7 Free Things To Do In DC

Lauren Piot Lauren Piot

7 Free Things To Do In DC

All these fun activities you don’t have to spend a cent on!

It’s almost remarkable how many enjoyable and free things there are to do in Washington DC. It’s the perfect city to visit on a budget. If you find yourself in the nation’s capital, take advantage of this guide and visit the city while not spending money.

1. Visit the Smithsonian Museums

How can we mention free things to do in DC and not include all the free museums? Luckily all the Smithsonian museums are now open after being closed during the pandemic, you just need to reserve timed-entry tickets before visiting. DC is distinguished for its free museums, so take full advantage! Here is a list of some of the museums you can visit:

  • The National Museum of African American History and Culture
  • The International Spy Museum
  • The National Air and Space Museum
  • The National Museum of African Art
  • The American Art Museum and The National Portrait Gallery
  • The National Museum of American History
  • The National Museum of the American Indian
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • The National Museum of Women in the Arts

2. Discover DC’s artistic gems

DC has a lot of remarkable murals and street art that tell stories. Like the LOVE mural in Blagden Alley, or the portrait of the poet Amanda Gorman near Dupont Circle or the many other impressive murals around the city. By visiting public artworks, you not only get to experience someone’s hard work, but you also get to explore the city!

3. Discover the National Mall and the monuments

The history, important buildings, monuments, and memorials, as well as the glorious architecture, are what make Washington DC the capital of the United States. You can learn so much about our country’s history by walking around the city and touring the many significant buildings. Here are a few monuments you should check out:

  • The Washington Monuments
  • The Lincoln Memorial
  • The Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • National World War II Memorial

4. Visit the National Building Museum for their Summer Block Party

All summer the National Building Museum is hosting a Block Party where special and interactive art installations are on display, as well as outdoor movie nights on the museum’s lawn. One of the art installations to explore is The Maze of Knowledge where visitors inquire into the many paths of this maze while discovering many works along the way. This Block Party will last until Labor Day weekend, so check it out while you still can!


Where: 401 F St NW, Washington, DC 20001

5. See the animals at the National Zoo

The National Zoo, being a part of the Smithsonian Institution is of course free. You’ll be able to walk the Asia Trail, American Trail, Reptile Center to learn about animal habitats. You’ll be able to see elephants, cheetahs, bears, big cats, apes and so much more. All at no cost at all!

6. Watch an outdoor movie at a park

Many parks around the city are hosting free outdoor movie nights this summer. Movies for children and adults will be displayed onto huge projector screens for families and friends to enjoy an evening out of the house. Check out the link above to find out where these movies are playing.

7. Explore botanical gardens and arboretums

The city is full of lovely gardens and arboretums to visit when you’re in need of some fresh air. They are free too and can be found almost anywhere in the city. This is the perfect spring or summer activity because the flowers will be in bloom, butterflies and bees will be buzzing. You’ll just have to watch out for the pollen.


[Featured image: @vchicola / Instagram]

See also: 6 Must-Visit Crab Houses In Maryland

Things To Do