Weekend Picks: What You Can Find for Free

Kelsey Ottesen is serving as the Program Advisor for the 2011 Institute on Political Journalism. Her blog entry is the fourth in a series of “Weekend Picks” for TFAS interns spending their 2011 summer in DC.

Living on an intern budget can be difficult. Nevertheless, it is still possible to have lots of fun for free around Washington, DC. Here are a few great ideas for what you and your friends can do at no cost this summer.

Rosslyn Movie Night: In rain or shine, the Rosslyn Outdoor Film Festival takes place every Friday night at sunset. The event is completely free and just two blocks from the Rosslyn Metro station at Gateway Park. This year’s film festival theme is, “SNL in the Movies.” All of the movies star famous Saturday Night Live cast members such as Tina Fey or Will Ferrell.  The public is encouraged to bring blankets and snacks with them while enjoying the movie. 

The Kennedy Center: The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage puts on a free performance everyday at 6:00 pm.  From the Washington Opera to the Hip Hop Theater Festival, there is wide array of acts to satisfy any taste. No ticket is necessary to attend these concerts. For a list of performances, please see the Kennedy Center website.

Jazz in the Gardens: Jazz in the Gardens is another free event that is popular in DC. It takes place every Friday evening from 5:00pm to 8:30pm at the National Gallery of Art. A wide variety of artists perform a range of jazz music styles. Jazz in the Gardens is a great opportunity to relax and catch up with friends after a long work week. You can bring a blanket to sit on with your friends or roll up your pants and kick off your shoes to stick your feet in the water fountain. Food and drinks are sold at the Pavilion Café.

The National Zoo: The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution. Thus, admission into the park is absolutely free. The park is open daily from 10am to 6pm and is home to around 2,000 animals. The most well known creatures are the giant pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, pictured on your paper metro card passes. The zoo is a great opportunity to relax and have fun.  To find out more information please visit the National Zoo website.

I hope these ideas help you save a few bucks!

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