Oct 26, 2023

The D.C. area’s best family

It's June, which means the city lights up with events celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride: late-night drag shows, Pride-themed beer launches, concerts and, of course, parade after-parties. But after-dark, adult-only events hardly dominate D.C.'s Pride calendar.

Because families are more likely now to want to celebrate Pride together, there's been an increase in family-focused Pride events in recent years. There are options throughout this month that not only allow children but cater to them.

So whether you’re looking for crafts or story times, picnics or roller skating, activities for toddlers or events cool enough for tweens, Pride Month in D.C. has you covered. Here are our picks of some of the best kid-friendly — and kid-centered — events celebrating LGBTQ+ Pride this June.

The Wharf's fourth annual Pride festival on June 10 offers an alternative to the crowded parade through Dupont and Logan circles; after a 3 p.m. drag show, watch the festivities on the pier's big screen. Sponsored by Washington Blade and LURe, Pride on the Pier tops the night with a 9 p.m. fireworks show. There's also live music by DJs Juba and Honey throughout the day. Two VIP sessions start at 2 and 6 p.m., and paid tickets ($75 for the first session and $125 for the second, as the latter includes front-row spots to watch the fireworks) will get you seating in an air-conditioned lounge, a private bathroom, catering and an open bar. June 10 from 2 to 9 p.m. Free.

Consider bringing the little ones to the Loft Collective's studio for a free sign-making class on June 9 (5 to 7 p.m.) because Takoma's Pride celebration, which takes place at the Streetery on Laurel Avenue on June 11, kicks off with a kids’ parade. Then the street fair begins, featuring face painting, community group tables and a Pride photo board. Visitors are encouraged to decorate the sidewalk with artwork (plenty of rainbow chalk will be provided), and drag queen Ms. Hazel will lead a story time at 11 a.m. It's a good opportunity to teach your kids about the queer community, too — there's a Trans Fact Check booth, and Busboys and Poets will share information about its new queer and young adult book clubs. June 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.

The Potomac Riverkeeper Network is celebrating Pride on the water, and older kids are welcome. This guided kayak trip, co-hosted by Rainbow History Project and Women's Aquatic Network, includes a tour about the river's history and ecology. All necessary equipment is provided. Though the tour is suited for beginners, children must be at least 12 and must be accompanied by an adult. June 14 from 10 a.m. to noon. $35.

This party might be the most family-friendly on this list because, while kids are certainly invited, invitations extend to furry family members, too. Hosted in partnership with Prince George's County Pride and local animal rescue Senior Dog Sanctuary, the Pride Pawty at the Riverdale Park shopping center has a lineup of contests and activities geared toward dogs. Dress your pet in rainbow costumes to enter the Pride Pup Competition, or take some celebratory photos together in a photo booth. There's a Starbucks Pup Cup bar, and rainbow doggy treats are available for purchase. June 15 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Free.

Rainbow Families, a support group for LGBTQ+ community members and families, knows June is prime time for a picnic. The organization hosts a park picnic at the Arlington museum featuring crafts, a live DJ and other performances, plus more activities to be announced. Local children's author Vicki Johnson reads her book "Molly's Tuxedo," based on her experiences growing up queer. Pack a blanket and your picnic lunch, and keep in mind that while free parking is available at the museum, taking the Metro to Virginia Square is recommended. June 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free.

One of the oldest skate clubs in the United States, the Washington Area Roadskaters is dedicating this month's beginner-friendly skating meetup to Juneteenth and Pride Month. Stops include Black Lives Matter Plaza, the LOVE mural in Blagden Alley and the African American Civil War Memorial, plus a trip to Black-owned Eat Well Juice Bar. All skaters are welcome to join, no matter the configuration of your wheels (bikers, longboarders and roller skaters, too!). Take off from Freedom Plaza and end at DC Vegan, where parents can grab a Pride Month drink special from the Botanical Bar downstairs. June 17 from 2 to 5 p.m. Free.

Different drag artists take the stage each month at Unity Park, but this Pride Month's story time will be led by queen Itty Bitty. All ages are welcome to grab a blanket or chair and unfurl in the park as she reads a kid-friendly book and talks about diversity and self-love. The event is outdoors and dependent on the weather, so be sure to check for day-of updates on the organizers’ (Adams Morgan Partnership BID and D.C. Public Library) social media pages. June 25 at 11 a.m. Free.