National Museum of the American Indian-FREE-Visitors to the center can explore some of these ingenious adaptations through a variety of hands-on activities: Weave a giant basket to learn about the various styles of basketry. Explore different modes of transportation like snowshoes and skateboards. Sit inside a full-sized tipi and learn about the buffalo. And stamp your imagiNATIONS passport with real tribal seals as you journey through the center. Even the homes where Native people lived show how they adapted to their environments! Visitors can find out how as they wander through an Amazonian stilt house, see what makes a Pueblo adobe house special, or learn how a Comanche tipi is built.
National Museum of African American History & Culture FREE, but may need to reserve timed tickets in advance.
National Museum of American History FREE, *Wonderplace and Spark Lab are closed on Tuesdays. Wegmans Wonderplace ages 0-6 will enjoy shopping in the market, collecting eggs, cooking in Julia Child’s replica kitchen, climbing aboard a boat, and many other fun things. Older kids will enjoy Draper Spark! Lab Spark!Lab where museum visitors become inventors. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation invites children between the ages of 6 and 12 to create, collaborate, explore, test, experiment, and invent. Activities for children and families incorporate traditional science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) with art, museum, and creativity. Spark!Lab activities are designed around common themes that connect to Museum collections and exhibitions. These themes will change on a regular basis, ensuring that regular visitors have something new to explore.
National Air & Space Museum-D.C. FREE, interactive kids area with plenty of hands on learning, demonstrations, and fun. Out in the museum let the kids climb aboard an old airliner and explore, I can guarantee they will want to do it over and over again.
National Air & Space Museum-Udvar-Hazy Center FREE, but a $15 charge for parking. An amazing display of aircraft suspended in the air and on the ground along with the Space Shuttle Discovery.
National Museum of Natural History FREE, is where you’ll find Dinosaurs (exhibit reopening Spring 2019), the Hope Diamond and other jewels, an African Elephant, Polar Bear, and much more. There is a fee to enter the Butterfly Pavilion except on Tuesdays!
United States Botanic Gardens FREE, Special Christmas Exhibits and concerts
National Portrait Gallery open studio Fridays, Storytime, and hands on exhibits make learning fun for kids.
National Capital Trolley Museum $ FEE, learn the history, explore the museum, and take unlimited trolley rides around the outside the museum.
National Museum of Health and Medicine FREE, offers classes for families, co-ops, classes, or small groups. The website offers useful pre-visit materials to prepare for your visit.
National Arboretum FREE, Visit and observe the beauty. Single‑genus groupings include: azalea, boxwood, daffodil, daylily, dogwood, holly, magnolia, and maple. Major garden features include: aquatic plants, the Asian Collections, the Fern Valley Native Plant Collections, the Flowering Tree Collection, the Flowering Tree Walk, the Friendship Garden, the Gotelli Conifer Collection, the Introduction Garden, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, the National Capitol Columns, the National Grove of State Trees, and the National Herb Garden. The website offers lesson plan materials to prepare for your visit
National Building Museum $ FEE for ages 3+ Kids will enjoy the Building Zone a hands-on introduction to the building arts designed especially for the Museum’s youngest visitors, ages 2–6. In this exploratory gallery, children can: *New* Get materials for projects by “shopping” in the new Hardware Store. Build a tower or LEGO wall. Curl up with an architecture picture book in the Book Nook. Play pretend with construction play trucks in the Construction Zone. Imagine being a craftsperson complete with a hard hat, tool box, and construction vest. Explore the National Building Museum’s Project Playhouse, a life-size custom built “green” house sponsored by HomeAid and built by Pardee Homes and visit Play Work Build to create an exhibition that enthralls kids and adults alike. Conceived in partnership with the internationally renowned design firm the Rockwell Group, this exhibition combines a presentation of the Museum’s world-class Architectural Toy Collection, a hands-on block play area, and an original digital interactive that allows visitors to fill an entire wall of the exhibition with virtual blocks—and then knock them down.
Spy Museum $ FEE, fun for older kids and adults
Heritage Farm Museum at Claude Moore Park in Loudoun County $ FEE, check Certifikid for deals, CLOSED MONDAYS, visit the museum for a lot of interactive fun. Be a farmer for the day, work or shop in the general store, be a teacher or student in the old school house, and head over to Grandma’s kitchen to prepare a meal. Check their calendar in advance and chances are if you pick a day that doesn’t have large groups scheduled then you may have the place to yourself.
Mount Vernon $ FEE, watch for Free admission on Presidents Day and Washington’s Actual Birthday, visit the animals, stop by the Hands-on-History Center in the Education Center for kid-friendly activities, including story hours, crafts, and games.
College Park Aviation Museum $ FEE, Children 1 and under Free, they host various ongoing and special programs to foster innovation, creative learning, and connectivity throughout the year.
Monuments/National Mall/Tidal Basin a beautiful area to stroll in the Fall and Winter when it’s not overcrowded with tourist. Visit the monuments, eat lunch (food trucks are available and most accept credit cards) along the water and walk across Constitution to check out the Albert Einstein Memorial outside the National Academy of Sciences.
Renwick Gallery FREE, changing exhibits, Current: No Spectators: The Art of Burning Man MARCH 30, 2018 – JANUARY 21, 2019
Museum of the Bible $Donations recommended, Courageous Pages-Kids will read, hear and experience Bible stories about courage in the face of fear! Fun and interactive games give kids the chance to be strong like Samson, walk on water, and more!
National Geographic Museum $ FEE, Children 4 and under Free