Free Attractions

Explore DC’s museums, memorials and other attractions without breaking the bank. There are more than 100 free things to do in Washington, DC.

Visiting the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, DC

What and where is the U.S. National Arboretum? The U.S. National Arboretum is located at 3501 New York Avenue NE in Washington, DC. The grounds are open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year except Dec. 25. The Arboretum’s popular National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is open...

@tatyana_tati___ - Woman at the National Arboretum during summer - Outdoor things to do in Washington, DC
The Smithsonian Castle: Gateway to Museums & History

Brit benefactor and an American castle For a man who never set foot in Washington, DC, French-born, British-raised James Smithson has had a huge impact on the city. The British scientist (1765-1829), an illegitimate son of a Duke, left his considerable fortune to a nephew with the stipulation that...

@travelwith_caro - Summer scene at the Smithsonian Castle on the National Mall - The best things to do this summer in Washington, DC
Free Things to Do: Winter in Washington, DC

There’s nothing like a trip to Washington, DC in winter. The nation’s capital is filled with free winter activities and gorgeous holiday displays, serving as a great destination to celebrate Christmas, New Year’s Eve or any winter holiday. From ice sculptures to holiday markets, Washington, DC...

Free Things to Do This Winter in Washington, DC - Holiday light displays, celebrations and more
Visiting the Library of Congress in Washington, DC

What and where is the Library of Congress? The Library of Congress is housed across three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC: the Thomas Jefferson Building (10 1st Street SE), the James Madison Memorial Building (101 Independence Avenue SE) and the John Adams Building (2nd Street SE,...

@eandmbambrick - Exploring the Library of Congress - Washington, DC
Free Things to Do: African American History & Culture in Washington, DC

African American history and culture is an essential part of experiencing Washington, DC. The city that hosted the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have A Dream” speech features a memorial dedicated to King, as well as numerous other free-to-experience sites that help you to...

Free African American History and Culture Experiences in Washington, DC - Contemplative Court inside the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Visiting the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington, DC

What is the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art and where is it? The National Museum of African Art is located on Independence Avenue SW on the National Mall . The museum possesses the largest publicly held collection of African art in the United States, with roughly 12,000 objects in total...

Smithsonian National Museum of African Art on the National Mall - Free Museum in Washington, DC
13 Can’t-Miss Free Museums on the National Mall

To go with its monuments and memorials, the National Mall boasts an impressive lineup of free museums. Visitors should take advantage of the wide range of experiences on hand, from immersing themselves in classic art to marveling at the wonders of aviation and our natural world. Let your wallet...

Henry the Elephant at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History - Free museum on the National Mall in Washington, DC
Free Things to Do: Museums in Washington, DC

Washington, DC is filled with free museums, from Smithsonians including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum, to art-filled museums like the Freer|Sackler Galleries and the National Gallery of Art...

Free museum experiences in Washington, DC - Family at the National Gallery of Art East Building on the National Mall
Fly High at the National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

All about the Smithsonian's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Opened in 2003, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center serves as a partner facility to the National Air and Space Museum . The two locations together attract more than 8 million visits per year, making the National Air and Space complex the most...

@abroadwife - Child standing in front of Space Shuttle Discovery at the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum - Free Smithsonian museum near Washington, DC
Free Things to Do: Outdoor Activities in Washington, DC

You will have no issue finding free outdoor activities in DC. From hiking and running trails such as the Billy Goat Trail in Great Falls Park to awesome places like Rock Creek Park, there are so many things to do outdoors in the nation’s capital, including activities just for kids. Check out some...

Free Outdoor Activities and Things to Do in Washington, DC - Runners at sunrise on the National Mall