With a few of our teens roaming the streets of Washington D.C. this week at the National PAL Teen Leadership Summit, we thought it might be fun to highlight a few of the amazing things to see and learn about while visiting our nation’s capital.
Washington D.C. is practically a one-stop shop for learning about everything from aviation to zookeeping! And with teens in tow, a trip to D.C. should never be boring. So here is a list of highlighted recommendations from teens who love to explore this great capital city!
Smithsonian National Zoo – Always free of charge, the National Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the United States. With a 163-acre urban park located just 20 minutes from the National Mall by MetroRail. You could spend hours visiting and learning about some amazing endangered species such as giant pandas, cheetahs, and more.*
The Capital Wheel – Head down to National Harbor and take a ride on The Capital Wheel, a 180-foot-tall observation wheel that showcases the best of DC’s cityscape from a unique vantage point. In addition to some pretty sweet aerial views of the city – perfect Insta right there – you’ll also be able to see the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, and more.**
Newseum – The Newseum is one of Washington, D.C.’s most unique museums. As an institution dedicated solely to the presence and influence of news media in the modern world, it’s both fascinating and thought provoking for visitors of any age. With seven levels and fifteen galleries filled with artifacts, award-winning photos, newspaper clippings, historic documents, and interactive exhibits this is a must-see for any aspiring journalist!**
Georgetown Shopping – Head to Georgetown and let everybody loose on M Street. Filled with local boutiques and brand name shops, this historic district, has tons to love and some pretty reasonable prices within their budget. Fans of comics will love Fantom Comics in Dupont Circle, and the whole family will enjoy a stroll through the Pentagon City Mall.**
National Air and Space Museum – The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum is a perennial favorite with teens and adults, featuring gallery after gallery of awe-inspiring historic planes and rockets — and even a lunar rock you can touch. See an IMAX film, crawl into a flight simulator or be awestruck by the hundreds of artifacts including the original Wright 1903 Flyer, the “Spirit of St. Louis,” and the Apollo 11 command module! Need more incentive to go check it out, it’s free!***
The Food Hall of Union Market – It’s off the beaten tourist path, but anyone interested in cooking and food trends will enjoy exploring Northeast DC food hall Union Market. There are over 40 vendors serving everything from empanadas to Korean tacos to scoops of ice cream. There’s plenty for teens to explore and mix and match for a delicious lunch. Or stop by for dinner and try to time your visit around one of Union Market’s seasonal drive-in movie events, where movies are projected on the three-story exterior wall of the Market.***