Summertime is here! If you are headed my way or are a local trying to figure out how to keep the kids entertained this Summer, I’ve got your back. I’m sharing some of our family’s favorite free things to do with kids in DC and tips on how to make any trip the best day ever!
This post is sponsored by Stonyfield. All opinions are my own.
Free Things to Do With Kids in DC
National Park Service Junior Ranger Program
The Junior Ranger Program is a free* program available at National Parks all over the US. Kids are invited to come, get a booklet, and explore the parks. Once they complete their activities, they are sworn in as official Junior Rangers and receive a sweet badge. Some badges are also available online.
*The program is free. But parking or entrance into the parks might apply. Check the website for info about the park you are planning to visit to learn of any fees.
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is open year round and is a popular spot to visit for families and schools in our area. Some of our favorite habitats to explore are the Big Cats, Giant Pandas, and Small Mammal House.
There are also programs that occur daily, like chatting with the Big Cat keepers, fish feeding, meet a reptile and more! The kids will love learning about new animals and you will love that the zoo walk will wear them out. Nap time anyone?
The National Garden
Step into a beautiful garden paradise when you visit The National Garden. It features both indoor and outdoor exhibits. Be sure to take time to explore the Rose and Butterfly gardens, they are our favorites!
The Conservatory and National Garden are open every day from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM. Stop by the information desk and ask for a Junior Botanist kids’ backpack. This program is also free, and once your children complete their adventure sheets they will receive their Apprentice Junior Botanist badge.
National Air and Space Museum
There are two locations for the National Air and Space Museum. One in DC and one in Virginia, both offer free admission and a lot of different exhibits to experience. You could spend a whole day at the museum and not see everything they have on display. The kids will love seeing spaceships and airplanes and learning how they work to fly through air and space.
Be on the lookout for family days at the museum. These days might include story time, using a real telescope to safely look at the sun, and even STEAM activities!
National Mall and Memorial Parks
The National Mall includes monuments, parks, memorials, historical buildings, and more. We traversed the Constitution Gardens, investigated the WWII Memorial, got inspired by Martin Luther King Jr., and so much more.
It’s a good day when you can climb to new heights, enjoy a lot of laughs, and learn something new along the way.
The Junior Ranger Program is available here as well. Pick up your booklet from a ranger located at any of the memorials.
Tips to make any trip with kids the best day ever!
1. Scout out parking early.
Parking in the city (any city) can be tricky. My tip is to carpool and get there early for street parking. We typically get up there around 10am and have no issue finding a spot, but it is the city so keep that in mind and always have at least 10 backup plans for parking!
2. Pack a cooler bag with snacks.
And not just any snacks. You want to bring something that is perfectly portable, resealable, and of course delicious. Look no farther than Stonyfield organic yogurt. We choose Stonyfield over any other yogurt not only because it is the tastiest yogurt on the market but also because it is organic, pasture-raised, Non-GMO Project verified, Kosher, and gluten free.
Stonyfield’s organic kids yogurt pouches are made without the use of toxic persistent pesticides or GMO’s that means it’s not only good for you but good for the planet too. They also contain 25% to 35% less sugar than the leading kids’ yogurt, and that is a reason to smile.
The pouches come in 7 different, kid-approved, and oh-so-tasty flavors:
Strawberry Beet Berry
Pear Spinach Mango