9 Outdoor Festivals to Kickstart Summer
Catch craft beer, food trucks, blues artists, a 'dad band' and a pride pageant at these street parties.
This post will be continually updated.
It’s beautiful out. Get some fresh air and find your groove at these outdoor festivals promising live entertainment, food trucks and plenty of fun for the kiddos. Here are several all-day parties to add to your datebook.
Play rooftop putt putt and rock out at this weekend bash at Capital One Center’s skypark, The Perch. Highlights include inflatable lawn games and kid’s activities; food from Stellina Pizzeria, Ox & Rye and Sisters Thai; and performances from bands such as The Dad Guys and Pebble to Pearl. Proceeds benefit Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. // The Perch, Capital One Center, 1805 Capitol One Drive, Tysons. Free admission.
Head to McLean on May 20 for this annual, 108-year-old blowout that typically brings in some 10,000 visitors. The attractions include live entertainment, balloon animals, a petting zoo, a rock-climbing wall, superhero sightings, carnival rides and food trucks. (Can’t wait to ride the rides? Stop by a day early and get the chance to spin and whirl from 2-10 p.m.) // Lewinsville Park, 1659 Chain Bridge Road, McLean. Free admission. Rides are ticketed.
Falls Church Memorial Day Parade and Festival
May 29, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
This fest in the heart of Falls Church starts with a 3K fun run (no registration required) and continues with tunes from “beach bar band” The Coozies, amusement rides and more. From 10 a.m.-2 p.m., catch a tour of Cherry Hill Farmhouse. At 11 a.m., gather for a Memorial Day ceremony hosted by the Greater Falls Church Veterans Council, followed by a performance from the Falls Church Concert Band at 12:30 p.m. and a parade at 2 p.m. led by grand marshal Rebecca Tax, co-owner of Clare and Don’s and Lazy Mike’s. // City Hall, 300 Park Ave., Falls Church. Free admission.
2023 Quarterfest Crawl
June 3, Noon-7 p.m.
Head to Ballston for this fourth annual Quarterfest Crawl, featuring food and drink samples and other specials from 25-plus neighborhood restaurants. Catch performances from an array of local artists in pop-up concerts at Ballston Local, Bronson Bierhall, The Filling Station, Quincy Hall, SER and The Salt Line. And wrap up the day at the Quarterfest Afterparty at Whino. // Locations vary. Free admission.
DMV Summer Kickoff Music Festival
June 4, 2-8 p.m.
Hosted by Asia of Majic 102.3, this Tysons party is all about the music. Get into the groove with tunes from go-go-infused R&B cover outfit DC Vybe, “feel good music” band Secret Society, reggae ensemble Shamans of Sound and more. While bopping, check out wares from local makers and grab snacks, sangria and spirits from food and drink vendors. // Lerner Town Square at Tyson II, 8025 Galleria Drive, Tysons. Tickets $40+.
Tinner Hill Music Festival
June 10 | 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
The annual Falls Church party returns with a jam-packed day of music and fun for all ages. Catch live sets from Dumpstaphunk and Joe Louis Walker, plus food and drink from Badd Pizza, Clare and Don’s Beach Shack, Settle Down Easy, Audacious Aleworks and other tasty vendors. The festival setup will also include a series of “villages” devoted to Tinner Hill heritage, kids’ activities (including face painting and a puppy-petting party), the relaxation (think hammocks and yoga) and more. // Cherry Hill Park, 312 Park Ave., Falls Church. $10-$55 admission. Free for children under 12.
Portside in Old Town Summer Festival
Spend the weekend by the water in Alexandria with this two-day blowout. On Friday night, catch the ALX Jazz Fest featuring music from the Joe Baione Quintet, Michael Hawkins and the Brotherhood, and Sharón Clark, interspersed with poetry readings. On Saturday, several local bands take the stage, including Latin outfit Hermanos Galvan y Orquesta and indie soul group Oh He Dead. During both days of the festival, enjoy sips from Port City Brewing Co. and bites from local eateries, as well as kid’s activities, interactive art projects, history lessons and chocolate-making demonstrations (yes, you read that right). // Waterfront Park, 1A Prince St., Alexandria. Free admission.
Columbia Pike Blues Festival
June 17 | 1-8:30 p.m.
Vocalist and guitarist Judith Hill—who appeared in the award-winning documentary 20 Feet from Stardom—headlines this 26th annual fest featuring local eateries, craft beer, a “kid zone,” a visit from the Arlington Art Truck, a slew of local vendors and more. The musical lineup also includes a full roster of blues, R&B and funk performers, including husband-and-wife duo Annika Chambers & Paul DesLauriers, Arlington’s own Bobby Thompson, Baltimore’s Gayle Harrod Band, and acoustic DC-duo Spice Cake Blues. // South Walter Reed Drive from Columbia Pike to 9th Street S. Free admission.
Arlington Pride Weekend
Just one year after the inaugural Arlington Pride Festival, the party is getting triple-sized with three days of festivities. On Friday, June 23, attend the first Miss Arlington Pride Pageant, spotlighting the best in local drag entertainment. Follow it up with the official Arlington Pride festival and after-party on Saturday, and an Arlington Pride drag brunch on Sunday. More details to come. // Multiple locations. Free admission to festival and after-party. $20-$160 for pageant tickets.