Finding activities for kids that won’t drain the wallet may cause some parents a bit of anxiety. Parents will be happy to find that D.C. has a great selection of low cost or free activities for kids during the summer. Kids want to have fun during the summer but that doesn’t mean they can’t still learn while enjoying their summer fun. Free fun activities are available to the public during the summer months to keep the young ones pleasantly occupied.
The Children’s Garden At The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory
100 Maryland Ave., S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 226-8333

It’s a delight to watch children marvel at the wonders of nature, and The Children’s Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden is a wonderful introduction to the world of plants. Kids can learn about different species of plant life and get hands-on experience with garden tools. Connecting children with the natural world around them can stimulate and encourage their desire to dive right into new areas of nature and science. The Botanic Garden and Children’s Garden may be the beginning of a life-long love of plants for your little botanist.

Story Time At Chevy Chase Library 
5625 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20015
(202) 282-0021

The D.C. Public Libraries have programs for children throughout the year, and this summer, the Chevy Chase branch will be hosting free programs for your little ones. The Chevy Chase branch invites children of all ages to come down and enjoy many fun and entertaining learning activities, like Baby Lap Time, where babies can have fun with songs, rhyming, looking at colorful and exciting books while sitting in the laps of they parents and other caregivers. Other story time and music activities available for the kids this summer are Wonderful Ones (for ages 12-24 months and registration is required), Toddler Time (ages two to four) and Tales For Twos and Threes. Come experience Music Mania where kids, ages one to five years, can come for a song and dance party.

Petworth Jazz Project Concerts On The Lawn
Petworth Recreation Center
8th St. and Taylor St., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 576-6850

Children are not shy when it comes to conveying their love and excitement for music. The Petworth Jazz Project will be hosting their 5th Annual Summer Concerts on the Lawn series including shows for kids to sing, dance and enjoy a nice evening outdoors with family and friends. Through September, kids can express their joy of the kid friendly lyrics and melodies at shows planned just for them. Music is a universal language, and kids go nuts for their favorite songs and artists.

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The National Museum of American History
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
14th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 633-1000

Kids need places that will allow them to stimulate their dynamic imagination and the thought provoking creations that are born from it. At a young age, kids are bursting with a creative energy that should be encouraged. At the National Museum of American History, children ages six to 12 years old have an opportunity to have fun while proving they have the right stuff to be the next generation of world changing innovators. The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation facilitates the imagination of children with an invitation to be artistic and create something awesome without inhibition or doubt. For your little inventors, this may be the catalyst that propels them to bigger dreams.

Smithsonian National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20008
(202) 633-4888

Who doesn’t love the sound of kids’ squeals of excitement at the sight of big floppy-eared elephants and quirky, little monkeys swinging and jumping around the primate house? The National Zoo is always a fun outing for kids of all ages. The Kid’s Farm at the National Zoo gives kids the ability to learn about many different animals while taking part in an interactive experience with the animals. Kids can learn and share in the experience of how the animals are fed and groomed.  The entire family can follow their favorite trails to many animal habitats uncovering some of the world’s most fascinating animals. From the Bird House to the Elephant Trail, kids can enjoy learning about animal friends at the Smithsonian National Zoo.

Related: Best Kids’ Martial Arts Classes In Washington, D.C.

Tara L. Aldridge is a native of Washington, DC, a freelance and published writer, blogger, and photographer. She is a DC Healthy Food Examiner at In 2013, Tara published her first book of poetry and currently works with young artists to help them develop their creative talents. Read more of her work at