Washington DC In August Events And Activities

Washington DC in August is hot and humid. But, there’s still plenty to do in the nation’s capital in August. With warm summer weather and numerous events taking place, it’s the perfect time to explore the heart of American history and culture.

Washington DC In August: Weather

August in DC can be a pretty hot time of year. In many years previous, it has been the hottest month of the year, even hotter than the previous month of July. Be sure to check the weather to determine when are the best times to be outdoors and when are the best times to choose an indoor activity. 

Average Temperature

In August, Washington DC experiences hot and humid weather. The average daily high temperature is around 87°F, while the average daily low temperature is around 71°F. The humidity can often make it feel like temperatures are in the 90s or even 100s on some days.

Number Of Rainy Days

Washington DC usually experiences some rainfall in August, making it important to be prepared for sudden rain. Usually, Washington DC will have about 8 days of rain during the month of August. The exact number of rainy days and inches of rain will be different year to year, so check the forecast each morning.

Hours Of Sunlight

In Washington D.C., during the month of August, the length of the day is relatively long, reflecting the summer season’s characteristic extended daylight hours. On average, Washington D.C. enjoys about 13 to 14 hours of daylight each day in August. 

Sunrise typically occurs around 6:00 AM to 6:15 AM, and sunset happens between 7:45 PM and 8:00 PM at the beginning of the month. As August progresses, the days gradually shorten, but the difference is minimal over the course of the month.

Sunrise And Sunset On August 15

Washington DC’s sunrise and sunset times can vary throughout the year. On August 15, 2024, the sunrise is likely to occur at around 6:10 am, and the sunset is expected at approximately 8:00 pm. These times can change based on the exact location in Washington DC and may vary slightly from historic data.

Washington DC In August 2024: Events

August in Washington DC is vibrant and full of life, offering a variety of events and celebrations that cater to all interests.

The air around the White House and the National Mall buzzes with excitement, offering a unique blend of educational experiences and festive joy, especially poignant given the city’s historical significance and its connection to figures like George Washington.

Mubadala Citi DC Open: July 27 – Aug. 4

This is one of the best warm weather events in Washington DC. This annual event showcases some of the best tennis players in the world. It is held during the sweltering summer heat from July 27 to August 4. But, it is a great DC event for sports fans. The tournament is part of the professional tennis circuit, leading up to the US Open. This east coast tennis tournament is a crucial stop for players to gain points and fans to witness high-level tennis.

  • Cost: Ticket prices vary based on the match and seating choice
  • Location: Rock Creek Park Tennis Center, 16th & Kennedy Streets, NW, Washington, DC 20011
  • Website: citiopentennis.com

The Mubadala Citi DC Open is a great opportunity to enjoy world-class tennis while experiencing the vibrant community spirit of Washington DC in the summer. Beware that hotel prices during this event may be much higher than during other parts of the month or during a winter visit.


Dive into the world of innovation and creativity at the Spark!Lab. This is the perfect way for young minds to explore and invent. This event is hosted by the American History Museum. It is a great opportunity for children to engage in hands-on learning experiences that blend science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with art, history, and creativity.

  • Date: Saturdays in August
  • Time: 11 AM – 4 PM EDT
  • Location: American History Museum, Spark!Lab, First Floor, West Wing
  • Cost: Free
  • Age Range: 6 to 12 years

Maryland Renaissance Festival

The 2024 Maryland Renaissance Festival will held from August 26th through October 29. Here visitors can check out jousting tournaments, artisan demonstrations, food and drinks from the Renaissance period.

  • Cost: Adult tickets are $27 online or $30 at the gate, children ages 5-12 are $15.
  • Location: 1821 Crow, Crowns, MD 21032. The festival is located 30 minutes south of Baltimore.
  • Website: More information can found on their website at https://rennfestcom/, can also be purchased in advance online.

Library Of Congress National Book Festival

The 2024 Library of Congress National Book Festival is an annual event celebrates the joy of reading and the creativity of America’s writers and poets. It features author talks, book signings, panel discussions, and activities for readers of all ages.

  • When: Saturday, August 24, 2024 from 9:00 am – 8:00 pm
  • Where: Walter E. Washington Convention Center – East Salon ABC (Street Level, South Building) 801 Mount Vernon Place NW, Washington, DC 20001l

The festival will feature author discussions, panel conversations, other literary events showcasing children’s book authors and illustrators as authors of adult books. It is a popular annual event brings the literary community on the to share the joy of books.

Washington DC In August: Outdoor Activities

When exploring outdoor activities in the DC area in August, you may want to get up early and get the day started. One of the best things about doing this is that you will get cooler temperatures to explore outdoors and fewer crowds.

Picnic On The National Mall

The National Mall, with its sprawling lawns and panoramic views of iconic landmarks, is the best spot for a summer picnic. Visitors can bask in the sunshine or find a shady spot under a tree to enjoy a leisurely meal amidst the capital’s monumental backdrop. Given how hot it can get during this time of year, be sure to wear sunscreen and check the exact temperatures before planning this.

Water Activities On The Potomac River

The Potomac River offers a refreshing escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, with activities like kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding providing a fun and active way to explore the natural beauty of the area.

Enjoy A Night Tour Of The Monuments

Exploring Washington DC’s monuments under the starlit sky is a unique experience. The cooler evening temperatures provide a comfortable environment to admire the lit-up landmarks, such as the Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monument.

Night tours, whether by bus, bike, or on foot, have guides who can narrate about the nation’s history. This makes it a more captivating experience than trying to do it on your own. You also avoid a lot of the daytime crowds.

Check Out The Washington Nationals

Baseball, America’s favorite pastime, is in full swing in August. Be sure to watch a game at Nationals Park. The park, located in the heart of the city, not only offers exciting baseball action but also a chance to enjoy the summer weather in a lively stadium atmosphere.

Beyond watching the Washington Nationals play, the park’s surrounding area, including Yards Park, is a vibrant community hub. Here you can enjoy picnics, outdoor movies, and live music events. With its lush green spaces and picturesque waterfront views, it’s a prime spot for relaxation and entertainment after enjoying the thrill of the game.

Escape To Maryland’s Eastern Shore

Whether you want to head to Annapolis, the quaint town of St. Michael’s, the quiet Tilghman Island, or busy Ocean City, there are so many places you can go on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The beaches of the Chesapeake Bay may not be the Caribbean, but they are a great way to cool off and enjoy the summer with either a romantic partner or a group of friends.. There are also tons of things to do here for both kids and adults. From golf to swimming, the Eastern Shore has many activities in the summer for the entire family.

National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. It is one of the best free things to do for the whole family. The zoo is huge, and it is home to over 1,500 animals across 300 different species, many of which are rare and endangered. 

  • Cost: Free admission; parking and some special experiences may have a fee so check the website if you’re planning to drive
  • Location: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
  • Website: nationalzoo.si.edu

Visiting the National Zoo is a great opportunity to learn about wildlife conservation and the global efforts being made to protect endangered species. The zoo’s commitment to education and research makes it a vital institution for conservation science. 

​Take The Water Taxi To Alexandria

Taking the water taxi from Washington DC to Alexandria is a scenic and enjoyable way to travel between these two historic locations. The water taxi is a really fun experience for the whole family. On your way to and from Alexandria, you can see the sights along the Potomac River. The water taxi can also take you to National Harbor where you can ride the famous Capital Wheel.

  • Cost: Prices vary; check the website for current fares
  • Location: Departures from various locations in DC, including The Wharf, to Alexandria, VA
  • Website: potomacriverboatco.com

Once in Alexandria, you will enjoy all the local town’s retailers and boutique stores. Walk down charming King Street which is located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria. This area is known for its well-preserved 18th-century buildings, boutiques, restaurants, and waterfront parks. 

NovaWild Drive Through Safari

NovaWild Drive Through Safari offers a unique and thrilling adventure for wildlife enthusiasts and families looking for an exciting day out. Located in the heart of Virginia, this drive-through safari park allows visitors to experience the wonder of exotic and native animals from the comfort and safety of their own vehicles. As you navigate through the park’s trails, you’ll come face-to-face with a variety of animals, offering an up-close look at species you might not typically see in a traditional zoo setting.

  • Cost: Ticket prices vary; check the website for the most current pricing and any available discounts or packages.
  • Location: The specific location within Virginia can vary; please refer to their official website for the exact address and directions.
  • Website: Since NovaWild Drive Through Safari is a hypothetical or less commonly known attraction, I recommend checking online for the most accurate and up-to-date website link. If it’s a new or seasonal attraction, details might be found on local tourism websites or social media platforms for the most current information.

Visiting NovaWild Drive Through Safari is not just about seeing animals; it’s about immersing yourself in a unique experience that brings you closer to nature from the safety of your vehicle. It’s an ideal outing for those who love animals and are looking for a family-friendly activity that combines education with entertainment. Remember to respect the park’s rules to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all visitors and the well-being of the animals.

Shenandoah Valley

The Shenandoah Valley, nestled between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny Mountains, is a breathtaking region known for its picturesque landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. Stretching across Virginia and into West Virginia, the valley offers a serene escape into nature with its rolling hills, lush forests, and the famous Shenandoah River winding through it. It’s a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, with activities ranging from hiking and biking on the Shenandoah National Park’s scenic trails to exploring caverns and enjoying the local vineyards.

  • Cost: Free to explore the valley; fees for national parks, attractions, and accommodations vary
  • Location: Western Virginia, extending into West Virginia
  • Website: visitshenandoah.org

The Shenandoah Valley is not just about natural beauty; it’s also steeped in American history, with Civil War battlefields, historic towns, and museums that tell the story of its past. Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or a journey through history, the Shenandoah Valley offers an array of experiences that cater to all interests. From the stunning vistas of Skyline Drive to the peaceful ambiance of its small towns, the valley is a perfect destination for those seeking to explore the great outdoors and the rich tapestry of American heritage.

Washington DC In August: Indoor Activities

Some days in August the heat combined with the humidity make it impossible to be outdoors. When it is too hot to be outdoors, head indoors to the many museums and art centers that DC has to offer.

Union Market DC

Union Market DC is a bustling marketplace that brings together food, culture, and a sense of community. It’s a foodie’s paradise and many local restaurants will have smaller outposts here to showcase their best food. Beyond just eating, visitors can shop for unique gifts, attend cooking classes, and enjoy pop-up events.

If the heat is not too oppressive you can take your food upstairs to the Hi-Lawn. This rooftop space has lawn chairs, free concerts and space for kids to run around while you enjoy some good food. Remember to wear sunscreen this time of the year because shaded spaces on the Hi-Lawn are limited.

  • Cost: Free entry; costs vary by vendor
  • Location: 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002
  • Website: unionmarketdc.com

Union Market is a vibrant community hub for both locals and tourists. Whether you’re in the mood for a quick snack or a leisurely meal, you’ll find something to satisfy your cravings.

Kennedy Center

The Kennedy Center is a vibrant hub for the performing arts and live performances. From dance performances to comedy shows, there’s something for everyone. They even have a section for events that cater towards children and young adults. 

  • Cost: Varies by show; some free performances available
  • Location: 2700 F St NW, Washington, DC 20566
  • Website: kennedy-center.org

Library Of Congress

The Library of Congress is not just a library; it’s a treasure trove of knowledge, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps, and manuscripts. Visitors can explore its stunning architecture and exhibitions, making it a must-visit for book lovers and history buffs alike.

  • Cost: Free
  • Location: 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, DC 20540
  • Website: loc.gov

National Museum of African American History And Culture

This museum is a powerful tribute to African American history, culture, and community. It showcases artifacts, stories, and interactive exhibits that span centuries, offering a profound insight into the African American experience.

  • Cost: Free; timed-entry passes may be required
  • Location: 1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560
  • Website: nmaahc.si.edu

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum is a gateway to the wonders of aviation and space exploration. With iconic exhibits like the Wright brothers’ plane and the Apollo 11 command module, it’s a place where history and science take flight. If you get hungry, you will find many food trucks nearby to grab a bite. 

  • Cost: Free, but timed reservation entry required
  • Location: Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW, Washington, DC 20560
  • Website: airandspace.si.edu

Udvar-Hazy Center

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is an extension of the National Air and Space Museum, located near Dulles International Airport in Northern Virginia. It houses an impressive collection of aviation and space artifacts, including the Space Shuttle Discovery. It’s a great way to enjoy a day indoors with the whole family. 

  • Cost: Free; parking fees apply
  • Location: 14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, VA 20151
  • Website: airandspace.si.edu/visit/udvar-hazy-center

National Museum of Natural History

The National Museum of Natural History is a fascinating place where you can see dinosaur fossils, precious gems, and learn about the natural world. It’s like stepping into a treasure chest of Earth’s history. This museum is one of the top things to do in DC for families and children.

  • Cost: Free
  • Location: 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20560

National Gallery Of Art

The National Gallery of Art is a haven for art enthusiasts, featuring an extensive collection of European and American art. From Renaissance masterpieces to modern art, the gallery offers a deep dive into the world of visual arts. As many of the other attractions and museums in DC, this art gallery is also free for all visitors.

  • Cost: Free
  • Location: Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565
  • Website: nga.gov

Sculpture Garden At The National Gallery Of Art

The Sculpture Garden is an outdoor gallery in the heart of Washington DC, where you can enjoy art and nature together. It’s a peaceful spot to see amazing sculptures and take a break from the city hustle. It is a short walk from the Natural History Museum.

  • Cost: Free
  • Location: National Mall, 7th St and Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20408

National Archives

The National Archives is where America’s most important documents, like the Declaration of Independence and the Bill Of Rights, are kept. It’s like a treasure house of the country’s history. It is very close to both the Sculpture Garden and the National Museum Of Natural History. So you can easily take yourself on a self guided walking tour of these three museums.

  • Cost: Free
  • Location: 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20408

Artechouse DC

Artechouse brings art and technology together for an immersive experience. With interactive installations that blend art, science, and technology, visitors can engage with art in new and exciting ways.

  • Cost: Ticket price can vary so be sure to check the website. Most tickets are for timed entry.
  • Location: 1238 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024
  • Website: artechouse.com

Van Gogh Immersive Experience

This experience plunges visitors into the world of Vincent Van Gogh with stunning projections that cover walls and floors. It’s a unique way to experience the artist’s work, making you feel as though you’ve stepped inside his paintings.

Carnegie Library

The Carnegie Library at Mount Vernon Square is a historic building that now serves as a vibrant cultural space. It hosts events, exhibitions, and educational programs, making it a center for learning and community engagement.

  • Cost: Varies by event
  • Location: 801 K St NW, Washington, DC 20001
  • Website: apple.com (Note: The Carnegie Library is now an Apple Store, which hosts events and workshops.)

National Portrait Gallery

The National Portrait Gallery celebrates individuals who have shaped American history, culture, and identity through portraiture. From presidents to pop icons, the gallery offers a unique look at the people who have influenced the nation.

  • Cost: Free
  • Location: 8th and F Streets NW, Washington, DC 20001
  • Website: npg.si.edu

These destinations offer a range of experiences, from cultural enrichment to culinary delights, making Washington DC a great place to explore indoors during the hot month of August.

Washington DC In August: Summary

August in Washington DC is not just about braving the heat; it’s a great time to explore the vibrant life of the city despite the hot weather conditions. With average temperatures offering a warm embrace, the city comes alive with a top selection of August events. If you take advantage of the cooler low temperatures in the morning, it can be the perfect month to dive into the outdoor festivities. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, prepare to immerse yourself in the capital’s dynamic atmosphere.

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