Family Travel: 7 Fabulous Things to Do This Summer in Washington, DC

Fabulous Things to Do This Summer in Washington, DC
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Spend summertime with your family in Washington, DC and experience what the city has to offer!

Washington, DC has no shortage of free things to do for kids, as well as other family-friendly events that won’t a dime. From kid-friendly attractions to cool activities that the entire family can enjoy, the US capital is a great destination for a vacation any time of the year and is specifically buzzing during summer!

Travel all around the world with Passport DC!

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Grab your virtual passport and get ready to explore with your entire family. DC’s very unique offering, Passport DC is a month-long festival in May that pays tribute to Washington, DC’s thriving international culture. The U.S Capital is home to over 200 embassies and other cultural institutions which are open to visitors during the weekends in May. You can travel the whole world without stepping out of DC! In 2024, May 4 (World Embassy Tour) and 11 (EU Open House) would be open and free for everyone to visit. These weekends would be packed with rich culture and performances but if you need another reason to visit, many embassies offer up international treats for visitors too!

Beat the heat with some Water Activities

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Enjoy a lunch in the charming Georgetown neighbourhood and head directly to a quick safety briefing and kayaking lesson. You can then take a self-guided trip around Teddy Roosevelt Island and paddle past the beautiful vistas of the famous Washington, DC sites including the Kennedy Center and the Lincoln Memorial, among many more! For a thrilling experience, you can also rent a canoe or a stand-up paddleboard. If your ideal way of enjoying water is by looking from afar, grab a water taxi and spend some time near the harbour for some much-needed cool breeze.

Fancy a Fresh Fish?

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Anacostia Riverkeeper offers year-round, free trips that are both scenic and very instructive along the Anacostia River. Want to go fishing but don’t have a fishing rod? Visit Diamond Teague Park for free catch and release fishing experience, an amazing opportunity for children and adults alike that comes with fishing gear supplied. But if fish meal is on your mind, head towards Southwest & The Wharf.

Don’t forget to add the Waterfront rooftop restaurants on your DC summer itinerary. La Vie, Whiskey Charlie, Officiana, and 12 Stories are the most recommended ones.

Must Read: 48 Hours in Washington, D.C. | Travel and Food Guide

Free to Visit Smithsonian Museums

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Take a small break from the fun outdoors to enjoy some of the best museums on National Mall. Ignite curiosity and creativity in kids by visiting the National Air and Space museum where you get to see the original 1903 Wright Flyer aircraft, or the Natural history Museum with ‘Deep Time’ featuring roughly 700 fossil specimens. And the best part? You won’t have to pay a penny to experience it as admission is free at every Smithsonian museum. Start planning your exploration now!

National Zoo

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A trip to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is a must for families visiting DC. Here, the visitors can find almost 1,500-plus animals including lions, tigers, giraffes on a 163-acre park they call home. The zoo’s habitats feature animals from 300 different species and about 25 percent of the zoo’s residents are endangered. The admission is like every other Smithsonian institute is free.  

Summertime Refreshments

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Ice Cream Jubilee is one of the district’s favourite spots for the tasty treat. The shop specializes in truly creative flavours, including banana bourbon caramel, Thai iced tea, and sweet potato molasses candy. Or you could enjoy delicious treats at Georgetown Cupcakes, now a world-famous cupcakery! Delight yourself with rows of colour and flavourful macarons created to bring joy, love and celebration with every bite at Oliva Macarons.

Savor Delicious Deals during Summer Restaurant Week

Summer in the District would not be complete without Metropolitan Washington Restaurant Week (official dates to be announced). Throughout the promotion, dozens of restaurants across the DC area offer three-course, prix-fixe meals for brunch, lunch, and dinner, making it one of the best ways to get out into the neighbourhoods of DC.

There’s a lot to see and eat in DC this summer so keep your curiosity hat on and explore this culture-rich district!

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