Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool

15 Things to Do in Washington DC

There are so many things to see and do in Washington DC! It is impossible to do them all in one trip!

On our recent trip to the nation’s capital, I tried to create an itinerary with a variety of activities.

Washington DC- Lincoln Memorial Statue of Lincoln

This trip was my kiddo’s first visit to Washington DC. Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how it would go. My main concern was museum overload. So, I tried to mix it up. On this list you’ll see a mix of activities including a few museums.

15 Things to Do in Washington DC

  1. Library of Congress. We took a docent led tour of the Library of Congress. I highly recommend the tour. After the tour, you can explore on your own.Library of Congress in Washington DC
  2. Museum of the Bible. Wow… this place is amazing. One look at the ceiling upon entry, and you’ll know you are in for a real treat.Washington DC - Front of the Museum of the Bible
  3. National Museum of American History. You can’t spend too much time here. This museum is huge, and it contains so many treasures including Lincoln’s hat!Lincoln's Top Hat in the National Museum of American History
  4. Arlington National Cemetery. I suggest taking the trolley tour at the cemetery. It is hop on and hop off which allows you to spend time in various areas. For more information, check out this article.     Washington DC- Arlington National Cemetery
  5. Bicycle Monument Tour. We signed up for a bicycle tour of the monuments. The ride was easy, and it was a great way to see them. I feel like we gained a lot from having a guide vs doing it on our own. Check out my article on this tour: How to See the Washington MonumentsWashington DC- Korean War Memorial
  6. Ford’s Theater. Don’t miss Ford’s Theater! A visit transports one back to the night of those historic and significant events.Washington DC-Ford's Theater Box
  7. Investigation: Detective McDevitt. This walking tour traces the moments surrounding the Lincoln assassination. This activity was probably my kiddo’s favorite of the entire trip!Washington DC-Inspector McDevitt Actor by Ford's Theater
  8. Mount Vernon. We took a boat on the Potomac River to Mount Vernon. Once there, we had several hours to explore. For me, this was a highlight of our trip!Washington DC- View of Mount Vernon Main House
  9. National Air and Space Museum. If you want to see big planes and rockets… look no further than the Air and Space Museum. Both kids and adults will love this place.Washington DC- Aircraft in the Air and Space Museum
  10. Ride the Subway. There isn’t a subway anywhere near our home, so the subway was a hit. The best part was riding last car with a view of the tunnel.Metro Train in Washington DC
  11. International Spy Museum. The International Spy Museum is certainly no ordinary museum. It’s really fun. The kiddos (or even agile adults) can practice their spy skills by crawling through an air duct.Washington DC- International Spy Museum Street View
  12. Capitol Tour. You can’t visit the nation’s capital without a visit to the capitol building. Be sure to sign up for a tour.Washington DC- View of the front of the US Capitol
  13. Moonlight Monument Tour. You might wonder why we took a moonlight monument tour in addition to the bicycle tour. These were very different experiences. I am glad we did both! Find out about the pros and cons of each: How to See the Washington MonumentsWashington DC - Jefferson Memorial
  14. National Archives. I really enjoyed the docent led tour of the National Archives. If you have a chance take the tour, I highly recommend it.Washington DC- Front of the National Archives
  15. Washington National Cathedral. We took Behind the Scenes tour of Washington National Cathedral. This building is stunning. Hearing about the attention to detail in its construction made it even more spectacular.Washington DC-Washington National Cathedral

Our trip to Washington DC was fascinating! We saw SO much in 6 days. The best part –  my kiddo actually loved it! My advice for making the trip to DC? Rest up before you go, and wear comfortable shoes! Exploring Washington DC can make doing Disney seem like a day at the beach.  But, every step is absolutely worth it!

Want more info on visiting Washington DC? Check out How to see the Washington Monuments.

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