Interning in DC? Hungry? Short on funds? This post is for you.
There are a lot of upsides to a summer internship in Washington, D.C.: you can meet interesting people from across the country, delve into real-world projects, and enjoy being *relatively* carefree. But all summer interns are united by one common hardship: We’re broke.
To help out, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of fun, FREE activities in and around the D.C. area. From educational and cultural activities to outdoor workouts, here’s the top ten free activities to do this summer in D.C.:
- Free The Facts Summer Event Series
- Outdoor Movies at Georgetown Waterfront
- Free workouts
- Temporary Exhibits
- Friday Night Concert Series
- Great Falls Park
- National Mall Museums
- Free Dance Lessons
- Neighborhoods exploration (Shaw, Adams Morgan, U street)
- Underground Comedy
1) Free the Facts Events!
Looking for some free food with a side of politics and public policy? Our organization is a great place to start. Every Tuesday and Wednesday evening Free the Facts hosts an event at The Loft at 600 F, which is right in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown neighborhood and Metro accessible.
With free dinner (Chipotle! Pizza!) and programs ranging from trivia nights to policy presentations and guest speakers, Free the Facts’s summer event series is the ideal end to a long work day. Make sure to get on our mailing list, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, and RSVP to join us.
2) Outdoor Movies at the Georgetown Waterfront
Bring your casual Netflix night outdoors with Georgetown’s Annual Sunset Cinema outdoor movie series! You just can’t beat free Tuesday night movie screenings plus a dazzling view of the Potomac River.
The films start at sunset (around 8:30-8:45 p.m.), but make sure to arrive early with a blanket to set up for the perfect movie night. This year’s theme is “Movies That Rock”. Think “iconic movies with a musical storyline” like Dirty Dancing, Dreamgirls, and Grease.
3) Tri-Fit Workout Classes
Need some workout motivation? Trifit offers fun, fresh air, and most importantly, free workout classes each week. From 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Farragut Square, join fellow exercise enthusiasts for Yoga Tuesdays, Barre Wednesdays, or Pilates Thursdays. All you have to do is register online via Eventbrite and bring a mat to join in on the summertime fitness fun!
4) Temporary Exhibits
Most museums in D.C. are already free, but be sure to keep an eye out for the unique temporary exhibits within them. These niche displays last anywhere from a couple months to a year. Notable exhibits right now include No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man, One Year: 1968, An American Odyssey, and Sense of Humor.
5) Yards Park Friday Night Concert Series
Whether you’re a music lover or simply looking for ways to jazz up your Friday nights, the Yards Park Concert Series is a D.C. must. Visit the recently revitalized Capitol Riverfront to enjoy live music, stunning views, food and beverages, and good company! Each band has a unique sound and genre speciality- from Reggae to Bluegrass, so be sure to check out the extensive lineup to pick your must-see bands!
6) Great Falls Park
This one is my pick for the perfect day trip.
Great Falls Park, just 30 minutes outside of D.C., is home to 15 miles of hiking trails for all experience levels, kayaking, guided tours, and an abundance of wildlife. But the 800-acre park’s biggest draw is the falls themselves. Before the summer is over, make sure to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Potomac River as it rushes through the narrow and rocky Mather Gorge.
7) National Museums
I know, I know. It’s so obvious, but seriously, when was the last time you visited a D.C. museum? That class bus trip to the nation’s capital in eighth grade? Then consider spending a day revisiting the Smithsonian Museums located in D.C. Whether you’re a history fanatic, science lover, art enthusiast, or just adore animals, the Smithsonian’s 17 museums have something free for everyone.
8) Dance Lessons at Cafe Citron
Spice up your evenings with Salsa (or Bachata)! Cafe Citron, a restaurant/dance club located across from Dupont Circle, offers a full evening of Latin American celebration. Start the night with authentic Latin American food, head into happy hour, and conclude with the dance lesson you always dreamed of taking! Free dance classes are offered every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday nights at different times. Check out the schedule here to plan your visit.
9) Neighborhood Exploration
Throw on your walking shoes and take on the neighborhoods of D.C. The city is home to several eclectic, historic, and culturally rich areas like Shaw, Adams Morgan, and U Street. These lively neighborhoods are filled with “foodie” restaurants, concert halls, colorful public art, vintage shops, and unique historic sites. Take the opportunity to experience D.C.’s vibrant culture through the eyes of a local!
10) Laugh for Free
Underground Comedy, located in the basement of The Big Hunt (a rustic beer bar just off of Dupont Circle), hosts eight comedy shows a week. Their shows feature some of D.C.’s best and rising comedians. Though the shows at peak times include a $20 cover fee, performances on Wednesday, Thursday, and late Friday and Saturday nights are free of charge.
What could be better than having fun with friends while enjoying late-night comedy? Doing that without spending any money.
– Kate Costanza, FTF Summer 2018 Intern