The high volume of visitors that the city of Washington DC has every year has made the offer of free activities to enjoy with the family ever greater. If you travel with small children we assure you that fun is guaranteed and, best of all, without spending a penny.
When you go on a Washington D.C. one day tour from New York, you realize that this is a perfect destination for a family vacation at any time of the year, since the attractions that the city offers are adjusted to each member of the family, and to each of their tastes or preferences.
This time we have put together a list of activities that you can do in the capital of the United States without spending any money, so… Read on to start dreaming about your trip to this fantastic place!
Visit the monuments of the National Mall
The National Mall has two sections, so to speak; on one side a few museums are grouped and it goes from the National Capitol to the Washington Monument, and on the other side are the main national monuments that go from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Monument.
Not all the important monuments of the city nor all the museums are grouped in this area, however this is a good starting and reference point. On the sides of the National Mall you will find a wide variety of commemorative works that are free to access. Among them is:
- The United States Capitol
- The White House
- The Vietnam War Veterans Memorial
- The monument to Iwo Jima, and others.
- In these places, in addition to knowing much of the history of the country, you can create great
- memories with your family or friends.
Climb aboard a Postal Carriage, such as those formerly used to deliver US postal mail.
This method first appeared in the country around 1820 and remained in use until the early 1900s, before the railway system was established. You can discover the full story at the National Post Museum, where children can also order packages, design their own stamps, write a postcard, and board the historic Railway Service Car.
Tour the President Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial
The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (commonly known as the “FDR Memorial”) honors the 32nd President of the United States and consists of four “halls” representing each of his four terms as commander-in-chief. Also featured are bronze sculptures of the President, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her faithful canine Fala (who was a very photogenic pet).
See paintings and sculptures of all American presidents at the National Portrait Gallery
The National Portrait Gallery is a must-see for fans of pop culture, history buffs, and art lovers. The museum displays paintings, photographs and sculptures of the people who have come to define America as we know it today, from activists and actors to presidents and poets.
The gallery is located at 8th and FNW streets, within the Donald W. Reynolds Center. Admission is free and the museum is open from 11:30 am to 7 pm every day of the year (with some exceptions such as December 25). The building also features the beautiful Robert and Arlene Kogod Courtyard, a quiet place to work or relax, it has free Wi-Fi and a cafe offering sandwiches, salads, coffee or beer.
Hear amazing stories at public libraries in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia.
Almost every day of the week, you can stop at local libraries to listen to stories, songs and games led by librarians, this is an activity that the little ones love and, without a doubt, you will not be bothered. Some of the local bookstores and museums also offer free story times. Do not miss them!
Other plans to enjoy without spending much
- See the famous Capitol Columns, walk through the Bonsai Museum, and explore the Garden of Youth at the National Arboretum. The Arboretum grounds are open every day of the year, except December 25, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily, except federal holidays – November to February -. This option is interesting to awaken in the little ones a lifelong love of nature and instill a passion for science.
- Admire dozens of planes and rockets, also the Lunar Module, and discover the vehicle that crossed the surface of the moon at the National Air and Space Museum. Young people and children visiting the museum can also touch the moon rock that Apollo 17 brought back to earth in 1972.
- Attend a free presentation at the Kennedy Center, no tickets required. Take a seat in one of the most beautiful theaters in the world to watch a variety of artists that perform every night at 6pm on the Millennium Stage. Shows range from bands and poetry readings to children’s choirs and dance companies.
- Dare to spend the day at the Smithsonian National Zoo, where there is a wide variety of animal species including giant pandas, elephants and the Amazon exhibit, where guests can walk through a jungle atmosphere.
- Play at Clemyjontri Park, a huge playground for children with all the attractions to play, climb, swing, slide and explore together. The rainbow theme park is located in McLean, Virginia, it contains a carousel and a picnic pavilion with many learning games, maps, a globe, and a clock with moving hands.
Now, if you are in the Big Apple and you want to take the opportunity to visit the nation’s capital at low cost, you can take a fully guided Day trip to DC from NYC. It is a very complete plan that allows you to save a lot of money and avoids you having to look for transportation or hotels at the last minute, because we pick you up at the door of your hotel in NYC, we take you to visit the most important destinations in Washington and we drop you back at your hotel. An excellent plan, isn’t it?
Without a doubt, these are excellent options if you are traveling with your family, let us know which of these plans you have made and, if you think there is something else that we should include, you can suggest activities to feed this list.