Free Things To do In Washington D.C.

washington d.c.

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Do you want to visit Washington D.C.? If so, then the Free Things To do In Washington D.C. blog post is for you! We have a list of free things that are sure to make your trip memorable and enjoyable. There’s no better way to see this city than completely free of charge!

washington DC

When you visit the U.S. Capitol, you will find dozens of great free things to do in Washington, D.C., but you’ll also find amazing beauty, architecture, and history at every turn. This city offers tons of great free attractions alongside amazing restaurants, museums, and kid-friendly events for your entire family to enjoy.

Free Things To do In Washington D.C.

Visit The National Mall


This monument in the nation’s capital is one of the most infamous images having been seen in movies, television shows, and pictures worldwide. It’s a great place to walk, take photographs and see firsthand where history has been made with rallies and events during our nation’s history.

Visit The White House

Anyone can walk outside the gates to photograph the White House or get their picture taken in front of the building on the sidewalk. However, you can also take free tours of the White House if desired.

If wanting to tour the US Capitol building, you’ll need to plan in advance and reserve tickets since it is in high demand. You may need to book several years in advance. Make sure you check out the rose garden if it is in season.

washington DC

Visit Free Museums in DC

There are several museums around the area that offer free admission throughout the week for all to enjoy, including the Air & Space Museum, the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, and many more. From the Smithsonian institution to the National Museum of African American History and Culture, I still think my favorite is the National Museum of Natural History.

Visit the Chinatown Friendship Arch

Located on 7th and H Streets NW, this is a fun attraction that is quick and easy to visit, but well worth your time. A great photo opportunity and landmark in itself, the arch is visited by millions of people each year.

Visit the Lincoln Memorial

One of the most significant pieces of statuary known, this monumental memorial to President Abraham Lincoln, is visited by millions of visitors each year. Take your picture next to one of the most beloved presidents the United States has ever known.

Turn around and check out the National Mall looking from that Lincoln Memorial across the Reflecting Pool to Washington Monument.

free things to do in washington d.c.

Walk Around Georgetown

One of the most affluent neighborhoods in Washington D.C., Georgetown is a historic and charming district that’s worth taking a stroll around. With cobblestone streets, brick buildings, and lovely waterfront views, you can easily spend an afternoon here window shopping and people watching.

Visit Free Events in DC

There are numerous free events held around the city that have no admission fee whatsoever, including outdoor concerts and festivals for your enjoyment. The John F. Kennedy Center hosts many of these wonderful events throughout the year so you won’t run out of things to see or do while at the nation’s capital. I love the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Visit the Washington Monument

This large monument stands proudly in the center of the city that is known by all. A simple walk from the Lincoln Memorial and you are at the National Monument for great photo opportunities as well as a history of the United States.

Field of Flowers North Farm
Click on the picture to check it out

Walk Across the Arlington Memorial Bridge

This bridge spans the Potomac River and is a great way to get from one side of Washington D.C. to the other without dealing with traffic. It’s also a lovely walk or bike ride, especially at sunset when you can see all of the monuments lit up in their glory.

Pay Your Respects at the Arlington National Cemetery

This world-famous cemetery is home to thousands of servicemen and women who have given their lives in defense of the United States. A moving monument from a bygone era, you can easily spend an afternoon here walking around this beautiful site. Free Things To do In Washington D.C

Visit The Library Of Congress

One of the most breathtaking pieces of architecture in the city, this is a great stop for anyone who wants to see where laws are made by studying our nation’s history.

Visit the National Archives

See the Declaration of Independence up close in the National Archives. There are several original engrossed copies of the Bill of Rights still in existence. One of these is on permanent public display here too! Other well-known historical documents are located there and lead to great conversations with your children about our nation’s history, as well as how legislation is passed for many bills, and amendments that are shown in the archives.

I love how creative the National Archives is – just look at this lesson for kids on George Washington

Washington National Cathedral

This Episcopal cathedral is a sight to behold. It was built in the early 1900s and is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world. Construction started on September 29, 1907, and was briefly paused for WW1. It was planned to be the Westminster Abbey of the West.

Several presidential funerals and memorial services have been held here, including the state funeral for President Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon.

Visit the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

This is truly a historical monument that will leave you humbled at the sacrifice of so many young men and women who went to war. Vietnam Veterans often are found here sharing information, looking for names of friends or family members.

It is a great teaching tool for your kids to learn about war, military involvement in other countries, and the ultimate sacrifice those individuals made not just for our freedom, but to better another country.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

This memorial is dedicated to the memory of those who served in the Korean War. It’s a beautiful and solemn tribute that any veteran or family member should visit when in Washington D.C.

Heck – while you are in that area, check out all the tributes to our men and women in service.

check out the giant pandas at the National Zoo

Spend a Day at the Zoo Free

If you have never been to the National Zoo, it’s a great place to relax and enjoy your day with family or friends. If you want to take advantage of being in DC, then plan on visiting this wonderful zoo that hosts thousands of animals. We love to look at the giant pandas!

U.S. Botanic Garden

This is a little-known gem of Washington D.C. and the only botanical garden in our nation’s capital city, so your family can learn about plant life from all over the world while enjoying free admission with some exhibits costing extra. Free Things To do In Washington D.C

Visit The National Museum Of American History

Famous for housing the original American flag as well as memorials from wars, advances in technology, and even a few movies and celebrities that have impacted our country, this is a favorite free thing to do in Washington D.C. when you visit.

Learn about the most beloved pieces of our history while finding out unique facts about cinema, arts, and the founding fathers.

badger honor flight logo

One last thing I want to mention

There are several “honor flights” for our aging population of veterans. In Wisconsin, we call it the Badger Honor Flight. As these are all scheduled in advance, various political leaders attempt to be at the World War II Memorial or Korean Memorial to greet and thank these brave men and women. I know that Bob Dole was there when my Father-in-law took his trip a few years ago. If you time your visit just right, you might get lucky!

If you are looking for historic sites to help you connect with our nation’s history, then Washington D.C. is the place to be.

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