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Washington, DC Events

Black History Month

This month-long series of events recognises and pays tribute to the contributions made by African Americans to the United States. Many of the city’s museums and institutions, such as the Smithsonian, Anacostia Community Museum and National Archives, hold talks, workshops and events, while bars and live music venues get into the celebratory mood as well.

Date: 01 February 2019 - 28 February 2019
Venue: Throughout Washington, DC.

Varies between events.

St Patrick's Day Parade

First held in 1971, this impressive parade celebrates the city's Irish community each March. Expect marching and pipe bands, army personnel, police and fire departments as well as floats, novelty groups and plenty of green.

Date: 10 March 2019 - 10 March 2019
Venue: Constitution Avenue


National Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week event that celebrates springtime in Washington, DC. It also commemorates the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees by Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo and symbolizes the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The festival includes a spectacular parade with carnival floats and marching bands.

Date: 20 March 2019 - 14 April 2019
Venue: Constitution Avenue

Prices vary between events, but many are free.

White House Easter Egg Roll

These annual Easter celebrations include live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. It’s hosted by the President and First Lady on the White House lawn.

Date: 22 April 2019 - 22 April 2019
Venue: White House lawn.

By invitation only.

Filmfest DC - Washington International Film Festival

Prepare to be amused, provoked and inspired by extraordinary new films from some of the world’s most talented and innovative filmmakers. Filmfest DC delivers an exceptional entertainment experience across several cinemas, theatres and hand-picked venues.

Date: 25 April 2019 - 05 May 2019
Venue: Various venues

National Barbecue Battle

Free food samples, cooking demonstrations and competition between local and national BBQ restaurants make the National Barbecue Battle a one-of-a-kind affair. Apart from food, expect live music as musicians perform rock, reggae, jazz, blues, and R&B.

Date: 23 June 2019 - 23 June 2019
Venue: Pennsylvania Avenue.

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

A celebration of contemporary traditions, this festival on the National Mall includes a varied programme of music, song, dance, craft, cooking demonstrations, storytelling and narrative sessions from around the world. The goal of this annual festival is to preserve world cultures.

Date: 26 June 2019 - 07 July 2019
Venue: National Mall


Independence Day

Day-long concerts and activities, including the National Independence Day Parade, take place across the city but centre around the Washington Monument. Celebrations culminate in a large fireworks display.

Date: 04 July 2019 - 04 July 2019
Venue: National Mall.

Varies between events.

Adams Morgan Day

This community street festivals takes place annually and is a fiesta of live music, international food, cultural demonstrations and dances. It’s free, family friendly and all done before the sun sets.

Date: 08 September 2019 - 08 September 2019
Venue: 18th Street NW between Florida Avenue and Columbia Road and at Marie Reed Elementary.


National Christmas Tree Lighting

Each year, the President of the United States turns on the lights of the giant National Christmas Tree, which is erected near the White House in Washington, DC. The lighting of the tree marks the start of Pageant of Peace, a month-long series of festive events around the tree.

Date: 01 December 2019 - 31 December 2019
(Date to be confirmed)
Venue: The Ellipse, President's Park South.

No, but tickets are given out through an online lottery

Featured Hotels


Hotel Tabard Inn

Located on a tree-lined side street in the Dupont Circle neighbourhood, this is the small hotel that residents recommend to their friends. As it was constructed from three Federal-style row houses, no two rooms are exactly the same, but each is filled with unique antiques and has Wi-Fi access throughout. Some rooms have a shared bathroom. Victorian sitting areas in the lounge are quite cosy and feature live jazz on Sunday night. The hotel's downstairs dining room, a popular lunch spot for both guests and non-guests, features American cuisine. The restaurant's brick-walled garden is one of the most pleasant places to pass an afternoon in Washington, DC. Price includes continental breakfast.

Hotel Helix

If funk is your thing, you'll love this Kimpton boutique hotel where pop art meets Hollywood. The guestrooms are decorated in eye-popping patterns, bright red, green and blue colours, and underscored with rounded mirrors and large pillows. Twelve of the rooms are themed including the cool Zone rooms, fun family Bunk rooms and Italian-inspired Eats rooms. The lighting system changes from blue to gold in the hotel's bar/café, Helix Lounge, and the outdoor patio is popular with locals. Located in the Logan Circle neighbourhood, Hotel Helix is more appealing to young hipsters rather than sedate business people.

The William Lewis House

A home from home, this welcoming bed and breakfast has all the trinkets and touches of grandma's place with patterned rugs, plump sofas and candles and doilies above the fireplace. Actually taking up two Edwardian townhouses, The William Lewis House has 10 individually decorated rooms, scattered with antiques and family heirlooms, plus free Wi-Fi. What's more, the owners host happy hours with wine and hot chocolate. Gay friendly.

Washington Plaza Hotel

Under the watchful eye of architect Morris Lapidus, the Washington Plaza sprung up in 1962, placing a resort-like hotel in the middle of a city. Right next to the Smithsonian museums, the location is superb, while its glorious swimming pool, 340 well turned out rooms and recently renovated fitness suite are all as good as any modern contemporaries.

Normandy Hotel

Located on an elegant street with embassies as neighbours, and within walking distance of bars, restaurants, shops and the Dupont Circle Metro, this small hotel is a real find. Extensively renovated in 2009, the 75 rooms are decorated in black and white highlighted with fabrics in warm colours. The lobby and rooms have complimentary Wi-Fi internet access and although there is no restaurant, afternoon tea and coffee is served to guests and there is a free wine and cheese reception some evenings.

Mandarin Oriental Washington, DC

The award-winning Oriental is one of the most popular hotels in Washington, DC. Touches of Feng Shui have made its huge guest rooms calming - in fact, you may not want to leave them. All have Chinese marble bathrooms, silk bed tapestries, flatscreen TVs, high-speed internet access and smashing views of city monuments or the Potomac Tidal Basin. The hotel also has a state-of-the-art spa plus two restaurants - the Asian-inspired, award-winning Cafe MoZU and the Sou'Wester, serving regional American cuisine. For lighter fare or cocktails try the Empress Lounge.