There is always tons to do in the DC area, but visiting the area during the Fourth of July holiday adds to the list. So, besides the museums, monuments, and additional historic places to explore here are five things that you need to check out in the DC area on the Fourth of July.
Watch A Capitol Fourth in Person
You can watch this free concert on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. This year’s host is John Stamos and he will be joined by a number of other stars to perform to celebrate America’s birthday. The concert starts at 8 pm and is followed by fireworks over the Washington Monument. There are strict security protocols and gates open at 3 pm, so leave yourself plenty of time to get there early. You can bring food and drinks with you, but alcohol is prohibited. If crowds concern you, try the dress rehearsal on the third of July.
View Fireworks at the National Mall
The best place to view the fireworks in DC is between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It will also be the most crowded option. When you pick your seat, check for trees and other things that might obstruct your view. Sometimes being too close to the Washington Monument is actually not the best place to see everything. If you are going to deal with the crowds, make sure you pick the right spot. And don’t forget that to get a seat for fireworks, you need to plan to arrive at least two hours before the event. The fireworks normally start just after 9 PM after A Capitol Fourth ends. There are plenty of other spots to view fireworks outside the Capitol so keep reading for more places to view the fireworks.
Watch the National Independence Parade
A great way to celebrate the nation’s birthday is with a parade. The National Independence Parade will hit the spot. The route of the parade is one mile, beginning at 7th and Madison Drive and wraps its ways through DC ending at Constitution Ave NW and 17th St NW. Parade organizers recommend you head toward the end of the parade route at 17th St NW where it is often less crowded and easier to see the parade. The parade starts at 11:45 and runs until 2. There is limited parking and lots of traffic so it is best to use public transportation.
Catch a Baseball Game
What’s more American than spending a day at a baseball stadium watching your favorite team? This year the Miami Marlins will be playing against the Washington Nationals at National Park at 11:05 AM. The Nationals Baseball Park is located on the Anacostia River in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington DC.
Visit Mount Vernon
So technically the evening fireworks at Mount Vernon happen before the Fourth, but now you have another activity to keep you busy while you are in DC. On June 28th and 29th you can start your Independence Day celebration early by enjoying an evening of patriotic music and fireworks. The concert/fireworks run from 6 pm to 9:30p m. A special event ticket is required for this event.
But there is also an event at Mount Vernon during the day on the 4th where you can see fireworks. The Mount Vernon Matinee Fireworks allows you to watch dazzling made-for-daytime fireworks shoot off over the Potomac River and listen to the roar of the cannon fire while viewing special military re-enactments throughout the day. There is no additional cost for this event, but an admission ticket is required to enter Mount Vernon. This may be a great option for those with smaller children who don’t want to be out super late.
What event are you most looking forward to celebrating on the Fourth of July?
Written by: Amanda Huffman