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Top 10 Summer Events for Kids in the Washington, DC Area

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The Washington, DC area is bustling with activity in the summer. What are the best events to take kids? Here are my suggestions of the best annual summer events for children and families in the Washington, DC area. (In Chronological Order)

1. Memorial Day Parade

The National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC is a flag-waving event with patriotic marches and floats. Kids love the energy of the participants and the importance of the annual tradition of remembrance for those who have died serving our country. (May)

2. Free Outdoor Movies

Watching movies on a large screen outdoors has become a popular summer activity. There are several outdoor movie festivals in the Washington, DC area. Most of the movies are free and offer a great opportunity for families to enjoy some time together under the stars. (May-August)

3. Celebrate Fairfax

Northern Virginia's largest annual community-wide celebration features live entertainment including a variety of music, children's activities, a community market place, a laser show and fireworks. (June)

4. Imagination Bethesda

The children's street festival celebrates children and the arts, including musical performances, dance troupes, roving entertainment and hands-on art & craft activities. The free event in downtown Bethesda features face painters, costume characters, balloonists, jugglers and more. (June)

5. Childrens Theater in the Woods

Special family-friendly performances are held throughout the summer at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts. Music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and plays are geared towards school aged children. National Park Service Park Rangers lead nature walks after the performances. (June-August)

6. DC Caribbean Carnival

The DC Caribbean Carnival includes fun for the whole family with an annual Caribbean style parade, an international marketplace, live performances from local and international artists, food, crafts and entertainment. (June)

7. Fourth of July Celebrations

Kids love to celebrate the 4th of July! America's birthday is a great day to spend with family, whether you attend a parade, an all day festival or a fireworks display in the city or the suburbs. There are plenty of options in the Washington, DC area.

8. Strathmore Backyard Theater

Strathmore's Backyard Theater provides innovative performances for children every Thursday morning in July at 9:30 & 11:30 a.m. The Music Center at Strathmore, a 1,976-seat concert hall and education complex is located at 10701 Rockville Pike (Route 355), in North Bethesda, MD, immediately adjacent to the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station. (July)

9. County Fairs in Maryland and Virginia

There's something special about a good old-fashioned county fair. Kids love the carnival rides, live animal shows, musical entertainment, arts and craft exhibits, and child-friendly food. Each county fair has its own specialty, so check out the scheduled events before you go. (July-September)

10. Maryland Renaissance Festival

The festival recreates a 16th century English village with crafts, food, live performances on 8 stages, a jousting arena and lots of games. See a fire-eater, watch jousting in full armor, marvel at jugglers and magicians, and listen to music and much more. (August-October)

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