Home||First Posted: Jan 4, 2013|
Jan 31, 2015
Children's Corner in Washington, DC
This page will be constantly updated. Washington, DC is a virtual playground for children of all ages and families. We have everything that anyone could want whether you are a tourist or a full or part time resident in the Nation's Capital or surrounding areas.
Children's Programs and Interests of All Kinds Mostly Free
KEY: Federal Buildings and Other Federal Sites Memorials and Monuments Military Installations Smithsonian Institution Complex Private/Non-Government Stops
Federal Buildings and Other Federal Sites
The United States National Arboretum is an arboretum in Washington, D.C., operated by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service as a division of the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. It was established in 1927 by an act of Congress after a campaign by USDA Chief Botanist Frederick Vernon Coville. It is 446 acres (1.80 km2) in size, and is located 2.2 miles (3.5 km) northeast of the Capitol building, with entrances on New York Avenue and R Street, Northeast. Nine miles of roadways wind through and connect the numerous gardens and collections on the campus.
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20408
Daily Visits: The National Archives Experience is open every day except Thanksgiving and December 25 (see Museum Hours for operating schedule). Reservations are not required for individuals or groups wishing to enter the National Archives Experience through the general public entrance. The general public entrance is located at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 9th Street.
Reserved Visits: Visitors may wait in the general public line for entry at any time the museum is open. However, advance reservations are highly recommended and will allow visitors to avoid the exterior portion of the line to see the Charters of Freedom during the height of the tourist season (mid-March through Labor Day) and during holiday seasons such as the weeks of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's. The convenience fee for online reservations is $1.50 per person and admission to all of the National Archives Experience exhibits is free.
Reserved visits are available at the following times: Guided Tours, 9:45 a.m., Monday through Friday
The Rotunda of the National Archives Building in downtown Washington, DC, displays the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Declaration of Independence.
Kids are Welcome at the U.S. Botanic Garden. You are evited to explore a world of plants year round. Let us nurture your curiosity, creativity and discovery by helping you find fun things you can do on your visit to the U.S. Botanic Garden or in your very own home. Check out our upcoming programs to see if there's something special happening during your visit.
Youth and Family: While at the Conservatory, enjoy our living classroom with your family! l) Take a trek through the wilds of the U.S. Botanic Garden to discover the amazing world of plants. Embark on an expedition through the Conservatory recording your observations and completing activities in our Family Field Journal. 2) Kids age nine and older will love our Junior Botanist program. Become an Apprentice Junior Botanist by using our backpack of exploration to complete adventures throughout the Conservatory. 3) Our Children's Garden gives kids a chance to get hands-on in a courtyard garden where they can gently explore plants in bloom and play with gardening tools to learn about plants. Closed in winter. 4) Visit the West Gallery for a multi-sensory exhibit that shows the human relationship with plants. 5) At Home Activities--Looking for some fun activities to do with plants at home? We have some fun ideas to get you started.
14 and C Streets, S.W.
The nearest metro stop is Smithsonian on the orange and blue lines.
See how money, postage stamps, and Treasury securities are made at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The tour features the complete process of currency production, and how millions of dollars are created from sheets of paper to wallet-ready bills during your visit. The bureau offers Congressional tours at 8:15 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. During the peak months, May through August, Congressional tour hours are extended to include 4:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 4:45 p.m.
Public tours of the bureau are available from 9:00 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. and from 12:30 p.m. until 2:00 p.m. leaving every 15 minutes. During peak season, from May through August, hours are also extended to include the hours of 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tickets are required for all tours from the first Monday in March through the last Friday in August, on a first-come, first-served basis. The ticket booth is located on Raoul Wallenberg Place (formerly 15th Street). For public tours, the bureau offers same day tickets only. The Ticket Booth opens at 8:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, and closes when all tickets have been distributed. Lines form early, and tickets go quickly. In fact, most days' tickets are gone by 9:00 a.m. Please plan accordingly.
During the non-peak months, September through February, no tickets are required. You may line up at the Visitors' Entrance on 14th Street. Please allow 45-50 minutes from the time you enter the building until the end of your tour.
The Library of Congress is located at 101 Independence Avenue, S.E.
Nearest metro stop is Capitol South on the orange and blue lines.
The Library of Congress offers tours daily for the public, as well as special themed tours. These themed tours include; the Jefferson Building tour, Creating the United States, Thomas Jefferson: The Man and his Ideas and Music and Performing Arts at the Library of Congress.
The Library of Congress is open to the public from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Saturday. To get information on these tours and other exciting events happening at the Library of Congress please visit Library of Congress Tours and Activities.
9 C Street NW
Washington, DC 20240
The U.S. Department of the Interior protects America's natural resources and heritage, honors our cultures and tribal communities, and supplies the energy to power our future.
The United States National Library of Medicine (NLM), operated by the United States federal government, is the world's largest medical library. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, the NLM is a division of the National Institutes of Health. Its collections include more than seven million books, journals, technical reports, manuscripts, microfilms, photographs, and images on medicine and related sciences, including some of the world's oldest and rarest works.NIH/General Tours of the National Library of Medicine
NIH/Tours of the History of Medicine Division Reading Room and Exhibitions
NIH/Turning the Pages
Anatomy of An Horse is an historical book in the NIH "Turning the Pages" program.
NIH/The Horse-A Mirror of Man
1100 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20004
Clock Tower Hours of Operation:
Winter Schedule/(Labor Day to Memorial Day) Monday-Saturday, 9 am-4:45 pm/Sundays, 12pm-5:45pm
Summer Schedule/(Memorial Day to Labor Day) Monday-Saturday, 9 am-7:45 pm/ Except for Thursday's: 9am - 6:30pm/Sunday, 12pm-5:45pm
Holidays: Please follow Sunday schedule
"Originally built in 1899, The Old Post Office Pavilion embodied the modern spirit that was sweeping the country. Today, our architecture and spirit of innovation continues to evolve and thrive...A highlight of the Old Post Office Pavilion is its 315 foot Clock Tower and unparalleled vistas. Offering a sweeping 360 degree view, National Park Service Rangers give free Clock Tower tours everyday! From individuals to large tour groups, all are welcome.
The Old Post Office Clock Tower also proudly houses the official United States Bells of Congress, a bicentennial gift from England celebrating the end of the Revolutionary War. The Washington Ringing Society sounds the Bells of Congress every Thursday evening and on special occasions.
Visit us any day of the week for a free tour of the Old Post Office Clock Tower. Dial (202) 606-8691 for more information. It's a great opportunity to learn more about American history; this is a landmark not to be missed no matter your age."
The Pentagon metro stop is on the Blue and Yellow line.
Visit the headquarters of the Department of Defense. Since the beginning of its construction in 1941, the Pentagon has grown to over 6.6 million gross square feet. It is one of the most demonstrative icons of the strength of the United States Armed Forces.
To take a guided tour of the Pentagon, you must make a reservation in advance. Tours are offered Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Note that tour schedules can fill up quickly, so it is advisable to book your tour well in advance of your visit. Reservations may be booked from 8 to 90 days in advance. Reservations will not be accepted for tour dates within 7 days or more than 90 days away.
Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. A conformation letter and a security roster will be provided to the requestor upon approval through e-mail. The security roster must be filled out and returned to the Pentagon 3 days prior to your confirmed tour date. The confirmation letter must be provided to the tour guide upon arrival.
Tours for the Reception Room enter the State Department at 23rd Street, between C and D Streets, NW.
The closest metro station is Foggy Bottom located on the Blue and Orange lines.
The State Department offers public tours of the historical Diplomatic Reception Room, Monday through Friday, at 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 2:45 a.m. View the rooms where Chiefs of State, Heads of Governments, and foreign ambassadors meet with and are entertained by US officials. The rooms are decorated in 18th and 19th century décor with great American cultural artifacts: truly a mirror of our history and culture for other states to behold.
To visit the Diplomatic Reception Room tours must be arranged prior to visiting. Reservations for tours must be made in 90 days in advance. To make reservations please visit the tour website at Diplomatic Reception Room Tours The Diplomatic Reception Rooms of the Department of State, which are used for official functions hosted by the Secretary of State and other high level government officials, are open for pre-arranged tours at no charge. These rooms hold a premier collection of 18th century American furniture, paintings and decorative arts. You may see a preview of the collection on the Diplomatic Reception Rooms website.
Guided tours are conducted Monday through Friday at 9:30 am, 10:30 am, and 2:45 pm. Tours are 45 minutes in duration. Reservations are required and should be made approximately 90 days in advance, due to the large volume of requests. This is a fine arts tour and not recommend for children under the age of 12. Strollers are not permitted and there are no facilities for storage of personal belongings.
1 First Street, NE
Washington, DC 20543
The Supreme Court Building was designed by Cass Gilbert and built from 1931 to 1935. The Court first sat in the building on Monday, October 7, 1935. The building, majestic in size and rich in ornamentation, serves as both home to the Court and the manifest symbol of its importance as a coequal, independent branch of government.
The Supreme Court offers several educational programs for visitors, including exhibits, which are changed periodically, and a theater, where a film on the Supreme Court is shown. Lectures in the Courtroom are typically given every hour on the half-hour, on days that the Court is not sitting, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and concluding at 3:30 p.m. The building is open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It is closed Saturdays, Sundays, and federal holidays.
Tours of the Main Treasury Building are available by advanced reservation through your Congressional offices. For more information on tours and reservations, visit the Treasury Curator web site. Also, please visit our "Virtual Tour" to view some of the historic spaces and decorative art. Location: 15 St. and Hamilton Place, NW, Washington, DC.
Dates: Saturday mornings, excluding some holiday weekends.
Times : 9:00, 9:45, 10:30 and 11:15 a.m. Do not be late for your tour time. You will not be able to join another group. Please arrive ahead of your scheduled tour.
Reservations: Advance reservations are required and must be made through your Congressional offices. Tours are available at this time for citizens and legal residents of the United States. The name, date of birth and social security number for each visitor must be provided when making a reservation. In addition, everyone must have a photo I.D. to gain admittance to the building on the date of their scheduled tour. Please contact your senator or representative to make a reservation.
Tour Length: Approximately one hour.
Note: Strollers and backpacks are not permitted in the building and there is no storage area onsite. It is suggested they be left in the car or hotel room. Additionally, photography (still or video) is not permitted in the building.
Tour Entrance: Visitors must enter through the south building entrance located at 15th Street and Hamilton Place, NW (Washington Monument side). Enter through the gate in the iron fence by pressing the call button for admittance. Special arrangements must be made, in advance, for wheelchair access to the building. Admission: Tours are free of charge.
Transportation: We strongly recommend that you use public transportation because nearby parking is limited. The closest metro stations are Metro Center or McPherson Square. From McPherson Square, follow the street signs to the White House. We are next door on the east side. Metrobus and Metrorail information is available by calling 202 637-7000.
The Main Treasury Building is the third oldest building in Washington, and dates from 1836. In 1833, Robert Mills, architect of the Washington Monument, was commissioned to design a new Treasury Building after the previous two Treasury structures were destroyed by fire. Mills' T-shaped building is noted for the grand colonnade, sweeping across the entire expanse of the structure. Each of the 30 columns is 36 feet tall and carved from a single block of granite. Subsequent wings were added from 1855 to 1869, all retaining the Greek Revival influence of the Mills design.
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
The closest Metrorail stations to the White House are Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines), Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines) and McPherson Square (blue and orange lines). On-street parking is not available near the White House, and use of public transportation is strongly encouraged.
Public tours of the White House are available. Requests must be submitted through one's Member of Congress. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Fridays, and 7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Saturdays (excluding federal holidays or unless otherwise noted). Tour hours will be extended when possible based on the official White House schedule. Tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance. You are encouraged to submit your request as early as possible as a limited number of spaces are available. All White House tours are free of charge. (Please note that White House tours may be subject to last minute cancellation.)
If you wish to visit the White House and are a citizen of a foreign country, please contact your embassy in Washington, DC for assistance in submitting a tour request.
Memorials and Monuments
There are many monuments and memorials to see in Washington, DC. I will continue to work on this page:
World War I Memorial District of Columbia War Memorial
"The Evening Parade is a marvelous display of planning and precision formations held weekly throughout the summer. This parade is held at Marine Barracks in Washington DC, which is the 'Oldest Post of the Corps.' Marine Barracks has been used for many events since the early 20th Century including Presidential inaugurations and other special celebrations. The formalized parades at Marine Barracks began as reveille drills and maorning muster parades.
As they formalized, the Barracks began to host seasons of regular parades, scheduled weekly. These began in 1934 and were conducted from 4 or 5:30pm on Mondays or Thursdays. Because of thier late-afternoon time frame, these parades were referred to as sunset parades. These weekly sunset parades were held through the summer and fall and would conclude on the anniversary of the Marine Corps of November 10th. The present-day Evening Parade was first conducted on July 5, 1957. They continue to be held every Friday evening at the Marine Barracks during the summer months. ..."
805 Kidder Breese St., SE
Washington, DC 20374
Smithsonian Museums and Complex
1400 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
The National Museum of African American History and Culture was created in 2003 by an Act of Congress, establishing it as part of the Smithsonian Institution. The Smithsonian Board of Regents, the governing body of the Institution, voted in January 2006 to build the museum on a five-acre site on Constitution Avenue between 14th and 15th streets N.W. This site is between the Washington Monument and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. The new museum, the Smithsonian's 19th, will be the only national museum devoted exclusively to the documentation of African American life, art, history and culture. It is expected to open in 2015.
950 Independence Ave. SW
The collection includes ancient as well as contemporary works from Africa. There are special events, storytelling, demonstrations and children's programs.
Independence Ave at 6th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20560
7th and Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC. This impressive museum displays the largest collection of air and spacecraft in the world as well as smaller items like instruments, memorabilia, and clothing. Learn about the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight. There are IMAX films and planetarium shows several times a day. In 2003, the Smithsonian National Air &
Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air & Space Museum is shown for free on Friday mornings at 10:30a.m. A ticket is required, so try to arrive when the museum opens at 10:00a.m. Go upstairs to the entrance of the planetarium and get tickets.
Space Museum opened a second location.
14390 Air and Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, Virginia 20151 near Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center near Washington Dulles International Airport is the companion facility to the Museum on the National Mall. The building opened in December, 2003, and provides enough space for the Smithsonian to display the thousands of aviation and space artifacts that cannot be exhibited on the National Mall. The two sites together showcase the largest collection of aviation and space artifacts in the world.
NMAI on the National Mall
Fourth Street & Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20560
"The National Museum of the American Indian houses one of the world's largest and most diverse collections of its kind. The museum's sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions, all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities from across the hemisphere, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America."
900 Jefferson Drive, SW
900 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC. This historic building was the original home of the National Museum. It is currently closed for renovations. The Arts and Industries Building has a special role among Smithsonian buildings. It is the original home of the National Museum and opened in 1881 in time for the inaugural ball of President James A. Garfield. See the online exhibition Baird's Dream: History of the Arts and Industries Building. Highlights A working carousel is located on the Mall outside of the building.
000 Jefferson Drive SW, Washington, DC.
Home to the Smithsonian Information Center and the permanent exhibition Smithsonian Institution: America's Treasure Chest, as well as the Institution's administrative
headquarters. (Highlights Video orientation, a scale model of the federal city, and brochures in several languages, Castle Café, and free public Wi-Fi)
1050 Independence Ave. SW
The art museum features a world-renowned collection of art from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, and the Near East. Paintings, ceramics, manuscripts, and sculptures are among the favorites of this museum. The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium provides free programs relating to the collections of the Freer and Sackler galleries, including performances of Asian music and dance, films, lectures, chamber music, and dramatic presentations.
1050 Independence Ave. SW
This unique building is connected underground to the Freer Gallery of Art. The Sackler collection includes Chinese bronzes, jades, paintings and lacquerware, ancient Near Eastern ceramics and metalware, and sculpture from Asia.
The galleries are located on the National Mall, the grassy area between the Capitol and the Washington Monument, steps from the Smithsonian Metro stop. The Sackler Gallery is located at 1050 Independence Avenue, SW. The Freer Gallery of Art is located at Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, SW. The two museums are connected by an underground exhibition space. Handicap accessible entrance to the Freer Gallery is located on Independence Avenue at 12th Street, SW.
Independence Ave. and 7th St. SW
The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden was a gift to the nation from financier and avid collector of modern art, Joseph H. Hirshhorn (1899-1981). Hirshhorn began collecting in 1917 with the purchase of two Albrecht Dürer etchings, and art became his lifelong passion. Smithsonian Institution Archives/More Information
10th St. and Constitution Ave. NW
The National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world's preeminent museum and research complex. The Museum is dedicated to inspiring curiosity, discovery, and learning about the natural world through its unparalleled research, collections, exhibitions, and education outreach programs. Opened in 1910, the green-domed museum on the National Mall was among the first Smithsonian building constructed exclusively to house the national collections and research facilities.
National Gallery of Art/Not part of the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art/Kids and Family Information National Gallery of Art/Programs and Events, etc. Free
The paintings and works of sculpture given by Andrew Mellon have formed a nucleus of high quality around which the collections have grown. Mr. Mellon's hope that the newly created National Gallery would attract gifts from other collectors was soon realized in the form of major donations of art from Samuel H. Kress, Rush H. Kress, Joseph Widener, Chester Dale, Ailsa Mellon Bruce, Lessing J. Rosenwald, and Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch as well as individual gifts from hundreds of other donors.
"Look for interactive carts throughout the Museum to try your hand at a variety of historical activities and learn more about our collections. Peek through a stereoscope, use a press to print a card, and try copying a letter the way Jefferson did! Carts are available most days-check in at the Welcome Center when you arrive for that day's schedule.
Invention at Play is an interactive exhibition for families. Located in the new Lemelson Hall of Invention, it has highly interactive and engaging activities that focus on the similarities between the ways children and adults play and the creative skills and processes used by inventors. Visitors of all ages will experience various playful habits of mind that underlie invention, such as curiosity, imagination, visual thinking, model building, and problem solving.
Spark!Lab, the newest hands-on space for families and others, hopes to show the real story behind an invento's work. You can play games, conduct science experiments, explore inventors' notebooks, and even invent!
Look for interactive activities as part of several exhibitions, including America on the Move, The American Presidency, The Price of Freedom: Americans at War, and Within These Walls."
Also: "Visitors of all ages are welcome to participate in our free, walk-in activities. Please check the calendar of events for tours, demonstrations, hands-on carts, and special festivals and events. You can search for events that are kid-friendly by checking the box 'Search only items for kids.' You can also visit the Information Desk at the Museum when you arrive to learn more about available programs on the day of your visit."
National Museum of Natural History/Children's Exhibits: Touchable Exhibitions, Permanent Halls and Exhibits, Insect Zoo, Dinasaurs, Gem Stones, The Discovery Room, etc.
The National Zoo's New Conservation Carousel
The National Zoo's Kid's Farm
The National Zoo/Daily Programs
The National Zoo - Web pages just for kids
Private-Non-Government Stops/Admission Fees Sometimes Required
Carousel on Washington MAll Carousel on the National Mall - Near the castle on the mall, the carousel is for children and adults alike. Tickets can be purchased on site. They also give out stickers at the end.
The Kennedy Center provides Congressional tours Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. The tour features the Hall of States, Hall of Nations, the Center's theater, and dozens of paintings, sculptures, and other art works given to the center by foreign countries. The 4:30 p.m. tour ends with the must-see Millennium Stage, where a free concert from different award-winning performers takes place each night. For more information: Free Guided Tours given by Friends of the Kennedy Center Tour Guides To arrange a Congressional tour, call your one of your Senators or your House Representative, although some of your representative staff will tell you they do not do that!
Experience the beauty of one of Washington DC's most magnificent landmarks. Major Pierre L'Enfant wanted a church that could be used by all denominations to convene for national purposes such as funeral orations, public prayer, and thanksgiving. The Cathedral is the site where our nation gathered monthly for services during World War II, gave thanks after the American hostages were freed in Iran, and President Bush held a National Prayer and Remembrance service on September 14, 2001.
National Geographic Society National Geographic/Kids
Today, guests to Mount Vernon can visit the Mansion, more than a dozen original structures, Washington's Tomb, and nearly 50 acres of his extensive plantation. The estate also includes a working blacksmith shop and the Pioneer Farm, a 4-acre demonstration farm with a reconstructed slave cabin and 16-sided treading barn. ..."
For More Information:United States National Arboretum
Dupont Circle Art Galleries
Dupont Circle and DC Museums
Free Washington, DC Tours-Call Your Senators or House of Representative for Help!