Things To Do With Kids in Washington, D. C.

Taking the kids to visit Washington DC is a time-honored tradition in the United States. The Nation’s Capital is filled with world-class museums, renowned monuments, and celebrated cultural centers that help create an informative and visitor-friendly atmosphere. Between taking a tour of the White House and exploring America’s Front Yard, there’s no shortages of great things to do and places to see. There’s no need to get overwhelmed - take a look at this list of great places to visit next time you’re in the Capital City.

The worst part about visiting DC with the kids is deciding which of the many attractions to visit. Purchasing a GO Card Explorer Pass allows you access to over 20 different tours, museums, and galleries. Here are some more top things to do with kids:

  • See the adorable giant pandas at the National Zoo
  • Get the ball rolling at AMF Bowling Center
  • Try out the secret agent gadgets at the International Spy Museum
  • Take selfies with the presidents at Madame Tussauds D.C.
  • Jump off the walls and into a foam pit at Flight Trampoline Park

Although you have to be at least 35 to be a president, there’s no age limit to have fun in DC. Parents can enjoy the town’s unmatched culinary scene while the kids can inhale mountains of sugar at the many candy shops. Other fun family activities include:

  • Splashing around the water features in The Yards Park
  • Perusing through the stamp collection at the National Postal Museum
  • Attending a concert on the West Lawn of the US Capitol
  • Admiring plants from all over the country at the United State Botanic Gardens
  • Wandering through the worlds biggest library at the Library of Congress

The National Mall is the most popular tourist site in Washington. Make sure to snap photos of the kids standing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, the Reflecting Pool, and the State Capitol Building. Here are some other important Washington highlights:

  • See an IMAX informative film at the National Air and Space Museum
  • Go behind the scenes of the news industry at the Newseum
  • Partake in hands-on art activities at the National Gallery of Art
  • Check out the Star-Spangled Banner exhibit at the National Museum of American History
  • Venture amongst the different gardens at the National Arboretum

Washington isn’t all government offices and historical exhibits. Take the kids for a more colorful day out and search for the cherry blossoms, Netherland carillons, and saucer magnolias that bloom throughout the city. Below are some other stimulating kids activities:

  • Make a move with the giant game pieces at the Recreation Pier
  • Complete the Warriors Courses at the Laugh Out Loud Station
  • Ride the mini train at Wheaton Regional Park
  • Experience history and culture at the Smithsonian Discovery Theater
  • Climb around on the colorful playground at Clemyjontri Park

If you’re in town for your child’s school trip, give the kids a break from administrative tours and historic sites. Washington has tons of sports fields, entertainment centers, and relaxing green spaces to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do with a group:

  • Have a picnic at Hains Point in East Potomac Park
  • Challenge each other to laser tag at Ultrazone Bailey’s Crossroads
  • Slip down the water slides at Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole
  • Play in the fountain at Canal Park
  • Defend your ship and search for treasure with Urban Pirates Cruise

Washington is home to the Smithsonian Institutions, a collection of galleries and museums where kids can learn all about nature, animals, space, and history. Make sure to leave time to visit these other educational spots:

  • See the preserved aircraft at the College Park Aviation Museum
  • Pick out the constellations at the planetarium in Rock Creek Park
  • Go back in time to 1771 at Claude Moore Colonial Farm
  • Take a photo in front of the mammoth at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Understand the cultures of native peoples at the American Indian Museum

Even art has its place in Washington. Teach the kids about how designers create new dollar bills at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing or the importance of the Neoclassical architecture of the Capital City buildings. Once you’ve inspired the kids, sign them up for these creative classes:

  • Create a vibrant masterpiece with Anna Banana Arts and Crafts
  • Learn how to use a sabre at DC Fencers Club
  • Master the basic steps with Joy of Motion Dance Center
  • Prepare to join a symphony with B&B Music Lessons
  • Perfect your somersaults with American Parkour

After a day of touring the streets of DC, the best way to unwind is to enjoy some quality time indoors. Bringing the kids to a concert at the Kennedy Center, or reading time at the DC Public Library is a great way for parents to relax while the kids have fun. Other fun indoor activities include:

  • Playing a game of bocce at Pinstripes
  • Watching a Broadway show at the National Theatre
  • Letting your imagination run wild at the Playseum
  • Dancing under the disco ball at the Temple Hills Skate Palace
  • Picking out a new picture book at Fairy Godmother - Childrens Books & Toys