What to do in June in Washington, D.C.
Wendy Kedzierski
May 13, 2021 — Read in 5 mins

Things to do
in D.C. this June.

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Washington, D.C. buzzes with year-round activity. For those who live in or near our nation’s capital, the endless entertainment can be overwhelming. Here’s a narrowed-down list of June fun focusing on some major anniversaries!

Keep in mind that the city — like the rest of the country — is just beginning to reopen. Many venues are still strictly virtual or have limited hours and require advanced reservations. Click here to find out the latest COVID-related openings, reopenings, closings and cancelations in Washington, D.C.

The following Smithsonian museums recently opened with added health and safety measures in place and reservations needed for free timed-entry passes:

  • Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
  • National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Smithsonian American Art Museum and its Renwick Gallery
  • National Museum of American History
  • National Museum of the American Indian (Washington, D.C., location)
  • National Zoo

The Smithsonian Institution celebrates 175 Years of education and entertainment!

Founded in 1846, The Smithsonian is the world’s largest museum complex with 19 museums and the National Zoo. While COVID temporarily closed most museums and the zoo, they are gradually reopening but are requiring free timed-entry passes.

What a variety of exhibitions!

Looking for at-home Smithsonian programming? Here are just a few of their MANY streaming webcasts and workshops:

More than a Loop: From Start to Finish Like Missy Elliot

June broadcasts begin Tuesday, June 1 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. 

Stories from the American Songbook

June broadcasts begin Wednesday, June 2 from 12 to 1:15 p.m.

What Can “Downton Abbey” Teach Us About British History?

June broadcasts begin Wednesday, June 2 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. 

Photo 101: Apertures, Shutter Speeds and Exposure Modes

June broadcasts begin Wednesday, June 2 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. 

The Phillips Collection’s Centennial Celebration

Located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood, The Phillips Collection is America’s first museum of modern art. Founded in 1921, The Phillips now has a growing collection of nearly 6,000 works. 

Recognizing the healing power of art, founder Duncan Phillips sought to share his “living” collection in a welcoming space and to inspire others to find beauty in the artist’s unique way of seeing the world. Building on this principle, Seeing Differently: The Phillips Collects for a New Century commemorates the museum’s centennial and launches its next vibrant chapter. Parts of Seeing Differently will close starting June 3 in preparation for our summer exhibitions Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle and Inside Outside, Upside Down.

DC Public Libraries Mark their 125th Anniversary

Visit the renovated Martin Luther King, Jr. Library — DC’s central library recently debuted its $211 million renovation. With a dazzling new entryway, freshly designed research space, a rooftop event space and reading terrace, and a ground level café with a patio and a state-of-the-art auditorium, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library offers lectures, conversation circles, performances and more.

The Kennedy Center Turns 50

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a vibrant cultural hub that connects artists with audiences in person and in home communities. Although COVID-19 has curbed much programming, online culture is still available. This 50th anniversary year still offers new programming as visitors clamber to reconnect with each other and enjoy the arts. Here’s what’s happening in June.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts 

The only museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts, the NMWA includes collections, exhibitions, programs and online content.

The museum’s Julie Chen: True to Life exhibit includes more than a dozen captivating works — small sculptures of handmade papers and other materials, marrying text and complex structures to convey Chen’s contemplations. This exhibit lasts through the end of June.

RECLAMATION: Recipes, Remedies, and Rituals opens a year-long season of programming that examines the relationship between food, art and women as part of the Women, Arts, and Social Change initiative at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Mary Ellen Mark: Girlhood highlights some of the artist’s best-known series and offers viewers an intriguing glimpse into the artist’s wondrous and uncanny vision of girlhood through modern photography.

The International Spy Museum

“We’ve missed you and can’t wait for you to spy on us again!” What fun! At this museum, you can go undercover and test your spy skills on a mission as you travel through the permanent exhibitions. Your performance is tracked and you receive a debrief upon conclusion. Virtual workshops for kids include Spy School 101, Mind Games: Intelligence Analysis, Forensics in Espionage and more. 

Don’t Forget DC’s Great Outdoors!

Washington is also filled with great free outdoor activities — that aren’t closed due to COVID! 

Rock Creek Park

Founded in 1890 by the U.S. Congress, Rock Creek Park is 1,700 acres of hardwood trees, asphalt trails, a brook and rocky outcrops. What else? A planetarium, a 19th century gristmill, equestrian trails, a tennis center and a golf course!

C & O Canal Towpath

You can hike and bike the banks of the Potomac River from Georgetown to Cumberland, Md. for a total of 184.5 miles!

Roosevelt Island

Once called Mason’s Island, in the 1930s landscape architects transformed overgrown farmland into a living memorial to Theodore Roosevelt. You can join a park ranger to explore the miles of trails and swamps honor the legacy of the outdoorsman and conservationist. 

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