No matter what time your meeting ends, there’s always something to do in Washington, DC after the sun goes down. Here are nine evening options:
1. Take in a museum
Many of the city’s best museums offer after-hours activities and events. From musical performances and specialized tours to delicious bites and cocktails, early evening welcomes performances, history and culture. For museums that stay open past 6pm, check out the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the International Spy Museum. Monthly, the Phillips Collection in Dupont Circle stays open late and combines live music with thematic displays.
2. Catch a live show
Experience the grandeur of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts with nightly performances including theater, opera, ballet and comedy in multiple theaters. The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage features free performances most evenings and the permanent immersive exhibit, Art and Ideals: President John F. Kennedy, stays open until midnight.
A variety of performances grace DC’s world-class stages including pre-Broadway and debut shows at the National Theatre, the Warner Theatre, Ford’s Theatre and playhouses featuring cutting-edge dramas at the Wooly Mammoth, Arena Stage, Signature Theater and more.
3. Cruise the Potomac
Enjoy a relaxing boat cruise along the Potomac River and admire the illuminated cityscape. Get up close to the monuments on a private boat ride with Embark DC, cruise from the Wharf to Georgetown and back on a Water Taxi or join a group dinner cruise with live entertainment.
4. Hear from an author
Gather with friendly locals at one of DC’s independent bookstores for author talks and insights on the latest books by local historians, novelists and politicos. Kramers in Dupont Circle hosts trivia nights and features a café serving breakfast all day. Politics & Prose has three locations with an extensive lineup of author talks (nearly nightly) and a coffee and wine bar. Close to the Convention Center, Sixth and I hosts notable author events and lively conversations.
5. Visit the largest library
The nation’s oldest federal cultural institution presents new programming weekly. Join the Library of Congress Thursday evenings for a variety of performances, workshops, discussions and more. Enjoy happy hour drinks and food while exploring exhibits, Thomas Jefferson’s library and collections during extended hours.
6. Marvel in the moonlight
The National Mall and its iconic monuments and memorials take on a whole new atmosphere at night. Explore the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial beautifully lit against the night sky. There are many options for nighttime guided walking and open-air trolley tours.
7. Listen to music
Whether you prefer jazz, go-go, hardcore punk, hip-hop or anything in between, you can find it on any given night at live music venues throughout the city. See headliner musicians at the Anthem, the Atlantic and the 9:30 Club. For independent acts in an intimate setting, head to Pearl Street and Union Stage at the Wharf. The Hamilton is a hotspot music venue near the White House with a dinner club vibe. Situated just off what was once known as “Black Broadway,” the Howard Theatre hosts artists across a variety of genres. Jazz is king at Blues Alley, the Morrow hotel’s rooftop club, and Alice’s Jazz and Cultural Society.
8. Root for the home team
DC is an energetic sports city with highly ranked professional teams. Depending on the season, catch a game most nights at DC’s top fields and courts. Enjoy a Nats baseball game at Nationals Park, a Caps hockey game or Wizards and Mystics hoops at Capital One Arena. Check out the D.C. United and Washington Spirit MLS soccer teams in action and the Defenders’ XFL football at Audi Field.
9. View DC from the rooftops
Watch the sunset with panoramic views of landmarks from DC’s numerous rooftop restaurants and bars. Head to Lucha Rosa for beach vibes and monuments, Moonraker for firepits overlooking the water, Smoke and Mirrors for a direct view of the U.S. Capitol and the Vue Rooftop for Instagram-worthy pictures of the National Mall. Summit Rooftop at the Conrad features an eco-conscious menu of dishes prepared in a solar oven.