Jazz in the garden at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

by Aug 31, 2017Washington DC

Don’t miss this: Annual free jazz concerts in the stupendous Sculpture Garden on the National Mall that is part of the National Museum of Art in Washington D.C.

Discovering inexpensive after-hours entertainment in Washington, D.C. can prove challenging. You can spend weeks, or even months, knocking off the museums, yes, but do you want to spend all your hours inside? Sure, you can walk to all the outdoor memorials, but at some point your feet need a break – and your tired brain craves a different sort of stimulation — like some music or a sculpture garden.

Jazz in the Garden at Washington DC Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art

So don’t miss Jazz in the Garden: Annual free jazz concerts in the stupendous Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art. Let me repeat, free jazz in Washington D.C.

People putting their feet in the pool at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden in Washington DC

Every Friday, from about May through August the 6.1-acre garden opens its gates to music from 5-8:30 p.m. while its café also offers a grab-and-go concert menu (with adult beverages). You can also bring your own picnic to Jazz in the Garden, but not alcohol. Rest assured, you can buy beer, wine and yes, delicious sangria on site.

Washington DC stage at free concert in the sculpture garden.

Be forewarned, Jazz in the Garden concerts are popular events for all ages, as well as groups, couples and families. The lawns and benches are spread with blankets early, taking up nearly every square inch of space, especially under all the canopies of trees if it is a warm day. You will find folks dipping their bare feet in the fountain (sitting around it – no swimming allowed!), while others dance in the walkways.


Jazz in the Garden is a Friday evening party that is at its best on a warm summer evening.

HITT Tip: Take the metro. The Archives stop is the closest, but you can also use the Federal Triangle or L’Enfant Plaza stops if you don’t mind walking a few extra blocks and that offers fewer transfers. And get there early to claim your space in the sculpture garden. You don’t really have to be near the stage since the music is piped around the grounds on speakers.

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