Ways to have fun under the D.C. sun


Photo courtesy Lindsey McNey

Sophomore Kelly Ren and friends explore D.C. with an electric scooter.

With summer around the corner and people itching to break away from their unfavorable and repetitive routines, the city not so far from home has plenty to offer. Washington, D.C., is a hotspot for tourists and locals, but is sometimes underappreciated by people who reside just a drive away. Despite the traffic, the ride to D.C. is worth the abundance of activities it has to offer. 

If you’re interested in athletics, there are suitable options for you. You can check out the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on the Capitol Riverfront for a pleasurable sporting event. Not only can you observe sports, but D.C. offers athletics you can participate in. If you’re simply touring the city, you can do so through biking or scootering with the easy-to-rent wheels that are spread out around the city’s center. Another popular option is visiting D.C. ‘s waterfronts, the Potomac and the Anacostia rivers, to paddleboard alongside the bustling waterfront restaurants, or a more serene natural route. You can also explore a new perspective of the famous monuments such as the Jefferson Memorial if you visit them via kayak or canoe. It gives you the opportunity to tour the city on your own or accompanied by a tour guide while getting a good workout. “Last summer I went paddleboarding at the Wharf in D.C., and being on the water kept my friends and I cool from the heat,” sophomore Kelly Ren said. 

If the sound of exercising in the heat isn’t appealing to you, there are a variety of less-physical activities the city holds. One of the most notable aspects of the city is the collection of museums. You can visit numerous free museums that cover a wide range of interests including the most recently built  National Museum of African American History and Culture,  The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, The International Spy Museum, The National Gallery of Art, and dozens more. “I’ve been wanting to visit the new African American History Museum but I haven’t had the time. I’m definitely going to plan a date to go once school is over,” junior Micheal Li said. 

Similarly, the historical and tourist-attracting monuments are cliché, but never disappoint. A visit to the White House, or the Lincoln Memorial can provide for great pictures and memories. To better the experience, visit on the Fourth of July for a patriotic celebration including a display of fireworks in America’s capital. 

For a more artsy approach, participate in the endless festivals that take place throughout the summer. Possible examples are the Smithsonian FolkLife Festival on June 22, the Outlaw Music Festival on Sept. 17, and the National Book Festival on Sept. 3. The Shakespeare Theater Company holds an annual “Free for All” series where you can get free tickets for classic and well-acted plays. “I loved our school play and I’d enjoy seeing a professional play in my free time this summer,” sophomore Holden O’Brien said.

Lastly, more laid-back pastimes include catching a movie with friends, relaxing on a rooftop restaurant, or striding through the botanical gardens. Summertime and movies go hand in hand, and luckily there are multiple outdoor screenings to look into throughout the summer. There are hundreds of dining options, but especially enjoyable restaurants would be rooftop restaurants or outdoor patios perfect for a summer evening. 

Overall, the best advice would be to take advantage of the eventful city right near home. There are limitless activities to participate in which guarantee a memorable summer day.