Free Things to do in Washington, D.C.

Note: Did you know that we’ve got 30+ city guides with 10 fun, free family friendly things to do in cities all over the world! Check out the complete list of Creating Really Awesome Free Trips

In honor of Independence Day weekend, I thought it would be fun to share a Washington, D.C. travel guide, I like to call it Creating Really Awesome Fun/Free Trips! There are so many fun, free, family friendly things to do in Washington DC,.  A quick bit of history about out our capitol city to share with friends this weekend: According to Wikipedia, on July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a federal district to become the national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution. The District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state!

Free things to do in Washington DC
I like that this map that shows the size comparison of Washington, D.C. to the surrounding states.
1.-19. Smithsonian museums: Yep, 19 free museums! You could spend an entire day in any one of these museums. So pick wisely! We spent most of our time in the National Museum of American History.
Things to do in Washington DC
This museum has tons of fun exhibits for kids. The America on the Move exhibit covers 26,000 square feet and even includes the first car ever driven across the United States, a 1903 Winton for all of you history nerds! Transportation shaped how we live our lives today, it even changed how we view time!
Things to do in Washington DC
Here is a map of all 19 museums. Most of the museums surround the National Mall, and you can walk from museum to museum pretty easily.
20. National Zoo: Free admission and open 364 days a year. You can expect to see about 1,800 animals from 300 different species!

21. Walking Tours:  Explore Washington, D.C. for free by foot with a guided tour. Be aware that the guides are working for tips. There are 8 tours to choose from, check out the daily tour schedule

22. See how money is made: Take a free, 40 minute tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and watch millions of dollars being printed right before your eyes!

23. Washington Monument: You can play Frisbee, throw a football, have a picnic, or fly a kite in the field surrounding the Washington Monument! Or you can get free tickets and go to the top of the monument for a beautiful view! The monument is open 7 days a week from 9-5pm. You can make advance reservations here

Things to do in Washington DC

24. White House: You  can walk to the White House from the Washington Monument. Be sure and check out the front and the back side of the White House. If you want to see the inside, you have to request a tour through a Member of Congress. See the details here. Lafayette square is directly in front of the White House and has really tame squirrels that are fun to see. This is actually the back of the White House, but isn’t this the view you always see on TV?

Things to do in Washington DC

Y’all know I have a thing for squirrels

Things to do in Washington DC

25. Lincoln Memorial: You can walk these next 4 memorials in about an hour, and they are all free to visit. No reservations required. 

Things to do in Washington DC

26. MLK Memorial: Free to visit 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9-11:30 pm.  

27. Korean War Memorial: Free to visit 24 hours a day.

28. WWII Memorial: Free to visit 24 hours a day. Rangers are on duty to answer questions from 9-11:30 pm.  

29. Cherry Bloom Festival  (March 20- April 17, 2016) I really want to see these suckers in bloom! There’s a parade, performances, and music.
30. National Archives: Open 7 days a week from 10am-5:30pm. Here you can view the original Constitution, Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence, and tons more!
31. Tour the U.S. Capitol building: Tours of the Capital are conducted Monday- Saturday from 8:50am- 3:20pm.You can reserve a tour of the capital online. Same-day tour passes may be available at the “Public Walk-up”, but I would suggest booking a tour in advance!

32. Old Post Office Clock Tower Tour: The clock tower is currently closed for renovations until 2016, but this is a fun, free landmark that stands half way between the White House and the Capital building and has amazing birds eye views!

Have you been to Washington, D.C.?  Did you know that all of the Smithsonian museums are free? I can’t wait to take Maxwell one day! If you liked this free travel guide, check out 30+ cities on the Creating Really Awesome Free Trips!

Spilling the beans

No, no not baby beans, like last time! These are book beans, y’all! I am writing a book. Ahh! I know, I’m shocked too. We all know that my spelling and grammar are… how do I say this nicely… creative! Thank goodness for really awesome editors. If you follow along on Instagram this is old news and you’ve probably already seen a few posts about book crafts and book pictures. But, that’s why I haven’t been on the ol’ blog as much lately, this book kind of took over my life!  Oh and did I mention I wrote the entire 250+ page book in less than 2 months. It’s not quite done yet, but my manuscript is in. I am currently in the final stages of revisions. Fingers crossed this sucker will be in my hands and completed by December 2015!

But, before I tell you anymore about my book, I have to share Stacy’s book that just hit shelves! It’ called Natural Accents, and it’s all about bringing the outdoors in. This book is not just about making flower vases, y’all! There are tutorials for turning stumps into end tables, branches into candle sticks, and geodes into drawer pulls (so doing this one), plus tons more DIY tutorials! I love brining the outdoor in, I’ve actually made one of the projects in the book… wood sliced coasters! I made them back when we lived in Florida, but I still use them in our house today. You can grab the book at Amazon or Barnes and Nobles! High five, Stacy! Everyone needs a copy of Natural Accents!


Natural Accents Stacy Risenmay


Speaking of bringing the outdoors in, this is the project I used to announce the book on instagram. These flowers never die, and kids can make them for free out of an egg carton!  This is one of the 100 kid crafts in the book I am writing!

C.R.A.F.T. the book


There will be a few crafts that you have already seen on the blog, like no mess painting. But, not to worry, 95% of the book crafts are brand spankin’ new.

crafts for toddlers


Here’s another book project that I shared on instagram. This ain’t your Grandma’s macaroni noodle necklace. (And I made it with permanent markers, true!) Oh and my friend, Sarah Schiffman, is the photographer for all of the pretty pictures in the book! I took the hundreds of how to pictures, but Sarah took all of the beautiful final project images, like the noodle necklace below. She did a few blog posts with outtake pictures, you can see some more sneak peek project picture and lots of cute kids them here and here.

C.R.A.F.T. the book

A few more fun book tid bits, I have 12 contributor projects including my mom, Andy (yes!), my high school best friend Annie, who threw me this cute baby shower, and 7 more of my fave bloggers from all over the U.S.! Another thing that I love about the book, 2 of the book models are Kristen Duke’s adorable little girls! Kristen and I met online through the wonderful world of blog, and 4 years later she is my real life friend! (She even took my maternity pictures!)

C.R.A.F.T. the book

We are hoping to have the book printed and in stores (ahh!) by December 2015! Don’t worry, I’ll keep you updated!