June is National Gay Pride Month and Washington, DC is one of the most fun places to be to celebrate. What started out as a block party in 1975 has gained momentum every year, adding a parade in the early 80s and now a month full month of activities today. Everyone’s favorite headlining events are back this year— the Capital Pride Parade, the Capital Pride Festival and SAAM’s Family Pride Day —along with a number of small, family-friendly events hosted by DC’s Public Libraries. Sprinkle on some glitter, proudly raise those rainbow flags and add these fun activities to your family calendar.
DIY Pride Jewelry at SAAM’s Pride Family Day
Head to the F St. Plaza on June 4 (outside of the Smithsonian American Art Museum) for a family pride festival featuring music, performances and crafts. There will be DJs, drummers and an age-appropriate drag show featuring local legends Ruth Allen Ginsburg, Desiree, Tippa Buckley and Molasses. Enjoy hands-on fun with rainbow-themed crafts for the littles. For the youngest ones (3 & up) there will be a rainbow streamer station, for kids 5 & up a multi-colored weaving craft and for the oldest kids (8 & up) pride flag-inspired jewelry making. Event details.
March Down America’s Mainstreet
It’s time to celebrate! Pride events are back this year in a BIG way. On June 11, march down Pennsylvania Avenue and show off your pride along the 1.5 mile parade route. Come back on June 12 for the return of the Capital Pride Festival. Enjoy a full day of entertainment on three stages, food, drink, and advocacy with over 300 exhibitors. Event details.
Celebrate LGBTQ+ Youth at this Family Pride Festival
Woodridge Neighborhood Library is hosting a party for LGBTQ+ youth and their families that will feature hands-on crafts, games, food and more starting at 1 p.m. on Sat., June 18. Don’t miss the family story time at 2:30 p.m. All ages are welcome at this festive event. Please note, masks are required. Event details.
Get Crafty with SAAM's Pride Family Zone
Every year, The Smithsonian American Art Museum celebrates Pride Month with a host of activities and special events. This year they are celebrating virtually; access coloring pages featuring LGBTQ+ artists, a tutorial to make a rainbow windsock, instructions to make a rainbow pride flag, the secret recipe for puffy paint rainbow art and more on the SAAM website. Activity details.
photo: Teona Swift via Pexels
Tie Dye a Rainbow
Kickstart summer while celebrating Pride Month by hand-dying your own tie-dyed t-shirt. Bring your own t-shirt to create a colorful new garment. All supplies are provided. A handful of white shirts are available on-site on a first come, first served basis. This is an all-age event. Event details.
photo: Autumn Goodman
Spend the Afternoon Making Floral Crowns
Celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride month by making flower crowns and headpieces with tissue paper and craft supplies. This activity is inspired by the flower crowns and elaborate head pieces made by trans activist Marsha P. Johnson. This is a family-friendly program designed for kids 5-13. Bonus, it’s free! Event details.
Walk Across A Rainbow (Crosswalk)
At the corner of 17th & P you'll find a crosswalk painted in vibrant, rainbow hues. Created as a permanent installation, this crosswalk pays tribute to the Pride flag, the transgender Pride flag and also includes brown and black stripes representing POC in the LGBTQ+ community. Now a landmark in Dupont Circle, this is a great starting point for a walking tour of this historically gay neighborhood. Activity details.
Ride for Pride
Everyone is welcome at the Trek Pride Ride on June 12. Starting at 9 a.m., cyclists are encouraged to gather at Picnic Grove #10 in Rock Creek Park for a 2-hour ride celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Come early and score free swag (while it lasts). Haul out the cargo bike, load up the kids and get ready to pedal for pride. Event details.
—Meghan Yudes Meyers