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Free Things to Do in DC This Weekend: Explore the National Mall and More!

Updated: Apr 18

With its iconic monuments, museums, and sprawling green spaces, Washington D.C.'s National Mall is a treasure trove of history and culture. If you find yourself with just a few hours to spare in the nation's capital, fear not! There are plenty of free things to do in DC this weekend near the National Mall that will allow you to soak in the city's rich heritage and vibrant atmosphere. Let's dive into some of the best ways to make the most of your brief visit.


Free Things to Do in DC This Weekend:

Lincoln Memorial Washington DC Free activities

Reflect at the Lincoln Memorial

Start your whirlwind tour with a visit to the majestic Lincoln Memorial. Marvel at the towering statue of Abraham Lincoln and take in the sweeping views of the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument. This iconic monument's solemn atmosphere and historical significance make it a must-see for any visitor to D.C.

Washington DC Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

Wander through the Smithsonian Museums

While time may not allow for a deep dive into any one museum, a quick stroll through the Smithsonian Museums along the National Mall is a must. From the Air and Space Museum to the National Gallery of Art, these world-class institutions offer free admission and house a treasure trove of exhibits that are sure to captivate visitors of all ages.

Cherry Blossoms DC Washington Monument

Picnic on the National Mall

Take advantage of the Mall's expansive green spaces and enjoy a leisurely picnic with a view. Pack some snacks or grab a bite from one of the nearby food trucks, then find a shady spot under a tree or spread out a blanket on the grass. It's the perfect way to refuel and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.


Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Washington DC

Snap Photos of the Memorials

No visit to the National Mall is complete without paying homage to the various memorials scattered throughout the area. Each monument offers a unique opportunity for reflection and remembrance.

Washington DC Tidal Basin Cherry Blossoms

Enjoy the Waterfront at the Tidal Basin

Wrap up your whirlwind tour with a stroll along the Tidal Basin. Take in views of the Jefferson Memorial and the cherry blossom trees that line the waterfront, especially beautiful in the springtime. It's a serene and picturesque way to end your visit to the National Mall.


While a few hours may not be nearly enough time to fully explore all that the National Mall has to offer, these free activities provide a glimpse into the rich history and cultural heritage of Washington D.C. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, a quick visit to the Mall is sure to leave a lasting impression and inspire you to return for more adventures in the future.

Happy Travels!


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