The U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C.

When the weather is nice, the National Arboretum in Northeast Washington, D.C. is one of my favorite free places to visit with or without kids. Since the arboretum is over 400 acres, I’m able to see a different section every time I visit.

Every visit, I make sure to stop at the National Capitol Columns, which were part of the original Capitol building built in 1828. It’s the perfect spot for a picnic while enjoying the view. Or a great spot to let kids of all ages run around.

Similar to many of the museums in D.C., it’s free to visit. They do offer special programs, events, and classes. My husband and I once learned how to create our own bonsai trees. Unfortunately we left for a two week vacation shortly after the class and our trees didn’t survive. But I strongly recommend checking out their events calendar.

If the weather isn’t favorable, there’s always the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, which is also free. And most of the museum is covered. They have an incredibly large collection of bonsai trees, it’s the biggest collect of small trees I’ve ever seen.

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