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Best Things to Do in Washington DC 2020 [With Toddlers, At Night & More]

Washington DC is one of the cities that tops the list for tourists’ attractions in the United States. There are lots of other great destinations, but DC stands out in many ways.

The hype with this city isn’t just because it is the nation’s capital. DC offers a vast array of iconic sights, intriguing experiences, and an opportunity to learn about America’s culture, government, and history. 

Now that we’ve got you hooked, what are the things you must not miss out on if you want to experience the much-lauded DC thrill? Well, hold my hands; let’s find out.

Best Things to Do in Washington DC 2020

Best Things to Do in Washington DC with Toddlers

I assure you, even a month wouldn’t be enough for you and your kids to get your fill of this stately city. And although having preschoolers and toddlers with you might influence your choice of fun options, there are still a thousand and one things that can be fun for you both.

1. Visit the Botanic Garden 

This is one place that a lot of parents take their toddlers to. It is a perfect start for your family vacation in DC. What’s good about this place is the fact that you don’t only get to see and point; there are numerous hands-on activities for your toddler to engage in.

Your older kids can plant, identify plants, or even run around in the dirt. While your toddlers can find their comfort spot at the children’s garden, pumping water, playing in the playhouse, or watering the plants.

Some side attractions to get you yearning are; an extensive rose garden, a First Ladies’ water garden plus a beautiful exhibition of a variety of flowers and trees. Just make sure you complete your registration for the garden on time as the spots fill up in no time.


2. Ride the Carousel

Who wouldn’t love a ride on the carousel? I bet your kids will be pining for this one. You should definitely make a stop at the carousel if you happen to stop by the National Mall. It’s just by the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building, so it shouldn’t be hard to locate.

There are many more carousels in that area as well, which could be fun for both young and old. You can find them at the Glen Echo, National Harbor, and Wheaton Regional Park. 


3. Go on a Trip to the National Monuments and Memorials

We already established that DC is America’s home for culture and history. You can make a trip to several iconic landmarks for a memorable experience. And while this might require a lot of walking, your toddler will find the sights quite interesting and pleasurable.

Asides climbing stairs and viewing gigantic buildings, your little ones might even get to see the molded face of Abraham Lincoln finally.

4. Take a Trip to Wegmans Wonderplace

Now this one is something you should really look forward to. At this spot, it gets as hands-on and interactive as can be. This place is ideal for kids age six and below.

Wegmans Wonderplace is often referred to as the “food museum” by younger ones. This spot features a replication of a grocery store, Julia Child’s Kitchen, a farm where toddlers could grow and buy food and a structure modeled after the Smithsonian castle that they could climb.

5. Go to the National Zoo

This is another thing we are almost too certain your young one will love. The Smithsonian national zoo offers free admission, so your concern will never be trying to level up if the cash spent was worth it.

Asides watching several animals, there are other attractions that would catch and keep you spellbound. Exhibits like the elephants on the Elephants trails and the giant panda house on Asia trail. Another exciting sight for toddlers is the American trail where they can watch seals swimming. 

Best Things to Do In Washington DC with Kids

Who says you can’t travel with your kids? The truth is, your little cuties are not left out in the fun. You can do the following with them:

1. Visit the National Museum of the American Indian

At the National Museum of The American Indian, your kids get to see history first hand, now not from books or stories told by their history teacher but by artifacts and pictures. At the ImagiNations Activity Center, you and your kid can dig into the ancient cultures of the American Indian.

Apart from this, they can play the drums and explore the traditional homes of the natives. “Hok-noth-da For Families” storytelling time also comes up every Sunday.

 Not just that, the kids also get to sample several indigenous cuisines and transport modes. They get also get to experience the thrill of weaving a giant basket.

2. Go on a Picnic

What better place to have a picnic with your family than in the lavish city of Washington DC. DC is known for its lush and green vegetation, and so it makes it a good place to lay your mat and enjoy outdoor recreation with your family.

You could visit places like the Friendship “Turtle” Park located in the capital. They have really nice playgrounds with numerous swings, tunnels, slides, and climbing structures.

3. Enjoy the “Play Work Build” Exhibit 

Located at the National Building Museum, the Play Work Build” Exhibit offers an immersive, hands-on installation experience. This spot is designed for young children to explore their architectural prowess. 

It also offers your kids the opportunity to see the museum’s world-class architectural toy collection. They can put together virtual blocks while building an actual arch, build a house, or drive a bulldozer if they will.

Best Things to Do in Washington DC at Night

While there is endless fun in the day, a night in Washington DC is not lagging as long as relaxation and entertainment are concerned. You can add these things to your night tour list:

1. Take a Night Tour

What better way to spend the night in DC than to take a tour around the city and watch it come alive. There is a range of options to pick from. You could take a guided or unguided tour around the monuments and memorials contained in the city or visit the museums around.

You could also go on dinner cruises as well. Trust me. There are a lot of entertaining cuisine spots that would be hard not to fall in love with. You could also go on Segway, bike, or bus tours to see the city in its night’s life.

2. See an Outdoor Movie

A serene environment, a beautiful night sky, and an outdoor movie- seems to me like the perfect combo for an exceptional night.

Tuesday nights could become movie nights if you take a stroll to George Sunset Cinema located at Georgetown Waterfront Park. You could also visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and catch its summer movie screenings.

3. Visit the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center

You could experience the rush of DC’s nightlife at the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. The Kennedy Center is the official hub when it comes to Washington National Opera, National Symphony Orchestra, and live performance art.

Every night by 6 pm, you get the opportunity to enjoy a free performance however you like it. There are jazz, soul, and even opera and play productions if you’re into that kind of thing.

You might need to check the schedule ahead of time, though, to get tickets and plan your visit to match a performance that appeals to your preferences.

4. Visit Madams Organ

If you’re looking for a place to turn up at night with a drink in hand, cool music at the background, red lights, and vintage fittings, then you might as well visit Madams Organ Blues Bar.

This cool bar is located in Adams Morgan neighborhood, and has a total of four levels, a rooftop level included. You can surely spice up your DC weekends in this dive bar. 

5. Get a Good Laugh

You could ease off stress by visiting several comedy clubs located at DC. On a normal, you wouldn’t have to pay to get in, but you might be required to get a drink or two to remain. Some options worth considering are; the DC Improv, where you get to watch several rib-cracking acts all night.

The Drafthouse Comedy, a black box styled Arts Theater, has its focus on the comedic arts. Watching them is a sure way to get a hearty laugh and a good dose of happiness.

Best Things to Do In Washington DC in Winter

No hypes, there is a nostalgic feeling that that enchants tourists in Washington in this period of the year. You can turn the snow to your fun time and also explore the excitements that the yuletide season affords.

1. Go Ice-Skating

Winter at Dc provides the perfect avenue to go skating at the rink. You could enjoy this alone or go along with friends and family. The cool thing is, you can do this both day and night. Imagine skating under the night sky – enchanting, I know.

The National Gallery of Art has a sculpture garden that is perfect for skating. And that’s not all. There’s a café just beside it, so you could grab a hot drink and warm up all you like.

You could also enjoy a waterfront ice rink at the Washington Harbor Ice Rink, or a standard round rink at the Canal Park Ice Rink. You might have cold fingers afterward, but you’ll definitely enjoy every bit of it.

2. Watch the National Christmas Tree and Pageant of Peace

This tradition began in 1923 and has since continued to date. At this special ceremony that happens in the White House Ellipse every December, they light up a 40ft live Colorado blue spruce, as an array of entertainers are invited to the stage.

You also get to witness miniature trees, each representing the 50 different states in the U.S. This exhibition remains illuminated for weeks while visits from Santa, reindeer, and others are entertained.

3. Join a Race

DC is a favorite spot when races are concerned. You can be a part of it this winter. You get to warm up while burning away those additional pounds gained from the holiday treats. The races are not age-specific. Everyone and anyone can be a part of it.

You could consider joining the following:


DC is your go-to location anytime if you’re looking to catch some fun. It’s that place that has something that appeals to almost everyone. Every moment, season, and time counts in this beautiful city. Why not go for it