8 Things to Do in Arlington Before Summer Ends

Published on August 16, 2018

Summer_OutdoorMovie_Flickr-KevinHarber.jpg The Dog Days of Summer might be over―taking with them one of the wettest summers in DC-area history―but there are still a few weeks left before school starts. We've rounded up some of the best ways to squeeze every drop out of the last days of summer.

1. Watch a Movie Under the Stars


Grab your blanket and chair because outdoor movie season isn't over yet! Rosslyn Cinema at Gateway Park has two Fridays left: August 17 (The Lion King) and August 24 (Four Weddings and a Funeral). The Columbia Pike Revitalization Organization offers outdoor movies at Arlington Mill (Fridays) and Penrose Square (Saturdays). Check out Coco (Aug. 17), Young Frankenstein (Aug. 18), West Side Story (Aug. 24 and 25), or The Wizard of Oz (Aug. 31 and Sept. 1) Find out the details

2. Play at the Park


[caption id="attachment_18156" align="alignright" width="300"] Fort C.F. Smith[/caption]

With more than 180 parks in Arlington County, there's something for everyone. Arlington is packed full of historic sites, including the newest history resource: Fort C.F. Smith's visitor center. Enjoy the County's natural habitats at spots like Windy Run Park, where the county just completed an extensive stream renovation. Or pack a lunch and head to Glencarlyn Park, or any of the County's great picnic shelters and playgrounds. You can watch airplanes take off or hop in a kayak on the Potomac River at Gravelly Point Park. And Upton Hill Regional Park, run by the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, offers batting cages, mini golf and the Ocean Dunes Waterpark. Find a park

3. Uncover a Hidden Gem


Looking for a less-traveled tourist spot within our 26 square miles? Peruse the ruins of the Abingdon Plantation, birthplace of Nelly Custis, on the property of Reagan National Airport. Snap a picture of one of the boundary stones that were laid in 1791 to mark the original boundary of the District of Columbia. Or stop by the Arlington Historical Museum, which was once the Hume School―the oldest school building in the County. Discover other unique places

4. Cool Off at a Sprayground


The County's four spraygrounds―at the Drew, Hayes, Lyon Village, and Virginia Highlands parks―are open through Labor Day weekend, and offer a great respite from the late August heat. The hours at each park vary, but the rules remain the same. Review them before you go

5. Commune with Nature


Arlington County is home to three nature centers―Gulf Branch, Long Branch, and Potomac Overlook. The centers offer a variety of programs and events for children and adults alike, such as the upcoming Bat Fest at the Gulf Branch Nature Center on Aug. 25. The fun starts at 6:30 p.m. with habitat walks, games, crafts and more! Look for other events

6. Take in a Free Show


Animals, magic, and music! There are still kid-friendly events to enjoy at the Lubber Run Amphitheater, as the season runs through Sept. 16. In Crystal City, Fridays at the Fountain offer a pop-up beer garden and live music from local musicians. See the full schedule

7. Get Off the Beaten Path


[caption id="attachment_18161" align="alignright" width="300"] Four Mile Run Bike Trail[/caption]

Take advantage of Arlington County's 17 multi-use and/or hiking trails, for almost 50 miles of car-free enjoyment. We make it easy to find the best trail for your needs, with a list that includes the length, difficulty, bikeability, and access points for each trail. Locate a trail

8. Immerse Yourself in History


Some of the DC area's most famous memorials and monuments are in Arlington―and well worth a visit. Spend the afternoon in Arlington National Cemetery, see the Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima) and the U.S. Air Force Memorial, or visit The National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. Plan your visit