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3 Reasons Why Washington D.C. Is the Ultimate Homeschool Field Trip


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Written by Chelsea Gonzales of Wonder Wherever We Wander.

Recently my family and I made a four-day stop in the Washington, D.C. area. Honestly, we only stopped because we happened to be in the area; D.C. was not a place we would have considered staying otherwise.

However, after staying for a few days, we were all in agreement that our nation’s capital city was definitely worth our time, and a place we would likely return. There are {at least} 3 reasons why Washington D.C. is the ultimate homeschool field trip.

Washington DC field trip destination for homeschoolers

1. It’s affordable.

This is a huge one for our family. I know it’s important for many other homeschooling families as well since so many are single-income. The decision to keep the kids at home for their schooling often comes with a financial sacrifice. Although the sacrifice is well worth the return on investment, it does make money a consideration when planning a vacation.

For this reason, Washington, D.C. is the ideal vacation destination for homeschoolers. There are tons of free and inexpensive activities in the area. In fact, we didn’t pay for a single attraction during our stay, yet each day was filled to the brim with fun and learning.

Some of the free attractions in D.C. include:

2. It’s family-friendly.

Most people don’t think about fun for kids when our nation’s capital comes to mind. However, the city is teeming with fun, family-friendly attractions.

So, where should you visit with the kids? It really depends on the interests, ages, and maturity levels of your brood, but in general, you won’t go wrong choosing to visit any of the following free attractions:

free things to do in Washington DC

Additionally, if you are willing to pay a small admission fee, the National Geographic Museum, Newseum, International Spy Museum, Building Museum, and Madame Tussaud’s Washington, D.C. are all fun for kids.

3. It’s overflowing with educational opportunities.

History

Opportunities to learn about the history of the world and of our country are everywhere in Washington, D.C. The many history museums, as well as various parts of several other museums, offer incredible historical information.

Additionally, the many monuments and memorials scattered across the National Mall work in tandem with The National Archives, to introduce visitors to the history of our country and expand upon their current knowledge.

Science

From the life science learned at The National Zoo to the incredible lessons in physics offered by The National Air and Space Museum, there are plenty of science concepts to be explored in the great city of D.C.

Other science learning opportunities can be found in almost every museum in Washington, D.C., so be sure to keep your eyes peeled when you go out exploring!

Washington DC field Trip

Government

Obviously, the capital city of America is the perfect place to spark a child’s interest in the inner workings of our government.

Take a free trip up to the Washington Monument for a lesson on our nation’s first leader, and visit the White House to start a discussion about the work our president does each day. The National Archives are a great place to discover the reasons why our country’s government was built the way it was and why it has worked for us.

Geography and cultures of the world

Much can be learned about the geography and cultures of the world and our country by visiting the museums in the D.C. area.

For instance, the National Museum of the American Indian offers some amazing insight on the various Native American tribes. The Museum of Natural History also chimes in with some lessons on geography as it relates to various plants and animals throughout time, and the National Postal Museum offers opportunities to discuss U.S. geography at various times throughout your visit.

Finally, the Discovery Theater often holds presentations that involve folklore from around the world, making it the perfect tie-in to a geography unit study.

These are just three of the many reasons we fell in love with Washington, D.C. during our short visit. We hope this article inspires your family to hit the road and take the ultimate field trip to our nation’s capital city. We promise you won’t regret it!

Have you visited Washington D.C.? What would you list as must-see sites for homeschooling families?

This post is linked to the Hip Homeschool Hop.

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8 Comments

  1. I hadn’t been to Washington D.C. since I was a kid, so I had no idea there were that many free attractions there! My brother and sister-in-law did take a few of my kids to the zoo there several years ago, so they got there at least. Thanks for giving me a great idea for something to do when my husband’s plant is on shutdown. Anything free is good for me!

  2. I’m from Northern VA…I grew up 20 minutes from DC, and we’re still in the area. There is so much to do! You covered a lot of it. This blog is a great resource for kid friendly DC area attractions/activities https://kidfriendlydc.com/. My personal favorites are just outside of DC in Arlington – National Cemetery and the Iwo Jima Memorial. The changing of the guard at Arlington is well worth seeing. In Alexandria you have George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and his step grandaughter Nelly Custis’ home, Woodlawn Plantation. The George Washington Parkway is beautiful, and has biking/walking trails that run parallel with the Potomac River. If you’re into Marine Corps history, in Quantico VA there is the National Museum of the Unites States Marine Corps. In DC there’s Yards Park, which has a wading pool and fountains.

  3. We just went (got home October 2) and while there we did this: https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/…/Cerem…/Wreath-Layings You have to purchase and deliver the wreath, but anyone can do it. Oh and Washington Monument is closed for the foreseeable future while they install an entirely new elevator, so don’t plan on that. Also, there is a new White House Visitor’s Center that you can go to even if you don’t have a White House Tour and don’t forget all the junior ranger programs you can do–White House, President’s Park, Ford’s Theater, and the monuments. We also loved the tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

  4. I went to DC on my eighth grade trip, 16 years ago, and I’ve been ready to back since they day I got home. We only got to spend three days and that was not enough for me. I’ve always loved history and could have spent 3 days just in the American History Museum. My kids are a little young for this trip and the drive right now but I have big plans when they get older.

  5. where is a good place for families to stay that won’t break the bank? willing to walk to the Metro from hotel if a good price.

    1. HI Cheryl!

      Because our family lives in our RV, we stayed in the Greenbelt National Park Campground. It was beautiful (my son woke up the first morning we were there and couldn’t get over how green it was) and affordable, and they did offer tent camping, However, it was definitely camping, and only offered very basic bathhouses and no other amenities. The bathhouses were not the worst we have experienced, but the bugs did tend to make themselves at home there despite regular cleanings.

      If you are looking for a hotel, I recommend finding one through Orbitz. They often put out coupon codes, and you can go through Ebates to get cash back a well. We are not loyal to any one hotel chain and always find great deal by using the Orbitz/coupon code/Ebates method.

      The public transit is excellent in DC, so getting where you are going shouldn’t be a problem even if you are staying a bit off the beaten path.

  6. There’s a free performance EVERY DAY at 6 pm at the Kennedy Center. The military bands sometimes play. My parents were visiting DC once and attended a free concert by the National Symphony Orchestra. Look up Millennial Stage on the Kennedy Center website.

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