The National Mall consists of several iconic monuments and memorials that span over 1000 acres. They are open 24 hours a day, although Park Service Rangers are typically there from 9:30am-10pm. They are all free and our children had a great time visiting. There is a lot of walking involved so plan to either park close, take a Taxi, public transportation or even rent a bike. Whatever you do to get to the National Mall, if you have little legs with you plan accordingly! Pack snacks, water and wear good shoes.
Our kids had a blast running around the Washington Monument grounds, jumping off benches and just chasing each other.
The view of the Lincoln Memorial is beautiful. After all the walking you’re likely to have done, rest up on nearby bench and enjoy the views of the many iconic D.C. landmarks.
There are two ways to get tickets to go inside the Washington Monument. Every person age 2 and older needs a ticket. Block out at least an hour for this.
1) Reserve online for small fee of $1.50 per ticket 3 months in advance. There is a limit of 6 tickets and they go fast! We suggest reserving them as soon as your are able.
2) Same day tickets are available at the Washington Monument Lodge (pictured to the left) at 2 15th St NW, just in front of the Monument. Tickets are distributed on a first come/first serve basis beginning at 8:30 am (although lines start to form much earlier, 7 am in the Summer) and are limited to 6 per person.
2. Lincoln Memorial
After we visited the Washington Monument, our next stop was the Lincoln Memorial. This is about a 20 minute walk (depending on how fast little legs can go) from Washington Monument.
3. Jefferson Memorial
Whether you go during the day or at night (or both!) the views and spirit felt when visiting this monument that honors the author of the Declaration of Independence is awe-inspiring .
We were blown away with kindness. On the evening we went it began to rain. Although our kids had ponchos, a very kind woman came up to us and insisted we keep her umbrella to stay dry. So sweet.
We chose to drive over to this monument and park in the adjacent lot. It is a little bit of walk from the parking lot to the Memorial, but there was a lot more parking available here than near Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial.
4. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
We drove over to view this monument and had an easier time finding a parking spot here as well. There is a special spirit as you read the many quotes just behind this statue. The view of the Potomac and Thomas Jefferson Memorial are also awesome.
There are several other memorials you will pass as you explore the National Mall. There are ample bathrooms throughout the mall (essential for young kids 🙂 ) and spots for buying snacks.
What are your tips for exploring the National Mall?