Smithsonian National Museum of Natural HistoryNatural history museums are always great for the kids and the one in Washington, DC is among the best. The museum has so many exhibits you’ll want to visit them all. Among them are the Butterfly Pavilion, the Hall of Human Origin, the Hall of Mammals, Ancient Egypt, African Voices, Gems, Fossils and so much more.
Not only is it fun for kids of all ages, it is a great educational experience. Even better, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History is free to enter and you can plan on being here for several hours.
United States Botanic Garden, Washington DCThe United States Botanic Garden is a great visit any time of the year and hosts three plant collections, the National Garden, the Conservatory and the Bartholdi Park. The Conservatory is full of beautiful plants from arid, subtropical and tropical regions of the world. Here the family can see medicinal, economic, endangered and even Jurassic plants, as well as a stunning showcase of orchids.
A newer addition is the Children’s Garden in the Conservatory. This features a series of terraced platforms for the children to explore, including interactive information panels. Moreover, the kids will find watering and planting stations, complete with kid-sized tools and watering cans.
National Building Museum, Washington DCFor another fun experience for the kids, the National Building Museum is known for its beautiful atrium with stunning sculptures. However, when you buy your tickets, the kids will be assigned 45 minutes of truly fun play. Meanwhile, the Work Play Build room is great, with its life-size tinker toys. Let the kids use their imaginations to build themselves a house.
Other exhibits include Flickering Treasures, Secret Cities, Houses & Homes and Evicted. Meanwhile, entry to the National Building Museum is free for children 2 and under, $7 for 3 to 17, and $10 for adults.
Smithsonian National Zoological ParkOne thing all family vacations should have is a visit to a zoo and the Smithsonian National Zoological Park is one of the best. Moreover, it is one of the oldest zoos in the US and is totally free to enter. The zoo was founded in 1889 with a mission to “provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats.”
While the most famous residents are the giant pandas, the zoo hosts many species of birds, big cats, Asian elephants, great apes, amphibians, reptiles, insects, small mammals and more. You are warned, however, that once the kids step into the zoo, they might never want to leave!