Attractions for Kids in Washington, DC

Attractions for Kids in Washington, DC
A trip to Washington, D.C., is one filled with history and learning. Visiting popular attractions, such as the Lincoln Memorial, is a must. However, children may get antsy visiting monument after monument with little activity to keep them occupied. Fortunately, there are plenty of outdoor activities in the nation's capital that children will enjoy participating in, and including them in the day's activities will ensure that everyone in the family has a fun and rewarding trip.

Rock Creek Nature Center

Located on Glover Road NW, the Rock Creek Nature Center provides an oasis within the city. Founded in 1890, it was one of the first federal parks and has a variety of animals and foliage. In addition to walking trails and bicycling, children will enjoy the exhibits inside the nature center. The park boasts a hands-on discovery center geared toward children ages 2 through 5. It also has a bilingual exhibit geared toward children ages 10 and up. The park has animal talks, a planetarium show and crafts for children of various ages. Inside Pierce Barn, children have the opportunity to try on old-fashioned clothes and play with toys from the 19th century.

Rock Creek Park
5200 Glover Road NW
Washington, DC 20015
(202) 426-6829

Discovery Theater

The Discovery Theater is a division of the Smithsonian and has live theater shows that are geared specifically toward children. It has live performances that include dance, storytelling, theatrical performances, puppetry and musicals. Each performance is designed to educate children as well as entertain them. The Meet the Museum shows give children a chance to learn about animals, countries and even natural resources through live performances. There are also Heritage Shows that teach children about different cultures. Children between the ages of 4 and 13 can also benefit from the Young Associates Program, which allows them to explore behind the scenes at the Smithsonian and where they can learn how to make puppets or to animate clay figures.

Discovery Theater
S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Drive SW
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 633-3030

Smithsonian's National Zoo

Located on Connecticut Avenue, the Smithsonian's National Zoo is home to approximately 2,000 animals from 400 different species. Children will delight in seeing the gorillas, tigers and giraffes. However, they can also see animals such as flamingos, giant pandas and a black-footed ferret. At the Kids' Farm, children will learn where different foods come from and how farm animals are taken care of. They can learn about goats, donkeys, hogs and alpaca inside the barn as well. After touring the Kids' Farm, visitors can explore the Pizza Garden to learn how different pizza ingredients are grown. Children will also enjoy learning about animal habitats at exhibits like the Think Tank and the Reptile Discovery Center.

Smithsonian's National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 673-4800


Article Written By Emily Retherford

Emily Retherford has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009. She specializes in travel, parenting, fashion and beauty with work appearing on various online publications.

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