City Cast

How To Do DC With Kids

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on June 5   |   Updated on July 7
Girl by water

Austin’s daughter Addy exploring the National Gallery’s Sculpture garden. (Austin Graff/City Cast DC Guest)

Austin Graff has made a living off of exploring D.C., and with a kid in tow, no less. He shared some tips on our podcast City Cast DC for how to tour the city with a young one and where you should start.

Ideas for Exploring:

Take a bike: Kids’ patience for walking is limited; biking is fun and lets you explore an entire neighborhood in one day.

Play the alphabet game: Teach kids the alphabet by venturing across the city. Start from A and go to different neighborhoods that began with that letter. So, A for Anacostia, B for Brookland, C for Congress Heights, etc.

Read the plaques throughout D.C.: They're everywhere in parks, on buildings, and outside of museums. Take the time to read them because it’s an easy way to learn about the history and context of a place. Especially fun for kids learning to read.

Where to start:

🌅 Southwest Waterfront: A underrated area to explore with kids, Southwest has great food and architecture peeping. Austin recommends the duck pond, which has rocking chairs and a four-story little free library, for a Sunday afternoon. The nearby Titanic memorial is perfect for watching the sunset over the water.

🎨 Mt. Pleasant: This neighborhood has a lot of murals that have been mapped out. Austin and his daughter love printing the map and using it as a scavenger hunt.

🪑 Anacostia: Grab a fried chicken sandwich and brown butter chocolate cookie from Open Crumb and walk by the Big Chair, which gives the kiddos a kick. Anacostia Park has an outdoor skating pavilion that has local DJs on the weekend.  You can bring your skates or rent them.

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