Kid Friendly DC: 5 More Free Attraction

There’s a reason scores of middle school children flock to Washington, D.C., during spring. In addition to learning about United States’ history, the nation’s capital is a very kid friendly place. The Smithsonian museums are usually a hit, so are the highest offices of the land. But there’s more to Washington, D.C., than just museum and monuments. Here are several more attractions that children will surely enjoy while visiting the District.

Free Kid Friendly DC Attractions

The White House

Free Kid Friendly DC Attractions in Washington: North Portico of the White House
North Portico of the White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is the most famous address in the United States, if not the world. It’s where the President of the United States lives and work. The iconic White House scores highly with kids because of the rooms made famous by television shows like the West Wing and Madam Secretary and the thought that they might meet the president while visiting. Tours to the White House are free and can be arranged through a request from your district congressman if you’re a citizen and through your embassy if a resident of a foreign nation.

Practical Information

Location: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange/Silver lines, McPherson Square

Hours of Operation: Tours are offered 7:30 – 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays – Thursdays, 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Fridays excluding federal holidays

The Library of Congress

Free Kid Friendly DC Attractions in Washington: LoC Great Hall
LoC Great Hall

The thought of visiting a library doesn’t normally get most children excited but they certainly make an exception when visiting the Library of Congress. What makes it one of the best of the free kid friendly DC attractions starts from its exterior where you’ll see the impressive Fountain of Neptune, modeled after the infamous Trevi Fountain in Rome. Located in front of the Thomas Jefferson building, it features three animated sculptures that spurt water during the warmer seasons of spring, summer, and fall. As you go inside, kids are usually amazed by the stunning Great Hall, which contains a number of elaborate sculptures and a striking mosaic of Minerva, the Roman goddess of learning.

Practical Information

Location: 10 First Street, SE (Main Building)

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange/Silver lines, Capitol South

Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., last entry for the public is 4:30 p.m.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Free Kid Friendly DC Attractions in Washington: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington is one of the most popular free kid friendly DC attractions particularly for aviation enthusiasts. The life-size replicas of airplanes that made aviation history, as well as artifacts from the earlier events from the Space Age era are what attract over seven million visitors to this wonderfully fascinating museum. As you enter the main hall, you’ll come across the reconstructed lunar module and the original airplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, Charles Lindbergh used to make that very first transatlantic journey. If you want to see more aviation and space artifacts, including the space shuttle Discovery and a real Concorde aircraft, make sure you pay a visit to its annexed site, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center located in Dulles Airport.

Practical Information

Location: Independence Avenue on 6th Street

Nearest Metro: Blue/Silver/Orange/Yellow/Green lines to L’Enfant Plaza

Hours of Operation: daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. but closed on Christmas, December 25

The Washington Monument

Free Kid Friendly DC Attractions in Washington: Just Before Sunset
Just Before Sunset

Perhaps the most recognizable monument in all of Washington, D.C., is the one dedicated to the country’s first President and to whom the district was named after. The Washington Monument is a 555-foot marble structure that towers over the nation’s capital and sits right smack in the middle of the National Mall. It lands a spot in our free kid friendly DC attractions in Washington list because it has one of the best views of the District. From the grounds, visitors will have unobstructed views of the Lincoln Memorial and the U.S. Capitol and from the observation deck 500 feet above, you’ll be able to see other notable sights including the Pentagon, the National Cathedral, and George Washington’s ancestral home, Mount Vernon on a clear day. You can get tickets for free through a first come, first serve queue, available the same day or pay a small fee to get advance reservations.

Practical Information

Location: The National Mall

Nearest Metro: Blue/Silver/Orange lines to Smithsonian

Hours of Operation: Grounds: open daily 24 hours a day, seven days a week; Observation Deck: daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. except July 4 and December 25

The U.S. Capitol

Free Kid Friendly DC Attractions in Washington: The Capitol Rotunda
The Capitol Rotunda

Find out how bills become laws by visiting the U.S. Capitol. Tours are available daily and lasts around 30 minutes. Some of its most fascinating rooms include the crypt that was proposed as George Washington’s final resting place, the Rotunda where you can view the fresco of George Washington as god, and the Statue Room that features over 40 statues of prominent Americans.

Practical Information

Location: East Capitol and First Streets, SE

Nearest Metro: Blue/Silver/Orange lines to Capitol South

Hours of Operation: Monday – Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Inauguration Day

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About Iris A

Website: http://www.travelingwithiris.com

Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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