This Memorial Day, why not honor the sacrifices of our servicemen and women by getting out and enjoying the freedoms they defended so bravely? From family friendly festivals in Vienna, Rockville, and Bluemont to the National Memorial Day Concert, the Rolling Thunder motorcycle run, and the Blue Angels, D.C. has everything you need to kick start your summer!
Attend the National Memorial Day Concert
This ginormous and star-studded production on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol will feature musical performances, documentary footage, and dramatic readings that honor our nation’s military servicemen and women. Held at US Capitol, East Capitol St NE & First St SE. Free. Gates open at 5 p.m. on Sun. All ages. Event details.
Learn About Indiana Jones, Archaeology, and Monster Fish
Check out props, models, art, and costumes from Indiana Jones™ films at the National Geographic Museum, and learn about historical and cultural facts from the movies. In case your little adventurers need some more excitement, they can check out the River Monsters exhibit while they’re there. Held at National Geographic Museum, 1145 17th Street, NW (17th and M). $15/adults, $10/kids, Free for 5 & under. Open Daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Ages 5 & up. Event details.
Watch the Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Run
Don’t mind the rumble and motor over to Rolling Thunder, a massive assembly of bikers and the bikes they love that lasts all weekend long. From a candlelight vigil on Friday night to a wreath-laying ceremony and a roaring, thunderous route that starts at the Pentagon and finishes at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, this is a sight worth seeing for kids of any age. Begins at Pentagon and finishes at Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Free. Run begins at 12 p.m. on Sun. Event details.
This is the big one, folks. Take your kids to the National Memorial Day Parade, which includes musical performers, celebrity veterans, and supporters of the military, and they won’t ever be satisfied with a small town parade again. Begins at Constitution Ave. and 7th St., NW and proceeds along Constitution Ave., past the White House, ending at 17th St. Free. Parade begins at 2 p.m., festivities begin at 1 p.m. on Mon. Event details.
See the Blue Angels at the USNA Airshow
In honor of the US Naval Academy graduates, the Blue Angels will be filling the skies over Annapolis and you’re invited to watch. Held at US Naval Academy, 121 Blake Rd. Air show on May 20 at 2 p.m.; Graduation flyover on May 22 at 10 a.m. All ages (but it is loud!). Event details.
Check Out the Strawberry Jubilee at Great Country Farms
Don’t miss this strawberry festival in Loudoun County, complete with live music, farm contests, and great food. The infamous Pie Eating Contest and Tart Toss will remind you of suppertime with toddlers, and you’ll feel right at home at the Diaper Derby (babies from 9 to 12 months crawl to the finish line to win prizes). Held at Great Country Farms, 18780 Foggy Bottom Rd. $10/ child, $12/ adult. Sat. and Sun. from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. All ages. Event details.
March On, Maryland!
Looking for a small town Memorial Day celebration? Head to Rockville for the annual Hometown Holidays festival. Featuring over 30 live music performances, a Memorial Day parade, Taste of Rockville and tons of kid’s activities, the fun starts on Saturday and lasts all through the weekend. Held at Rockville Town Square, 111 Maryland Ave. Free. Sat. through Mon. All ages. Event details.
Blast Boredom at Viva! Vienna
Head to the three-day community celebration in Vienna that features food, crafts, kindie music (think: Rocknoceros and the Banjo Man), and carnival rides. Held in Vienna, Va, 245 Maple Ave. W. Free. Sat. through Mon. beginning at 10 a.m. All ages. Event details.
See the US Marine Band and Fireworks Show
Kick off the summer season with “The President’s Own” United States Marine Band, who will be performing for free in Wolf Trap National Park. Held at Wolf Trap Filene Center, 1551 Trap Rd. Free. Sun. at 8 p.m., but get there early because the park closes at capacity. All ages. Event details.
What’s on your Memorial Day Weekend bucket list? Tell us in the comments section below!
Photo: The U.S. Army