15 Best Places To Go With Kids in the Washington DC Area

Posted by 15 Best Places To Go With Kids in the Washington DC Area on 8/9/2005 9:24:35 PM

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15 Best Places To Go With Kids in the Washington DC Area

1) National Zoo
One of the most kid-friendly places to visit in Washington, DC is the National Zoo where you can see 435 different species of animals. The National Zoo is set within the beautiful Rock Creek National Park and is a part of the Smithsonian Institution. Admission is FREE!

2) National Museum of Natural History
Examine a wide variety of artifacts including an 80-foot dinosaur skeleton, an enormous prehistoric white shark, and a 45-and-a-half carat jewel a known as the Hope Diamond. The Discovery Room is a great hands-on display for young children. Feel the skin of a crocodile, examine the jaws and teeth of different animals or try on clothes from around the globe.

3) National Museum of American History
Explore the diversity of American history, from "First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image" to "Information Age: People, Information, and Technology.Ē The Hands-on History Room and the Hands-on Science Center are great for kids and adults too. Learn about the conservation of the Star-Spangled Banner, unravel some of the mysteries of DNA, use lasers to transmit your voice, and much more.

4) National Air & Space Museum
NASM displays the largest collection of air and spacecraft in the world. Visit here and learn about the history, science, and technology of aviation and space flight. There are IMAX films and planetarium shows several times a day. Children marvel at the lifesize exhibits.

5) Discovery Theatre
The Smithsonian's Discovery Theater, located in the Arts and Industries Building on the National Mall, is a live theater geared towards children. Classic stories and folktales are told through puppet shows, storytellers, dancers, actors, musicians, and mimes. All shows are Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

6) Bureau of Engraving & Printing
Watch real money being printed! Tours are every 15 minutes, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

7) Washington Monument
Take the elevator to the top of the memorial to George Washington, our nation's first president, and see a wonderful view of Washington DC. Kids love to see the city from a birdís eye view.

8) Wolf Trap Farm Park
Wolf Trap Foundation and the National Park Service present 70 performances from late June through early August at the Children's Theatre-in-the-Woods in Vienna, Virginia. Family-friendly performances, including music, dance, storytelling, puppetry, and theater are held at 10 am and 11:15 am, Tuesdays through Saturdays.

9) Glen Echo Park
This wonderful park in Bethesda, Maryland offers year-round activities in dance, theater, and the arts for the adults and children. There are concerts, demonstrations, workshops, and festivals. The antique Dentzel carousel delights children May through September. Enjoy a puppet show at the Puppet Co. or a childrenís theatrical performance at Adventure Theatre. At Discovery Creek Children's Museum, explore nature, history, and the arts through innovative educational programs and exhibits.

10)Six Flags America Six Flags America offers a full day of fun just 30 minutes from downtown Washington, DC. This theme park features more than 100 rides, shows and the area's largest water park. The park is open April through October.

11) Strathmore Hall Arts Center
Music center with special children's events including afternoon teas, art exhibits, chamber music concerts, outdoor concerts and more.

12) Catoctin Wildlife Preserve & Zoo
Up-close exhibits make this 30-acre zoo in Thurmont, Maryland great for small children. Main exhibits include a Golden Tiger, African Lion family, Grizzly Bear, Parrot Aviary, and Venomous Animal exhibit. You can hand-feed goats, sheep, donkeys, and ducks in the petting area

13) Montgomery Countyís Nature Centers
Four Nature Centers provide kids with lots of hands-on opportunities to explore our environment. Year-round naturalist guided programs will give you insight into the Capital Regionís natural habitat.

14) Reston Zoo
This thirty-acre zoo in the heart of Fairfax County, VA, is great for small children. Get "up close and personal" with the animals and feed them too! See alligators, camels, reptiles, zebras, antelope, bison, ostrich, and lots more.

15) National Postal Museum
This Smithsonian museum features engaging exhibits about sending, receiving and delivering mail. Explore the history of the postage stamp and marvel over thousands of stamps and postal artifacts.

From Rachel Cooper