Free Things to Do in Washington DC
My most favorite thing to do when I visit Washington DC is to visit the National Zoo. The zoo is huge and filled with tons of interesting animals. When my kids were little, we would pack sandwiches and juice boxes and spend the day walking through the zoo and checking out all of the cool animals. The National Zoo is open daily except Dec. 25. You can call for hours at 202-633-1000.
**If you aren’t lucky enough to find a parking spot on the street, you will have to pay to park at the zoo. However if you are within walking distance of the zoo or if you catch the Metro, this won’t apply to you.
Visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. From the moment that you step foot into this museum, it’s hard to not be amazed. There are tons of exhibits and artifacts on display. You can see real fighter planes from World War II, a full-size replica of the Starship Voyager and you can test out a flight simulator. There are also numerous free activities for kids. Summer hours are 10 am - 7:30 pm (5:30 after Sept 7).
Visit the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. By far, the museum of Natural History is the best museum I’ve ever been to. The museum features many interesting exhibits. My favorite part is Dinosaur Hall. In Dinosaur Hall, you can see fossilized skeletons of your favorite dinosaurs including the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex. The museum is also home to the 40-plus karat Hope Diamond and it houses the Mammals Hall. Summer hours are 10 am - 7:30 pm (5:30 after Sept 7).
If you plan on visiting either of the museums, I recommend that you eat before you go and pack some snacks or quick lunches that you can eat during your visit. Entry to both museums is totally free and you don’t need tickets to enter.
Visit the historical Lincoln Monument. Our 16th President is housed in a temple located right in the National Mall park area. There is even a Free Ranger interactive program that will give you a mini-tour via your cell phone. The Free Ranger will give you information around 10 different Lincoln Memorial themes.
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