Summer bucket list – Try these memorable D.C. ventures before the school year starts

Media Credit: Isabella MacKinnon | Staff Photographer

The spot is located along the Mount Vernon Trail, just feet away from the end of the Reagan National Airport runway. Look up and watch the planes swoop to their nearby and deafening landing just overhead.

As summer draws to a close, check these items off your summer bucket list before falling victim to the stress of school-year preparation.

Cool off with a sweet treat, cheer on the Nationals, picnic at an outdoor concert, belt out your favorite song at karaoke and add to your dorm decor with hand painted pottery all before summer ends.

National Mall ice cream 
Nothing is more refreshing on a scorching summer day than a tall cone of ice cream, and what’s better than a breathtaking view of the nation’s capital while you’re at it? Head down to the National Mall to indulge in a soft serve treat. The food trucks that line the National Mall are nothing new, but many GW students have never purchased a sweet desert there. The goal of the experience is less about the quality and more about taking in the beauty of the location with a summer treat in hand, so try out one of the classic flavors offered at the trucks, like chocolate and vanilla swirl. Lick your ice cream before it melts down the cone while gazing at your choice of the illuminated Capitol building or the outline of the Lincoln Memorial as the sun sets behind the hills of Arlington National Cemetery.

Washington Nationals game
Summer is primetime for baseball, so grab some friends and some Nationals gear and head to the ballpark. While the Nationals do play in the earlier parts of the fall, there’s nothing quite like a summer game without the distractions of looming homework and classes. Indulge in classic ballgame snacks like hotdogs, popcorn, hot pretzels and cotton candy while sitting back and watching nine innings of America’s pastime. Though the Nationals lag in the standings and traded away their star slugger Juan Soto, the lively atmosphere of Nationals Park will be an experience to remember, win or lose.

Wolf Trap outdoor concert
Wolf Trap is an outdoor concert venue outside of Vienna that makes for the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and live music. The venue allows visitors to bring their own food and drink, so pack a large picnic blanket, your favorite snacks and even a bottle of wine to enjoy with your show. Wolf Trap is a large outdoor amphitheater with multiple levels of seating layered into the national park setting. The venue hosts several concerts through August, including Little Big Town and a special Abba-themed show. Check out the list of concerts to find one that speaks to you.

Hill Country karaoke
Hill Country hosts live band karaoke every Wednesday night where you and your friends can put your musical skills to the test. The karaoke bar comes alongside a restaurant that specializes in Texas Barbecue, so get a group together to indulge in some traditional meaty delicacies before hitting the stage. The karaoke happens in the basement of the venue, with a live band backing up the rotating performers’ vocals. Decide on a classic song and hit the stage as a group, or if you’re really feeling yourself, then go solo to give the crowd a performance they won’t forget. The venue also has a full bar in the back of the floor, so no worries if you need a few rounds of drinks before hitting the stage.

Pottery painting
Create artistic pieces to add to your residence hall room or apartment this fall at All Fired Up, a paint-your-own pottery shop. The pottery painting venue also holds themed nights through August, like trivia, jazz and classical music nights to keep customers entertained while they paint. Bring your friends, or better yet, future roommates with you, and paint mugs, plates, bowls and vases that can be used and displayed in your shared space this fall. If you are looking to spice up your experience, try rotating the piece you are working on every 10 minutes with a friend to allow for some artistic collaboration and a little bit of a challenge.

Gravelly Point
Get active outdoors with a walk, run or bike ride to Gravelly Point. The spot is located along the Mount Vernon Trail, just feet away from the end of the runway at Reagan National Airport. Look up and watch the planes swoop to their nearby and deafening landing just overhead. Enjoy the green space and play frisbee or catch with friends. Or recline on a blanket and have a picnic on a hot summer day. No matter how you spend your time, the park is one of its kind where flocks of locals can savor the waning days of summer.

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