Finest issues to do in DC for households with youngsters of various ages


Because the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., is a superb vacation spot for vacationers craving American tradition and historical past.

Nonetheless, if you happen to’re touring with household, you might surprise which sights are kid-friendly. For instance, the Nationwide Archives Museum is a well-liked attraction, nevertheless it is likely to be troublesome to get youngsters to stay quiet inside and hold their arms to themselves.

Thankfully, Washington has loads of different actions for teenagers and adults. Listed here are eight of our favourite sights for individuals of all ages.

Nationwide Zoo

Smithsonian’s Conservation Biology Institute, generally referred to as the Nationwide Zoo, is residence to greater than 2,000 animals. They’re grouped alongside trails devoted to their species, continent, nation or area.

Alongside the Asia path, you may see a clouded leopard, an Asian small-clawed otter, a sloth bear, a pink panda and plenty of extra animals. Stars of the elephant path embrace the 48-year-old Sri Lanka-born Asian elephant Kamala (which means “lotus”), who arrived with Swarna (which means “gold”) and her second calf, Maharani (which means “queen”), from the Calgary Zoo about 10 years in the past.

Alongside the American path, you may see Andean bears and Amazon-area creatures corresponding to the electrical eel, piranha, poison dart frog, stingray, fish and coral.

One of many zoo’s essential sights is Xiao Qi Ji, a two-year-old large panda. His identify, which implies “Little Miracle,” pays tribute to his mom, who, at 22 years previous, turned the oldest large panda to provide delivery within the U.S.


Getting everybody out the door early on trip could be troublesome, however attempt to go to within the morning when the animals are normally extra energetic.

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Nationwide Mall

The Nationwide Mall is stuffed with family-friendly actions. On the Nationwide Air and Area Museum, you may step inside historic planes and even attempt to pilot a digital airplane. There’s additionally an exhibit designated to hurry, which explores the quickest land automobiles all through American historical past.

The Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past can also be a favourite amongst youngsters with large dinosaurs, a large squid, a butterfly backyard and the huge Hope Diamond.

Smithsonian Nationwide Museum of Pure Historical past. EMILY THOMPSON/THE POINTS GUY

Whenever you’re prepared for a break from the museums, benefit from the inexperienced area on the Nationwide Mall. There’s numerous garden area for teenagers to run round or play frisbee. Children additionally love the Smithsonian carousel right here.

Keep away from the quick meals vehicles and dear museum cafeterias. As an alternative, cease for lunch within the downtown space (a couple of blocks north) or picnic on the garden midway by means of your go to.

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Worldwide Spy Museum

  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday by means of Friday; 9 a.m. to eight p.m. Saturday.
  • Price: $28.95 for an grownup ticket (ages 13-64), $18.95 for a youth ticket (ages 7-12) and $25.95 for faculty college students and army with proof of ID. Youngster tickets (ages 6 and below) are free.
  • Getting there: The closest Metro station is the L’Enfant Plaza cease, a five-minute stroll away.

There’s really one thing for everybody on this immersive museum. Elementary-age and older youngsters will love assuming a spy identification and finishing interactive missions all through the museum. Youthful youngsters will love the area to roam round and the abundance of pictures and visible shows.


Older youngsters and adults will discover a lot to geek out over as effectively. They are going to find out how spy ways are utilized in cyber warfare and the way spies use costuming to hide their true identities.

There are additionally mini theaters all through the museum that play movies of actual former spies explaining their work, offering the proper alternative to assemble and calm down for a couple of minutes at any time when obligatory.

The common go to lasts between two and three hours, however you may discover freely at your personal tempo — splendid for individuals who have toddlers in tow.

Nationwide Postal Museum

  • Hours: 10 a.m. to five p.m.
  • Price: Free.
  • Getting there: The closest Metro station is Union Station, a five-minute stroll away.

The quieter, extra off-the-beaten-path Nationwide Postal Museum is an ideal spot to decompress and escape the crowds that converge on the extra in style Smithsonians.


Children have a tendency to like automobiles, and one of many museum’s highlights is its massive show of vehicles, rail vehicles and plane, which the U.S. mail service has used all through its historical past. There’s even a recreated rail automotive you may climb into and go searching. Some displays have interactive parts the place youngsters can establish counterfeit mail or write actual postcards.

Older youngsters and adults will benefit from the spectacular stamp assortment and displays that highlight how the mail system has been essential to our nationwide security and private connection all through American historical past.

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Gunston Corridor

  • Hours: 9:30 a.m. to five:30 p.m.
  • Price: $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for kids and free for ages 5 and below.
  • Getting there: A 35-minute drive from downtown. Parking is free.

The previous residence of George Mason (one of many Founding Fathers of the U.S.), Gunston Corridor is an excellent place to take youngsters to study American historical past and our nation’s founding. The excursions are enjoyable, and our information had numerous expertise working with youngsters.

For youthful youngsters, the gardens and grounds at Gunston Corridor are nice areas to run round and observe the historic buildings. Children can even take part in interactive workshops and actions relying on the season.

Older youngsters can discover the historical past of the mansion and the Mason household. Inform them to pay shut consideration to the small particulars, such because the royal crown molding and Parisian wallpaper, which have been exceptionally uncommon within the Virginia Colony. The mansion tour had numerous hands-on displays, and we beloved the first supply quotes.


With fewer individuals than George Washington’s Mount Vernon, Gunston Corridor is a must-see vacation spot for households with youngsters all in favour of America’s historical past and basis.

Nationwide Harbor

Nationwide Harbor is one other nice family-friendly vacation spot within the Washington, D.C., space. When you can, arrive by cruise from Washington or Alexandria, Virginia, so you may take pleasure in scenic river views.

The Capital Wheel is a 180-foot-tall Ferris wheel with lovely views of the Potomac River and downtown Washington, D.C., within the distance. It prices $15 for adults, $13.50 for seniors over 60 and $11.25 for kids ages 3 to 11.

Steps from the Capital Wheel are pedal boats you may hire by the hour, and there is a Construct-a-Bear Workshop and Ben and Jerry’s. All of those sights are inside shut strolling distance to one another.


Children additionally love enjoying on The Awakening, a 70-foot-tall Zeus-like statue rising from the sand.

Nationals baseball sport

  • Hours: Examine the Nationals schedule for residence sport dates and occasions
  • Price: Begins at $13 per ticket.
  • Getting there: The closest Metro station is Navy Yard station, a three-minute stroll away.

Combine up your historical past experiences and go to a distinct form of Washington, D.C., icon: Nationals Stadium. Children of all ages will benefit from the music repeatedly pumping from the jumbo tron, crowd chants and snacks.

When any of your group will get stressed, there’s loads of area to stroll across the stadium and even a spot for teenagers to follow their throwing abilities. Whenever you’re prepared for lunch or dinner, do not miss the enduring Ben’s Chili Bowl stand.


If the Nats aren’t enjoying a house sport when you’re on the town however have MLB followers in your group, you may nonetheless tour the stadium. Excursions are at 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 1 p.m. and a couple of:30 p.m. on non-gamedays solely. Tickets are $25 every.

When you’re not visiting throughout baseball season, try a Wizards NBA sport, a Commanders NFL sport or a D.C. United MLS sport.

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Afternoon tea

  • Hours: 11:30 a.m. to three p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, excluding holidays. Reservations required.
  • Price: $68 per grownup, $45 per little one (12 and below).
  • Getting there: The closest Metro station is the Foggy Backside—GWU Kennedy Middle station, an eight-minute stroll away.

Head to The Ritz-Carlton for afternoon tea if you wish to deal with your crew to a pinkies-up afternoon tour.

Adults will take pleasure in a number of candy and savory treats in addition to a alternative of tea and a glass of glowing wine. Children 12 and below can take pleasure in Teddy Bear Tea, which incorporates child-friendly bites with both tea or sizzling chocolate and a teddy bear to take residence.


It is a little bit of a splurge however is a superb choice if you happen to’re celebrating one thing particular or simply need an opportunity to dress up and revel in a stunning two-hour tea expertise collectively.

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Backside line

Washington, D.C., is stuffed with museums, historic sights and enjoyable outside areas excellent for a visit with youngsters. The entire Smithsonian museums supply interactive displays and fascinating actions for kids.

Touring with youngsters to the district is each enjoyable and academic, as it could actually deliver youngsters’ lessons to life. There are numerous alternatives to run, discover, study and play.


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