Things to do in Washington DC this weekend

5 Things To Do In Washington DC This Weekend

Cooler fall temperatures and rainy days don’t have to put a damper on your time in DC! Sure, you may not want to take that bike ride through the National Mall anymore, but thankfully DC has a whole variety of fun activities to do during “less than ideal weather” that you’ll love -- whether you’re a local or just visiting. If you don’t feel like just staying in your home or hotel, then grab your keys, catch the nearest metro and check out this list of the 5 best things to do in Washington DC this weekend even if the weather doesn't cooperate. 

1. Visit the Smithsonian Museums 

Things to do in Washington DC this weekend

Photo credit: Don Debold Creative Commons

Washington, DC is home to the many different Smithsonian museums. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, art, science or engineering, the Smithsonian Museums can offer hours of fun on rainy days. Visit the Hirshhorn for a modern take on art and sculpture, or swing by the National Museum of Natural History to see the Hope Diamond and incredible displays on the natural world. My personal favorite is the National Air and Space museum, which always captivates me with all of the incredible planes and NASA equipment on display. The best part about the Smithsonian Museums? They’re all free to the public! So even rainy or cool days the best activities to do in Washington DC this weekend are FREE activities.

Website: Smithsonian Museum

Nearest Metro Station: Smithsonian Metro Station

2. Board Games At A Bar

DC has a great nightlife to explore, but I personally have always been a fan of staying in with friends and playing board games. Of course, sometimes you just want to get out of the house for some drinks with friends. Thankfully there’s a neat bar called Board Room that gives you the best of both worlds! Located in Dupont Circle, the Board Room is a modern bar that offers up both drinks and board games to play! It only costs $2 to rent any board games, and they have a selection of over 30 to choose from. Whether you feel like playing some classics like chess and Yahtzee, or if you want to play something that will cause mayhem like Settlers of Catan or Monopoly, there’s a wide range of games to choose from to brighten up your rainy day.

Website: Board Room DC

Nearest Metro Station: Dupont Circle Station
Things to do in Washington DC this weekend

Photo credit: JustGrimes- Creative Commons

3. Read Books at the Largest Library in the World 

Things to do in Washington DC this weekend

The Reading Room Library of Congress Photo credit: Powhusku -Creative Commons

Reading on a rainy or cold day is a classic go-to activity for anyone looking to stay in. But, take it a step further and read in the incredible reading rooms of the Library of Congress for an incredible selection of books and atmosphere. Although you can’t rent books out of the Library of Congress, you ARE able to read and peruse their extensive collection of over 160 million items ranging from books, incunabula (books from before the 1500s), monographs, newspapers and more. You need a reading card to be able to read in the Library of Congress, but they’re incredibly easy to obtain and only requires a visit and a form of photo ID. Take a few pictures inside too, because the interior is INCREDIBLE.

Website: The Library of Congress
Nearest Metro Station: Capitol South

4. Discover Secret Doors and Passages

Things to do in Washington DC this weekend

The Mansion on O Street, Photo Credit: Rain0975 - Creative Commons

If you have a love for the unusual and interesting, you absolutely need to visit the Mansion on O Street. This 5 rowhouses turned mansion is a great rainy day activity that can provide hours of intrigue. Aside from the mansion’s extensive collection of art, antiques, guitars and famous history, there’s something else the Mansion offers that’s unique to any other museum/hotel/music venue/gallery hybrid. They have secret doors. Actually, they have over 70 secret doors and passageways, all throughout the mansion that leads to one of over 100 different rooms. You can spend hours at the Mansion on O Street and only manage to find about 7-9, and the challenge will most definitely occupy your mind from the rain. Maybe even when it’s sunny out, it’s hard to say, I’m distracted by the secret doors now (I bet that bookcase was one!)

Website: Mansion on O Street

Nearest Metro Station: Dupont Circle

5. Beer and Video Games

Things to do in Washington DC this weekend

Photocredit: DC Atlas Arcade

Growing up, I remember spending rainy days playing old video games sometimes. Being an adult, you don’t have as much time for that (plus retro games are expensive to buy). Thankfully, DC is home to the Atlas Arcade, in the H Street Corridor. This fun bar is home to tons of retro games from your childhood, as well as a nice selection of drinks and childhood favorites like sour candy and pop tarts! Escape the rain, and enjoy a blast from the past as you relax and finally beat that one level that you could never finish, at the Atlas Arcade.

Website: The Atlas Arcade

Nearest Metro Station: Union Station

Have you traveled to Washington DC? What are your top things to do in Washington DC this weekend even if the weather doesn't cooperate? 

For information on  complete sightseeing itineraries, you can find them here.

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Things to do in Washington DC this weekend

About the Author Kate Howard

Kate Howard is a loving wife and mother. When she’s not teaching preschoolers, she’s reading or trying to find new restaurants to explore. Her and her husband help people plan their travel to DC through their website HotelsNearDCMetro

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