There are so many Fourth of July activities and events happening in DC, you can find something for everyone in the family to enjoy. There will be a number of road closures and parking will be challenging, so it is best to take the Metro. Be sure to check out access information from the National Park Service before you head out.

  1. Take a trip over to the National Archives for a day filled with history. Check out their website for all the details.
    • 10am – 11am –  Keynote speech by Doug Williams, Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by costumed interpreters (Location – front steps), live performances of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful
    • 11am – 11:45am – Live music performance by The Experience Band and Show. (Location – front steps) Stay after the performance and have a front row seat for the parade!
    • 10am – 4pm – head inside the National Archives for lots of family activities including signing the Declaration of Independence, Declaring Independence Scavenger Hunt, photo op with Abigail and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Ned Hector, John Hancock, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington, and more!
  2. The Sylvan Theater Family Activity Center located on the southeast grounds of the Washington Monument will have activities about the monument’s history, a scavenger hunt, and an opportunity to earn a special Junior Ranger badge!
  3. Smithsonian Folklife Festival takes place from 11am until 9:30pm on the National Mall between 12th and 14th streets in front of the National Museum of American History. It highlights the culture of the Ozarks.
  4. The Washington Nationals take on the Cincinnati Reds at 11:05am. There will be an American flag sunglasses giveaway and fans 21 and over can get a free beer when using mobile ordering promo code CHEERS. Get your tickets here!
  5. America’s National Independence Day Parade starts at 11:45am and features marching bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams and more. It runs along Constitution Avenue from 7th St. to 17th St. 
  6. Enjoy free live music performances at the Capitol Fourth concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building. Performances by Chicago, Boyz II Men, Belinda Carlisle, Babyface, Renee Fleming, Maddie & Tae, Charles Esten, the National Symphony Orchestra, and many more. Music starts at 8pm. Get more information here.
  7. Watch a fantastic fireworks display that will be launched from both sides of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. Fireworks will start at 9:09pm. 


  1. The National Mall – This is the most popular viewing location with attendees staking out spots near the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial and an array of other locales across DC’s most scenic space. Give yourself plenty of time to find a spot and familiarize yourself with public access entry points, road closures, prohibited items and other tips from the National Park Service.
  2. Iwo Jima Memorial – The memorial provides a beautiful backdrop for the fireworks display and saves you the hassle of crossing the river into DC.
  3. Potomac River Sightseeing Cruise – Check out the family friendly options offered by Embark DC Boat Tours, City Cruises and Sea Suite Cruises.
  4. Rooftop Bar – DC offers a number of rooftop bars sure to provide dazzling views of the fireworks. There are tons of great options to choose from: Top of the Gate, Smoke and Mirrors, 12 Stories, La Vie, Whiskey Charlie, El Techo, Upstairs at the Morrow, Perry’s, Officina, SUMMIT Rooftop, Lucha Rosa, 801 Restaurant and Bar, Roofers Union, and more!
  5. Mount Vernon Trail – Rent a bike from one of the bikeshare providers near the Pentagon and then head up the trail for some magnificent views!
  6. U.S. Supreme Court Building on Capitol Hill – The oval plaza is spacious and offers unobstructed views of the fireworks.
  7. Hains Point – The park offers several places with picnic tables and benches perfect for watching the show.
  8. Washington National Cathedral – This is one of the highest points in DC and the grassy slope offers the perfect vantage point to see the fireworks.
  9. Lady Bird Johnson Park – This island park in the Potomac just off of the George Washington Parkway offers amazing views of the fireworks display.
  10. U.S. Air Force Memorial – This location near Arlington National Cemetery provides a great viewing spot.