Washington DC Bucket List

One of the common things said at the Olmsted Scholar Weekend was “don’t wait”, “go big or go home”, and “take advantage of living in a different place”. We extended our stay after the festivities of the Welcome Weekend to tie up any loose ends before we move to DC. So between apartment walkthroughs, Jay meeting his point of contact at his language school, visiting various schools for the kids, and eating until we couldn’t move, we started creating a DC Bucket list. One of the scholars in the spouse’s panel said that “her and her husbands biggest regret was not taking advantage of living in DC. It’s understandable – 6 hours of being in the classroom learning a new language as an adult is draining. Add traffic, expenses, and loads of tourists… the thought of it makes me want to sit at home for forever, too.

After years and years of suburban living, I’m really excited to embrace the new lifestyle of city living – especially with kids. Jay and I decided not to enroll the kids into extracurricular activities while living in Virginia, not because it’s so expensive (because it is! *sobs*) but because we’re going to use the time after school to check stuff off our bucket list. Alexandria schools release at 2:30pm and Jay’s language school is done at 3:00pm, he’ll get home at 4pm which gives us plenty of time to grab a cup of coffee and explore before we put the kids to sleep!

Washington DC Bucket List

This Bucket List was inspired by Thrillist. If you live in DC, are visiting on a long weekend, an Olmsted scholar, you have kids, or you don’t have kids – I encourage you to check some of these off as well. Feel free to add or leave off any activity on this list. I'll probably be adding more to this list!

Visit as many Memorials possible

must see monuments in Washington DC

Visit as many Museums as possible

must see museums in Washington DC

Kayak the Potomac with the kids

Paddleboard the Potomac (without the kids)

Go to a Nationals Game or a Washington Wizards Game

Outdoor family movie

Go to an annual DC Event or Festival every month (if applicable) (from Washington.org)

January: Day of Service: Honoring Martin Luther King Jr

March-mid April: National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade

Late April – Beginning of May: Tram Tour at the National Arboretum

May: Passport DC (a month long cultural festival!)

May: Washington National Cathedral’s Flower Mart

May: Memorial Day Ceremony at one of the Memorials

Summer: Jazz in the Garden at the National Gallery of Art (every Friday)

September: H Street Festival

December: National Christmas Tree Lighting

Haunted Tour of DC

Go to the Planetarium to try and see planets

Go fishing on the Potomac

Run, walk, or bike a different trail every week

Visit the United States Botanical Gardens

Take the Amtrak

Take a weekend trip to:

The Beach



New York City

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