It's a penny-pincher's nirvana: The Cheap Bastard's Guide to Washington, D.C., which lists about 1,000 freebies. Here's a sampling of some favorite (but lesser known) finds that visitors and locals can enjoy any time of the year, courtesy of the book's author, Rob Grader.
Catch a free performance
Most evenings (often around 6:30 p.m. at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. Daily performances run the gamut from classical music, jazz, and popular music to theater, dance, and circus performances, each lasting between half-an-hour and an hour.
Take a free tour of the capital city
DC by Foot Free Monuments Walking Tours offer 90 minute free tours of the national mall that will fill you in on all of the history, symbolism and architectural details of the monuments around the mall. Guides set out most weekdays at 6 p.m. and most weekends at 2 p.m. No reservations are required. dcbyfoot.com
Wholeness for Humanity leads eco-tours around D.C. to highlight the greening of the city. The tours can lead you to many surprising destinations, including the Nationals' ballpark, the roof of the Department of Transportation, the National Geographic Building, and a stroll along the Anacostia River. Tours run a few times a month and reservations are required. wholenessforhumanity.com
Attend a blues Jam
Every Saturday at 2:30 in honor of the musician Archie Edwards. The jam brings together musicians of all levels to revel in the Piedmont Blues that Mr. Edwards championed for more than 50 years at his D.C. barber shop. acousticblues.com
Enjoy a day on the farm.
A drive of a few miles outside of D.C. in Oxon Hill, Md., visitors can get their hands dirty milking cows and working with the chickens or just have a good time petting the farm animals, overlooking the Beltway. nps.gov/archive/nace/oxhi