It's summer in D.C., so that means outdoors, short sleeves, flip flops, dresses and awesome events involving dogs and medieval armor, of course!
To help narrow down the list of ways to enjoy yourself, we've put together a list of the five of the coolest events going on this summer in and around the District.
Have a look and plan accordingly!
Woof Fest, featuring Steven Mercurio's "A Grateful Tail"
Date: Aug. 25, 6 p.m. Location: Merriweather Post Pavilion 10475 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia, Md. When you're out swaying to your favorite jams at D.C.'s largest music festivals, don't you wish you could share the experience with your puppy? Now you can! <a href="http://www.930.com/event/305965-woof-fest-steven-mercurios-columbia/" target="_blank">WoofFest</a> is a dog-friendly music festival dedicated all of our favorite canines -- service, military, Hollywood and your best friend, of course. The music led by Maestro Steven Mercurio features F. Murray Abraham backed by the 78 piece Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra and an American Gospel Choir performing Mercurio's ode to our furry friends, "A Grateful Tail" -- <a href="http://vimeo.com/60607299" target="_blank">inspired by the Maestro's dog Lola</a>. It's sure to be a barking good time. <a href="http://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/305965?utm_medium=bks&wrKey=2A5D98ABEEDE29130634D0A955A4B395" target="_blank">Tickets</a>: Range from $45 for the lawn and up to $87 for floor seats. Dogs have to stay on the lawn and each pup needs a $2 "Canine Companion" ticket in order to gain entry.
Six Flags America: Pride Splash and Ride
Date: July 21, 7 - 10 p.m. Location: Six Flags America 13710 Central Ave. Mitchellville, Md. Still excited about the Supreme Court rulings on DOMA and California's Prop 8 or just want to spend some time celebrating LGBT Pride but tired of sweating in the D.C. heat? Six Flags can help you out! The annual <a href="http://www.sixflags.com/america/events/PrideGLBT.aspx" target="_blank">Pride and Splash</a> event allows you to go to the park and ride all the coasters you want and at 7 p.m., an exclusive "Club Pride" party kicks off with lights, lasers, fog and music in the Six Flags water park. Enjoy cocktails in the wave pool and ride down all the slides you want until 10 p.m. The park is even offering a bus service from D.C.! Tickets: $45 at the gate, but are $35 if you purchase them <a href="https://capitalpride.wufoo.com/forms/tickets-pride-splash-ride/" target="_blank">through Capital PRIDE</a>. Bus transportation will run you an extra $20.
2013 Capital Fringe Festival
Date: July 11 - July 28 Location: Theaters, Bars, Churches and Lounges <a href="https://www.capitalfringe.org/festival-2013/venues" target="_blank">all over D.C.</a>! Each year a theatre festival with a knack for the edgy and the out-there brings joy to theatre-geeks all over the District. This year's <a href="https://www.capitalfringe.org/festival-2013/welcome" target="_blank">Capital Fringe Festival</a> is no different, and the common themes that threads a needle through all the performances: American history, social media, interactive theatre and the "real" Washington. Laugh, cry and brace yourself for thrills at "<a href="http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/calendar/events/show/22731/" target="_blank">1814! The War of 1812 Rock Opera</a>," "H Street Housewives" and "Mark Twain’s Riverboat Extravaganza!," among many, many others. Go get your Fringe on! <a href="https://www.capitalfringe.org/festival-2013/tickets-and-passes" target="_blank">Tickets</a>: Everyone who wants to see a show needs a $5 Fringe admission button, but ticket prices vary depending on how many shows you want to see, from $17 to $300.
D.C. Beer Week
Date: August 11 - 18 Location: All over the District! So you like beer. Who doesn't? For the fifth year in a row, the <a href="http://dcbeerweek.net/" target="_blank">2013 D.C. Beer Week</a> will celebrate craft beers all over the D.C.-region, from Virginia to D.C. to Baltimore. With around 180 events during the 2012 event, the weeklong beer bash is ever-growing -- from taste tests to beer cruises on the Potomac to panel discussions. This is a beer nut's best time of the year. Tickets: Depends on the event and details are yet to come on the complete rundown of everything happening at this year's celebration.
Maryland Renaissance Festival
Date: August 24 to October 20 Location: Route 450 and Crownsville Road, Crownsville, Md. Everyone is a nerd at heart. It's ok, you can admit it. There isn't much more awesome than hanging out with a bunch of people dressed as though they live in 16th century England, drinking beer, eating giant turkey legs and watching people joust (Jousting is one of Maryland's state sports). For two months, you can enjoy the fun at the <a href="http://www.rennfest.com/" target="_blank">Maryland Renaissance Festival</a>. It's so popular that some people even have weddings there! So drink, be merry and party like it's 1599! Tickets: <a href="http://www.rennfest.com/tickets/ticket-prices-and-group-sales" target="_blank">Tickets during the summer</a> cost $8 for children and $17 for adults. The price goes up in the fall, so we recommend getting there this summer!
And in case you prefer a "chiller" experience, check out our favorite spots to get ice cream!
<a href="http://www.thomassweet.com/" target="_blank">Thomas Sweet</a> got the <a href="http://www.thegeorgetowndish.com/thedish/president-obama-chills-georgetown-thomas-sweet-ice-cream" target="_blank">Obama bump</a> in 2011 but it was a popular Georgetown spot for decades before that. Ice cream is made fresh in-store in flavors like Eastern Chai and Mint Chip.
Larry's Ice Cream
<a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/larrys-ice-cream-washington-2" target="_blank">Larry's Ice Cream</a> has been a Dupont Circle fixture since 1985, dishing out creamy ice cream with huge chunks of mix-ins. "I make the best ice cream in this nation," owner <a href="http://scoutmob.com/washington-dc/deals/1371" target="_blank">Larry Cenkci says.</a> You'll have to decide that for yourself.
Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream
Located on historic King Street in Old Town Alexandria, <a href="http://www.fishmarketva.com/index.php?/pops/" target="_blank">Pop's Old Fashioned Ice Cream</a> takes you back in time. Try one of 63 homemade flavors, including Cleveland brownie sundae and peppermint stick, and add a shot of liqueur if you're feeling wild.
Max's Best Ice Cream
As one Yelp-er <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/maxs-best-ice-cream-washington#hrid:Ct2d07qgo7-sO0kIZvYzqg" target="_blank">puts it</a>, "Joe Biden approves and you should too." <a href="http://georgetown.patch.com/articles/max-s-ice-cream-preparing-for-the-2013-season" target="_blank">Max's Best Ice Cream</a> is a Glover Park favorite, and with seasonal flavors like Mexican vanilla, graham cracker honey and pumpkin spice, it's easy to see why.
Island Style Ice Cream
Head to Mt. Ranier, Md., for a taste of the Caribbean at <a href="http://www.yelp.com/biz/island-style-ice-cream-mount-rainier" target="_blank">Island Style Ice Cream</a>. Late owner Pancita Brydson recreated flavors from her native Jamaica like strawberry, reggae ginger, guava and mango.
With a storefront and a <a href="http://www.sinplicityicecream.com/truck.html" target="_blank">truck</a>, <a href="http://www.sinplicityicecream.com" target="_blank">Sinplicity</a> is taking over Northern Virginia with its motto "No extracts, no shortcuts, no compromises." Seasonal flavors rotate but we recommend trying one of Sinplicity's so-called 'Intriguing Flavors' like Thai Peanut, Chocolate Chimp or Wicked Wasabi.
Moorenko's Ice Cream
<a href="http://moorenkos.com/" target="_blank">Moorenko's Ice Cream</a> was popular long before it was featured on <em>The Chew</em>, but that certainly didn't hurt. The scoop shop sells ice cream in its Silver Spring storefront, plus regional East Coast stores, and also ships nationwide.
Cupcakes may be the dessert <em>du jour</em> in Georgetown but <a href="http://www.georgetownscoops.com/" target="_blank">Georgetown Scoops</a> is holding its ground on Wisconsin Avenue near the West End. The shop also sells cupcakes so if you want to be truly decadent, get a cupcake topped with a scoop of ice cream.
It's a little father away now, having moved to Falls Church from Arlington, but <a href="http://mikesdeliatlazysundae.com/lazysundae.html" target="_blank">Lazy Sundae</a> is still a great stop for an old-fashioned ice cream sundae. Concoctions like 'Monkey Bee' (honey and banana), 'Adam's Apple' (baked apple and cinnamon) and garbage (vanilla with every dry topping) make this worth the drive.
Cone E Island
Quick and casual, <a href="http://www.2000penn.com/stores/coneeisland/coneeisland.html" target="_blank">Cone E Island</a> is a favorite among George Washington University students and the late night Foggy Bottom crowd. If you're watching your weight, try the Skinny Minnie.
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