Things for kids to do in Washington, DC (Click on each listing for more info)

Visit the National Zoo

See giant pandas, elephants, giraffes, sea lions, and more than 400 different species, set in a 163-acre zoological park. (Admission is free). Click here for information about zoo hours, exhibits, and events.

Take a free tour of the White House

Note: reservations must be requested through one's member of Congress a minimum of 21 days in advance. Click here for the White House's official visitor's page. Also see About.com's step by step instructions for getting tickets.

See where Congress works by visiting the U.S. Capitol

Admission is free, but advance reservations are required in order to see much of the building. Click here for general information about the Capitol and planning a visit. Information about booking tours can be found here.

Visit the Supreme Court and listen to oral arguments

Admission is free. Click here for information about the Court and planning a visit.

Walk, picnic, and sightsee on the National Mall

See the National Park Service's page about planning your visit. Watch About.com's video walking tour of the Mall.

Ride the merry-go-round on the National Mall

Visit Yelp.com's page for directions, general information, and reviews.

Go skating at the National Gallery of Art's outdoor sculpture garden

View works of sculpture while skating in the open air. (Open mid-November through mid-March). Click here for information about skate rentals, hours, and more.

Visit the Library of Congress

Take a family or self-guided tour and visit the Young Readers Center. (Admission is free)

Explore the National Archives

See the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, historic photos, special exhibits and more. Find general information for visitors here. (Admission is free)

Visit the Museum of Natural History

See dinosaur bones, a live coral reef, an insect zoo, gems and minerals, a hands-on "Discovery Room," IMAX movies, and more. (Admission is free). General visitor information can be found here. You can even sign up for a sleepover at the museum.

Visit the International Spy Museum

Learn about the history and tools of espionage.

Visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and see how money is made

See dollar bills being printed, watch a movie about the money-making production process, browse currency exhibits, and more. Bureau of Engraving and Printing visitor information available here. (Admission is free. Tours only available on weekdays).

Visit the Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool

For a virtual tour of the memorial, with panoramic views and audio discussions by park rangers, visit the Lincoln Memorial Interactive site.

See the Jefferson Memorial

The memorial offers panoramic views of the tidal basin, the White House, and other presidential sites.

Honor the life and vision of Martin Luther King Jr. at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Located along the tidal basin, the memorial features a statue, inscriptions from his speeches and writings, and (at the Memorial's entrance) touch-screen kiosks with educational audiovisual displays.

Go paddle-boating at the Tidal Basin

From the water you can enjoy views of the Jefferson Memorial, cherry blossoms, and more. Click here for information about boat rentals.

Visit DC in the Spring for the National Cherry Blossom Festival

Centered at the Tidal Basin, the celebration features cultural events, a kite festival, art demonstrations, family craft activities and more. A schedule and visitor information can be found here.

Drop by the Air and Space Museum

The most visited museum in the world, the Air and Space Museum houses the world's largest collection of historic air and spacecraft. Exhibits include The Spirit of St. Louis, Apollo 11, moon rocks, IMAX movies, flight simulations, and more. (Admission is free). Visitor information can be found here.

Stroll the streets of Georgetown

Go window shopping, explore peaceful side streets, visit the Georgetown University campus, and try the neighborhood's restaurants and bistros. See National Geographic's suggested Georgetown walking tour.

Visit the United States Botanic Garden

See indoor gardens, a rose garden, a butterfly garden and more. Families can ask for Family Field Journals to record their observations. Children can ask for Junior Botanist Backpacks with tools for exploring the gardens. (Admission is Free)

Catch a baseball game at Nationals Park

Steeply discounted tickets are available at the box office on game days. (Visit About.com's page for information about Tickets, Discounts and Promotions).


Washingtonian Magazine: "Four Days With the Kids in Washington, DC"

"Visiting DC with kids can be a cinch. With tons of museums, outdoor activities, and great kid-friendly restaurants, there's something to suit almost every taste—from children to adults and everything in between." By Sara Levine and Emily Leaman

25 Free Things to Do in Washington DC

Museums, walks, cultural events, and more. By Rachel Cooper, About.com Guide

The Best Playgrounds in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia

By Rachel Cooper, About.com Guide

The Official Tourism Site of Washington, DC's Family Page

Tips, links, and recommendations for family-friendly walks, tours, and more.


A web page featuring regularly updated DC-area cultural events listings for kids.

Visiting the Smithsonian with kids

Tips for visiting the Smithsonian's museums and attractions with young children, recommended exhibits, information about upcoming child-oriented events, and more.

Smithsonian Kids

A section of the Smithsonian's web site especially geared toward children.

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