101 Best Things to Do with Kids in the Washington, DC Area

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The Washington, DC area has gobs of activities, events, nature, museums, etc. Here is our list of 101 best things to do with kids in the Washington, DC area. This is broken up by indoor, outdoor, and based in Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia. Enjoy and share with your friends.

Have you done everything in this top notch bucket list?! As a fun challenge, if you complete these 101 best things to do with kids in the DC area, please send us a message (we love hearing from you!) and we will give you a prize (until supplies potentially run out!).

Please note that a lot of places have a limited schedule. Please be sure to double check availability for visitors.

Get your Printable HERE!

Indoor and Outdoor Activities in DC, Maryland, and Virginia

1. Ice Skate year round (or go ski!)

2. Visit local pools year round

3. Treat yourself at a local bakery or donut shop

4. Visit Local Libraries in Washington, DC, Virginia (Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax County, Falls Church, Loudon County, Prince William County), and Maryland (Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, and Anne Arundel County)

5. Play at Indoor Play Places

6. Ride a train

7. Relax at local Movie Theaters

8. Pick produce at local farms

9. Try a new family-friendly brunch place

10. Get some ice cream

11. Unwind at a local spa

12. Support women owned-businesses

13. Visit the best playgrounds

14. Explore nature with kids

Indoor Activities in Washington, DC

15. Immerse yourself at the American History Museum 

16. Learn at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum

17. Explore the US Postal Museum

18. Enjoy the National Museum of African American History and Culture

19. Visit the Renwick then eat Grilled Cheese DC

20. Wonder at nature at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum

101 to do with kids in the DC Area
Smithsonian Natural History Museum

21. Schedule a tour of the White House through your Representative

22. Visit the Capitol Building (once tours are available again)

23. Tour Lincoln’s Cottage

24. Eat at Historic Ben’s Chili Bowl

25. Get lost in the National Portrait Gallery

26. See a performance at the Kennedy Center

27. Play at the National Building Museum, Planet Word Museum, National Children’s Museum, or The Lane Social Club

28. Head to the top of the Washington Monument

29. Visit the Hirshhorn Museum

30. Uncover mysteries at the National Spy Museum or Museum of the Bible

31. Shop at Steadfast Supply Company, Little Leaf, or Miss Pixie’s

32. Look up at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Indoor Activities in Northern Virginia

33. Explore George Washington’s Mount Vernon (beautiful grounds too!)

34. Get energy out at Flight Adventure Park in Springfield

34. Shop and eat at Tysons Corner Center

36. Immerse yourself at The Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum

37. Explore Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

101 to do with kids in DC
Udvar-Hazy Center

38. Shop at Leesburg Premium Outlets

39. Visit the National Museum of the Marine Corps

40. Explore and play at The St. James

41. Go Scramble in Alexandria or Falls Church

Indoor Activities in Southern Maryland

42. Ride a Trolly at the National Capitol Trolly Museum

43. Visit the National Aquarium in Baltimore

Baltimore Aquarium Jellyfish
Baltimore Aquarium

44. Visit B&O Railroad Museum

45. Shop and get brunch at Franklins

46. Look for treasures at Community Forklift

47. Play at District Jump in Hyattsville or Kids Play Gallery in Gaithersburg

48. See a performance at Imagination Stage

49. Get hands on at KID Museum

50. Visit Little Town’s Children’s Museum in North Bethesda

Outdoor Activities in Washington, DC

51. Say hello to our animal friends at the Smithsonian National Zoo

52. Enjoy activities at Yards Park year round (their giant summer pool is great) and Trapeze School of New York in Washington, DC

53. Ride the Carousel on the National Mall (and walk gardens of the Smithsonian Castle)

101 to do with kids in the Washington, DC area Smithsonian castle
Smithsonian Castle Gardens with 2021 Cherry Blossom Sculpture

54. Play at Beauvoir Playground in NW DC

55. Stroll through Georgetown and ride a Pirate Ship!

56. Cheer on the Washington Commanders

57. Walk through the National Arboretum in NE DC

58. Pay respect at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial near the Tidal Basin

59. Walk around the National Cathedral (find the Darth Vader gargoyle) and visit the Bishops Garden

60. Walk the U.S. Botanic Gardens (the summer water lilies are so pretty)

61. Hike various trails of Rock Creek Park

62. Explore The Wharf and ride the free Wharf Jitney to East Potomac Park

63. Canoe and collect trash on the Anacostia River for free

64. Visit the Abraham Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall (and Einstein nearby!)

65. Visit the Outdoor Sculpture Garden

66. Walk, bike, run, or fly a kite on the National Mall and stop by the Vietnam, World War I, and World War II Memorials

67. Cheer on the Washington Nationals Baseball Team

68. Walk the Tidal Basin and the Jefferson Memorial and ride a Swan Pedal Boat 

69. Roller Skate at Anacostia Park and play on their pirate ship playground

70. Putt-putt at Hains Point (the oldest mini-golf course in our country)

71. Do window shopping at City Center DC and take a cute pic with their seasonal decor

72. Cheer on the DC United at the Audi Field

73. Visit the United States Botanical Gardens (indoor and outdoor)

74. Visit Tudor Place or Hillwood Estate Museum and Gardens

Outdoor Activities in Northern Virginia

75. Search for Fairies in Del Ray

76. Visit Arlington National Cemetery

77. Go spelunking at Luray Caverns

78. See Dinos at Dinosaurland in White Oak

79. Play at Clemyjontri Playground

80. Watch the planes take off at Gravelly Point

81. Hike Teddy Roosevelt Island

things to do with kids in dc area teddy Roosevelt island
Theodore Roosevelt Island Statue

82. Play paintball at Pev’s in Aldie

83. Connect with animals at Roer’s Zoofari

84. Explore the enchanting Meadowlark Botanical Gardens

85. See a Wolftrap Trap show at the Children’s Theatre in the Woods

86. Experience wildlife at Leesburg Animal Farm

87. Enjoy wine at Bluemont Vineyard and then have the kids explore Great Country Farms

Outdoor Activities in Southern Maryland

88. Zip line at the Adventure Park at Sandy Spring

89. See wild horses at Assateague Island

90. Search for Fairies at Anne Marie Sculpture Garden

91. Visit Glen Echo Park and ride the carousel

92. Head to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

93. Search for Shark Teeth at Purses Park, Calvert Cliffs, and Flag Ponds Nature Park.

94. Visit Cabin John Regional Park or Wheaton Regional Park

95. Visit Candy Cane Park (Meadowbrook Park) or Wizard of Oz Park (aka Watkins Regional Park with animals)

96. Have a blast at Clark’s Eliok Farm with animals and new and vintage playthings

97. See how maple syrup is made at Brookside Nature Center

98. Ride The Capital Wheel at the National Harbor

101 things to do with kids in DC Capitol Wheel
Capitol Wheel at the National Harbor

99. Take a hike through Audubon Naturalist Society

100. Hang with alpaca’s at Alpaca Lane Criations

101. Hike Cunningham Falls and take a dip in the lake afterwards

There are so many amazing things to do! If you think we missed one of the best things to do with kids in the DC area, please comment with your idea below.

And if you do all of these, don’t forget to send us a note. Have fun exploring with your kiddo(s)!

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Courtney was born and raised in Louisiana where she met her husband (married in 2005). Since then they have moved several times, but finally feel very settled in NW DC after moving back a little over two years ago. She has four energetic kids: Cormac (2010), Evangeline (2013), and Solomon (2016), and Antoinette (2019). She thinks motherhood is absolutely wonderful, but she is constantly challenged and stretched in ways she couldn't have imagined. She spends her days talking Star Wars, legos, playing dress-up, and chasing her toddler. We all know motherhood is challenging so she wanted to band together with other mothers to start this site to inspire, learn, and grow together. She loves morning coffee, chocolate, chatting with people since she's an extrovert, a clean house (which is rare these days). She dislikes when her kids don't listen the first time, she abhors littering, and doesn't enjoy shopping. 

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