Things To Do In Washington DC For Kids
Start With The DC Ducks Tour
Bring the kids and get ready for an afternoon of family entertainment unlike anything else. Every child receives our signature “quacker” whistle as they board the DUCK mobile, and is welcome to quack away as we cruise through the city streets witnessing all the historic sites and attractions in Washington DC for kids. The anticipation builds as we make our thrilling plunge into the Potomac, without missing a quack! It’s a 90-minute DC sightseeing tour of fun and history that delights children and adults of all ages.
It’s a good idea to start your vacation with a tour of the city for a variety of reasons: First, it gives your family an overall scope of the city and lay of the land. This allows you to plan transportation and the proper amount of time to move from one attraction to another. Since Washington DC has so many attractions and museums, it is important to pick the most interesting places to visit first and plan your day around them. Besides being fun and relaxing, the DC Duck Sightseeing Tour will give you an understanding about many of the additional attractions and things to do in Washington DC with Kids so you can plan a perfect vacation for the entire family. Here are the top recommendations from the DC Duck crew for things to do in Washington DC with kids. You could chose to include these recommendations in your vacation during the planning stages or ask our knowledgeable tour guides about them once you arrive.
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
The Smithsonian Air and Space Museum is a favorite among families and ideal for children of all ages. Here, they’ll get to see historic air and spacecrafts and tour through dozens of galleries that showcase the history of flight throughout the world. The museum also features interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater, a three-level shop and food court. 7th and Independence Avenue, NW; (202) 357-1400.
Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Kids from all over the world are wowed by the amazing displays housed inside this world-famous Smithsonian Museum. From rare gems, fossils, animals and insects to the dazzling Hope Diamond, there’s something for everyone. Interactive displays, guided tours, unique exhibits and fascinating programs enlighten visitors about the wonders of the natural world throughout the centuries. Discovery Room and Johnson IMAX theater. Open daily 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. On the National Mall; 10th Street and Constitution Ave. NW; (202) 633-1000.
The White House Visitors Center
Want to learn more about the place where the President of The United States lives and works? The White House Visitors Center offers a look at the history of the White House and it’s importance in our nation. From historical information about the house, the furnishings and architecture, to interesting facts about the first families, there’s much to see for people of all ages.
The National Zoo
Lions and tigers and bears and so much more! The National Zoo is known for its unusual residents—and as one of the premier zoological research institutions in the United States. A part of the Smithsonian Institution, it was created to help teach people about wildlife and to aid in the elimination of extinction of various species. Giant Pandas, Great Apes and more than 300 other animals await your arrival! Admission to the zoo is free and it’s recommended that you allow several hours to see it all. As one of the most popular attractions in Washington DC for kids, you will definitely want to put this on your to-do list. 17th and M Streets, NW; (202) 857-7588.
National Museum of American History
Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays the heritage of the United States in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. It is here that you will find the original Star-Spangled Banner and Archie Bunker’s chair, Julia Child’s Kitchen and Fonzie’s jacket. 1000 Jefferson Drive, SW, (202) 633-1000
Bureau of Engraving & Printing
See where millions of dollars are printed every day. Discover all of the steps to producing currency from the blank sheet of paper to crisp bill. As the security printer for the US Government, the Bureau is responsible for the design, printing and engraving for all US currency. 14th and C Streets, SW; (202) 874-2330
Explore the Washington Monument, which can be seen from every corner of Washington, D.C., that stands in tribute to George Washington. The “Father of His Country” helped determine how America’s three branches of government would work together. 900 Ohio Drive SW; (202) 426-6841.
Glen Echo Park
This wonderful park near Bethesda, Maryland offers year-round activities in dance, theater, and the arts for the adults and children. There are concerts, demonstrations, workshops, and festivals. The antique Dentzel carousel delights children May through September. Enjoy a puppet show at the Puppet Co. or a children’s theatrical performance at Adventure Theatre. At Living Classrooms of the National Capital Region, explore nature, history, and the arts through innovative educational programs and exhibits. 7300 MacArthur Blvd., Glen Echo, MD 20812 301-634-2222
National Postal Museum
One of the Smithsonian’s newer museums, the National Postal Museum is located next door to Union Station. One of the most popular exhibits is Moving the Mail, depicting how mail has been delivered through the years. The National Postal Museum has also recently acquired John Lennon’s stamp collection. Open daily 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
2 Massachusetts Ave. NE; (202) 633-5555
National Geographics Explorers Hall
Numerous cultural programs and exhibitions are presented at the Society’s museum and travelogs and other lectures are presented in the museum’s Grosvenor Auditorium throughout the year. Call to see what is happening while you are in town. 17th and M Streets, NW; (202) 857-7588.
U.S. National Arboretum
Many species of trees and other plants are grown and studied at this magnificent national outdoor museum where something is always in bloom. The arboretum is open every day and provides a cafe and gift shop so you can take your time and make a day of it. 3501 New York Avenue, NE; (202) 245-2726.
Tidal Basin Paddle Boats
View the Jefferson Memorial and Japanese Cherry Trees from the water. Enjoy a family outing or take a break from touring and soak up some sun in your very own Tidal Basin Paddle Boat
1501 Maine Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20024, 202-479-2426
Best Playgrounds in Washington DC For Kids
East Potomac Park
East Potomac Park is a 300+ acre peninsula located between the Washington Channel and the Potomac River. Hains Point, at the southern end of the park, is a popular picnic spot with a great view of the city and features a mini-golf course, a playground, a public outdoor pool, tennis courts, picnic facilities, and a recreation center. New equipment is set on rubber mat surfacing which accommodates strollers and wheelchairs. This beautiful park has plenty of shade, bathrooms, picnic benches and lots of areas for kids to run around. Hains Pt & Ohio Dr S (202) 554-7660
Friendship “Turtle” Park
This is one of the best playgrounds in DC, with plenty of slides, swings, tunnels, and climbing structures. There is a fenced area with plenty of shade, benches and picnic tables. Other amenities include a sand box with turtles, basketball and tennis courts, softball/soccer fields and a recreation center. 4500 Van Ness Street, NW (202) 282-2198
Kalorama Park is a large playground in the heart of Adams Morgan next to Kalorama Recreation Center. The playgrounds are divided into big-kid and little-kid fenced play areas. 19th Street & Kalorama Rd. NW.