Welcome to Southern Savers, where finding deals and steals is simple and rewarding!

See I told you, this would help!

Coupon Abbreviations
  • SC = Store Coupon
  • MC = Manufacturer Coupon
  • SS = Smart Source
  • RMN = Retail Me Not
  • PG = Proctor and Gamble
Coupon Terms
  • WYB = When You Buy
  • B1G1 = Buy One Get One Free
  • .75/1 = 75 cents off one item
  • .75/3 = 75 cents off three items
  • EXP = Expiration Date

Going Nuts? I can help you understand coupon terms and abbreviations

This post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure here.

Our nation’s capital can be an expensive place! You will have to pay for lodging and food when you go, so the best way to save money is to do some of the amazing free things to do in Washington DC. From the zoo to the Smithsonian to the various gardens, you can spend a week there and spend very little on fun activities.

25 Free Things to Do in Washington DC

Visit the Smithsonians

You can visit over a dozen including the National Gallery of Art, the National Museum of American History, and the National Portrait Gallery. Note that some museums, like the National Museum of African American History, require ticket reservations ahead of time (but it’s still free!).

national mall

Walk the National Mall

See the monuments, take your pictures, and enjoy feeling like you’re in the pages of your history textbooks!

Politics & Prose

This local bookstore and coffeehouse hosts  events with authors, all free and open to the public.

dc zoo

National Zoological Park

Check out the only pandas on the East Coast with a free visit to the National Zoo.

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.

national shrine brookland

National Shrine of Immaculate Conception

Head to the Brookland neighborhood and check out this enormous Catholic basilica. You can go inside as well, to see the beautiful interior.

Kennedy Center Free Performances

Every 6 p.m. performance is free. At the Kennedy Center, you can enjoy symphonic orchestras, poetry readings and more.

national archives

National Archives

See John Hancock’s “John Hancock” on the Declaration of Independence.

Friendship Park/Turtle Park

The most popular kid-friendly park in the city with a huge playground, basketball courts, a soccer field and more!

roosevelt memorial
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.

Walk around a FreshFarm Market

A local nonprofit hosts farmers’ markets all around DC. Hit the market for fresh coffee, baked goods and pick up some food for your midday picnic.

georgetown waterfont park

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 artists’ work. Plus, it’s near one of the best shopping districts in the city: Georgetown.

Montrose Park

North of Georgetown is a great park with cobblestone paths and well-groomed gardens.

the eastern market

The Eastern Market

Take the metro to 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.

Neighborhood Heritage Trails

Take a self-guided walking tour through one of DC’s neighborhoods.

Capitol Hill Baptist Church

If you’re in DC on a Sunday morning, consider visiting CHBC, a church on Capitol Hill that was established in 1878.

United States Arboretum

If the weather is nice, take a long stroll or bike ride around the US Arboretum. The landscape is beautiful and gardeners will love all the different trees, plants, and flowers.

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The US Holocaust Memorial Museum is free, though you’ll have to pay $1 to reserve tickets online. You’ll want to reserve a whole morning to slowly make your way through this stunning presentation of history.

Smithsonian Gardens

In and around the National Mall are various gardens and outdoor botanical exhibits. There are benches to sit and reflect as well as dozens of native and exotic plants to see.

Daughters of the American Revolution Museum

This is one of the most underrated museums in DC. It never shows up on big lists, but it’s definitely worth a visit for history buffs!

Visit Union Station

You’ll have to pay to ride the metro, but you can go inside Union Station for free and feel like you’re in a movie!

Library of Congress

You will have to reserve tickets ahead of time, but they’re still free. It’s totally worth planning head to see this extraordinary library.

Planet Word

This museum is newer to DC and is a kid-friendly, interactive museum that explores the wonders of human language.

Capitol Riverfront Splash Pad

If the weather is warm, kids can cool off in this splash pad. But even on a chillier day, the scenery is beautiful!

Ford’s Theatre

Visit the historic theater where President Lincoln was shot. You can get free tickets at the box office on the same day, or pay $3 per ticket to reserve them ahead of time.

See more free things to do around the US!

Our nation's capital can be an expensive place, so stick within budget with these frugal activities! Here are 25 free things to do in Washington DC.