5 Family-Friendly Washington D.C. Staycation Ideas For 2020

By Duane Beckett
Credit: Yoga Balaji / Wiki Commons

When looking for history-packed D.C. staycation ideas, these five destinations belong at the top of your family-friendly to-do list.

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National Mall

Depending on when you visit, the National Mall and its Memorial Parks may be open or closed due to COVID-19. So always check the website.

Even when only partly open, this destination should top your to-do list because it serves up history in one succinct location. From Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, to Martin Luther King, Jr., World War II, Vietnam, and beyond. There’s a memorial to explore, appreciate, and understand.

On your visit you could explore the fountains, gardens, enjoy a picnic (depending on the weather), and even play a little golf or tennis. For all this and more, the National Mall is one destination that should top your D.C. staycation ideas to-do list.

Rock Creek Park

Rock Creek Park Boulder Bridge
Credit: Kathleen Cole / Wiki Commons

Every destination on this top-5 has been impacted by COVID-19, even Rock Creek Park. Please check the website before visiting as some trails and facilities may be closed.

This 1754 acre park is twice the size of Central Park in New York City and free to explore with your family. It really is the perfect way to escape the city and get back to nature. Whether you’re going on a hike or heading to one of the many activities (depending on when you visit) inside.

Activities can include horse-riding, checking out the amphitheater, or the boathouse. There’s also a Nature Center, that when open offers the opportunity to learn about the animals and plants in the park and even offer tours.

If escaping the city is on your D.C. staycation ideas wish-list, exploring Rock Creek Park is a must.

CHECK OUT: 20 tips to keep you and your family safe when hiking.

Smithsonian National Zoological Park

Before heading out to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park please check the website for COVID-19 warnings. Plus, you’ll need to book zoo passes which are only available via the website.

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is one of the oldest zoos in the United States and best of all, it is free. Unless you need to pay for parking ($30).

Whether young or old, everyone loves a zoo visit. And this magnificent 163-acre zoo in the heart of the city won’t disappoint with its 300 animal species.

Animals range from large cats to pandas. That’s right, pandas.

So, if seeing pandas is on your to-do list, like it is ours, heading to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park is an obvious thing to-do.

Smithsonian National Museum of American History

At the start of the list, we said this top-5 was all about family-friendly things to-do, focused on history. So this top-5 would not be complete without this museum.

The only reason the National Museum of American History isn’t #1 on this list is due to it being closed for COVID-19. However, if you’re looking for D.C. staycation ideas after November 21, 2020, this museum will again be available. And in all honesty, it’s worth visiting just to see Abraham Lincoln’s top hat (check the video above).

This is a must-visit museum, just remember to check the website for updates regarding its re-opening in November.

National Building Museum

Sadly the National Building Museum is temporarily closed because of COVID-19. However, just like the Smithsonian, it is also expected to re-open in 2020, there just isn’t a date yet.

If you have a budding architect or city planner in your family, the National Building Museum’s re-opening is worth keeping an eye out for as it takes a comprehensive look at design, architecture, construction, engineering, and urban planning.

Your kids will have the opportunity to learn exactly what it takes to build breathtaking buildings, plus you might all get to play with Lego. And that’s an instant reason to add this museum to your D.C. staycation ideas list (in our opinion at least).

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