Free Things To Do in DC

There are a lot of free things to do in DC, including all the national memorials and some of the best museums in the world, the Smithsonian Museums. This is a definitive list of free things to do in DC and some that are almost free. With a little bit of planning you can take advantage of first class attractions that offer free days or name your own price admission on certain days of the month.

Check out our Guide to Things to do in DC, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Washington DC attractions.

And remember, our self-guided tours of DC are always free and our DC Walking Tours are name your own price!

TIP: If you are considering purchasing a tourist discount pass, keep in mind that many of them include free entry to the following museums, some of which have free days (see below):


Free DC Museums | Free Things to do in DC

Cultural & History Museums

Historic House Museums

Religious Centers

Free Tours by Foot Walking Tours

Art Museums

Botanical Gardens and Zoos


Theater & Musical Performances

Public Building Tours

Free DC Art Museums

ALWAYS FREE:

 

SOMETIMES FREE:

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Free DC Botanical Gardens and Zoos

ALWAYS FREE:

 SOMETIMES FREE:

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Free DC Cultural & History Museums 

ALWAYS FREE

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Free DC Historic House Museums

SOMETIMES FREE:

  • You can visit Heurich House (Brewmasters Castle) to attend one of the many events for free. You won’t get a full tour of the house but you can get a sneak peak. (Though the public tours only have a suggested donation of $5, they are worth it!)

Free DC Public Building Tours 

The government and public buildings below are open to the public, though some require advance reservations or tickets at certain times of year. Click on the link for a comprehensive guide on how to visit each site. And don’t forget, many of our walking tours include this buildings! Learn more about the history of Ford’s Theatre on our Lincoln Assassination tour. Our Capitol Hill & Library of Congress tour visits inside the Library and includes tickets for touring the Capitol Building.

Washington DC White House

ALWAYS FREE:

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Free DC Religious Centers

ALWAYS FREE:

SOMETIMES FREE:

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Free DC Theater & Musical Performances

  • Woolley Mammoth: pay-what-you-can seats, offered for the first two performances of every mainstage production (usually Monday or Tuesday). Tickets (two per person) are sold at the theater 90 minutes prior to show time.
  • Kennedy Center: free performance series at the Millennium Stage every evening at 6 p.m.
  • Screen on the Green: Free films shown on a giant out door screen on the National Mall each Summer.

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