There is a D.C. saying that the city runs on free labor (75 percent of internships are unpaid) so this guide is for fabulously free things to do after punching your card at your summer internship.
Whether you’re working for your congressman, making connections at a tech startup or saving the world interning with a NGO, these activities will allow you to mingle with the thousands of interns that descend on D.C. during the summer (without spending a dime).
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
For a more cultured freebie, head down to the Hirshhorn, one of the most modern museums along the National Mall with pieces from the most renown new names in modern art. One of the newest rotating exhibitions includes noted Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s monumental outdoor work “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads,” which has recently been drawing crowds in cities around the world from New York and Los Angeles to London and Taipei.
Folklife Festival - June 27-July 1 And July 4-8
A D.C. summer festival favorite, the Folklife Festival celebrates traditions old and new from the United States and around the world. This year’s themes include the anniversary of the creation of a deep partnership between land-grant universities and the Department of Agriculture, the 25th anniversary of the AIDS Memorial Quilt and the celebration of Anacostia’s rich Southern history and ties. There will be concerts, performances and activities for all ages and all for free.
Sample your Farmer’s Market - Sundays, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Dupont Circle, this is the peak season of the farmer’s market; there are more than 40 farmers offering fruits and vegetables, meat, cheeses and breads (with plenty of samples to pick from). Strike up a conversation with a local farmer about your favorite cheese pairings or the upcoming Farm Bill and the impact on local farmers. Get some culinary inspiration (and some snacking) for free.
Salsa in the Summer
Spice up your long summer nights and dance your way to Café Citron in Dupont Circle. On Wednesday nights free salsa lessons are offered from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. It’s a great way to meet other young D.C. dancers and pick up a new skill too.
Screen on the Green - Every Monday beginning at dusk (8:30p.m.-9:30p.m.) through July and August
Hundreds of D.C. residents turn the National Mall into a giant movie party complete with picnics and beach chairs (and of course, tons of popcorn). Sponsored by HBO, get ready to catch up on some classics (last year’s selections included “Cool Hand Luke” and “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”). Bring a blanket, grab friends and get there early for prime front row seats.