#GWtoDo: Your Curated Arts and Events Agenda

Your guide to the party as the United States celebrates its 243rd birthday. Plus an immersive indoor lawn party at the National Building Museum, an exhibition of scrapped plans for D.C. landmarks and more.

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July 01, 2019

July 4 at 8 p.m. A Capitol Fourth

West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
First St., SE, between Constitution Ave. NE, and Independence Ave., SE
Free

Carole King, the Muppets and Vanessa Williams are among the performers set to appear at this traditional Independence Day concert, hosted this year by John Stamos. General admission gates open at 3 p.m. Food and drink are allowed (alcohol is not). The annual fireworks display, visible from much of the area, will begin after sunset.

 

 

 


Coming Up:

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From July 2 at 11 a.m. Best Laid Plans

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
701 21st St., NW
Free

Every landmark in Washington, D.C., has a story—but some never got off the page. This exhibition examines unrealized designs for the Washington Monument, Memorial Bridge and other structures through historical prints and paintings. “Best Laid Plans” also will revisit artist Peter Waddell’s panoramic landscapes contrasting D.C. as planner Pierre L’Enfant envisioned it in 1791 with the city’s actual development in 1825, the year of Mr. L’Enfant’s death.

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July 4 at 10 a.m. Independence Day at the National Archives

700 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Free

The home of the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights hosts this annual reading of the list of grievances against King George III (boo!) and the Declaration of Independence (huzzah!). Stick around afterward for activities in the Boeing Learning Center, including creating Colonial-style wigs, a scavenger hunt and the chance to put your own signature on the Declaration of Independence.

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From July 4 at 10 a.m. Lawn

National Building Museum
401 F St., NW
$10 to $16

The latest in the National Building Museum’s annual Summer Block Party series of interactive exhibitions recreates a green summer lawn, complete with crickets chirping, distant lawnmowers, refreshments and lawn games like croquet, bocce and dominoes. Interactive hammocks contain hidden speakers through which prominent American storytellers share their summertime memories, and an augmented reality game lets you chase and collect fireflies. Closes Sept. 2.

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July 4 at 11:05 a.m. Marlins at Nationals

Nationals Park
1500 S. Capitol St., SE
$16 to $420 (but please don’t pay $420)

Baseball fans—or just those of us who just like eating hot dogs outdoors—can take in America’s national pastime on America’s big day.

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July 4 at 11:45 a.m. National Independence Day Parade

Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th streets NW
Free

Dozens of marching bands, historical re-enactors, showy floats, giant balloons and more will take to the edge of the National Mall to celebrate America’s birthday. Pick up a folding chair and claim a spot early on the mile-long route.

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Closing July 15 at 5 p.m. Beaded Prayers Project

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
701 21st St., NW
Free

In cultures around the globe, people create amulets and other personal expressions of prayer. This interactive exhibition by artist Sonya Clark invites visitors to contribute their own beaded “prayer packets” to a community-driven art installation that celebrates diversity and unity. 

 


Save the Date:

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July 18 to 20 at 9 a.m. Apollo 50

National Mall
Between 4th and 7th streets, NW
Free

Join the National Air and Space Museum and NASA for this outdoor celebration of the first moon landing, featuring hands-on exhibits and activities, live music and speakers including Mythbusters’ Adam Savage, International Space Station astronauts and NASA scientists.

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July 27 at 1 p.m. Performance and Singalong: Songs of the Civil War

The George Washington University Museum and The Textile Museum
701 21st St., NW
$10 to $15, registration requested

Join an afternoon of Civil War-era songs performed by the Washington Revels Heritage Voices, and a singalong of familiar melodies. Plus, enjoy a tour of “Songs of the Civil War,” an exhibition featuring original sheet music from the era. The Civil War played an instrumental role in the development of an American national identity, inspiring songwriting on both sides of the conflict.

Events