Things To Do in Washington, DC for Free
If you’re looking for an affordable vacation for the family, Washington DC is a great place to explore. My suggestions of the best free things to do in the Washington, DC area include:
- Presenting more than 2000 performances annually and nearly 2 million visitors, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is America’s busiest arts facility. The Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage offers hundreds of free performances every year and Free concerts on take place every evening at 6PM., 365 days a year.
- The National Gallery of Art is a national art museum located on the National Mall in Washington D.D. This museum is open to the public free of charge and has one of the finest art collections in the world. Many of the visitors love this gallery because of its cleverly hung art, its mass of history of inspirational art and a litany of interesting art pieces for everyone in the family to enjoy. Free live music is offered on Sunday evenings at 6:30PM and these concerts feature choral, Afghan, opera music and more.
- Check out the National Zoological Park where the family can enjoy thousands of exotic animals, educational animal demonstrations, the Asia trail (where our giant pandas live) and many other exhibits. Patrons love the museums great architecture, the kids research area, the super helpful zoo staff and some of the best, most natural enclosures for the animals of any zoo in the country. Admission to the zoo is free but you do have to pay for parking.
- The Washington Memorial is one of the most well-known landmarks in Washington, DC and stands at the showpiece of the National Mall. It is the tallest structure in Washington DC and fifty flags surround the base of the Washington Monument symbolizing the 50 states of America. The Sylvan Theater is an outdoor theater located near the base of the Washington Monument and is a popular venue for a wide range of events including free concerts & live theatrical performances, commemorative performances, rallies and protests. FREE time assigned tickets are required and visitors may obtain same day tickets at the Washington Monument Lodge.
- Take a guided tour of the U.S. Capitol Building, the meeting chamber for the Senate and the House of Representatives located at the opposite end of the National Mall from the Washington monument. The Capitol Visitor Center opened in 2008 and offers visitors the opportunity to browse galleries displaying artifacts from the Library of Congress and National archives, touch a 10-foot model of the Capitol Dome and even watch live video feed from the House & Senate while waiting for tours. Guided tours are free, but require tickets which are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Rock Creek Park is DC’s urban park which extends 12 miles from the Potomac River to the border of Maryland. Rick Creek offers a retreat from city life and allows its visitors to picnic, hike, bike, rollerblade, play tennis, fish, horseback ride, listen to a concert or attend programs with a park ranger. Children can partake in a wide range of special programs at Rock Creek Park including planetarium shows, animal talks, exploratory hikes, crafts and junior ranger programs.
- How exciting will it be for the children to see money printed and the premise behind its value! Take the family on a free tour of the Bureau of Engraving & Printing to see how currency is printed, stacked, cut and examined for defects. The Bureau of Engraving also prints White House invitations, Treasury securities, identification cards, naturalization certificates, and other special security documents. Free tickets are required for all tours during the peak season, tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis and tickets are not available in advance.
- The White House is the oldest public building in Washington, DC and has been the home of every president except George Washington. You can take a free tour of the White House. To take a free tour of the White House you must make a request through a member of Congress. Group tours are held Tuesday thru Saturday and are scheduled one month in advance. Without an advance appointment, visitors can go to the White House Visitor Center where they can watch a 30 minute video and learn about aspects of the White House including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events and relations with the press and world leaders.