105 Things to Do With Kids in Washington DC

There are so many family fun things to do with kids in Washington DC and here we’ll pulled together 105 ideas for you.

Here you’ll find something for everyone in the family so you can get out the house, have some fun and make some new memories!

  1. Learn the story of our planet at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  2. elemeno (SkillZone) is childhood STEM and play area.
  3. Wilson Aquatic Center is a premier indoor aquatic facility.* 
  4. The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution has the world’s largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft.
  5. Take a break from the city at the United States National Arboretum 
  6. Enjoy views of the river and plenty of green space and trails for picnics or biking at Hains Point.
  7. Time to smell the roses at the United States Botanic Garden

things to do with kids in washington dc
US Botanical Gardens | Photo by Jamie Davis Smith
  1. Splash in fountains, hop in a canoe and cross the cool pedestrian bridge at The Yards Park
  2. Relax by the water, exercise at the fitness station, or check out the Anacostia Park Skating Pavilion(open in the summer).
  3.  Fun for the whole family at East Potomac Mini Golf
  4. Palmer Alley is the highlight of CityCenterDC, a majestic walk decorated with different seasonal features throughout the year.
  5.  The Hirshhorn Museum welcomes you and your family to enjoy hands-on art making and special storytime.*
  6. Visit the only planetarium in the National Park Service at Rock Creek Park.
fun things to do with kids in washington dc
Enid A. Haupt Garden | Credit Smithsonian Gardens


  1. Smithsonian Gardens is open daily from dawn to dusk.
  2. Enjoy the view from the Tidal Basin.
  3. Play free ping pong and eat yummy pizza at Comet Ping Pong
  4. Lafayette Square is a seven-acre public park located within President’s Park.
  5. Check out the Cherry Blossoms at the National Cathedral. 
  6. Take in the outdoors at the park.
  7. There is something for everyone at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens
  8. Constitution Gardens is a living legacy.
  9. National Geographic Museum has the best learning experiences for all ages. 
  1. Test your spy skills at the International Spy Museum.
  2. The National Children’s Museum is a children’s museum and science center that has a three-level jungle gym with climbing areas and more. 
  3. Do something different with Smithsonian Sleepovers.
  4. Grab a delicious cupcake from Georgetown Cupcake, founded by stars of DC Cupcakes on TLC.
  5. Enjoy a delicious meal while your kid gets to decorate and eat a cookie at the table at Firefly
  6. Play oversized games at The Wharf
  7. Enjoy a free children’s Saturday morning show at the Helen Hayes Gallery at the National Theatre


  1. Make lots of elongated echos by stomping, clapping and singing inside the Echo Dome. Then step outside and you won’t hear a thing.
  2. Play in the tunnels and in the sandbox with turtles at Friendship “Turtle” Park
  3. Play mini golf at the country’s oldest continually operated mini golf course at East Potomac Park.
  4. Go to a free bilingual storytime at the National Gallery of Art
  5. Bring your kid’s drum (or not!) to listen to the drum circle on Sunday afternoons at  Meridian Hill Park.
Yummy Looking Donuts by Doughnuts DC
Astro Doughnuts DC
  1. Eat a fried doughnut at Astro Doughnuts and Fried Chicken
  2. Load up on fresh produce at DC’s oldest continually operated fresh food public market.
  3. Attend a kids story and activity time at Politics and Prose Bookstore
  4. Play at this unique outdoor jungle gym from 6pm to dusk. 
  5. Rent a bike (or bring your own) and enjoy a ride along at the Georgetown Waterfront Park.
  6. Check out the 19-foot chair in Anacostia.
  7. Let the kids run the bases at Nationals Park after select Sunday games. 
Washington Nationals Park | Credit MLB
  1. Visit the giant bird at the Washington Youth Garden
  2. Watch a free performance at Millennium Stage at The Kennedy Center every day of the year.
  3. Take the kids to see some of the monuments at night. Start with the World War II Memorial to see the fountains lit up at night. 
  4. Since there are no cars allowed, walk or take a boat to Theodore Roosevelt Island.
  5. See if the Corpse flower is in bloom (but be careful…it stinks!). 
  6. Climb to the rooftop terrace of the National Gallery of Art East Building to see the 14 ½ foot giant blue rooster. 
  7. Hop between the 56 stones on the small island that celebrates the signers of the Declaration of Independence.
Tidal Basin Swan Boats  |  Things to Do With Kids in DC
Tidal Basin Swan Boats | Credit Boating in DC
  1. Bring a picnic (or get food there) at the Kennedy Center rooftop and enjoy the view.
  2. Rent a motorized swan boat.
  3. Small batch ice cream and handmade chocolates. Need we say more?
  4. Pick up a chocolate covered oreo at The Capital Candy Jar.
  5. Enjoy a free concert on the lawn of the US Capital.
  6. Eat some cookie dough at The Dough Jar.  
  7. Watch a professional tennis match at The Kastles Stadium at The Smith Center.
  8. Get free admission to the Butterfly Pavilion on Tuesdays.*
Credit Crumbs & Whiskers
  1. Try one of this week’s assorted ice cream flavors flash frozen with liquid nitrogen. 
  2. Cuddle up with cats at Crumbs and Whiskers Cat Cafe.
  3. Take a selfie at Unicorn Lane
  4. Snap kiddie portraits at Blagden Alley
  5. Take a fun family portrait at City Center’s changing decor from snowflakes to beach balls.
  6. Watch a show at the theater devoted to kids. 
  7. Bring a picnic and a soccer ball to the National Mall and enjoy a relaxing day.
  8. Fly a kite at the Washington Monument.
Phoebe Waterman Haas Public Observatory | Credit National Air & Space Museum
  1. Can you catch the mobile cookie & milk man? Share an ice cream sandwich at Captain Cookie & The Milk Man.
  2. Surprise them with mac n’ cheese topped with baked Goldfish crackers at Old Ebbitt Grill.
  3. Bring out the young stargazers every Monday for a show tailored to them at Rock Creek Nature Center’s planetarium.
  4. Let the kids run around and up to the famous capitol columns at the US National Arboretum
National Arboretum
  1. Photograph kids taking pictures with flowers as big as their heads and checkout the lily pads at Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens
  2. See how money is made at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
  3. Take the metro to the National Zoo
  4. Visit the kid-friendly fountain and the modern art exhibits on the top floor of the National Portrait Gallery
  5. Burn some energy along the Georgetown Waterfront Park.
  6. Plan a staycation at DC’s most awarded hotel, The Jefferson.
Image Source: National Zoo website
  1. Enjoy a stroll along the willow trees at Wharf Waterfront Park.
  2. Design your own stamp (and email it to yourself) at the National Postal Museum
  3. Play a game of miniature 10-pin bowling at The Eleanor DC.
  4. For kids 10 and under take a pay-what-you-like National Mall scavenger hunt tour.
  5. Visit the Children’s Garden at Brookside Gardens for a family vacation.
  6. Cool off at one of the spray grounds (Langdon Park and Petworth Spray Park), one of the best things to do in dc
Image Source: Tregaron Conservancy website
  1. Explore the lesser-visited trails, wild gardens, open fields, meadows, nature center and a lily pond at the Tregaron Conservancy
  2. Rent a boat at the Fletcher’s Cove
  3. Gorge on wood-fired pizzas at 2 Amys Neapolitan Pizzeria
  4. See the interactive exhibits at Artechouse
  5. Older kids can also attend a free event at the DC Public Library
  6. See the tulips at the Franciscan Monastery
  7. Visit The Museum of the Bible in Washington d.c.
  1. A great way to challenge yourself is to visit the Escape the Room DC
  2. Go ice skating at Fort Dupont Ice Rink
  3. Visit, learn, and watch the exhibits at the National Building Museum
  4. Pay a visit to the National Museum of the American Indian
  5. Learn about the richness and diversity of the African culture at National Museum of African American History and Culture
  6. Here’s a chance for the younger kids to become Junior Ranger at the National Mall and Memorial Parks
  7. Visit one of the largest and most inclusive collections of American art in the world.
  8. Learn about the Holocaust at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Image Source: Escape the Room DC Facebook Page
  1. Educate yourself about the complex history of our nation at the National Museum of American History
  2. Enjoy a picnic at Hains Point picnic area, Anacostia Park or Rock Creek Park.
  3. On the second Friday of every month (all the way through mid October!), you can attend the Annual Drive-In at Union Market. Some movies are for the whole family while others are for teens and / or adults only.
Image Source: National Harbor Facebook Page
  1. Pick up some fresh food at one of the local farmer’s markets (Dupont Circle Freshfarm Market, Penn Quarter Freshfarm Market, Eastern Market)
  2. During the summer, see a free concert and live music by the U.S. Air Force Band Saturdays at 7pm at the National Harbor
  3. Attend one (or several!) of the annual spring festivals in DC (Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Flower Mart or the Washington DC Dragon Boat Festival)
  4. A great place to visit with the kids is Planet Word.
  5. Attend a Session at the Supreme Court.
  6. Enjoy the Green Space at Stead Park and take a short walk.
  7. Try Scallion Pancakes at Maketto with the entire family.

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Michaela Lee

Michaela lives in Northern Virginia and is a mom of 2 young kids. She enjoys writing, reading and going new places with her family.

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