40 free things to do in Washington DC

I love Washington DC, but I haven’t always loved DC.

I remember visiting with my family during my 5th grade summer. Chubby and extra short Jenn. Dressed in plaid boxer shirts and a polka dot tshirt. Yeah, I was that cool. Well really, I wasn’t. We visited in the years that I garnered the nickname “sunshine.” And it wasn’t because I was happy and cute. Glad those days are over. I don’t think the world could handle an adult version of my preteen self. Sorry mom & dad for those years…

Anyways, Washington DC is great. We all know it’s a hub for history, but I didn’t discover until recently how affordable the city is. Sure a hotel, parking and food will cost you, but with dozens of things to see for free it more than makes up for it. I’ve compiled a list of free things to see and do in Washington DC. If you have something to add to the list, comment below and I’ll update the post!

Free things to do in Washington DC

  1. Smithsonian’s National Zoo
  2. Rock Creek Park
  3.  Freer & Sackler’s Galleria
  4.  The National Mall
  5.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  6.  Bureau of Engraving and Printing
  7.  Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum
  8.  Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History
  9.  National Museum of American History
  10.  National Building Museum
  11.  Friendship Park
  12.  National Archives
  13.  Library of Congress
  14.  Arlington National Cemetary
  15.  The Supreme Court
  16.  Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall
  17.  National Portrait Gallery
  18.  National Postal Museum
  19.  National Museum of Women in the Arts – Free on Community Days
  20.  The Phillips Collection – Free Tuesdays – Fridays
  21.  Old Stone House
  22.  Smithsonian American Art Museum
  23.  National Arboretum
  24.  Cherry Blossom Festival – visit in April for the festival and for stunning photos
  25.  National Museum of the American Indian
  26.  Martin Luther King Jr Memorial
  27.  Jefferson Memorial
  28.  Folger Shakespeare Library
  29.  US Botanic Garden
  30.  African American Civil War Memorial & Museum
  31.  Daughters of the American Revolution Museum
  32.  Kennedy Center
  33.  Mexican Cultural Institute
  34.  Washington National Cathedral
  35.  United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  36.  US Capitol
  37.  Korean War Veterans Memorial
  38.  Marine Corps War Memorial
  39.  Frederick Douglass Home
  40.  St Matthew’s Cathedral
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