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National Mall

Family-friendly activities

Our most recommended National Mall Family-friendly Activities

Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

1. Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Visit iconic and historic landmarks in Washington, DC, and enjoy sweeping views from open-top buses. Take advantage of the freedom to explore and hop on and hop off at any stop on two routes around the city. Venture out and discover Washington D.C on an incredible multi-sensory digital art service with Artechouse or take an adventure on two wheels on a bike where you can leisurely ride along the city. The Red Loop, the official tour of the National Mall, visits historic sites, monuments, and landmarks including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and much more. The Blue Loop transports you across the Potomac to visit the venerable Arlington Cemetery. See the iconic sights of DC including: • The White House • Washington Monument • Lincoln Memorial • US Capitol • Jefferson Memorial • National Cathedral • Arlington Cemetery

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

2. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes three stops for you to get off the trolley and explore the memorials on your own and take photos. Enjoy entertaining commentary from a professional tour guide who will entertain you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. The three stops on the tour are: 1. The Martin Luther King Memorial & the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 2. The Iwo Jima Memorial (aka US Marine Corps War Memorial) 3. The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Besides stops at the major memorials, you will also get spectacular views of the Washington Memorial the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol Buildings, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and Castle, the FBI & Dept of Justice Buildings, and the World War II Memorial.

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

3. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Go back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement with this fascinating African American history tour of Washington DC. Discover some of history's most captivating moments and allow your guide to paint a picture of the city from the African American perspective. Get picked up at the U.S. Navy Memorial and head to monuments such as the Emancipation Statue, Howard Theatre, and vibrant local black communities. Stand where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous "I have a dream" address and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. After taking a glimpse into the past at the Home of Frederick Douglas, proceed to Howard University - one of the oldest black universities in the United States. On the way to Howard University, you will drive by Lincoln Park to visit the statue of educator, activist, and founder of the National Council of Negro Women - Mary McLeod Bethune. Following your visit to the beautiful Howard University campus, drive through Le Driot Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900’s, it created its own “Black Broadway” - a home to entertainment legends from the past and present.  Next, see the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum to discover how the course of the Civil War was impacted by these disenfranchised soldiers. You will then take a journey into downtown DC to the sites of the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White house and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Once downtown, enter the Logan Circle historic district to see the historic Metropolitan AME Church and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council house. Finish the tour at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enter inside and explore the absorbing artifacts and exhibits at your leisure.

Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

4. Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

Glide around the streets of Washington DC on a guided tour by a battery-operated electric cart. See all the major monuments of the United States capital, like Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial with an onboard guide. After getting comfortable onboard, head first towards the Smithsonian complex. Admire the size of the largest museum and research complex in the world.  Next, discover three of the most well-known monuments in Washington DC. Admire the monuments to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, arguably the three most beloved presidents of the U.S. From here, take a moment to pause and remember those who lost their lives in battle as you visit various war memorials. Pause at the memorials to World War I, World War II, the Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam War Veterans memorial sites.  Get your camera ready for when you pass by one of the most recognizable landmarks in the whole world, the White House, the home of the U.S President. Finally, feast your eyes on Capitol Hill, home to the United States Congress.

Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour

5. Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour

Bike to the major sights of Washington, D.C. on a guided tour after dark. Enjoy America’s capital city at night, when the air is cooler, the monuments are crowd-free, and the illuminated views are magnificent. As dusk sweeps the city and the memorials and monuments light up magnificently, your guide will take you through the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin near the Washington Monument, the war memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to learn about each of the sights, and also a few minutes to walk through the memorials and experience them on foot. This 4-mile ride is rated as easy, covering mostly flat terrain. All riders are provided with reflective vests and safety lights.

From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

6. From NYC: Guided Day Trip to Washington DC by Van or Bus

Journey from NYC to Washington on a full-day trip to see the sights of the nation’s capital with a Spanish-speaking guide. Visit the most important monuments, memorials and buildings like the White House and the Washington Monument. Head down South from NYC in a comfortable air-conditioned bus, passing through New Jersey and Delaware, with a stop in Delaware to stretch your legs and use the restrooms. Continue on past Maryland until Arlington, Virginia. The tour starts properly at Arlington National Ceremony, where the tour guide will take you to Kennedy’s grave and explore with you the lush grounds. Then, head to the Iwo Jima memorial, with time to take photos. During the whole journey, your guide will tell you interesting facts about the city.   Next, head to Washington DC across the Potomac River. Pass along Constitution Avenue where you’ll see the State Department, the Institute of Peace, and the Albert Einstein Memorial. Go to the National Mall and walk with your guide to places that have been featured in movies and TV series. See the Korean War Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Vietnam War Memorial. You’ll recognize the Reflecting Pool from Forrest Gump. You’ll also see the most-visited monument in the city, the World War II Memorial.   Back on the bus, you’ll continue to view offices of important organizations such as the Organization of American States, the American Red Cross, and the Treasury Department until you finally reach the White House. Take some time to take pictures in the gardens before continuing on to see the FBI buildings, the National Archives, and more. Your final stop will be the Air and Space Museum, where you’ll have some free time to visit the exhibits, have lunch, and take photos of the Capitol Building. On the way back to NYC, you’ll be treated to a night-time panoramic view of NYC from New Jersey. 

Washington, DC: Big Bus Open-Top Panoramic Night Tour

7. Washington, DC: Big Bus Open-Top Panoramic Night Tour

Experience the beauty of Washington, DC on an open-top sightseeing tour at night. Discover the grandeur of the nation's monuments and memorials dramatically illuminated by the city lights. Climb aboard a double-decker bus for a journey down the dramatic National Mall, flanked by the White House and Jefferson Memorial. From the dome of the US Capitol Building to the World War II Memorial, you'll see Washington, DC at its most enchanting. Sit back and relax as you learn the history of Washington from the entertaining and expert digital commentary.

Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

8. Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

Arrive 30 minutes before the tour time for instruction on how to ride a Segway, then head off on a thrilling guided Segway tour of Washington DC and its main landmarks. Listen as your guide recounts fascinating stories about these iconic locations, narrated via a state-of-the-art radio system. Before departure, receive training and get fitted for your equipment. Watch a brief video and presentation, then receive one-on-one instruction from the experienced staff. Don't be nervous! Many of the visitors are first-time riders and most people get the hang of it within a few minutes.  Once everyone is comfortable, you will do a quick soundcheck and off you go!  The first stop is the White House, just across the street from your starting point! From there, continue to explore as many of the following sites as possible: Lafayette Square US Treasury Constitution Gardens Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Vietnam Veterans Memorial Korean War Memorial DC War Memorial Tidal Basin WWII Memorial Washington Monument Smithsonian Museums National Gallery of Art US Capitol National Archives US Navy Memorial FBI Building Freedom Plaza and more!

Washington DC: African American History Museum Family Tour

9. Washington DC: African American History Museum Family Tour

Give your family a fantastic taste of African American History and Culture with a professional tour guide. Learn how before the creation of the National Mall and the nation’s capital, much of the land that is now Washington, D.C. was worked by enslaved Africans, your tour guide will take you then for a private tour at The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Your tour guide will focus on important highlights to keep children engaged and stop them from becoming overwhelmed and losing interest. During the tour, see how the stories, histories, and cultures of African Americans are shaped and informed by global influences. With your family, explore what it means to be an American and discover how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.

Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

10. Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

Meet your guide at the White House and begin your tour of Washington DC. From the outside, learn about the history of the White House and the people who inhabited it. Your local guide will share stories about America’s history and the influence of African Americans in DC. Next, see the Capitol One, one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. Hear about the neoclassical United States Capitol, which is home to the House of Representatives and Senate. Finally, your guide will take you to the Washington Monument. Made of white marble and 550-feet tall, the obelisk is an iconic Washington DC landmark. After the walking tour, use your reserved entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Explore the museum on your own at your own pace.

  • Guided tours
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
  • Private tours
  • Day trips
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What people are saying about National Mall

All round great. Solo visitor from U.K., good group. Team made me feel comfortable in riding the Segway before setting off, don’t feel rushed at all Tour itself is great. We had 2 guides who each knew their stuff. Got to see tons of The Mall areas, spent 15 minutes parked at the Lincoln memorial as well so we could explore Would highly recommend

Very friendly and informative tour, so pleased we did this. DJ our driver, went above and beyond to ensure we had the best experience of Washington D.C.

Wonder trip, the driver had a tremendous amount of knowledge and was very helpful.

It was very informative and enjoyable. Our guide was smart, funny and attentive.

the gentlemen giving us the tour was a delight. Very knowledgeable.