One thing you should know about Washington, D.C. is that it’s a city that is alive and buzzing at night! There are so many things to do in the District after the sun goes down. From catching a show at one of the world-renowned theaters to taking a night tour at the famous museums, Washington has something for everyone. 

So if you’re looking for an unforgettable evening, check out our list of 10 things to do in Washington D.C. at night!

1. Take a Night Tour at the Smithsonian Museums

Featured Image: Elephant Statue at a Museum. Photo: Viator.

The Smithsonian museums are some of the most famous in the world, and they’re even more breathtaking at night. Many of the museums offer special evening hours, so you can take a tour after dark.

One of our favorites is the National Portrait Gallery, which has an impressive collection of portraits lit up by nighttime lighting.

2. Have a Picnic in Dupont Circle

Featured Image: People at Dupont Circle. Photo: St. Louis Mag.

Dupont Circle is a beautiful park in the heart of Washington, D.C. It’s the perfect place to have a picnic dinner while enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. There are also often live music performances in the park, so you can enjoy some entertainment while you eat.

3. Visit the Memorials

Featured Image: Memorial at Night. Photo: Planningaway.

Washington, D.C. is full of memorials to honor the country’s greatest leaders and soldiers. Many of these memorials are especially beautiful at night when they’re lit up against the dark sky.

From the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial to major structures like the White House and the United States Capitol Building, D.C. is famed for its iconic monumental architecture. 

Except for the Washington Monument, monuments in Washington, D.C. are open 24 hours a day and may be enjoyed at any time of day or night. We recommend visiting during the twilight hours to witness the memorials come to life, but be aware that gift stores close about 9:00 pm and bathrooms close around midnight.

4. Watch Sunset Parade at the US Marine Corps Memorial

Featured Image: Marines Marching Staff. Photo: Wikipedia.

Every evening at sunset, the United States Marine Corps Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial) hosts a Sunset Parade. The parade features the USMC Silent Drill Platoon as well as the Drum and Bugle Corps. This is a truly patriotic and moving experience that shouldn’t be missed!

5. Watch an Outdoor Movie

Featured Image: People Watching Outdoor Movie. Photo: The Washington Post.

In the summer, go to the Union Market. Drive-in cinemas are hard to come by these days, but if you visit between August and November, you might be able to find one. Don’t worry if you don’t have a car; lawn chairs are available for free! 

The Suns Cinema and the Regal Majestic Stadium, both of which show IMAX films, are two of the most contemporary cinemas.

6. Check out the Military Events

Featured Image: DC Military. Photo: DC Military Tours.

Many of the military events in Washington, D.C. take place at night. If you’re interested in learning more about the United States Armed Forces or just want to see some impressive displays, check out the military event calendar and see what’s happening during your visit.

Some of our favorites include the Joint Services Open House (an annual event that features demonstrations from all branches of the military), the Navy Band Concert Series, and the Army’s Twilight Tattoo.

7. Go to a Nationals Game

Featured Image: Baseball Game at Nationals Park. Photo: Eagle Eye.

The Washington Nationals are the city’s Major League Baseball team, and they’re always a lot of fun to watch. If you’re in town during baseball season, make sure to catch a game! You can also take a tour of the stadium if you’re not interested in watching the game.

8. Catch a Show at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Featured Image: Kennedy Center at Night. Photo: The Culture Trip.

The Kennedy Center is one of the most popular places to see a show in Washington, D.C. You can catch a Broadway musical, an opera, or a ballet performance. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, try one of the experimental theater productions. There’s always something new and exciting happening at the Kennedy Center!

9. Visit a comedy club with your loved ones

Featured Image: DC Improv Comedy Bar. Photo: WUSA9.

Visit comedy clubs with your loved ones and friends to enjoy a great time and have hilarious experiences. Here are 3 places you can go to:

  • Drafthouse Comedy is a black box styled arts theater with a concentration on the comic arts, located in the center of D.C.
  • DC Improv presents a unique kind of humor. Enjoy unexpected and original, spontaneous moments of pure comic genius instead of a single performer spouting jokes all night! 
  • Underground Comedy performs more than 50 concerts every month, including seven free shows each week. One of these will certain make you laugh

10. Stroll around Georgetown

Featured Image: Georgetown Street. Photo: Reddit.

With its cobblestone streets and quaint row houses, Georgetown is the perfect place to enjoy a drink or two while taking a leisurely stroll. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from, so you’re sure to find something to your taste.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of things to do in Washington, D.C. at night! These are just a few of the many fun and interesting activities that the city has to offer. Be sure to check out our website for more information on planning your visit.