Best Family Fun in Washington DC, Virginia & Maryland

Find year-round family-friendly holiday ideas and attractions in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC. 

U.S. Capitol
US Capitol Building in Washington, DC
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags America theme park in Maryland
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, carriage ride, family
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia
Smithsonian, Zoo, National Zoo, Washington DC, DC, attractions
The National Zoo in Washington, DC
Ocean City Beach, Maryland
Ocean City, Maryland beaches
Kings Dominion, Virginia, theme park, rollercoasters, Intimidator
Kings Dominion theme park in Richmond, Virginia
U.S. Capitol
Six Flags Hurricane Harbor
Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, carriage ride, family
Smithsonian, Zoo, National Zoo, Washington DC, DC, attractions
Ocean City Beach, Maryland
Kings Dominion, Virginia, theme park, rollercoasters, Intimidator

The Capital Region is a great place for families. There are kid-friendly museums, zoos, theme parks and fun activities ideal for any season of the year.

Washington, DC Family Fun

What’s cool to do for the whole family in Washington, DC?

  • Get an overview of the city via a hop-on, hop-off narrated tour on an open-top bus.
  • How many kids can say they’ve ridden on a mule-driven barge? Yours can if you take the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal boat ride departing from the Great Falls Tavern Visitors Center.
  • A visit to the National Zoo is a must! See thousands of exotic animals, educational demonstrations and the Asia Trail where the giant pandas live.
  • Spend some “magic time” with your kids at the site of Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian. Seventeen museums in the Capital Region make up the Smithsonian Institution, so there's something exciting to suit every interest.
  • Hungry? Head to Ben’s Chili Bowl and enjoy the jukebox, chili dogs and thick milkshakes.

Maryland Family Fun

If the kids are looking for excitement, Maryland has it.

  • Six Flags America has more than 100 rides and nine roller coasters.
  • Adventure Park USA is Maryland's largest family entertainment centre. With everything from miniature golf, a rock wall and ropes course, there’s enough adventure for the whole family
  • The Maryland Science Center was named one of the “10 Best Science Centers for Families” by Parent’s Magazine. Discover three floors of hands-on exhibits, IMAX and IMAX 3D, a light-speed laser theatre, Davis Planetarium and lots more.
  • Discover thousands of aquatic animals in one perfectly weird world at the National Aquarium. Learn about fascinating marine life while travelling through diverse exhibits, from the Chesapeake Bay and the Amazon River, to the Pacific reefs and tropical rain forests. You can even watch a dolphin show!
  • Hit the trail! Maryland offers a variety of family-friendly trails for your hiking, biking and sightseeing pleasure. Get out and stretch your legs, while enjoying the unique scenery that surrounds you.
  • Explore Maryland's warm and sandy beaches for the ultimate in summer fun!

Virginia Family Fun

In Virginia, kids and adults alike will have a great time in the great outdoors.

  • Primland Resort is an outdoorsman's paradise with amenities for the entire family. Outdoor activities include mountain golf, ATV, mountain biking and horseback riding. Afterwards, rest up in a cosy cabin or in the luxurious lodge.
  • Check out the zoos across Virginia. The Living Museum in Newport News introduces visitors to more than 250 living species native to Virginia through exhibits, discovery centres and interactive hands-on features. Hand feed the giraffes at the Metro Richmond Zoo. Ride the Zoo Choo at Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke. You'll see different views of Mill Mountain, zoo animals and even travel through an animal-themed tunnel!
  • Keep cool when it’s hot at Water Country USA water park in Williamsburg. If the weather isn’t cooperative, there’s no need to abandon your water park adventure: Just move it to the indoor water park at Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg or the indoor/outdoor water park at Massanutten Resort.
  • The whole family can “get their thrill on” at theme parks like Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens or Richmond's Kings Dominion, 400 acres of ultimate entertainment for the entire family.
  • The kids will be having so much fun, they won’t realize they're learning something when visiting one of Virginia’s five children’s museums located in Portsmouth, Lynchburg, Harrisonburg, Richmond and Charlottesville.
  • Looking to make a holiday splash? Head to the coast and settle in for a relaxing day on one of several beautiful Virginia beaches.

What's better than family fun? FREE family fun! Check out this handy list of our 15 favourite free things to do in the Capital Region.

Related: 
Outdoors & Nature
City Adventures
History & Culture
Attractions & Family Fun

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