Spring break is just around the corner. If you don’t want the kiddos to drive you crazy, plan some staycation family fun locally in the Washington, D.C. area.
Those of us who reside in D. C. or Northern Virginia are fortunate to have access to world-class destinations. From museums to parks to historical treasures, you can save the expense of a family vacation and rediscover the gems that practically sit in your backyard.
If you’re a native to the area, you’ve probably visited some of these places before—but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them all over again.
However, if you’re one of the thousands of new residents who relocated to the area in the past few months, we welcome you and are excited to share our treasures with your family.
5 of the Best Activities for Kids & Families in Greater Washington, D.C.
The National Mall
There’s a pretty special feeling permeating the air on the National Mall. Here, you will love witnessing the wonder in your children’s eyes as they gaze at the huge statues and learn about past presidents, wars our soldiers have fought in, and admire the architecture.
Strolling along the sidewalks that connect these monuments is like immersing yourself in our history.
The National Mall offers sites that are free to view; they include the following:
· Vietnam Veterans Memorial
· Korean War Veterans Memorial
· National World War II Memorial
· Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
· Washington Monument
· Lincoln Memorial
· The Reflecting Pool
· Thomas Jefferson Memorial
· Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
We know that the D.C. metropolitan area’s weather is unpredictable in the early springtime. If the weather is too windy/rainy/snowy/cold/humid/hot (any crazy combination is possible here in March), hop on a tour bus to take in those sites.
Indoor Waterpark at Cub Run RECenter
If your kids love swimming and can’t wait until the summer, hop over to Chantilly to the Cub Run RECenter. This indoor swimming hole offers more than just a pool. You can splash, slide, and spray the day away in the 80° water.
Kids and adults can slip down the 30’- or 20’-high slides, play in a water fort, or float on the lazy river.
Fairfax County Parks operates Cub Run RECenter, and a low admission fee does apply. Check the Fairfax County website for hours and rates.
While this is a lesser-known activity, we can promise that your little fishes will have a blast.
Washington DC National Cherry Blossom Festival
If you haven’t been to the banks of the Potomac River while the cherry blossoms bloom, let us assure you that the sight is spectacular. The pink petals pop against the new green grass and the gray-blue shades of the river as the light fragrance perfumes the air.
This year, we celebrate those ubiquitous blooms from March 20th through April 14th. Admission is free, and you’ll expose the kids to the area’s most significant art and cultural events of the year. Don’t miss the parade—it’s a feast for the eyes and part of spring break staycation the kids won’t soon forget!
Smithsonian National Zoological Park
The Smithsonian National Zoological Park has delighted visitors since 1889. Established to allow visitors to engage with wild animals and protect wildlife, the zoo houses almost 300 species.
While admission is free, upgrade to the ZooVenture Day Pass to receive a tote bag, a ride on the carousel, participation in an app-based scavenger hunt around the zoo grounds, and food coupons.
Skip the traffic, hop on the Metro, and ride to the Woodley Park-Zoo-Adams Morgan Station for a real adventure.
Mount Vernon Multi-use Bicycle Trail
You got kids who are a little older and live to their ride bikes? Pack the bikes and head to Mount Vernon. From the estate’s bikeway trailhead, you can pedal 18 miles along a paved path on the riverfront. It ends on Theodore Roosevelt Island, where you can turn around and come back.
Along the way, take in views of Reagan Washington National Airport, Lady Bird Johnson Park, the Navy and Marine Memorial, Daingerfield Island, Jones Point Park, and Belle Haven Park, and Arlington National Cemetery. The path is well-kept by the National Park Service, and you’ll find picturesque stops for resting.
While the trail is not super-challenging, remember that the round-trip total is a long 36 miles.
We bet that the kids will be ready for a good night’s rest if you bike the whole route!
Day Trip to Busch Gardens, Williamsburg, VA
Busch Gardens kicks off their season on weekends in mid-March to accommodate students on break. Located just a 2 ½ hour or so drive from Northern Virginia, Busch Gardens treats you to a glimpse of life in Old World Europe.
With world-class roller coasters, dazzling shows, and traditional European fare, and rides for the smaller kids, the entire family will enjoy this ultimate spring break staycation.
The Bottom Line
We have so many opportunities for entertainment in Northern Virginia and the D.C. area. From free historical sites to amusements that will thrill the whole family to outdoor recreation, your family can plan an unforgettable spring break staycation that will create wonderful family memories.
As a graduate of William & Mary and hailing from a Military family, Monique brings an array of experience to the table and utilizes her background to help serve the varying needs of our buyers and sellers.