The Top 10: Free things to do in Washington D.C.

November 02 2014

Chartering a Bus to the District of Columbia? Take a look at some of the fun, free and almost-free experiences that await you in DC.


  • Enjoy free, live jazz at the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s “Take Five!” performance series. It usually takes place on the third Thursday of each month, and the museum’s cafĂ© stays open so guests can enjoy beer, wine and light snacks during the performance.
  • Let kids roam free at Friendship Park (aka Turtle Park), DC’s most popular playground, located in the city’s Van Ness neighborhood. Little ones love the huge sandbox (always full of toys).
  • Test your history knowledge at the National Portrait Gallery, where the nation’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House is located.
  • Make a power play and start a game of Frisbee on the National Mall, or a game of volleyball at one of the pits at Potomac Park.
  • Take pictures near the Chinatown Friendship arch at the corner of 7th & H Sts, NW, then head to Tony Cheng’s for dim sum priced under $8.
  • Stand in the footsteps of great abolitionist Frederick Douglass at Cedar Hill, his recently renovated former home. While there, take in a great aerial view of the city. Tours are free with a small booking fee. Make a reservation by clicking here or call 1-877-444-6777.
  • Feel the city’s soul power at any of DC’s many nightspots that offer entry free of charge, including Marvin (inspired by Marvin Gaye), Zola, OYA or Tabaq Bistro.
  • Follow Georgetown’s cobblestone streets to Old Stone House, a National Park Service site and the last pre-Revolutionary building standing in Washington, DC on its original foundation.
  • Visit the 102-year-old Union Station to find out why its beautiful architecture and special events make it more than just a train station.
  • Grab some friends and watch a sporting event at Nellie’s, DC’s first gay sports bar.