Fun Things to do in Washington DC

Fun things to do in Washington DC are easy to find. This exciting city is packed with cool museums and many other fun activities no matter what time of year you visit. And most of the time you won't have to worry about paying a lot to have fun. Free and low-cost museums and tours are easy to come by in America's capital city.

Smithsonian Institution

Many of the fun things to do in DC can be found among the many museums and the zoo overseen by the Smithsonian Institution. While most things with institution in the name are considered boring, this amazing collection of museums has no equal anywhere in the world. At the National Museum of Natural History, you'll have the chance to explore the world without leaving the city limits—you can dive beneath the surface in the Sant Ocean Hall and wander through a charming butterfly exhibit. Young kids enjoy the chance to connect with dinosaurs and fossils and see creepy crawlies who make their home in the Insect Zoo. This museum, also home to the Hope Diamond, is just the beginning of fun things to do in Washington DC.


Each of the Smithsonian museums launches interactive exhibits, hosts tours, and plans events designed to keep people of all ages interested. You'll also find a planetarium and large-screen IMAX films that will broaden your horizons among the offerings of the Smithsonian. In addition to the inside fun, the Smithsonian operates a carousel located near the Arts and Industries Building, which runs as long as the weather permits. Tours are available all over DC, often for free. National Mall and White House tours are among the free ones, while a variety of bus, night, and walking tours sometimes cost a small fee, but take you out on the town in style.

Zoo and Aquarium

Many people, especially kids, know that fun things to do in DC involve seeing fun and furry animals. The National Zoological Park, a part of the Smithsonian, is home to playful pandas, cuddly lemurs, and many other animals that will put a smile on your face. If you're family is particularly delighted by the exploits of the animal world, consider planning a trip to the National Aquarium, just a block away from the Washington Monument, or making a trip to Baltimore to explore the sister aquarium.

National Mall

Beyond the museums, spending time at the National Mall is one of those fun things to do in Washington DC that can't be replicated anywhere else. You could sign up for one of the walking tours packed with fun facts, and many of these kid-friendly tours are available for free. You'll also have the chance to see the monuments—the Lincoln Memorial and Jefferson Memorial can be a lot of fun, especially if you're doing some people watching. Taking an elevator to the top of the Washington Monument is another thrill.

Verizon Center or Washington Nationals Stadium

If spectator sports are more your thing, you could catch a professional basketball or hockey game at the Verizon Center. In the summertime, the Washington Nationals bring America's national pastime to the stadium with an excellent view of the Capitol Dome. In the fall and winter, all of Washington comes together to watch the Redskins play top NFL foes at Fed Ex Field.


If you enjoy theater shows, catching one of the many in this city is well worth it. Whether you take in a classic performance at the Shakespeare Theater, or a Broadway-caliber play at the National Theater, the theaters of Washington DC will not disappoint you.

Things to Do Outdoors

If you think Segway tours are the limit of outdoor adventure in the nation's capital, you'll be surprised to know that the city is a great place for sports. The list of fun things to do in DC also includes the chance to go canoeing in the Potomac or winding your way along any of the 800 miles of trails. Just a few miles outside of the city, an abundance of natural landscapes can be found.

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