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10 Free Things to Do in Washington DC

Introduction

Washington DC is a city with a unique history and culture that can be experienced for free. From the iconic monuments to the renowned museums, there’s plenty to explore and experience when you’re visiting the nation’s capital. Here’s a list of 10 free things to do while you’re in Washington DC.

1. Tour the National Mall

The National Mall is the iconic heart of Washington DC. It’s a beautiful park filled with monuments and memorials, museums, and plenty of green space. You can walk or bike the entire 2-mile length of the Mall and take in the sights, or you can pick and choose which monuments and memorials you’d like to visit. There are also plenty of open-air concerts and festivals taking place on the Mall throughout the year, as well as free public tours.

2. Visit the Smithsonian Museums

The Smithsonian Museums are some of the most renowned museums in the world, and the best part is that admission is free. The National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Natural History, and the National Portrait Gallery are just a few of the must-see museums located on the National Mall. There are also several Smithsonian museums located outside of the Mall, such as the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the National Postal Museum, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

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3. Tour the U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol is the seat of the United States government and it is one of the most iconic buildings in the country. You can take a free tour of the Capitol which will give you a behind-the-scenes look at the hallowed halls of Congress. You’ll learn about the history of the Capitol and get an in-depth look at the artwork and architecture.

4. Attend a Performance at the Kennedy Center

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is the premier venue for the performing arts in Washington DC. The center regularly hosts free performances, such as the Millennium Stage which features free performances every night of the year. The center also hosts free outdoor concerts in the Summer and free jazz concerts throughout the year.

5. Visit the National Zoo

The National Zoo is one of the most popular attractions in Washington DC and admission is free. The National Zoo is home to a variety of animals, from pandas to tigers, hippos to birds. There are plenty of educational programs and activities for kids, as well as plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal with the animals.

6. Tour the White House

The White House is one of the most iconic buildings in the world and you can take a free tour of the famous residence. You’ll get to learn about the history of the White House, as well as check out the different rooms and artwork. Tours are available on a first-come, first-serve basis and they must be requested through your Member of Congress at least 21 days in advance.

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7. Explore the Tidal Basin

The Tidal Basin is a beautiful body of water located near the National Mall. It’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike to go for a stroll and take in the beauty of the area. During the springtime, the Tidal Basin is home to the famous Cherry Blossom Festival, which is a must-see if you’re in town during that time.

8. Take a Free Walking Tour

There are plenty of free walking tours offered in Washington DC. You can take a tour of the monuments and memorials on the National Mall, explore the city’s diverse neighborhoods, or get a behind-the-scenes look at the city’s political history. There are plenty of free tours to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that fits your interests.

9. Visit the National Archives

The National Archives is the official repository of the United States government’s most important documents. You can get a free look at the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. You can also take a free tour of the National Archives building and learn about the history and importance of these documents.

10. Attend a Free Festival

Washington DC is home to a variety of free festivals throughout the year. From the National Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring to the National Book Festival in the summer, there’s something for everyone. The National Mall is also home to several free outdoor concerts and performances throughout the year.

Summary

Washington DC is a city full of culture and history, and there’s plenty to explore for free. From the iconic monuments to the renowned museums, there’s always something to do in the nation’s capital. From touring the National Mall and the U.S. Capitol to attending a performance at the Kennedy Center or a free festival, there’s no shortage of things to do in Washington DC. So get out there and explore the city for free!

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