Summer Family Fun in the Washington, DC Area

Summer is a great time to give kids a chance to try different activities and learn something new. From outdoor recreation, to community events to visiting historical and cultural attractions, there are endless opportunities for fun in the Washington, DC area. Here are some suggestions of things to do with the whole family this summer.

01 of 17

Water Parks

Six Flags Water Slide
Six Flags America

Cool off at a water park in the Washington, DC area. There are lots of great destinations nearby in Maryland and Virginia with water slides, splash pads, lazy rivers, wave pools and more.

02 of 17

Outdoor Recreation

DC area recreation
Rachel Cooper

The Washington, DC area has great places to enjoy the outdoors. You and your family can find great spots for hiking, bicycling, boating, camping and even ziplining! There are also lots of playgrounds and parks in the area.

03 of 17


National Air and Space Museum
Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

We are lucky to have wonderful museums in the Washington, DC area. Many of the museums have special programs for kids with lots of hands-on activities. There are museums for kids in the area, including Maryland and Virginia.

04 of 17

Free Summer Concerts

Concert in Glen Echo Park
Glen Echo Park

Introduce your kids to a variety of music at free outdoor concerts in the Washington, DC area. There are a wide range of programs running all summer long in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Continue to 5 of 17 below.
05 of 17

Special Events

Independence Day Parade
Music Celebrations International

The Washington, DC area is bustling with activity in the summer, from parades to community festivals, to live entertainment to county fairs. 
There are festivals in June, July, and August

06 of 17

Outdoor Movies

Outdoor Movies in DC
Moshe B. Zusman

Enjoy family-friendly outdoor movies under the stars in a variety of venues in the Washington, DC area. Bring a blanket and a picnic and share a special evening together.

07 of 17

Children's Theater

Children at a movie theater.
Ron Chapple / Getty Images

Take the kids to a play or puppet theater and enjoy a family show at a children's theater in the Washington, DC area. Many theaters in the Washington, DC area also offer drama education programs.

08 of 17

County Fairs

Burger stand at Maryland State Fair
Mark E. Gibson/Getty Images

There's something special about a good old-fashioned county fair. Enjoy carnival rides, live animal shows, musical entertainment, arts, and craft exhibits, and lots of food.

Continue to 9 of 17 below.
09 of 17

Washington Nationals

Washington Nationals baseball team playing at Nationals Park baseball stadium.
Dennis K. Johnson / Getty Images

Watching the all American sport is a great activity for the whole family. Washington, DC's state-of-the art ballpark was designed to ensure a great viewing experience and entertainment for all.

10 of 17


Prevent infants from crying in learn to swim classes
Getty Images

The Washington, DC area has a variety of places to swim. Public swimming pools charge a daily entrance fee. Throughout the summer you can also enjoy the scenery and swimming at sandy beaches, swimming holes and small lakes in Maryland and Northern Virginia.

11 of 17

Nature Centers

Rock Creek Park
Rachel Cooper

Spring is a great time to explore the outdoors and learn more about our environment. Visit a nature center and attend a naturalist-guided event, enjoy hands-on activities examining nature exhibits or take a peaceful walk in the woods.

12 of 17

Visit a Zoo

National Zoo Washington DC
PNC/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Visit a variety of animals, whether you spend a day at the National Zoo, or one of the regions smaller animal parks - Leesburg Animal Park, Reston Zoo and the Catoctin Wildlife Preserve.

Continue to 13 of 17 below.
13 of 17

Amusement Parks

The SUPERMAN Ride of Steel rollercoaster at Six Flags America
Darren McCollester / Getty Images

Kids love the rides, the excitement, and entertainment at amusement parks. There are theme parks that are closest to Washington, DC in Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.

14 of 17

Arts and Crafts

A picture of kids painting
Thomas Barwick / Getty Images

Enroll your child in art classes. Shop at a local craft store and stock up on art supplies. Paint pictures in your back yard or have a kids craft party.

15 of 17

Junior Ranger Programs

Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park
Richard T. Nowitz/Getty Images

Visit one of Washington, DC's national parks. Complete a junior ranger activity booklet and earn badges, patches, pins, and/or stickers.

16 of 17

Miniature Golf

Mini Golf
Philip Nealey/Getty Images

Miniature golf is a fun activity for the whole family. Find a variety of places in the Washington, DC area to practice your putting skills.

Continue to 17 of 17 below.
17 of 17

Indoor Play Centers

Boy in playground tubes.
Yutthana Teerakarunkar / EyeEm / Getty Images

When it is hot or rainy outside, let the kids have fun and get some exercise in an air conditioned space. Bring along some friends and enjoy a few hours of indoor fun.

Was this page helpful?