What To Do With Kids in Washington DC – 100 Things

100 Things To Do in Washington DC With Kids (and Grownups Too!)

What’s crazy is that this list is only the tip of the iceberg! There are oodles of incredible, fun activities for families in Washington, DC and the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia. I hope you enjoy this list of field and day trips, and that it inspires you and your kids to explore something new.

1. Call your Member of Congress and obtain White House tour tickets
2. Visit Mount Vernon
3. Hop on a trolley tour of the Washington, DC monuments
4. Touch a real piece of the moon at the National Air and Space Museum
5. Dig in to Ethiopian food with your hands in Adams Morgan
6. Squeal over the pandas at the National Zoo
7. Delve into the basement of the Department of Commerce and visit DC’s National Aquarium
8. Cheer at a Nationals Game on T-Shirt Tuesday
9. Pretend you’re Orville or Wilbur at the College Park Aviation Museum
10.View the fireworks on the National Mall or wave a flag at a fun local 4th of July Parade
11. Pick your own seasonal produce at a nearby farm
12. Ride the carousel at Glen Echo Park
13. Smell the roses at a Family Day event at the U.S. Botanical Gardens
14. Tour the Bureau of Engraving & Printing and see money printed
15. Take the gargoyle tour at Washington National Cathedral
16. Ride Metro to Union Station and burst through the main doors like Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
17. Witness the changing of the guard at the Tombs of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery
18. Eat fish and chips at The Dubliner or Kelly’s Irish Times
19. Hike around Roosevelt Island
20. Sit in Albert Einstein’s lap
21. Paddle around the Tidal Basin
22. Rent canoes or kayaks in Georgetown and paddle down the Potomac
23. Play tourist and see the monuments by boat or Duck tour
24. Check out the view from the top of the Washington Monument
25. Play tag in the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden
26. Play secret agent at the International Spy Museum (and FYI, FBI tours are currently closed)
27. Make peace with the creepy crawlers at the Orkin Insect Zoo at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
28. Drive through the Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive and take a family hike along the Appalachian trail
29. Play in the rocket garden of the NASA Goddard Visitors Center
30. Get lost in the hangars of the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Chantilly
31. Ride the miniature trains at Wheaton or Cabin John Regional Parks
32. Take the Old Town Alexandria ghost tour
33. Listen to free concerts at the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage
34. Explore Luray Caverns
35. Fly a kite on the National Mall
36. Ride the rails at the National Capitol Trolley Museum
37. Feed the animals at the Leesburg Animal Park
38. Enjoy a voyage down the Potomac in a real riverboat
39. Hum along with history at the The Star Spangled Banner Flag House in Baltimore
40. Admire the majestic beauty of Great Falls
41. Go train-crazy at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore
42. Shiver your timbers on a Pirate Adventure Cruise in Annapolis
43. Go eye to eye with a shark or a dolphin at the National Aquarium in Baltimore
44. Have a free, old-fashioned playdate at one of the wondrous local playgrounds
45. Catch a kid-centric show at the Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park
46. Take family or butterfly photos amongst the beauty of Brookside Gardens
47. See a children’s show at Wolf Trap’s Theatre-in-the-Woods
48. Nosh on crab cakes on Kent Island
49. Go fishing in Little Seneca Lake
50. Frolic on the farm at the Agricultural History Farm Park
51. Make figure 8s at local ice rinks
52. Tour the inspiration for Uncle Tom’s Cabin
53. See why they called him Stonewall Jackson at Manassas National Battlefield
54. Hike a portion of the Underground Railroad
55. Learn about the life of an American slave
56. Cool off at the South Germantown Splash Playground
57. Get a hole-in-one at a local miniature golf course
58. Go camping at a local campground
59. Salute our nation’s veterans at Arlington National Cemetery
60. Remember Iwo Jima at the National Marine Corps Memorial
61. Walk through the Depression and the New Deal at the FDR Memorial
62. Hum the Star Spangled Banner from Fort McHenry
63. Play mad scientist at Maryland Science Center in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
64. Rent a cabin in the Virginia countryside
65. Schedule a dinosaur dig
66. Step back in time at a historic manor home
67. Take a free morning bird walk with the Audubon Naturalist Society in MD or VA
68. Cheer the Washington Mystics as a member of the Kids Club
69. Practice your acting skills at a Round House Theatre Free for All Friday
70. Take a horseback ride through Rock Creek Park
71. Eat cotton candy at a nearby county fair
72. Ride the kiddie rides at Six Flags America
73. Walk around historic Annapolis
74. Walk around historic Fells Point, MD
75. Walk through the Friendship Archway in DC’s Chinatown
76. Build and play at the Building Zone at the National Building Museum
77. Tour the US Capitol via the public tour or by private tour conducted by your Member of Congress
78. Experience the beginning of American history at the National Museum of the American Indian
79. Hear a story or see a performance at the Discovery Theatre
80. Kick up your heels at a Folklore Society of Greater Washington Family Dance at Glen Echo
81. Talk to the animals at the Reston Zoo
82. Solve a mystery as a Plantation Sleuth at Gunston Hall
83. Play, eat and enjoy wallet-friendly design at a nearby IKEA
84. Chow down on dim sum
85. Time travel to 1771 at Claude Moore Colonial Farm at Turkey Run
86. Get soaked (in a good way) at Splashdown Waterpark
87. Drive out to Virginia’s Dinosaurland
88. Go on safari at Virginia Safari Park
89. Get interactive at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum in Baltimore
90. Report live from the Newseum
91. View sites of the city from a bicycle
92. Satisfy your very hungry bookworm at the Library of Congress
93. View the documents of democracy at the National Archives
94. Visit the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michael’s
95. Build a sand castle at Sandy Point State Park
96. Grab weekend brunch on the Georgetown Waterfront
97. Tour the historic 1876 synagogue with the Jewish Historical Society of Greater Washington
98. Tour the gardens and re-creation of Christian holy sites at the Franciscan Monastery
99. Tour the Route 11 potato chip factory.
100. Eat and shop your way through Eastern Market

If you made it this far and your fave DC-area activity isn’t listed, please add in the comments!


  1. asdfasf

  2. What a great list!  We already do many of these (Washington Zoo is our family..then the Museum of Natural History is a close second!)  Definitely going to check out more of these this Spring!


  3. WOW…100 things to do w/kids in DC!! You REALLY ROCK!!!

  4. Okay, I have bookmarked this one for use as the wee one gets bigger!

  5. Lori Nicholson says

    Wow, this is totally amazing. Thanks so much for sharing this information. I’m fairly new to APISS, but I wish I had known this when my almost-nine-year-old was little.

  6. We’ve been in MD for almost 3 years now and I never realized how much we were missing! Thanks to “100 Things…” now there’s more for us to do on weekends.

  7. reptilesalive says

    I don’t even have kids and this list is a great idea.  Also fun: painting pottery, try the map and compass orienteering course at Prince William Forest Park, frisbee golf, collect interesting finds in nature, start a nature journal, take a tour of a grain mill, or go geocaching!

  8. Lisa R. Betts says

    A big thank you for putting this list together.  It’s become my family’s “to-do” list…we have been busy checking items off.  Thanks!

  9. This list is fantastic — i have lived here since 96 and didn’t know about some of these.. thanks – great resource!

    steph h

  10. 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😎 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

  11. hi

  12. This is a great idea….awesome!!!

  13. We like to go to summer concerts performed by the military bands on various weeknights on the West Lawn Capitol Steps. They start at eight p.m. You can get details by going to the Army Band, Navy Band, Air Force Band and Marine Corps Band websites. All free!

  14. amy @teachmama says

    I just found this page, Jess, and I want to hug you for it. You really are one amazing chick.


  15. Happy Day says

    We love Watkins Regional Park! It is located in Upper Marlboro, MD and has a Nature Center, Old Maryland Farm and great playgrounds that are no cost. There is also the Chesapeake Carousel, miniature train ride and miniature golf that are seasonal and have a small fee (less than $2). In addition, they have a drive through festival of lights during the winter holiday season.

    Thanks for your list!

  16. Security Company says

    This is great…I am relocating for the first time to Washington DC and this would help me to plan for my kids.

  17. I just visited the new Be With Me Playseum in Washington DC! (Their new location). It was amazing. A beautiful building with lots to see and do. Much bigger than the Bethesda location. My kids had fun making milkshakes, pasta, lipgloss, and playing in all the unique city rooms. We will definately go back whenever in downtown DC!! http://www.playseum.com

  18. Hiya! I simply want to give a huge thumbs up for the great information you will
    have here on this post. I will likely be coming back to your blog for
    more soon.

  19. I would like to express some appreciation to this writer just for rescuing me from this instance.

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  20. There is definately a lot to learn about this topic.

    I like all of the points you have made.

  21. Excellent list, Jess! You seem to know the area very well. On another note, any recommendations for an off-the-grid, late night bar in the Ballston area?
    -Uncle Stevie

  22. Amazing List.. plan to do them all before my 15 month old turns 4 🙂 We do a lot at Glen Echo but never venture out that far. THANKS so much, this will be bookmarked

  23. Single parent, flying my 10 y/o daughter up here next week, but I have to work Wednesday and Thursday, what can I set her up with those two days so she doesn’t miss out on her first time in memorable DC? Is there a trusted tour for this type of situation, or an interesting camp that takes on a day by day basis, would hate to just leave her with grandma watching TV. Help!

  24. What a great list! We already do many of these (Washington Zoo is our family..then the Museum of Natural History is a close second!) Definitely going to check out more of these this Spring! – See more at: http://aparentinsilverspring.com/2010/02/what-to-do-with-kids-in-washington-dc-100-things.html#sthash.hc9wKN0T.dpuf

  25. Great article..!! how many nights are required to be cover all sightseeing and attraction in Washington actually i’m planning to visit there.

  26. All the ideas are great.thanks for share

  27. Great tips and lovely blog thanks for sharing this lovely article

  28. Thanks for sharing..!

  29. good post
    loved going through it
    thanks for sharing

  30. good blog
    loved going through it
    thank you so much for sharing

  31. Dear, Thanks for the post all the good information has posted in this article.
    Book India (www.nikitaholidays.com) 2 nights 3 days golden triangle tour package by Car and Driver at . In 3 days tour package of City Sightseeing Delhi, Agra, Jaipur world-famous memorials

  32. Very interesting, good job and thanks for sharing such a good blog. your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.

  33. Your list is very informative, I love this list, so helpful. Thanks for sharing.keep posting.

  34. thanks for sharing such a great content.

  35. Superb blog thanks for sharing!

  36. This is great keep it up

  37. Really Amazing Post Keep Sharing!


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