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DC Summer Bucket List: 50 Fun DC Outings for Kids and Families!

By July 1, 2022No Comments

Are you ready for some free summer fun in 2022? Here is our epic guide to 50 local, kid-friendly excursions we’re putting on our bucket list for the summer—and even better, many of these fun outings are free. Start planning your summer adventures.

The DC area has no shortage of fun activities for families. Summer boredom should not be a problem here!  

Use #DCMomsSummer22 to share what you have checked off your list. We may end up featuring your family on our DC Area Moms Instagram Feed (with your permission, of course!).

50 fun adventures for your 2022 summer bucket list

  1. Two words: Baby panda. The National Zoo is a great summer destination, and you can see DC’s most popular pandemic baby, Xiao Qi Ji. Reserve free entry passes or parking passes in advance to enter the zoo.
  2. There’s no place like Watkins Regional Park in Maryland for a magical outdoor summer day.  Enjoy a working farm, mini-golf, or a miniature train through the woods. There is also a Wizard of Oz themed playground with giant red shoes for fantastic free summer fun!
  3. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is back! Enjoy this fun, free celebration of culture and food on the National Mall. This year the festival celebrates United Arab Emirates and Earth Optimism, June 22-27 and June 30-July 4.
  4. Get lost in a field of sunflowers at McKee-Beeshers wildlife management area, a free Maryland park that blooms with fields of gold in mid-July. Note: this is NOT a stroller friendly location!
  5. Roll through Rock Creek! Take the kids for classic free summer fun on a scooter or bike ride through Rock Creek Park, while its major road is still closed to traffic. The National Park Service and DC closed upper Beach Drive to traffic in 2020 to provide an open space for recreation during the pandemic. Enjoy this excellent spot for kids to bike, scooter, or skate without fear of cars. 
  6. Giddy up! Rock Creek Park pony rides are back! (This also makes a great gift for kids!)
  7. Take a dip at DC’s delightful wading pool and fountains at Yards Park
  8. Then split a sundae at DC’s own Ice Cream Jubilee (301 Water St SE and 1407 T St NW).
  9. Splash dance! Free summer fun is also flowing again at the other splash parks in the region!  Check out some of our favorites in our Guide to Spray and Splash Parks Guide