Summer Family Fun in the Washington, DC Area

Ideas for seasonal fun for the whole family in the capital region

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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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. Here are the top picks of museums for kids in the area, including Maryland and Virginia.

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    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.

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    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. 

    Monthly DC Area Event Calendars

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    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.

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    Children's Theater

    Wolf Trap
    Wolf Trap

    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.

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    County Fairs
    Brandy Taylor/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.

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    Nationals Baseball Statium
    Rachel Cooper

    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.

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    Flying Colours Ltd/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.

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    Nature Centers
    Compassionate Eye Foundation

    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.

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    Visit a Zoo

    National Zoo
    © National Zoo

    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.

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    Six Flags
    Six Flags

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

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    Arts and Crafts

    Tanya Constantine/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.
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    National Parks
    National Park Service

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

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    Mini Golf
    Photo © 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.

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    Indoor Play
    Sharon Dominick/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.