Active Family Favorites in Washington DC

Kid-friendly Activities for Active Families in D.C.

Can’t imagine being active with the family in DC? It’s not all memorials and monuments! Here’s my list of favorite active things to do when in Washington with the family.

Canoeing in Georgetown

Gorgeous Georgetown! Unsurprisingly, this area of DC is littered with wonderful examples of Georgian architecture. It’s spot-on for some boutique shopping with tempting cafes lining up to tempt you in.

Activity-wise, the whole family can jump into canoes or kayaks to explore the Potomac River from one of the many boathouses along Georgetown’s waterfront. Renting is by the hour or by day. If something more sedate is your style, there are paddleboats near the Jefferson Memorial where you can course around the Tidal Basin on your own steam.

Guided Bike Tours

Of course, the US capital is going to have a multitude of guided tours on offer. The usual suspects by foot, open-top bus, old town trolley, and so on. But, there are some other, more original and active, guided tours which should never go amiss if you’re considering family activity holidays in DC, for example: zipping around on a guided Segway Tour! Kids have to be 16 or over for this one but the guided bike tours have no age restrictions. There’s no need to comprise mum and dad’s sightseeing aspirations with these tours as they’ll get to see everything and anything and the kids will love the activity. The pathways and roads in and around the National Mall are pretty flat so no excuses for Grandma not to join in.

  • Bike and Roll DC, Phone: (202) 842-2453
  • Fat Tire Tours, (202) 626-0017
  • DC Insider Tours, Phone: (202) 810-4627
  • Johnny Love Bike Tours, Phone: (301) 244-9644

Rock Creek Park

The nation’s capital boasts a glorious park that is home to a busy nature center and planetarium as well as the plentiful picnic and playground areas. No matter whether it’s mum, dad or the kids, there’s an activity to suit everyone including an 18-hole public golf course, where you can rent everything you need, tennis courts, hiking trails, following the east side of the creek and the Thompson Boat Center where you can hire canoes, rowing shells and small sailboats.

Hiring bikes to venture along the designated trails is a great option for the entire family. You can pick up one of these trails from the Lincoln Memorial and follow it all the way into Maryland! Another 13 miles of designated bridle paths also wind their way through this nature park, where you can participate in lessons or guided tours organized by the Rock Creek Park Horse Center.

Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum

Think you can’t get active in a museum? Think again! This is no dry, dusty building with folks shuffling around viewing artifacts! This is one of the most dynamic and exciting museums you can visit. And even if you are on your family adventure holidays you can always make time for a bit of intellectual stimulation and discovery.

The dimensions of this building alone are enough to send the kids spinning off into a frenzy around some seriously awe-inspiring exhibits. There are flight simulators, 22 exhibition galleries, an IMAX theatre, and the ‘How Things Fly’ gallery, an interactive hands-on area where the kids can get really involved. In addition, a few of the air and space vessels are set up for you to climb on board and explore. You and your family will be exhausted after a visit here and it’s a hard act to follow so save it for last on the list!

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