12 Things To Do With Kids During The Summer In DC

Lauren Piot Lauren Piot

12 Things To Do With Kids During The Summer In DC

Need any ideas for a fun summer day for kids now that school is out? Look no further!

When the kids are home all day during the summer it can be difficult to find ideas of things to do, especially educational and fun activities. To help you out, we have created this list of 12 things that aren’t expensive and in the area, that will stimulate your child’s mind while enjoying their summer off!

1. Discover marine life at the National Aquarium

What better way to learn about the ocean and all the creatures in it than taking your kids to the aquarium! Nothing is more impressive than having different species of sharks swim all around you in Shark Alley, or experiencing the dolphin show at the Dolphin Discovery exhibit. There are so many thrilling attractions at this aquarium that kids and adults will have such a good time!

Where: 501 E Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21202


  • Adult (ages 12-64): $39.95
  • Child (ages 3-11): $29.95
  • Senior (ages 65 and over): $34.95

2. Explore the Air and Space Museum

If you grew up in DC you probably have fond memories of seeing the huge spaceships and airplanes hanging from the ceiling of the Air and Space Museum. It’s an incredible place to learn about outer space and explorers who made great scientific discoveries who can also inspire children.

Where: 655 Jefferson Drive, SW, Washington, DC 20560

Admission: free

3. Inspire their creativity at art museums

Children have a remarkable sense of creativity that is important to develop. Taking them to DC’s most iconic art museums that have some of the most renowned collections in the world, can spark that creativity into a flame. Not only is the architecture of these buildings impressive for small children, but all the colors, and interesting sculptures and artwork can really make an impression on children. Take them to the Renwick Gallery, the National Portrait Gallery, or the Artechouse.

4. Take them to the National Zoo

Who doesn’t have fond memories of going to the Zoo as a little kid? For kids, wild animals are such impressionable creatures that lighten up their curiosity. When discovering these wild animals they also learn about the importance of the environment and about living a sustainable life. Back in May, many baby animals have been introduced to the public that are all grown up now including panda cub Xiao Qi Ji.

Where: 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW Washington, DC 20008

Admissions: free

5. Visit the Spy Museum

The Spy Museum is an excellent educational opportunity to learn about the craft of keeping secrets, national intelligence but also history’s most trustworthy spies. The exhibits are interactive so visitors can be challenged with code-cracking and analysis to become the sneakiest spies ever. Best suited for children 7 years old or older, this is still a fantastic museum for adults too!

Where: 700 L’Enfant Plaza, SW Washington DC 20024


  • Adults (ages 13 to 64): $24.95
  • Youth (ages 7 to 12): $16.95
  • Children (ages 6 and under): free

6. Have an outdoor family movie night

Take family movie night outside tonight! Around DC there are currently many locations that are hosting movie nights onto big projectors under the stars. Bring movie snacks, blankets, lawn chairs and set up at these parks and drive-in cinemas to enjoy an original family night under the stars.


7. Take them to a botanical garden

Kids can adventure around and discover new plants and bugs in these green spaces. At the same time, they will understand the importance of plants to ecosystems and humans and strive to keep the environment clean. Luckily there are many to discover around DC that are free to visit! This is an enjoyable activity to do on cooler spring or summer days when the flowers are bloomed and the butterflies and bees are fluttering around.

8. Immerse yourself in this interactive experience at Planet Word

Planet Word is a new exposition where language comes to life! It encourages people of all ages to be reinspired by a love for words, language and reading. With unique and immersive experiences, this exposition is a space to understand the art and science of language. Planet Word is the world’s first voice-activated museum! They strive to create an environment that’s playful, fun, unexpected, motivational, meaningful, and inclusive!

Where: 925 13th Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20005 (entrance on K Street)

Admission: free

9. Teach them about history by visiting the monuments

Being in the nation’s capital comes with some perks. There are many important buildings and monuments that have historical meaning. Taking kids on a tour of these places is not only a great way to discover the city but also a fantastic way for them to learn about the country’s history, and at no cost.

10. See the dinosaurs at the National Museum of Natural History

For the dinosaur and animal lover in your life, you must take them to this museum! There are so many exhibits for curious children to explore; like the African Voices exhibit where diversity and global influence of Africa’s people are showcased, there’s the Bone Hall, where skeletons of all animals are displayed to observe, there’s the Bearded Lady Project exhibit which highlights women paleontologists, and so much more!

Where: 1000 Madison Drive NW Washington, D.C. 20560

Admissions: free

11. Have a picnic at a park

A classic summer activity is having a picnic in a park on a cooler summer day. Pack up some sandwiches, snacks, a ball, and some games and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. Another idea would be to bring art supplies and have an arts and crafts day at the park!

12. Be curious at the National Children’s Museum

The Children’s Museum moto is “inspiring children to care about plus change the world” which is a message we can get behind! Unfortunately, the museum is currently closed due to the pandemic, but keep an eye out, it may be opening soon. Children will develop their creativity and curiosity through the new exhibits that will be set up.

Where: 1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004


[Featured image: Shutterstock]

See also: 7 Free Things To Do In DC

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