15 Winter Family Fun Activities in the Washington DC Area

••• Photo © Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution
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    Things to Do During the Winter in DC, Maryland and Virginia

    Looking for some ideas for winter family fun in the Washington, DC area? Even when the weather is cold and damp, there are plenty of interesting activities in the capital region to keep the whole family entertained. Average temperatures in January and February are usually in the 30s and 40s. The region gets an occasional snowfall, but most of the winter the ground is relatively dry. The winter season is often the best time to visit some of the city's top attractions as they tend to be less crowded than other times of the year.  Following are suggestions of winter activities to appeal to all ages. Enjoy!


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    Explore Washington DC's Museums

    ••• Photo © Dane Penland, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution

    The Washington, DC area has a wonderful variety of museums. Many of the city's most popular museums are clustered together on the National Mall, so you can easily visit more than one in the same day. The Smithsonian Museums cover a wide range of topics and include a variety of hands-on activities that are especially appealing for all ages. Some of the smaller museums across the region offer great programs for the whole family. See a guide to the Best Museums for Kids in the DC Area, including Maryland and Virginia.


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    Ice Skating and Roller Skating

    ••• Photo © Design Pics / Stock Foundry

    Take the whole family ice skating or roller skating at a rink in Washington, DC, Maryland or Virginia. There's even a few special places to ice skate outdoors in the nation's capital. Skating classes and hockey teams will keep kids and adults active throughout the winter season. See a guide to Skating in the Washington DC Area.


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    Take a Sightseeing Tour

    ••• Photo © Rachel Cooper

    During the winter months, take a sightseeing tour of Washington DC and explore the city by bus or trolley. Enjoy the benefits of hopping on and off (stay warm and dry while you ride around) and learn about Washington's historic landmarks. See a Guide to the Best Sightseeing Tours in Washington DC.


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    Indoor Playgrounds or Amusement Centers

    On a cold or rainy (or snowy) day, kids in the Washington, DC area can have a blast romping around indoors amusement centers. Family fun centers offer attractions like go karts, mini-golf, laser tag, ropes courses, moon bounces, paintball, arcade games, carousels, and more. These destinations are especially great for young families.


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    Children's Theater

    ••• Photo © Discovery Theater

    Take the kids to a play or puppet theatre and enjoy a family show at a children’s theater in the Washington, DC area. The capital region is a prime destination for performing, visual, and arts education programs. See a guide to the Children's Theaters in the Washington, DC area.


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    Attend Special Events

    ••• Photo © Rachel Cooper, licensed to About.com, Inc.

    Attend the best events of the season with great food, music and live entertainment for the whole family. Check out the top festivals in Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia.


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    See a Movie

    Winter is a great time to go to the movies. Find a convenient movie theater and enjoy the latest films.


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    Skiing, Snowboarding or Snow Tubing

    ••• Photo © Tetra Images - db2stock

    Take the kids to a ski resort for a day of family fun in the snow. There are several ski areas that offer skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing within a few hours drive from Washington, DC. See a guide to the Ski Resorts near Washington DC.


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    ••• Photo © Gregory Costanzo

    On a snowy day, find some great places to go sledding in Washington DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia. See a guide to the best places to go Sledding Near Washington DC.


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    ••• © Silverstock/Getty Images

    Spend the day updating your wardrobe at a local Shopping Mall or find some bargains at an Outlet Shopping Center.  Spend some time browsing in the museum gift shops in Washington, DC to find unique items such as books, clothing, jewelry, videos, crafts, decorative arts, toys and more.


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    Washington Redskins

    ••• Photo © G Fiume/Getty Images

    See the Washington Redskins play a football game at FedEx Field. Attend a game and enjoy the region's most beloved sports team. 


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    Visit a Nature Center

    ••• © Compassionate Eye Foundation

    The winter season is a great time to visit a nature center or attend a naturalist guided event. Explore a nature museum or get outside and take a short walk in the woods. Read more about Nature Centers in the Washington DC Area.


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    Go Bowling

    Bowling is a fun indoor activity for all ages. For younger children, look for bowling alleys that have bumper bowling and special ramps. Find Bowling Alleys in the Washington DC Area.


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    Rock Climbing Gyms

    ••• Photo © Henn Photography/Getty Images

    Rock climbing is challenging and great exercise. Kids can be naturals at this adventurous sport. Rock climbing gyms offer lessons for all ages and special programs for kids. See a guide to Rock Climbing Centers Near Washington DC.


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    Play Indoor Tennis

    Tennis is a sport that can be played year-round. Sign up for some lessons and get some great exercise this winter. See more about Indoor Tennis in Washington DC.