Being the world’s first planned capital, the city of Washington, D.C., holds a unique charm that makes it stand apart from other cities. It is also among the most globally diverse cities in the world, as there are people from different places and cultures working or studying here, and this gives the city a cosmopolitan air. While in Washington, D.C., you will notice that it is quite different from other big cities, as it does not have unsightly skyscrapers dominating its skyline. Instead, this planned city features the famous Washington Monument, the United States Capitol, and other national landmarks on its beautiful skyline.
Numerous iconic monuments, a rich history, political power, a vibrant arts and culture scene, and various monuments—all come together to give this city its distinctive appeal that draws in millions of tourists every year. If you are a traveler at heart, you are sure to have Washington, D.C. on your bucket list of destinations. Also, this city is an ideal destination for family holidays, with its many family-friendly sights and activities. However, you might be thinking that a trip to such a popular destination will have you breaking the bank. But that isn’t true—in fact, Washington, D.C. is a dream come true for the budget travelers, as it has a wide range of attractions and activities for people of all ages, and these are either free or quite reasonably priced. Be it outdoor activities, museum hopping, or exploring historic monuments—D.C. has a lot in store for you if you are looking for a cheap Washington holiday. Here are our recommendations for some fun and affordable family-friendly things to do that will leave you with many unforgettable moments while also giving you a cheap Washington holiday.
- When in D.C., your trip is incomplete without a visit to the Smithsonian Institution. This well-known museum and research complex is the largest of its kind in the world, and houses 19 different museums and galleries, 9 research facilities, and even a national zoo! With an exhaustive list of kid-friendly activities and programs and remarkable attractions and exhibits for grownups too, this institution will give you treasured vacation memories and the opportunity to help your children learn about history, wildlife, science, and many other interesting things while having a fun time too. Owing to its massive size, you might need to make more than one visit to this D.C. attraction during your cheap Washington holiday.
- Go star gazing or learn about the universe at the Rock Creek Park Planetarium, which has various weekly and monthly programs that are sure to wow both children and adults alike. Operated by the National Park Service, the rangers will take you on an amazing journey of our solar system and galaxy, among other interesting shows. There are free tickets available for each show at the planetarium, and you can collect them at the Nature Center front desk prior to the show.
- If you do not want to leave your furry companion behind on your cheap Washington holiday, there are many options for you in this city. Apart from booking a stay at a pet-friendly Washington hotel, you can take your four-legged friend to the Lincoln Park on Capitol Hill, where he and the kids can run around with other pets from the neighborhood as you watch from the sidelines or take a nice walk.
- Take a walking tour of the National Mall with DC by Foot that offers pay-what-you-like tours of the famous DC attraction, a perfect idea for a family-friendly activity when on a cheap Washington holiday. There are also a number of other tours that you can choose from, including Historic Georgetown, Lincoln Assassination, and even Lafayette Park Ghost Tour if you are interested in some spooky history.
- Watch many exotic animals and participate in animal demonstrations that are educational, at the Smithsonian’s National Zoological Park. Get to watch the adorable giant pandas Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Bao Bao and learn about the conservation efforts being taken. There are even guided tours that are conducted on weekends, and provide you fascinating stories and facts about the animal world. A trip here during your cheap Washington holiday is sure to win you some brownie points with your kids!
- Visit the city’s most popular playground– Turtle Park, also known as Friendship Park, where the little ones can run around and play on the many swings, slides, and tunnels as you have a nice family outing. With a nice green cover and numerous benches and picnic tables, this makes the perfect spot for a family picnic as you near the end of your cheap Washington holiday.