smithsonian museum of rocks and minerals Washington DC Hotels Restaurants Sightseeing Tourist Information
Activities Kids Multicultural Art Outdoor Washington DC
Activities Kids Multicultural Art Outdoor Washington DC
Activities Kids Multicultural Art Outdoor Washington DC
Activities Kids Multicultural Art Outdoor Washington DC


Activities for kids in Washington DC sightseeing

We have scoured Washington, DC looking for kids having a really good time.  And what we found surprised even us. Washington, DC does have a lot of activities to offer kids - museums that let kids do more than look at pictures and read history.  We have put together a list of sights that have been kid tested and eTravelDC approved - which means they are both fun and educational activities (but no need to tell your kids all that!)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Free Programs for Families - The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is one of the world’s leading museums of international modern and contemporary art. Located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., the Hirshhorn is one of 19 Smithsonian Institution museums and research centers.

Artlab for Teens at the Hirshorn
Ages 13-18
Free. Registration is required. The Hirshhorn invites aspiring young artists to transform the Museum’s ArtLab into a working studio space. This five-week program provides high school students the opportunity to offer their own perspective on modern and contemporary art by developing their own projects and sharing their ideas with peers, artists, and museum curators. Students from local schools, grades 9 through 12, may apply. No previous art experience is necessary. Check out past workshops and register for this session on the ArtLab website
Meet the Artist at the Hirshorn
The Hirshhorn’s Meet the Artist series brings leading contemporary artists from around the world to Washington, DC. Programs take place in the Ring Auditorium. Seating is limited and available on a first-come basis, so plan to arrive early. Unless otherwise noted, doors open at 6:30 pm; advance ticketing starts at 6:15 pm. One ticket per person. Meet the Artist talks are available for download as free Podcasts.
Tour of the Hirshorn
All Ages
10:30 am to Noon:
group tours scheduled in advance meet at the Information Desk. Schedule your tour by calling 202-633-2796 or 202-633-8043 (TTY).
Noon to 4 pm:
at the Information Desk, Docents will help you plan your visit and lead you on impromptu 30-minute tours. Guides also roam the galleries to answer your questions and discuss the collection and The Cinema Effect exhibition on the second level.
Young at Art
Ages 6-12
Young at Art Family Workshops are designed for children ages 6 to 12 and their families, unless otherwise noted. All workshops are free but require registration. For more information and to register, click here. Support for educational programs is provided by the Vivian and Elliot I. Pollock Fund, Lenora and Robert Burstein Memorial Fund, and contributions to the Hirshhorn Education Fund.
Artist at Work Newsletter
Sign up for family program newsletter from the Hirshorn Family Programs department.
Art Interactive - Online Activity
Ages 8-16
Making art is about creating something that represents an idea or vision that is all your own. It involves making choices about materials, shapes, composition, color, texture, and even scale. This art interactive will show you a few different types of sculpture in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and encourage you to explore your own artistic expression by making a piece of art online.
Closest metro - L’Enfant Plaza

National Air and Space Museum - the number one visited museum in the world, most kids enjoy everything in this place, but we think the highlights are:

The IMAX Theatre - Did someone say “Motion Sickness”? Buy tickets (onsite) to see a 70mm film of "To Fly" and experience flight from the safety of your theatre seat.  This is an exhilarating 30 minute movie that will delight kids and adults alike. The screen is five stories high and seven stories wide.
The Einstein Planetarium- Explore the universe in this state of the art planetarium while sitting in reclining captain’s chairs. NOTE- Chairs can be too comfortable for overtired parents and napping may result.
Closest metro - Smithsonian or L'Enfant Plaza

National Museum of Natural History - Not just the Dinosaur Hall - most kids don't want to spend hours reading the history, but they love seeing the skeletons of those prehistoric beings.  Also stop by to see:

Gems and Minerals - Mothers..Ladies..Aunts forced to sightsee with their nieces and nephews. This museum is the home of Gems and Minerals. Yes, that’s right- The Hope Diamond. This exhibit has the perfect examples of what our next birthday present should resemble.
The Discover Room - a hands on exploration of the museum objects and no signs saying "Please don't touch" can be found here.
Orkin Insect Zoo - my nephew is eight and he LOVED watching the tarantulas being fed (at 10:30, 11:30 and 1:30), and no where else will your kids see a better collection of cock roaches, bees and ants!
Closest metro - Smithsonian

National Museum of American History - history, yuk!! Not so in this museum.  While you will probably enjoy seeing Archie Bunker's chair or Fonzie's leather jacket, your kids may be more interested in:

Hands on Science Center - take part in experiments involving dry ice or DNA profiling.
Hunt for History- Download a guide for kids ages 6-9 or 10-13 at the American History Museum web site.
Check out the Foucault's Pendulum handing from the ceiling and knocking down blocks left and right!
Closest Metro - Smithsonian

National Zoo - This is a medium size Zoo that you could easily spend a whole day discovering. There is no admission fee. There is limited parking onsite so get there early. Yes, there’s a charge for parking (I think there’s a rule against free parking in the city. Don’t quote me!)
closest Metro - Woodley Park Zoo/Adams Morgan

Arlington National Cemetery - Make sure to take your kids to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the changing of the guard which takes place during the peak season (April - October) every half hour.  It is a memory that will stay with them for years to come.

Note: Cemetery is large and you may want to purchase a ticket for the Tourmobile that services the cemetery. The Tourmobile is a popular tour buses that allow patrons unlimited reboarding for a single daily rate.
Closest Metro - Arlington National Cemetery

Bureau of Engraving and Printing - once you take this tour, you can never again tell your kids that money doesn't grow on trees.  Kids (and adults) seem fascinated by the money printing process, as well as the destruction of old money.
Closest metro - Smithsonian

Ford's Theater and the Peterson House - for some reason kids seem to be intrigued when they see the place where President Lincoln was shot - and the bed in which he died.  He was too tall for it and they had to lay him diagonally.  There is still a blood stain on the pillow. Note- Child must be old enough to know who President Lincoln was; the 4yrs old site tester did not. Hence, the ride home was filled with, “Why didn’t we see a movie at the theater?” “What movie were we supposed to see?”……Aspirin Please!!!
Closest Metro - Metro Center

The International Spy Museum - The museum focuses on human intelligence and reveals the role spies have played in world events. Exhibits include Introduction to Espionage, School for Spies, Spies Among Us, and War of the Spies. There is an admissions fee but the museum is well done and loads of fun.
Closest Metro- Gallery Place/Chinatown

The Newseum - a relatively new museum in Rosslyn, VA. Kids can actually perform on camera and deliver the news or the weather (and of course, parents can purchase copies of the tape!)  This museum has done a great job chronicling the history of journalism.
Closest Metro - Rosslyn

US Postal Museum - how can mail be fun?  Well, parts of it are not but there is a section that kids love and it is called Moving Mail.  They can mail a letter and watch how it travels to its destination.  It's close to the Capitol Building and worth a quick stop if you have the time.
Closest metro - Union Station

The following sights are a little out of the norm but we thought they were worth mentioning:

Tour the Washington Post - kids ages 11 and up can tour the newsroom, the composing room and the pressroom.  Call (202)334-7969 for more information.  Closest Metro - McPherson Square
Made by You - Pottery Decorating - spend time in a studio painting and decorating pottery. Call (202)337-3180.
The Petting Zoo - Reston, VA. All ages can play with goats, bunnies, pigs, deer monkeys and sheep.  Call (703)759-3636.
The Awakening - This statue is located in East Potomac Park and is an enormous statue of a man coming out of the earth.  Fun to climb on and you can bring a picnic lunch.  You can't drive there after 3pm on weekends or holidays so be sure and go early.  Follow the signs for Hains Point.

Be sure to check out our recommended books and software - especially for kids - click here.


Activities Kids Multicultural Art Outdoor Washington DC
See DC on land and water! 90 minutes of great fun for the whole family.
$27 for adults
$14 for kids

Activities Kids Multicultural Art Outdoor Washington DCMore Info...

Powered by Blue Water Media &  Lowcate
home | About Us | Contact Us - A Hospitality Partners Company
3 Bethesda Metro Center, Suite M025, Bethesda, MD 20814

Question or comment? Call 1-301-718-6161 or e-mail us at

Web Design by Blue Water Media
Where to Eat? | Where to Stay? | Hotel Deals | DC Vacations | For Business | DC for Kids
Getting Around | Weather | Books on DC | DC Links | Top Ten Picks