Best Cheap Activities to Do With Kids in Washington, D.C.

May 23, 2014 8:00 AM

Photo Credit Thinkstock

Everyone knows kids can be expensive. Between constantly buying new clothes, feeding their endless appetites and opening your wallet for family activities, your bank account is probably hurting. To give your wallet a break, consider engaging in one of the following inexpensive kid-friendly activities. Each one is fun for the whole family, without spending an arm and a leg.

The Discovery Theater
1100 Jefferson Drive S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 633-8700

The Discovery Theater is one of DC’s best attractions for kids. This summer, take your whole family for a visit. For only $5, kids can watch a fun and educational film. New shows coming up this summer are Trickster Tales with Barefoot Puppets and National Pride Dancers and Drummers. Tickets can be purchased online, and there is a discount if you go with a big group. Seating is general admission so come early to get a good spot.

The U.S. Botanic Garden
100 Maryland Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 225-8333

Visiting the botanical gardens is a great activity for the whole family. Adults will appreciate the gorgeous flowers, while kids can marvel at the cactus room and run through the gardens. A special feature for kids is the junior botanist adventure, which is free, as is entrance to this gorgeous and exciting venue in DC. Just be sure to come early so you don’t get stuck waiting in line.

Related: Best Summer Day Camps In The DC Area

The Kennedy Center
2700 F St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20566
(202) 467-4600

You may not think of DC’s most beautiful theater as a venue that children can enjoy, but in fact the Kennedy Theater has many shows that can be appreciated by children and adults alike. This summer, buy tickets to see “Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage.” This beautiful show is about a young boy who finds a magical travelling truck. It is appropriate for children over the age of five. Tickets are $15.

The National Children’s Museum
151 St. George Blvd.
National Harbor, MD 20745
(301) 392-2400

The National Children’s Museum has special exhibits, screenings and arts that are geared towards children of all ages. The museum aims to help children learn about the environment, nature and different cultures around the world. Features include everything from an arts and craft area to a maps room to movies about animals. Taking your kids to this museum is an activity they will certainly enjoy. Tickets are $10.

Tidal Basin
1501 Maine Ave. S.W.
Washington, DC 20024
(202) 479-2426

Visiting the Tidal Basin in DC offers a great way to spend the day inexpensively, First, rent a paddle boat for $14 for an hour. You can work up an appetite while enjoy the sights from the water. Next, you can enjoy a picnic by the water, which you can bring from home to save money. Finally, bring a Frisbee or soccer ball for playing after lunch. This is the perfect way to spend time with the family inexpensively while also enjoying the warmer weather. Best of all, your pets can come too!

Related: Best Pet Rescue Shelters In Washington, D.C.

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

Listen Live