Top 7 Family-Friendly Activities in and around Washington D.C.

The nation’s capital has an abundance of attractions for both the young and the young at heart, and Uber Family Profiles makes it a snap to organize trips to any and all of these places. By creating a Family Profile, both you and your children can easily bill rides to the same account. In other words, instead of driving around the city picking up the kids from different destinations, you can ask each to call a safe, secure Uber and meet up for an afternoon of laid-back family fun.

Go on a Scavenger Hunt

The United States Botanic Garden features a rainbow of native and exotic flora. Show-stopping specimens here include the rare corpse flower, a gorgeous Sumatran bloom with a putrid stench, and the silversword, a striking Hawaiian native with only eight subpopulations left in the wild. Budding botanists can play in the Children’s Garden or search for plants in exchange for stamps in their “passports.”

Meet the Pandas

As if the free admission weren’t enough of a draw, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute—better known simply as the National Zoo—boasts four adorable giant pandas: Tian Tian, Bao Bao, Mei Xiang, and a cuddly cub, Bei Bei. After oohingand aahing over these photogenic fur-balls, you might be tempted to round up 11 of your child’s best friends and organize a Snore & Roar sleepover, an after-hours treat that lets kids see the animals up close without any of the daytime crowds. The eight family-themed options focus on topics from cheetah conservation to scaly reptiles.

Learn about Modern Art

If your kids think art museums are boring, try taking them to The Phillips Collection. The free Discovery Pack will send them hunting through the halls in search of masterworks. To make sure that families enjoy their visit, the museum offers pointers and discussion questions tailored for either children or teens. The tech-savvy curators even provide a smartphone app so that kids can plan a tour around their favorite paintings.

Construct Your Own Skyscrapers

Bob the Builder’s got nothing on your kids. Let them drive a bulldozer or create their own imaginative architecture in the Building Zone at the National Building Museum. Although there’s always plenty to do here, keep an eye out for the museum’s regular Family Days, which offer tons of interactive activities and the chance to talk to engineers, architects, and construction professionals.

Ride a Vintage Carousel

Though technically in Maryland, Glen Echo Park is just a quick, affordable Uber ride from downtown D.C. This old-school amusement park has the nostalgic air of a sepia-tinted Polaroid and offers plenty of retro rides for the wee ones. The star of the show is the lavishly decorated carousel: Hand-painted horses, giraffes, and ostriches have whirled beneath its canopy of twinkling lights since 1921.

Create Your Own Stamps

If your kids don’t think much of snail-mail, the National Postal Museum might just change their minds. A dedicated itinerary for young visitors makes this as enjoyable as it is eye-opening. Children can get as creative as they want when designing personalized stamps featuring their own photos. After they mail their letters, send them to look for highlights throughout the museum, such as the century-old Spider Press or Owney the Dog, the official mascot of the Railway Mail Service.

Channel Your Inner 007

Loads of James Bond memorabilia and gadgets and gizmos aplenty make the International Spy Museum a surefire crowd-pleaser. As exciting as the movie trivia may be, in this case the truth may be even stranger than fiction. The historically accurate tales of men of mystery, femme fatales, and high-stakes espionage are just as thrilling as anything Ian Fleming ever committed to the printed page.

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