Kid-friendly recommendations for where to eat, what to do and what to pack for a family trip to Washington, D.C. with children!
Child Friendly Places to See
Washington, D.C. is absolutely perfect for families. There are sidewalks everywhere, handicap ramps on every building and almost all of the museums and sites are free! When you have children, the last thing you want to do is pay a pretty penny to go somewhere, just to have them have an epic meltdown and you need to leave.
There are lots of places to see, but in our short trip, here are the places with visited with the kids:
National Postal Museum
- This is our absolute favorite museum. It’s a little farther out from the rest of the museums off the National Mall, but well worth the walk. There are tons of interactive exhibits and it’s not so big that it’s overwhelming. The super bonus is that there’s never any one there! We had the whole place to ourselves and enjoyed every minute.
National Museum of Natural History
- The Natural History Museum is full of fun. It’s quite hard to get navigate the stroller up the stairs to get into the museum, but once you get past that, you’ll be good to go.
- Lots of animals (stuffed, of course) and things to see. It can be a little overwhelming due to its size, but it’s fun to see.
- Go early or late to avoid the bulk of the crowd. It can get quite crowded.
- The food court is good and has plenty of seating.
National Museum of American History
- The American History Museum is great for kids! There are lots of vehicle exhibits (which our little boys loved) that included life-sized trains, buses, cars, etc.
- Again, this museum can get busy, but we went late in the day to avoid the large crowds.
- The food on the bottom floor is great! I feel like the food there is a hidden gem. We ate like kings and queens in their cafe.
National Air and Space Museum
- The Air and Space Museum is amazing. The interactive exhibits and giant airplanes and spaceships are special to see. Our children were mesmerized by everything.
- The downside is that this museum is VERY crowded. Try to go as off hours as you can to avoid the crowds.
- The only food they have available here is McDonalds. We were starving so we split some french fries. This was probably the worst we ate in Washington, D.C. I highly recommend saving your appetite and eating much better food outside of the museum.
- The museum is stroller friendly…to a point. Once the crowds get so crowded and you are forced to manage a stroller through tight spaces in some of the exhibits, you resent bringing a stroller.
- The Washington Monument (a national park vs a smithsonian) is just a beauty to see. We didn’t go inside, but loved walking around and getting lots of energy out in the beautiful lawn!
- There are also bathrooms surrounding the monument.
D.C. Tulip Garden
- Just outside of the National Monument off of the Tidal Basin, you’ll find the Floral Library. The tulips everywhere were lovely and I’m so happy we stumbled upon such a hidden gem in Washington, D.C.! There’s also a great big field next to the tulip garden for the kids to run around or even have a picnic.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
- A beautiful memorial right by the water of the Tidal Basin, which also overlooks the Jefferson Memorial.
The White House
- Okay, we don’t dare enter or get close to the White House, but it sure was cool to see it a few times! Our hotel was right around the corner from The White House, so we walked past it quite a few times during our visit.
- We couldn’t get close to it during our stay because someone from Japan was visiting.
Some other places that we wished we could have seen and will definitely be seeing next time:
- The Memorials on the National Mall at night. We were on our way to do this our last night, but out of no where it started pouring rain. With two young children in tow, we had to turn around. It would have been so fun to see everything lit up at night. I know the kids would have loved it!
- Udvar-Hazy Center – If you don’t have a car, it’s a little more difficult to get there, but I’ve heard once you’re there, it’s worth the trip! Udvar-Hazy Center is a HUGE airport hanger museum in Virginia (just outside of D.C.). This is definitely on our to-do list for next time.
- Next time we’re also planning on venturing more outside of the National Mall to explore more local restaurants. It’s quite a bit of walking, but I think it would be fun to take the Metro outside of the city and just walk around and eat!
Stay tuned for more tomorrow!