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Our nation’s capital can be an expensive place! Here’s some activities, landmarks and more you can visit for FREE on your trip to Washington D.C.!
Tune in over the next week as we cover the top 20 cities in the US with list of fun FREE things to do.
25 Free Things In Washington DC
1. The National Mall – See the monuments, take your pictures, and enjoy feeling like you’re in the pages of your history textbooks!
2. Get Creative With Your Pictures – This can be very entertaining and is very free to do!
3. Museums Along The Mall – Once you’ve taken your pictures in front of all the iconic monuments along the Mall, head inside to one of the free museums. You can visit over a dozen including the National Gallery of Art, the Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History and many more.
4. Butterfly Pavilion – The Museum of Natural History has a Butterfly Pavilion tour that usually costs around $5 a person. But get your tickets early (starting at 10 AM) on Tuesdays for Free admission!
5. National Zoological Park – Check out the only Pandas on the East Coast with a free visit to Washington D.C.’s Zoo.
6. Rock Creek Park – Hike on over 30 trails or take part in a free, ranger-led astronomy program at the only planetarium in any National Park. Check this program out on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00 p.m. and 4 p.m. and on Wednesdays at 4:00 p.m.
7. Bureau of Engraving and Printing – Take a free tour and watch millions being printed! The free 40-minute experience includes an introductory film and gallery tour of the production process
8. National Archives – See John Hancock’s “John Hancock” on the Declaration of Independence.
9. FDR Memorial – Take a picture with the likeness of FDR and his dog Fala. The memorial is an outdoor gallery comprised of a series of bronze sculptures depicting FDR’s presidency. (Walking distance from the Lincoln Memorial.)
10. Tour The Pentagon – You have to reserve your tour, but you can check out the Pentagon for free! Tours can be booked up to 90 days in advance, but you should make your request at least 14 days before.
11. Georgetown Waterfront Park – Escape the city with a stroll, bike ride or picnic in the park. A local gallery, Zone Zero, is nearby and shows off up and coming DC artist’s work. Plus, its near one of the best shopping districts in the city: Georgetown.
12. Friendship Park/Turtle Park – The most popular kid-friendly park in the city with a huge playground, basketball courts, a soccer field and more!.
13. Politics & Prose – a bookstore and coffeehouse that host events with authors for free and open to the public.
14. National Theatre’s Free Performance – Saturday performances are free!
15. Kennedy Center Free Performances – Every 6 PM performance is free. At the Kennedy Center you can enjoy symphonic orchestras, poetry readings and more.
16. Lisner Auditorium at GWU – Check out George Washington University and see when their next free show is at the Lisner Auditorium. (Free shows are not always available but worth checking)
17. The Phillips Collection – The museum’s permanent collection is free Tuesdays through Fridays but donations are encouraged. Established in 1921, The Phillips Collection is America’s first museum of modern art.
18. Salsa Lessons – In Dupont Circle, head to Cafe Citron for free salsa dancing lessons on Wednesday nights at 7:30pm, Fri 9:30pm, and Sat 8:00pm.
19. The Eastern Market – Take the metro the Eastern Market spot and check out what vendors have set up! The stuff here is not necessarily free, but you can take a look at what artists are showing off their work and possibly find a few souvenirs to take home.
20. Dupont Circle FreshFarm Market – Hit the market for fresh coffee, baked goods and pick up some food for your midday picnic.
21. Montrose Park – North of Georgetown is a great park with cobblestone paths and well groomed gardens.
22. Dumbarton Oaks Garden – Another one of DC’s green spaces! Right next to Montrose Park.
23. Neighborhood Heritage Trails – Take a self-guided walking tour through one of DC’s neighborhoods.
24. National Shrine of Immaculate Conception – Head to the Brookland neighborhood and check out this enormous catholic basilica on the campus of CUA, America’s largest catholic university
25. The Metro – Okay this isn’t free if you ride it, but it’s the most frugal way to get around the city. You don’t have to worry about parking and everything worth seeing in D.C. has a metro stop nearby. You’ll save a fortune in taxi fairs. If you don’t want to ride, at least go to Union Station (pictured above). It’s a gorgeous and will make you feel like your in a movie!