Under 21 in D.C.? Who Cares!

Under 21 in D.C.? Who Cares!

Coming to D.C. and being under 21, I honestly thought I wouldn’t be able to do much. Weekends were supposed to be boring, just me sitting at home. But I was SO wrong. Being under 21 did not stop me from having one of the best semesters of my life.



Believe me. I loved my internship. It was peaceful, very open, but also a little dull from time to time (as internships can sometimes be). With my spare time, I would look up events, restaurants, deals on Groupon, and even how to rent a car.


*Note: I recommend taking time once or twice a week to look on Groupon because IT IS LIFE. They also have a lot of promo code deals to get $5-$10 off your (already) discounted price.


Let's first start with the reality of your situation. You are in D.C., a place with many bars, clubs and great music. However, you decided to start your professional career early and didn’t quite make it to 21 yet. Well, understand your life will be a little hard. You will question what the point of your D.C. trip was without getting to see a little bit of the nightlife. Well, this is where your research comes in handy. The 21-year-olds have bars and clubs. You, on the other hand, have something very different. You have a large array festivals, day events, Hookah bars and parades. While I have been here, I have had my fair share of fun. Of course, I would do everything I could to make sure that my weekend had at least one day of going out, regardless of how difficult it was.


*Note: Since each semester and season has its own events, I only focused on spring semester events in the list below. I also spotlighted some summer events in the next list, but cannot guarantee how accurate that list will be!


My list of what I have done in D.C. is as follows:

1. Shamrock Festival

2. Foam Glow

3. Town Dance Boutique

4. Ultra Bar

5. U-Street Music Hall

6. The top of the George Washington Monument

7. Cherry Blossom Festival

8. Restaurant Week

9. New York trips

10. Philadelphia trips

11. Museums

12. Holi Day (Indian Color Festival)

13. Six Flags

14. Kings Dominion

16. Karaoke Nights (there is one every Friday across the street from the RAF)

17. Hookah Bars (the only one that is 18+ is Soussi)

18. Spa Days (deals are on Groupon)

19. Echo Stage has a large venue and great light shows

20. Restaurants can get expensive, but if you are looking for good ones use Google!

21. Nationals games

22. Washington Wizard games

23. Love NightClub (Thursday only)

24. Black Cat for food and music

25. Movie theaters

26. Hiking

27. National Mall


This is my list for events happening over the summer, and you can expect even more!

1. Neon Run!

2. BBQ Battle

3. DC Jazz Festival

4. The Source Festival

5. AFI Docs

6. Smithsonian Folk Festival

7. Capitol Hill Barbecue Battle

8. Chocolate Walk

9. Coffee Houses (Ebenezer’s, Politics and Prose, BusBoys and Poets)

10. Comet Ping Pong


Your 18+ Survival Pack Sources:


1. Washington.org (great event list)

2. Rush 49 (good deals)

3. Groupon (even better deals)

4. Washingtonian (list of what do when under 21)

5. BrightestYoungThings.com (my personal favorite)

6. GetAround.com (Want to rent a car? Not 25? Problem solved!)


In the end, who cares! You are in D.C. and if you don’t like to go out, you can focus on developing your professional skills and going to as many networking events as possible. Use my good old friend LinkTank - the events with food included will be your friend!


Once again, don’t let your age slow you down! Take Washington, D.C head-on and set aside some time every week to set yourself up for anywhere you want to go!

Read Pedro's previous blog posts here

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