Washington DC is a perfect destination for families … any season!  There is so much to see and do that no one is going to get bored.  It’s also small enough to get around easily.  There are some of the best museums in the world, beautiful parks, a great zoo, the chance to view our nations history up close and personal and you can do it all anytime of year.

DC is amazing no matter when you go but each season brings it’s own unique events and reasons to come.

SPRING – The Cherry Blossoms are perhaps the biggest reason people come to DC in the Spring. There are many other reasons to visit DC in the Spring.  The weather is just about perfect, the city is at it’s best, flowers are blooming everywhere and there are numerous festivals around the city.

– Cherry Blossom Festival
Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates spring in Washington, DC, the gift of the cherry blossom trees, and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The Festival produces and coordinates daily events featuring diverse and creative programming promoting traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty, and community spirit. Events are primarily free and open to the public.
– Rent a
Paddle Boat 
Get ready to paddle your way around the Tidal Basin and spend some time with Thomas Jefferson! Soak up the sun and make monumental memories on the water in a swan boat or paddle boat. Visit in March and April to experience thousands of cherry trees in full bloom, and fill your summer days with leisurely peddling, picturesque views, and picnics in the park.
– 
Visit the National Arboretum
The U.S. National Arboretum is a public garden, research facility, and urban green space located in Northeast Washington, DC. Comprised of 446 acres, the Arboretum is a place of research, education, and discovery as well as an oasis of open space in the Nation’s capital.
FilmFest DC in April
Now in its 30th year, The Washington, DC International Film Festival brings the finest in contemporary world cinema to the nation’s capital. The festival has introduced over 1,000 feature and short films from over 55 countries to an ever-growing audience.
Passport DC
Passport DC 2017 is a month-long journey around the world highlighting DC’s thriving international diplomatic community and its lively and varied culture. Celebrated annually in May, which is International Cultural Awareness Month in Washington, Passport DC is 31 days of programming by 70 embassies and more than 40 of DC’s very best cultural institutions.

SUMMER – The city has lots of outdoor entertainment during the summer to keep everyone entertained.  There are free concerts by different military bands, film and music shows, fireworks displays and festivals — plenty to keep a family busy and entertained.

 

– Catch a Washington Nationals baseball game
Grab a ticket to DC’s most exciting entertainment.  The concourses at the stadium and seating decks are configured to create a variety of distinct neighborhoods, each with its own identity and viewing experience. As fans traverse the Ballpark’s vertical circulation ramps throughout the various levels of the facility, they will witness panoramic views of the riverfront, Navy Yard, the surrounding city and landmarks such as the Capitol and the Washington Monument.
– Ride the Big Bus Tour
Because pushing a stroller all over DC isn’t your idea of a great time either?  Then make the most of the day by hopping on and off to visit legendary landmarks at your leisure, including the White House, Capitol Hill, Jefferson Memorial and Lincoln Memorial.  A Washington DC bus tour will travel through the history of this great city and allow you to enjoy your day seeing the sites.
– 4th of July Parade
America’s National Independence Day Parade takes place annually on July 4th at 11:45 am in Washington, D.C., on Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th Street before a street audience of hundreds of thousands of spectators. The Parade consists of invited bands, fife and drum corps, floats, military and specialty units, giant balloons, equestrian, drill teams, VIP’s, national dignitaries, and celebrity participants. It is a patriotic, flag-waving, red white and blue celebration of America’s birthday!
Rent a Bike and Trailer
Need a Washington DC bike rental? Try Bike & Roll. They have bikes for the whole family as well as trailers for the littlest ones.  All their equipment is maintained in-house by professional mechanics. They’re more than happy to share some tips on good trails, scenic routes, best places to eat, and other cycling information – just ask! Individuals under 18 are required to wear a helmet.
– Explore Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park is truly a gem in our nation’s capital. It offers visitors the opportunity to escape the bustle of the city and find a peaceful refuge, recreation, fresh air, majestic trees, wild animals, and thousands of years of human history. Got for a hike through an extensive network of trails and paths.

FALL – The crowds this out and fall days bring some of the best weather to DC.  The city’s parks, hiking and biking trails are spectacularly colorful in their fall foliage. It’s a great time to visit the monuments and museums without all the hustle and bustle of the summer crowds.

-Attend Boo at the Zoo
With treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a treat for the whole family. An entertainment stage will feature magicians, jugglers, and a DJ spinning Halloween favorites. Don’t miss the themed scarecrow field.
-Take a Walking Tour
DC by Foot presents pay-what-you-like walking tours of Washington, DC. These high energy tours will take you through the National Mall, around the Tidal Basin, through Arlington Cemetery, Georgetown, Capitol Hill, and the U Street corridor, with stories, secrets and useful information about our national treasures. For more fun, try the exciting Lincoln Assassination, Secrets and Symbols, and Ghosts of Georgetown Tours.
-Tour the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture
The National Museum of African American History and Culture its doors on Sept. 24. Secure your free timed passes for the National Mall’s newest museum, and you will be able to view the African American experience through exhibits on culture, music, slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.
Visit the Eastern Market
Nestled in the heart of historic Capitol Hill just north of Barracks Row, Eastern Market is a must-visit for lovers of fresh, locally sourced food and drink, and arts and crafts lovers. Designed to serve as the neighborhood town center, this popular community hub has attracted an eclectic group of shoppers and foodies since 1873. Good to know: the market is closed on Mondays and opens to street vendors on weekends.

WINTER – The winters in DC can get a bit chilly, but the city comes alive with holiday cheer.  So grab your hats and gloves and enjoy the winter festivities.


– Visit the Holiday Market
Located at 8th and F Streets NW in downtown DC, the Downtown Holiday Market holds down the area in front of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery. At night, its bright lights bring Penn Quarter to life, providing a holiday spark to the neighborhood. But don’t worry, you can shop during the day too: The Market is open daily 12 – 8 p.m. from Nov. 25 to Dec. 23.
-Go Ice Skating outdoors at the National Gallery of Art
What makes the holidays better than ice skating outside.  You can view magnificent works of sculpture while skating in the open air and enjoying music from the state-of-the-art sound system. Make sure you drink some hot coco when you are done!
– Start a Snowball Fight!
When it snows in DC, “snow elves” come from across the city and gather in the public spaces to partake in a snowball fight.  Follow the Washington DC Snowball Fight Association’s Facebook Page when snow blankets the Nation’s Capital.
– Watch the Holiday Tree & Menorah Lighting 
A beloved tradition for many people is the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.  It includes free nightly performances and a visit from Santa.  The tree is lit every night until 11pm.
There is also the annual lighting ceremony of the National Chanukah Menorah on the Ellipse which is just across from the White House.  There are special performances and fun for the whole family.

I hope this post helped you figure out which season would be best for your family to visit Washington D.C.  Now, Go Explore!

If you found this post useful, please share it using the Pinterest image below or the social sharing buttons at the bottom of the post.

Pin This For Later:

Families visiting DC

Author

I love to travel so much that I've taken my 6 kids with me across the globe. Yea, it get's crazy but I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything.

14 Comments

  1. I love a good Christmas market, though I’ve only been to them in Europe. Would be cool to experience one in the USA as well.

    • Christmas Markets are the best – it just gets me in the Holiday Spirit. Enjoy Exploring!

  2. I went to DC before I had kids, I only had a few days to explore, so didn’t get to see everything. Definitely need to go back with our boys to explore more. Love the picture of the trees in Autumn (fall). Great article.

    • There is so much to see and do with kids in DC – its like school on steroids — Enjoy it if you ever get back!

  3. Comprehensive article! I’ve been meaning to take a trip down to Washington but haven’t found the time lately. This article is much appreciated.

  4. I’m not a winter person but your description of DC in wintertime makes me mayyyyybe want to visit sometime soon 🙂

  5. What a great overview of what the city has to offer. Your descriptions are excellent and gives us some food for thought to get out and visit DC! Well done and thank you!

    • I hope you are able to get there. It’s an incredible city with so much to do all year long. Happy Travels!

Write A Comment