Children tend to be naturally curious, so there’s no better place to bring them than a city brimming with museums to explore. It seems like every part of the Smithsonian Institute has special ‘hands-on’ areas to encourage the little ones to get interactive. But that’s not all the city has to offer, with theatres and walking tours there’s so much more to explore.
We’ve picked out some of our favorite things to do in Washington DC with kids…
NATIONAL POSTAL MUSEUM
This museum is all about interaction. Kids can design their very own stamp, then see it made, ride in a postal truck or a stagecoach and sort through packages in a delivery room. It’s very close to Union Station on Capitol Hill, with a vast atrium that’s worth a visit in itself.
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NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM
All kids (and adults too, for that matter) dream of visiting the moon and exploring space. So, bring the family along to the National Mall and the National Air and Space Museum. They’ll be able to get up close to some famous airplanes and spaceships, look through a real telescope and gaze at the stars in the planetarium.
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This one’s probably for the teens rather than the tots. The Newseum lets them try their hand at being a television reporter and explains the five freedoms of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. There are seven levels to explore, along with a large store and plenty of dining options. If this sounds like something the children will be interested in, book your tickets through us to avoid disappointment.
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INTERNATIONAL SPY MUSEUM
This museum is bound to bring out the inner child in everyone. Guests young and old get the chance to adopt an alias, then try and break codes as they wander through the museum. But watch out, because nothing is as it seems, and you might find yourself being spied on! There’s even a special exhibit dedicated to a certain British spook, #007 himself. Tickets to the museum can be booked in advance through us.
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THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY
From dinosaurs to elephants, birds to creepy crawlies, there are lots of natural wonders that will fascinate and inspire the kids here on Constitution Avenue. Be sure to take them to the Q?rius part of the museum. In this interactive learning space, they can roll their sleeves up and get stuck in to some scientific experiments.
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It has to be on the list doesn’t it? There are some huge A-listers here to have a selfie with. From silver screen legends to red carpet favorites, the kids will be captivated by the famous faces as they walk around. What’s more, entry is free when you go as part of your Big Bus experience, so hop off one of our tours, and take a look at the map of waxworks beforehand so you know exactly where to head first when you visit.
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THE NATIONAL MUSEUM OF AMERICAN HISTORY
Showcasing national treasures, from the star-spangled banner to Dorothy's ruby slippers, the National Museum of American History also offers a number of unique and unusual exhibits designed to capture the attention and engagement of kids. Make sure they visit the interactive experience in the Wegman's Wonderplace exhibit, including a kid-sized replica of Julia Child's kitchen, a small-sized tugboat that can be captained, and a 23-room dollhouse from the 1800s.
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If you’d like the family to get some fresh air and exercise, head out on one of the many DC by Foot routes. The guides give kid-friendly tours with lots of games and jokes to keep the little ones amused. Although they’re free, most people give a gratuity once they’re done. If they’d rather be driven, then our Big Bus tours offer a front-row seat to all the iconic DC landmarks and attractions, with great extras at no extra cost.
THE NATIONAL BUILDING MUSEUM
At first glance this may not seem like the most child-friendly museum, what with the imposing Renaissance façade, the vast atrium, the focus on urban design. But bypass all the architecture and go straight to the Building Zone, where kids can become budding builders, stacking towers and driving toy bulldozers. Who knows, one visit to this DC attraction and you may return home with a little architect on your hands.
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DC for kids can be just as entertaining as it is for the adults. Choose any of our top picks from this list and make memories on your family holiday that will last a lifetime. And if you’re after some more inspiration or happen to work your way through this guide in record time, check out the Top 10 Things to do in Washington DC for more activities.