Student TripsTravelWashington D.C.

20 Flexible Activities that Fit Anytime into a DC School Trip

By January 14, 2015 January 31st, 2018 No Comments

Flexible Activities

On a student tour, activities fall into one of two categories: timed or flexible.

Timed activities require an advanced group reservation. They are scheduled and unmovable. If you are late for your scheduled entry, you may not be able to visit at a later time. Often, the more timed reservations on your itinerary, the more rushed your trip feels.

Flexible activities, on the other hand, can fit into your itinerary at anytime. These activities easily accommodate unforeseen circumstances, such as traffic. With flexible activities, your group can pace their day based on their interests, adjusting to spend more time at very captivating attractions. Additional flexible activities (not on your itinerary) can sometimes be squeezed in if you find yourself with extra time in the day. With 20 minutes of discretionary time, you can visit a memorial or walk through the sculpture garden. An abundance of flexible activities in your itinerary ensures that the trip is more relaxed.

Below are 20 flexible activities for a student trip to Washington DC.

 Flexible   Activities   for   a   Washington   DC   Student   Trip

Arlington National Cemetery Walking Tour

  • Description:  Visit our Nation’s Most Hallowed Grounds, witness the moving Changing of the Guard ceremony, and pay respects at the grave site of President John F. Kennedy
  • Hours: 8am-7pm (April-September)  |  8am-5pm (October-March)
  • Average Visit Time: 1.5-2.5 hours

Capitol Hill Exterior Walking Tour

  • Description: View the grand architecture of the Capitol, Library of Congress, and Supreme Court building up close. Discuss the history of these landmarks and the importance of the daily workings inside the buildings. .
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time:  1-1.5 hours

Embassy Row

  • Description: Drive along Massachusetts Avenue to view the many embassies located in this area. Alternatively, walk the sidewalks of this area to view the beautiful architecture, gardens, and statues. How many flags can you correctly identify?
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time: 20 – 60 minutes

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Walking Tour and Terrace View

  • Description: Walk through the jaw-dropping Hall of Nations and Hall of States. Take in incredible views on the terrace that encircles the building. Catch a free show at Millennium Stage.
  • Hours: 10 am-9 pm (Monday-Saturday) |  noon-9 pm (Sundays and Holidays)
  • Average Visit Time: 45-60 minutes

Korean War Veterans Memorial * Lincoln Memorial * Vietnam Veterans Memorial

  • Description: Visit these famous memorials, located conveniently close to each other.
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time: 1.5 hours

Library of Congress

  • Description: Let your jaw drop in the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson building of the Library of Congress. This two-story room  has beautiful murals, mosaics, and vaulted ceilings.
  • Hours: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm (Monday – Saturday)
  • Average Visit Time: 45 – 60 minutes

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial * Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial * Thomas Jefferson Memorial

  • Description:  Walk around the beautiful tidal basin and reflect on the lives of these famous leaders.
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time: 1.5 – 2 hours

Marine Corps War Memorial

  • Description: Gaze up at one of the largest bronze statues ever cast in tribute to all Marines past and present.
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time: 15 minutes

National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial

  • Description: Reflect on the events of September 11, 2001 at the Pentagon Memorial.
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time: 45 minutes

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

  • Description: Cool off by the fountain and take in the fun sculptures at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.
  • Hours: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm (Monday – Saturday) | 11:00 am – 6:00 pm (Sunday)
  • Average Visit Time: 15 minutes

National Zoological Park

  • Description: Make friends with pandas and the other amazing animals of the National Zoological Park.
  • Hours: Varies
  • Average Visit Time: 1 – 2.5 hours 

Smithsonian Museums

  • Description: Visit the world reknown Smithsonian museums on the National Mall!
  • Hours: 10 am – 5:30 pm (may vary) 
  • Average Visit Time: 1 -5 hours

Supreme Court

  • Description: Sit on the steps of the highest court in the land and discuss this branch of government.
  • Hours: 9 am -4:30 pm
  • Average Visit Time: 10-60 minutes

United States Botanic Garden

  • Description: Step into the rainforest, the desert, and an orchid paradise at the United States Botanic Garden.
  • Hours: 10 am – 5 pm
  • Average Visit Time: 30-60 minutes

U.S. Capitol Visitors Center and Exhibition Hall

  • Description: View original documents and artifacts, videos, touchable models, statues, and a life-size rendering of the Statue of Freedom.
  • Hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Average Visit Time: 2 hours

World War II Memorial:

  • Description: Honor the 16 million who served during WWII and those who supported the war effort from home
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time: 20 minutes

White House Exterior Walking Tour

  • Description: Visit the North side of the White House along Pennsylvania Avenue to take group photos, walk through Lafayette Park, and see the exterior of the Blair-Lee House.
  • Hours: 24 hours a day
  • Average Visit Time: 20-30 minutes

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