Washington DC with teenagers? Are you out of your mind? I know what you’re thinking – Why would I want to spend my vacation with moody, screen-addicted teens? But hear me out – there’s a reason why Washington DC is a fantastic destination for families with teenagers.
Short answer: history, museums, food, and fun. Keep reading to discover why exploring the capital with your teens can be an exciting, educational, and unforgettable experience.
- Know before you go. Our top Washington D.C. travel tips
- Where to stay in Washington D.C. with teenagers
- Washington apartment alternative for your stay
- Getting to Washington D.C
- How to get around the city
- Weather in Washington
- Washington for international visitors
- Where can I go in DC if my teenager is ill?
- Travel accessories for teenagers
- The Washington, DC Sightseeing Day Pass
- Things to do in Washington DC with teenagers
- Arthouse Immersive Art Experience
- Smithsonian – best Museum in DC for teens
- Play Laser Tag at ShadowLand Laser Adventures
- National Mall – Washington DC attractions for teenagers
- International Spy Museum – Cool stuff in Washington DC
- Watching sports in DC
- The Capital Wheel
- Amusement Arcades
- Museum of the Bible
- Scavenger Hunt
- Epic Evening e-Scooter Tour
- Underground Donut Tour
- DC fun places for teenagers -Indoor Skydiving
- Family fun adventures on a Segway Tour
- Indoor Rock Climbing
- Hop-on hop-off bus
- Mini Golf
- Walking Tours in Washington
- Ghost tour
- Things to do in Washington with teenage girls – High Tea
- Washington Monument
- Lincoln Memorial
- Jefferson Memorial
- The most Instagrammable shots in Washington
- Professional photoshoot
- Street Art in Washington DC
- Ten Pin Bowling with teenagers
- Axe Throwing for older teens
- Bike riding
- Family holidays in Washington – Going to the cinema
- Escape rooms – things to do in DC for teens
- Going to the gym for young adults
- Shopping with teens in Washington DC
- Free things to do in Washington with teens
- Annual events in Washington DC that teens will love
- Day trips from Washington D.C. with teens
- Fun restaurants in Washington DC for teens
- Frequently asked questions about Washington DC
- Is Washington DC safe to visit for families?
- How do I call the Police in Washington DC
- Is tipping required in DC?
- Can I drink tap water in Washington DC?
- What type of power sockets are used in the USA?
- Where are the best places to stay in Washington DC for teenagers
- More travel inspiration for your trip to North America
Know before you go. Our top Washington D.C. travel tips
Travelling to D.C. with teens can be such an enriching experience for the whole family and is one of the top family destinations in the USA. Did you know that Washington, D.C., isn’t a state or a city? It’s a federal district that was formed in 1790.
There are so many things to do in the Federal District of Washington, and having information on the best place to stay, how to get around, which currency to use and more is extremely important. Below you will find some information for planning a hassle-free family vacation in Washington D.C., the capital of the United States of America.
Where to stay in Washington D.C. with teenagers
Great vacations with teens start with some great vacation planning. When you are planning a trip to North America with teens you’ll never be short of options for your family accommodation in Washington DC.
In the city, you find a range of hotels, apartments, and hostels for families on holiday. You will be sure to be able to find something to fit, families, and groups on every budget on your family trip to the National Capital Region.
- For luxury family-friendly hotels in Washington DC, we recommend taking a look at The Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, Sofitel Washington Lafayette Square and The Dupont Circle Hotel
- For more midprice and budget-friendly options in D.C., we recommend looking at Residence Inn by Marriott, Washington Plaza Hotel and Holiday Inn Express.
If you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs for your teen travel holidays, we recommend using Hotels.com and Trip Advisor to find the best prices for your family vacation to Washington DC.
Washington apartment alternative for your stay
If you prefer a home away from home-style accommodation when on your trip with teenagers in Washington, then an apartment is the best choice for you on your family vacation. There are so many options for singles, families, and budget-friendly options in the capital as well.
You can search VRBO for holiday apartments or if you’re looking for something a bit more fancy, maybe with an amazing view or a swimming pool, then The Plum Guide will help you find the perfect apartment for teens on your Washington trip with family.
Getting to Washington D.C
Washington is one of the best family destinations in North America for family travel with teens. The capital of the United States is connected by highways, long distant buses, trains and planes, all bringing people daily to the city. This makes Washington DC one of the easiest family travel destinations to get to in the USA.
- You can fly into Washington Reagan National Airport a major airport that lies just 3 miles south of downtown Washington, D.C. on the Potomac River. American Airlines, Republic Airways, PSA Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Delta, United, JetBlue and WestJet all fly non-stop to Washington Ronald Reagan. Book your flights to Washington with Skyscanner.
- If your flights have a long stopover, or you just want to relax before your trip, you should consider getting a lounge pass with a Priority Pass. Priority Pass has access to airport lounges all over the world. Search now for your lounge pass
- You can book an airport transfer straight to your hotel door.
- If your flights have a long stopover, or you just want to relax before your trip, you should consider getting a lounge pass with a Priority Pass. Priority Pass has access to airport lounges all over the world. Search now for your lounge pass
- You can catch a train to Washington, Amtrak is the most popular and convenient way to travel to Washington DC by train. Acela Express is a high-speed train that connects Washington DC to Boston, New York City, and other cities in the Northeast. Book your train tickets with Omio.
- DC can be reached directly from 67 cities and indirectly from anywhere across the USA. Flixbus tickets are available at great prices. Bus travel with teens in America can add so many wonderful experiences for teens on vacation. Book your bus tickets today with Flixbus
- If you want to follow your own schedule and make trips out of the city, then car hire is a great option for teens in DC. Hiring a car allows you the freedom to stop and start where you like.
- Maybe you want to make a trip cross-country? An RV is a great way to travel to the capital with teens.
How to get around the city
Washington DC has a well-developed public transportation system, which includes buses, subways, and trains. Here are some options for using public transportation during your vacation with teens.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) operates the Metro, which is a subway system that connects DC with Maryland and Virginia. The Metro operates from 5:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekdays and from 7:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on weekends. You can purchase fare cards or use your contactless credit or debit card to pay for Metro rides. Bus:
The Metrobus is another option for public transportation in DC. There are several routes throughout the city, and you can use the same fare card as the Metro. The buses operate from early morning until late at night.
The DC Circulator is a bus system that operates on specific routes around the city. It costs $1 per ride, and there are several routes that cover popular tourist areas.
There are plenty of taxi companies operating in the D.C. area and ride-sharing apps like Lyft and Uber are very popular.
Weather in Washington
Washington DC has a humid subtropical climate, which means it has hot and humid summers and mild winters. In Spring (March-May) the average temperature ranges from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C) with occasional rainfall. In Summer (June-August) the average temperature ranges from 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C) with high humidity and occasional thunderstorms.
The Fall (September-November) brings average temperature ranges from 50°F to 70°F (10°C to 21°C) with less humidity and occasional rainfall. Winter (December-February) average temperatures range from 30°F to 50°F (-1°C to 10°C) with occasional snowfall.
Seasonal essentials for travel to Washington DC
Washington for international visitors
International travel to the capital requires a bit more thought. You will need travel insurance in the USA. Medical care is not cheap and if you want good quality care it will cost you a fortune if you don’t have travel insurance.
The official currency of The USA is the US dollar. If you use your bank account from home, you will be stung with high transaction fees, while your mobile phone calls will all be charged at an international rate. These are just some of the things you need to think about.
- For international travellers, travel insurance is a must, get a quote through Insurance Masters and don’t go home with a huge bill for medical expenses
- Do you need a visa to visit Washington? The United States of America may require you to have a visa or an ETA (Electronic travel authorisation) to enter the country. You can check and buy these documents at iVisa
- Load a Revolut Travel Money card with US dollars for your visit and save on transaction fees
- Make phone calls with an international sim card that you can buy before leaving home or buy a voucher for a virtual e-sim for your mobile phone
- A 4G pocket Wi-Fi modem is essential for accessing the internet. You can rent a pocket modem that you can pick up at the airport or your hotel, alternatively buy a pocket modem that you can use on all future trips with your phone, tablet or computer
- Make sure you grab a VPN for your trip. VPN Proxy Master has plans available from one month to one year to help keep your data safe from hackers and malware while travelling.
Where can I go in DC if my teenager is ill?
There are several hospitals in Washington DC with emergency departments, including MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, MedStar Washington Hospital Center and the Children’s National Hospital.
Additionally, there are several urgent care clinics and 24-hour clinics in the area, such as CVS MinuteClinic, Urgent Care Center of Arlington, and MedStar PromptCare.
We cannot stress enough, please have MEDICAL INSURANCE for any holiday to the USA.
Travel accessories for teenagers
For teenagers, travelling can be a fun and exciting experience. However, there are a few things that they need to take into account in order to make the trip as comfortable and safe as possible. One of these is ensuring that they have the necessary travel accessories
The Washington, DC Sightseeing Day Pass
Are you planning a family trip to Washington, DC and want to see all the major attractions without breaking the bank? Look no further than the Washington, DC Sightseeing Day Pass!
With this pass, you’ll have access to 15 incredible landmarks and monuments around the city, including the iconic Lincoln Memorial, the impressive National Museum of American History, and the awe-inspiring Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Plus, you’ll save big on admission fees compared to buying tickets separately.
This pass is perfect for families touring DC with kids. So don’t miss out on this incredible deal – grab your Washington, DC Sightseeing Day Pass today and get ready for an unforgettable family adventure in the nation’s capital!
Things to do in Washington DC with teenagers
Travelling with teenagers can be a unique and rewarding experience. Teenagers often have their own interests and preferences when it comes to travel, making it important to plan a vacation that caters to their needs. In this article, you will find plenty of options to keep teenagers engaged and entertained while on vacation.
Arthouse Immersive Art Experience
Artechouse is an innovative art space in Washington DC that uses technology to create immersive, interactive exhibits. The space is dedicated to showcasing new forms of art that combine digital technology, science, and interactive experiences.
Teenagers would likely enjoy Artechouse because the exhibits offer a unique and engaging way to experience art. Many of the exhibits are interactive, allowing visitors to become a part of the art itself. This type of experience can be particularly appealing to teenagers, who are often drawn to interactive and immersive experiences.
Additionally, the use of technology in the exhibits can make them feel cutting-edge and exciting, which may be particularly appealing to tech-savvy teenagers. Grab your tickets today.
Smithsonian – best Museum in DC for teens
There are actually several Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. In fact, the Smithsonian Institution is a group of museums and research centres that cover a wide range of subjects, from art and history to science and technology. Some of the best Smithsonian museums for teenagers include:
National Air and Space Museum – This museum has a large collection of aircraft and spacecraft, including the Wright brothers’ plane and the Apollo 11 command module.
National Museum of American History – This museum showcases the history of the United States through exhibits on topics such as the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement.
National Museum of Natural History – This museum has exhibits on everything from dinosaurs to gems and minerals to live insects and animals.
National Museum of African-American History and Culture – This museum tells the story of African-American history and culture in the United States through interactive exhibits and multimedia displays.
National Portrait Gallery – This museum has a collection of portraits of important figures in American history, from presidents to celebrities.
Overall, in my experience, each museum offers a unique experience, so it’s worth considering your teenagers’ interests when deciding which museums to visit.
Play Laser Tag at ShadowLand Laser Adventures
Laser tag is a popular indoor game that is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is a fun and challenging activity that can be enjoyed in either competitive settings. In Laser tag, players can play as part of a team or play by themselves and try to outsmart their opponents by tagging them with lasers.
Laser Tag is a gentile no-contact version of paintball, In DC you can play laser tag at Shadowland Laser Adventures. At Shadowlands the adventures are played on a huge, multi-level course, complete with fog, speciality lighting and music.
National Mall – Washington DC attractions for teenagers
The National Mall in Washington, DC is the ultimate destination for history buffs, nature lovers, and anyone seeking a fun day out with family or friends. This expansive park stretches from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial and is home to iconic monuments, memorials, and museums.
Take a stroll through the gardens of the Smithsonian Castle, marvel at the Washington Monument’s towering obelisk, or pay your respects at the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial.
With plenty of green space for picnics and games, the National Mall is the perfect place to soak up some sunshine and experience the best of American history and culture.
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Being the capital of the USA and home to many foreign Embassies, the city has seen its fair share of spy activity in its long history. This interactive museum will be hot with the whole family, and as well as learning about spies you will become and spy and try your hand at stealing secrets and code-breaking.
International Spy Museum – Cool stuff in Washington DC
You will find stories from the American Revolution to 21st-century cyber warfare, you can see real artefacts from Cold War spies and more. This Museum is sure to be a hit.
Watching sports in DC
Washington, DC is a sports lover’s paradise with a range of professional teams to choose from. If you’re looking for ice hockey action, the Capitals are the team to watch, with their fast-paced and exciting games at the Capital One Arena.
For basketball fans, the Wizards play at the same venue, offering up high-scoring and high-flying thrills. If you’re more into baseball, check out the Nationals at Nationals Park, where you can soak up some sun and enjoy a cold drink while watching America’s pastime.
For fans of the NFL, the Washington Commanders play at FedEx Field, while soccer fans can catch DC United matches at Audi Field. With top-notch facilities and passionate fans, these teams are sure to provide an unforgettable sporting experience.
The Capital Wheel
Much like many other cities, Washington DC has its own version of a big wheel for tourists. The Capital Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel that takes you on a thrilling ride high above the city.
It’s over 180 feet tall and has 42 fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas that can hold up to 8 people each. As you ascend to the top, you’ll get a breathtaking view of the National Mall, the Potomac River, and the surrounding area.
On a clear day, you can see up to 16 miles away! You can also see some of D.C.’s most iconic landmarks, like the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Capitol Building. Grab your ticket to ride today
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Amusement arcades offer a variety of entertainment options for teenagers as a great way to spend a few hours having fun. They can play the newest video games or indulge in some classic pinball machines of the past.
Some of the more modern arcades will have Laser Tag, bumper cars and indoor mini golf as options. Arcades are popular because they offer things to do that are fun and affordable to do, most arcades have food and beverage options for you.
In DC head to Penn Social which is a two-story location spanning a 10,000-square-foot space that offers a large collection of games. The Boardwalk Bar and Arcade feature a range of games from Iron Man Pinball to Big Buck Hunter and Pacman. A great family venue where parents can grab a drink while kids have some fun.
Museum of the Bible
Straight off the bat, this may not be for everyone, but for those who have an interest in the Christian faith, the Museum of the Bible may be interesting.
With 7 floors of interactive and informative displays, this museum tells the stories of Noah’s ark, the burning bush, Passover and more. You can see rare and fascinating artefacts spanning the history of the Christian faith. Book your exclusive early admission entry tickets today.
Why not book a combo ticket with entry to both The Museum of the Bible and the African American Tour and save some money on entries
Are you looking for a fun and exciting activity to do with your teenage kids in Washington DC? Look no further than the Wacky Washington DC Scavenger Hunt! This adventure will take you and your family on a thrilling scavenger hunt throughout the city, exploring some of its most iconic landmarks and hidden gems.
The Wacky Washington DC Scavenger Hunt covers all the must-see spots in DC, from the Washington Monument to the National Mall. The whole experience is designed to be kid-friendly and engaging, so your teens will have a blast every step of the way.
So if you’re looking for fun teenage things to do in Washington DC, book the Scavenger Hunt at the National Zoo! now and get ready for an adventure you won’t forget!
There are a number of different scavenger hints and exploration games you can do in DC. Why not try The National Mall Exploration Game, Scavenger Hunt Adventure by Operation City Quest and Washington DC Museums Scavenger Hunt
Epic Evening e-Scooter Tour
Looking for a fun and exciting way to explore Washington DC with your teens? Look no further than the Epic Evening e-Scooter Tour! This tour is the perfect way to see all the sights and sounds of the city in a unique and thrilling way.
Hop on an e-scooter and zoom around DC as you take in all the iconic landmarks and monuments. You’ll see the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and even the White House! The best part? This tour takes place in the evening, which means you’ll get to see all the monuments lit up in all their glory.
So why not book the Epic Evening e-Scooter Tour today and add some excitement to your list of things to do in Washington DC with your teens?
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Underground Donut Tour
Have you ever heard of a donut tour? Well, in Washington D.C. you can experience just that! This exciting tour takes you to some of the city’s most historic doughnut shops, where you’ll get to taste a variety of delicious donuts while learning about the rich history behind each one.
Not only will you get to indulge in some of the best doughnuts in town, but you’ll also get to see parts of the city that are off the beaten path. This is a great way to spend quality time with your loved ones while learning about the rich history and culture of Washington D.C. So, what are you waiting for?
Book your tickets now and join the fun-filled Underground Donut Tour in Washington D.C. for an unforgettable family experience!
DC fun places for teenagers -Indoor Skydiving
Indoor skydiving is a new trend that is catching on with teenagers. It is a safe way to experience the thrill of skydiving and the feeling of free fall in a vertical wind tunnel.
The powerful fans create an upward flow of air that allows you to float in mid-air, just like you would during a real skydive. This makes it a fun and challenging activity that is perfect for teenagers who want to try something new and exciting.
The indoor skydiving facility in the capital will have packages that include training, gear rental, and multiple flights. You can find out more information at IFLY Indoor Skydiving.
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Family fun adventures on a Segway Tour
How do you make the best vacations for teenagers? Segway! There is nothing more fun than zipping around a city on a Segway and for teens, this has to be one of the best things to do in DC with teens. A Segway tour is a great opportunity to have fun and learn about the city.
Segway tours are for the whole family, you will be given instructions and a short amount of practice time before you set off on your adventures in Washington DC and see the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, and Washington Monument with teenagers. Book your Segway tour today.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor rock climbing can be found in most major cities, and many offer classes to teach beginners the basics of wall climbing or free climbing for more advanced. Once you have learned the basics, you can start exploring different routes on the wall.
Indoor rock climbing is a great experience for teens looking for something to do in Washington DC when it’s raining. Movement Crystal City has a number of inverted slopes, bouldering walls and cave arches.
The staff will show you how to tie our knots and encourage you to successfully make it to the top of the climbing walls.
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Hop-on hop-off bus
The hop-on hop-off bus is always popular with family travellers. A sightseeing bus tour in the city is a great way to give you an overview of the city.
The bus route takes you to all the Washington attractions, so you can see everything from the White House, the Washington Monument, and the National Mall.
This tour bus allows you to get out and visit all the top attractions and hop back on the next bus when it appears. Book your tickets today.
Why not book a combo ticket with entry to both The Museum of the Bible + The Hop on Hop off bus tour and save some money on entries
Mini golf is a classic family-friendly activity that has been enjoyed by people of all ages for generations. It offers a fun and engaging way to spend time outdoors and can be a great bonding experience for families and teenagers on vacation.
The Mini golf courses in DC feature creative and challenging holes that require skill and strategy, making it an entertaining and rewarding activity for everyone involved. There is no shortage of choice for mini golf, you can head to East Potomac Mini Golf, Swingers Crazy Golf or The Pottery.
Walking Tours in Washington
A walking tour can be a fantastic way for families to explore a new city or destination while on vacation. A walking tour allows families to immerse themselves in the local culture and history of a place, providing a fun and educational experience for both kids and adults
Some of the best walking tours in the capital include:
- DC History of Slavery tour
- White House Secrets and Scandals
- Arlington National Cemetery
- Comedy walking tour
Ghost story tours are a popular tourist attraction in many parts of the world. They are usually conducted by a guide who tells stories in an engaging manner about the ghosts and legends of the area.
The tour guides often dress up in period costumes to add to the atmosphere. The tours usually take place at night, when it is dark and spooky to set the atmosphere, Teens love these sorts of tours as they put an interesting spin on the history of the location
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Things to do in Washington with teenage girls – High Tea
High Tea started out as a quintessentially British thing. This afternoon tea tradition involves savoury sandwiches, cakes, pastries, and of course, tea. For mothers and daughters, it’s a cherished ritual that often brings them closer together.
If you’re looking for something to do in Washington with teenage girls, then you should experience high tea firsthand, there are plenty of places to go. But be warned – it can be quite addictive! Once you’ve had a taste of those delicious treats, you’ll likely want to indulge again and again.
You will find the best High Tea, and afternoon teas in Washington at St Regis, King Bird at the Watergate Hotel and The Tavern at Henley Park.
The Washington Monument is one of the most iconic landmarks in Washington, DC. It was designed by Robert Mills in 1836 and took over 36 years to complete due to lack of funding and the Civil War.
The obelisk shape was chosen to reflect the ancient Egyptian architecture that George Washington admired. Visitors can take an elevator or climb the stairs to the top for breathtaking views of the city, including the National Mall, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial.
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The Lincoln Memorial is a majestic monument in Washington, D.C. that honours Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. It features a giant statue of Lincoln sitting in contemplation, surrounded by 36 columns representing the 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln’s death.
The walls of the memorial are inscribed with some of Lincoln’s most famous speeches, including the Gettysburg Address. Visitors can also take in panoramic views of the National Mall, the Washington Monument, and the Capitol Building.
The memorial serves as a symbol of Lincoln’s leadership and the unity he sought to achieve during his presidency. The two best times to visit are early morning before the crowds so that you get Lincoln sitting above you, and then return for floodlight at night. They’re very different and magical experiences you will not forget.
The Jefferson Memorial is a beautiful and historic monument located in Washington D.C., dedicated to one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. It’s situated on the banks of the Tidal Basin and is one of the most popular attractions in the city.
The monument was designed by John Russell Pope and was completed in 1943, in honor of the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’s birth. The centrepiece of the memorial is a bronze statue of Jefferson, which stands 19 feet tall and weighs over five tons. He is depicted with a contemplative expression, holding a book in his hand.
The Jefferson Memorial is not only a stunning work of architecture and art, but it’s also a symbol of the values that Thomas Jefferson stood for. It’s a place where visitors can reflect on the importance of freedom, democracy, and the pursuit of happiness
The most Instagrammable shots in Washington
The best family vacations for teens always incorporate something they love. Social media is important and teenagers can use Instagram to stay connected with friends, share their interests, and express themselves creatively.
We recommend visiting Blagden Alley, The Friendship Archway in Chinatown and The Lincoln Memorial for the best Instagram shots in DC for teens.
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As our kids get older, we spend less and less time with them making family travel memories. One excellent way to capture some of these important family vacations with teenagers moments is to hire a professional photographer for a few hours to make some lifelong memories for you on your family vacation with teens.
The photographer will supply everything, your family just needs to provide the smiles for your Washington with teenagers photoshoot. Book an unforgettable family travel memory today and secure your family travel photo shoot.
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Street Art in Washington DC
Street art is found throughout the world, but it is especially prevalent in major cities. Cities are home to a wealth of street art, from graffiti on building walls to pieces painted on lanes and bridges.
Street art provides a unique aesthetic for these places, with topics including current events, pop culture, portraits and more. Street art is a very popular free thing to do in the capital and attracts tourists and teenagers alike.
Some of the most popular street art in Washington DC are The Madams Organ mural on the side of the Madam’s Organ Blues Bar, Mural Un Pueblo Sin Murales on the side wall of Kogibow Bakery and The Columbia Heights neighbourhood is full of street art
Ten Pin Bowling with teenagers
If you’re looking for a bit of fun, friendly family competition on your vacation with kids, then 10-pin bowling might be just the family activity in Washington for you and your teen travellers.
You can go 10-pin bowling at a number of different locations in the city centre. 10-pin bowling has to be one of the best family-friendly things to do with teenagers.
Most bowling alleys these days are more entertainment centres featuring amusement, food and drink options. You will find some of the best bowling locations below.
- Pinstripes – 1064 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007, United States
- AMF Marlow Heights – 4717 St Barnabas Rd, Temple Hills, MD 20748, United States
Axe Throwing for older teens
Axe Throwing is a new phenomenon that is sweeping around the world. DC is home to a number of venues in the district of Columbia. No experience is required, as the staff will run you through the safety precautions before giving tips and hints on how best to throw an axe.
If you are looking for unique experiences for teenagers then axe throwing could be it Axe Throwing is one of the awesome Washington DC teen activities to do on your family vacation. Book an axe throwing in Washington DC with teens.
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Teenager vacations need to be action-packed! Bike riding is a popular family activity when travelling with teenagers. It is a great way to explore a new city with teenagers on vacation.
Bike tours in Washington not only allow for some fitness and exercise but also makes sightseeing more fun and adventurous. Bike tours are a great option for families looking to explore the city together.
Most bike tours offer a knowledgeable guide who can provide interesting facts and history about the city’s landmarks and neighbourhoods. Why not see the famous monuments in a different way and join a night bike tour?
Family holidays in Washington – Going to the cinema
Great vacations with teens have a mix of everything! Watching a movie is popular with teenagers anywhere in the world. Going to the cinema in DC with teenagers is a great evening activity. You will find state-of-the-art screens and sound for you to watch the latest blockbusters in cinemas.
In Washington, you will find multiplex, Imax, 3d and speciality cinemas showing art-house and indie films. A cinema is one of the best places to visit in DC at night with teens, You can use this Trip Advisor guide to the best cinemas in the city.
Escape rooms – things to do in DC for teens
Escape rooms are adventure games where players must solve puzzles and riddles in order to escape a themed room within a set time limit. They have become a popular form of family-friendly entertainment in Washington, offering a unique and immersive experience for families and teens
Escape rooms may consist of a large, single room, or span multiple rooms. Players are given a set time limit to unveil the secret plot which is hidden within the rooms. If your travelling teen likes this stuff, an escape room experience in Washington with teenagers is definitely one of the top things to do.
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Going to the gym for young adults
Fitness is very important to a lot of teenagers these days, and being on a family vacation in Washington, DC is no reason to miss a session. Working out is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Just because one is travelling, that does not mean you need to stop working out. In DC Washington you can go to a number of Gyms that sell passes ranging from a day to a week and a month.
Shopping with teens in Washington DC
Shopping with teenagers can be an exciting and challenging experience while on vacation. Teenagers often have their own unique tastes and preferences when it comes to fashion and entertainment, making it important to find shopping destinations that cater to their interests.
On the other hand, shopping can also be an opportunity to bond with teenagers and explore the local culture through fashion and retail. Whether it’s exploring high-end boutiques or browsing through vintage markets, there are plenty of options to keep teenagers engaged and entertained while shopping during a vacation.
There are many shopping malls, markets, and local boutiques to choose from. One popular shopping destination is Georgetown, a historic neighbourhood known for its charming streets and high-end shops. Here you’ll find stores like Anthropologie, J.Crew, and Ralph Lauren.
Another great shopping area is the CityCenterDC, which boasts a mix of luxury and contemporary brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Zara. For more affordable options, check out the Tanger Outlets at National Harbor, which features a wide range of designer and brand-name stores.
If you’re interested in local designers, the Eastern Market is a must-visit. This open-air market features handmade crafts, artisanal food, and unique clothing and accessories from local vendors. You can also check out the Made in DC store, which features products exclusively made by DC-based designers and artisans.
Overall, Washington DC has something for every kind of shopper, whether you’re looking for high-end boutiques or local treasures.
Free things to do in Washington with teens
The city offers, some of the best free things to do with your teenage family members. These free DC activities are perfect for keeping everyone happy and entertained without having to spend any money.
There are also plenty of affordable restaurants and shops where you can shop for souvenirs without breaking the bank. Some of our recommendations for free activities in Washington DC for families are as follows.
- Smithsonian’s National Zoo (must reserve a free pass online)
- Check out the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail
- U.S. National Arboretum
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Annual events in Washington DC that teens will love
Washington DC is a city with a lot of exciting events and activities that can appeal to teenagers. Here are some annual events that are particularly popular with teens
National Cherry Blossom Festival: This festival takes place in the spring and celebrates the blooming of the cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin. The festival features a variety of events, including parades, concerts, and cultural demonstrations.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival: This festival, held on the National Mall in the summer, celebrates the diverse cultures and traditions of people from around the world. The festival includes live music, dance performances, and traditional crafts and food.
Fourth of July Fireworks: The Fourth of July is a big holiday in DC, with a huge fireworks display on the National Mall that draws thousands of people each year. It’s a great way to celebrate Independence Day and enjoy a beautiful evening with the family.
National Book Festival: This festival, held in the fall, is a celebration of books and reading. It features talks and book signings by popular authors, as well as family-friendly activities and entertainment.
These are just a few of the many events that are held in Washington DC throughout the year. Depending on your interests, there are plenty of other options to explore as well!
Day trips from Washington D.C. with teens
While staying in the city with teenagers on your family holiday, a day trip to see a bit more of the surrounding area is recommended. There are some fun trips for teenagers and families from Washington DC to make out of the city.
The best vacations for teenagers usually include at least one day trip from Washington D.C Below we have a couple of day trip recommendations for families travelling with teenagers. There are also so many more things to do on your vacation with teenagers when you add a day trip from DC
New York City
Hop on the train and get ready to explore the city that never sleeps! This day trip by rail from Washington DC to New York City is perfect for families looking for an exciting adventure.
With the convenience of train travel, you’ll have more time to experience all the must-see sights of the Big Apple. From the dazzling lights of Times Square to the iconic Statue of Liberty, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in New York City.
Make the most of your trip by planning your New York itinerary and activities ahead of time and be sure to check out the top family-friendly attractions in New York City.
George Washington’s Mount Vernon & Old Alexandria half-day guided tour from DC
Explore the historic sights and landmarks of Old Alexandria and George Washington’s Mount Vernon with this half-day guided tour from Washington DC.
Learn about the fascinating history of the area as you visit the home of America’s first president and take a stroll through the charming streets of Old Alexandria. With a knowledgeable guide to lead the way, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the people and events that shaped our nation’s past.
This tour is a must-do for anyone interested in American history and culture.
Fun restaurants in Washington DC for teens
Vacationing with teens absolutely needs to include a brilliant meal to remember the family holiday. Family travel with teenagers is a wonderful thing, and bonding over a meal at the end of the day or even during it is a great way to connect with your teen travellers. Having a meal with family is one of the top things to do in Washington DC with teenagers.
- Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken: As the name suggests, this restaurant serves up delicious doughnuts and fried chicken. Kids will love the fun space-themed decor and the creative flavours of the doughnuts, such as maple bacon and PB&J. Teenagers in Washington DC will love this place.
- Buca di Beppo: This Italian restaurant is known for its family-style dining and large portions. The restaurant has a whimsical, circus-themed decor that kids will enjoy. Be sure to try the famous spaghetti and meatballs!
- Founding Farmers: This farm-to-table restaurant has a rustic, American-themed decor and serves up classic comfort food like mac and cheese and chicken and waffles. Kids will love the homemade biscuits and the build-your-own sundae bar.
- Pinstripes: This restaurant is a combination of a bistro and a bowling alley, making it a fun spot for kids of all ages. The menu includes classic American dishes like burgers and pizza, and there’s also an extensive kids’ menu.
- Farmers & Distillers: Another farm-to-table restaurant, Farmers & Distillers has a modern, industrial decor and serves up American comfort food with a twist. Kids will love the made-to-order doughnuts and the fun train that runs around the restaurant.
Street food in Washington DC
Street food is a popular way to eat in many parts of the world. It’s a quick and easy way to get some delicious local food without having to go to a full restaurant. Street food can be found in many different styles and options.
Some of the most well-known street foods include tacos in Mexico, Zapiekanka in Poland, Dan Dan noodles in China, and Shawarma in Middle Eastern countries. Street food in DC often has its origins in the cultural history of people who have immigrated to the USA in the past. Some of the most popular street foods include:
- Half-Smoke: This is a type of sausage that is unique to DC. It’s made with beef and pork and is usually served on a bun with chilli sauce and onions.
- Ben’s Chili Bowl: This is a famous restaurant in DC that serves half-smokes as well as other chilli dishes, burgers, and fries.
- Mambo Sauce: This is a sweet and tangy sauce that is often served with fried chicken wings or fries. It’s a DC staple and can be found at many street vendors.
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Frequently asked questions about Washington DC
There are so many frequently asked questions about the capital of the United States, especially from families travelling with teenagers.
Washington DC is one of the best family city breaks in the USA and one of the best places to vacation with teenagers. There are so many things to consider when you are planning your family vacation to DC.
Here is a list of some of the most frequently asked questions to help you make your family vacation to Washington DC easy and hassle-free.
Is Washington DC safe to visit for families?
Washington, D.C., is generally very safe to visit, especially if you stick to the highly trafficked tourist areas
How do I call the Police in Washington DC
You can dial 911 for all emergencies
Is tipping required in DC?
Tipping is expected in the USA. Tipping 15-20% of a total bill is a good place to start.
Can I drink tap water in Washington DC?
Washington DC tap water is considered safe to drink according to EPA but there have been reported issues such as lead due to old pipes and leeching as well as the more recent problem of microplastics. We recommend you buy a filtered water bottle to do activities for teenagers in DC.
What type of power sockets are used in the USA?
For the USA there are two associated plug types, types A and B. Plug type A is the plug that has two flat parallel pins and plug type B is the plug that has two flat parallel pins and a grounding pin. Buy your power adaptor here today
Where are the best places to stay in Washington DC for teenagers
At the top of the article, we suggested some accommodation choices for your holiday in Washington with the kids. If you are looking for a wider variety of choices for your family stay, please find below an interactive map for you to find your perfect stay for your vacation.
Are you looking to book flights, hotels, apartments, tours, airport transfers, travel insurance and more for your vacation with young adults? Are you just not sure what travel companies you can trust to book your family travel online?
We have a family travel resource page that is full of companies that we personally use, trust and book through for all our family vacation trips from a weekend away to long-term travel with older children around the world. Click here to search our travel resources page.
We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit DC with teenagers. There are so many fun things to do in DC with teenagers that will have you entertained for your family’s whole stay in the city.
Travelling with young adults has just as many issues as travelling with young children. Choosing the best teenage vacation destinations can be so time-consuming. Planning a family holiday with teenagers and tweens can be stressful, and finding the best tips for travel is essential. Use our Travel with Teenagers Destination Guides from all over the world for your next family vacation inspiration to make your family vacations with teens epic.
For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in the USA click through to our United States Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.
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Content Creator/SEO Editor
Co-founder and SEO editor here at Wyld Family Travel. Bec has travelled to over 45 countries across 3 continents and is a journey with kids advocate. When Bec is not planning travel, she is creating content for our family travel blog or doing local community services work. You can find all of Bec’s detailed travel guides here on Wyld Family Travel and on other popular websites such as Lonely Planet.