Learning's Made Fun by D.C. Museums, Parks and Activities

With a treasure trove of historical artifacts and sites located practically everywhere you turn, many adults love Washington, D.C. and can spend hours at a single museum gobbling up the history. But, let's face it. Kids just want to have fun. 10Best has found the top places where kids will stare in wonder, find joy in neat surroundings and – dare we say – learn something too. 

We start our list at the National Zoological Park because you get to see an amazing array of mammals, reptiles and amphibians yet the visit is all free of charge. Have your children participate in hands on activities at the National Building Museum including building arches and working on different tool kits to solve projects. One museum that is a must for every kid is the National Air and Space Museum which hosts the 1903 Wright Flyer and Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis plane. 

If your child needs to be able to run freely and burn a little energy, the green on the National Mall is the place to go. On a sunny, warm day, a number of folks will picnic or play soccer or football games there.

Whatever your child's interests, you are sure to find an attraction in the nation's capital to please them.








National Mall
Discovery Theater
Photo courtesy of Discovery Theater


Dedicated to providing educational performances to the masses since 1964, Discovery Theater presents shows designed to educate and inform young patrons in the subjects of heritage, science and culture. Kids sit on the floor while adults take a...  Read More

Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center Christmas on the Potomac
Photo courtesy of Gaylord National Resort


The hotel and convention center annually presents this festive event featuring a bevy of activities. ICE! offers participants the opportunity to careen down slides over two stories tall made entirely of the solid liquid. Each year has a...  Read More

The National Mall
Photo courtesy of Eater DC


Kids love to run around and most of the indoor attractions in the area frown on that so turn them loose on the lawn portion of the National Mall. On warm days, you will find a number of people setting up picnics or playing pick up games of...  Read More



For those of us lacking a green thumb or ones who can grown anything, the U.S. Botanic Garden is the spot to see an amazing array of living plants from many different areas. Dating back to the 19th century, the museum is divided into three...  Read More



The best and most popular exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History is the Fossil Hall. Unfortunately, it is closed for renovations until 2019. (Yikes!) This museum is still a must-visit though thanks to a variety of different artifacts....  Read More

Capital Wheel
Photo courtesy of Capital Wheel


Mix a fun ride with a bird's-eye view of the Washington Monument and you will get The Capitol Wheel at National Harbor. Offering breathtaking views of the Metro area and Potomac River, the ride lasts around 12 to 15 minute and each gondola has...  Read More



Think no one is watching? Think again. The International Spy Museum pays tribute to the all-but invisible profession that has helped to shape history and impact world events. Opened in 2002, the museum is the only one of its kind in the world...  Read More

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum – Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center


This spot on the list is actually dedicated to two companion museums. The National Air and Space Museum is easily the most popular building along the National Mall and features the 1903 Wright Flyer, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and a...  Read More

National Building Museum
Photo courtesy of National Building Museum


This museum, dedicated to telling the stories of architecture, engineering and design, may not at first glance seem geared toward children but it's actually one of the best attractions you will find for kids of varying ages in the nation's...  Read More

National Zoological Park
Photo courtesy of National Zoo


Lions, monkeys and elephants. Oh my! Located in Northwest Washington, D.C., The National Zoological Park features a variety of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The stars of the show are the pandas especially Bao Bao who was born in 2013. Fans...  Read More


Meet Gina Gallucci White

Gina Gallucci White is an award winning freelance writer with articles appearing in such regional publications as Frederick Magazine, The Daily Record, Montgomery Magazine and The Gazette. She...  More About Gina