DC.

7. Enjoy a Washington Nationals Baseball Game

Baseball is America’s favorite pastime, and summer is when it is at its peak. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that a baseball game makes our list of top ten summer activities. Go cheer on the home team at Nationals Park and see the action up close. And, even if you are not a huge baseball fan, a trip to the stadium is fun in and of itself. Nationals Park is located by the waterfront and there are trendy restaurants and loads of entertainment.

8. Celebrate the 4thof July

You cannot be in Washington DC on the Fourth of July and not celebrate Independence Day! If you are set on immersing yourself in American culture, then you must celebrate America’s most patriotic holiday. Throughout DC, there will be celebrations, live music, and firework displays. Plan to be outside to enjoy the excitement well after the sun goes down.

9. Watch a Free Outdoor Movies

As the evening weather is warm enough for lingering outside, it makes it a great time to watch a movie outdoors. You can find outdoor movies in the evenings all summer long throughout DC. Best of all – most of these outdoor summer movie events are free to the public! Check out this guide of 13 Ways to Enjoy an Outdoor Movie In and Around DC.

10. Listen to Live Outdoor Music

Winter in DC does not lend itself to live music outdoors, which is probably why when summer rolls around, the musicians head outdoors! You should expect to listen to live music at an outdoor festival and holiday celebration in DC during the summer. Additionally, there are regularly scheduled outdoor concerts throughout the summer in the DC area. For example, you can enjoy live music overlooking the Anacostia River at Yards Park each Friday evening.


While you study English in Washington DC and prepare to take the IELTS at an English Test Center, you need to have some fun! Between practicing English in class, you should get some real-world experience by doing what those who live in the US do. You will strengthen your English speaking skills as you attend summer festivals and celebrate American holidays.

Students attending inlingua, a Washington language school, have an entire summer activity calendar to help them get out of the classroom and into the city to have some fun. In addition to the activities we’ve listed above, inlingua’s summer activity calendar is designed to help their students have a true immersion experience. Most of the activities are free, but for weeks with activities that do have a fee, you will spend approximately $50.

Do your summer plans include learning English? Contact us today for more information!

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