What are my options?
We hear this question all of the time during school trip planning, especially from first-timers.
Knowing what is available to you is half the battle in planning an incredible experience for your students.
This is especially true for an educational destination like Washington DC. With over 70 free things to do in the city including iconic landmarks and world-renown museums, why look any further? There is already so much to choose from that is completely free!
You may be missing out, that’s why.
Educational and cultural activities abound in Washington DC that are totally worth the price. Activities that could make the trip for your students and engage them more than you thought possible.
Knowing is half the battle, right?
Student Group Rates:
$ = $10 or less
$$ = $11-20
$$$ = $20+
Dive Into History
- Discover the man and the ideas that founded a nation at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate ($). Tour the mansion, gardens, museum, and interactive educational center.
- Ford’s Theatre ($) is the site of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Today it is a working theatre, historical monument, world-class museum and learning center.
- Take a narrated cruise down the Potomac with Potomac Riverboat Company ($$-$$$) and experience unique and beautiful views of the Jefferson Memorial, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Washington Monument, DC bridges and more.
- Students will open a remarkable window into Lincoln’s life as father, husband, and Commander-in-Chief at President Lincoln’s Cottage ($) President Lincoln and his family resided here from June to November of 1862, 1863, and 1864. While living at the cottage, Lincoln developed the Emancipation Proclamation.
- Pay a visit to the Woodrow Wilson House ($), Washington’s only Presidential Museum. This is the home to which President and Mrs. Wilson retired from the White House in 1921.
Experience the Arts
- See the record-breaking comedy whodunet, “Shear Madness” at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The audience solves the crime!
- Experience Broadway at the National Theatre ($$$) with one of the many rotating musicals and performances.
- Witness a live performance of classic Shakespeare at the Folger Shakespeare Library ($$$).
- The Smithsonian Discover Theater ($) offers more than 400 performances of 25 music, movement, storytelling, puppetry, and drama programs.
Explore Niche Museums
- The Newseum ($$) explores the importance of free press as a cornerstone of democracy. With 14 major galleries and 15 theatres, students will learn the story of the news and hold their own broad cast through interactive exhibits.
- Get into mischief at the International Spy Museum ($$). This museum chronicles the history of espionage. Guests adopt a cover, break codes, identify disguised spies and become the subjects of covert surveillance.
- Explore the world and all that’s in it at the National Geographic Museum ($). Changing exhibits, interactive experiences, and stunning photographs highlight the work of National Geographic explorers, photographers, and scientists.
- Learn forensic techniques at the Crime Museum ($$) from real forensic scientists! Investigate the scenarios surrounding crime and consequences.
- Meet a life-like wax version of every U.S. president at Madame Tussauds Washington DC ($) and rub elbows with A-list celebrities.
- The Corcoran Gallery of Art ($) is a major center of American and European art. It is one of America’s most distinguished museums and colleges of art and design.
- Dive into Civil War medicine at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine ($). This museum features interactive educational programs, exhibits, seminars, and lectures.
Hit One Out of the Park
- Cheer on the Nationals (baseball, $$-$$$), Redskins (football, $$$), Capitals (hockey, $$$), Wizards (basketball, $$$), or DC United (soccer, $$$).
- Ice skate in the open air among magnificent sculptures from November to mid-March at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice-Skating Rink ($).
- Get your exercise with Tidal Basin Paddle Boats ($$). Enjoy this unique activity in the shadow of the Jefferson Memorial.
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