14 Things to Do in DC While Social Distancing
Even though a lot of places in Washington, D.C., have been closed during the COVID-19 shutdown, you can still find plenty to do with you and your loved ones. As long as you stay safe and bring your mask with you, you'll be able to enjoy most of your favorite local sites. You may also want to check each location's website for specific social-distancing guidelines and changes in hours. Certain places might also request that you buy tickets in advance so they can limit their indoor capacity. This guide can help you figure out what to do in D.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic, whether you want to attend a virtual event or get some fresh air outside your home.
Online Social Distancing Activities in DC
If you'd rather stay home, here are some creative online things to do in D.C. during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Take some fun history lessons: Since you're in the capital, you might want to brush up on your history. Profs and Pints has online classes from renowned college faculty members to provide intriguing workshops and talks about American and world history.
- Enjoy a local comedy show: Take a break from your usual TV series and watch a live performance from DC Improv, a local comedy club. They offer a packed schedule of upcoming events, providing some comic relief during these stressful times. You can even brush up on your comedic skills with their comedy classes, which they conduct through video conferencing.
- Decorate your home with indoor plants: If you'd like a unique alternative to the traditional house plant, REWILD offers a wide selection of potted plants, hanging plants and terrariums, along with virtual events that allow you to create your own greenery masterpiece. Check out their website for special botanical workshops, such as how to maintain your jungle plant indoors.
- Browse through a bookstore at home: There's nothing like the smell of new books as you walk through your favorite bookstore. Capitol Hill Books is sending out some "Grab Bags" every day during the COVID-19 pandemic to bring the experience to you. After you fill out their form, which includes your budget and genre preferences, they'll send you a picture of a stack of books you might like. You can get a blind stack if you're willing to try a new story.
- Watch videos of artists performing at the Kennedy Center: If you're looking for something new to watch on a Friday night, you might want to check out the daily videos from the Kennedy Center's Digital Stage, including performances from world-renowned artists and original stories.
In-Person Activities to Do in DC During COVID-19
If you're ready to get out of the house for a change of scenery, this list features what to do in Washington, D.C., during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Walk through the National Cathedral grounds: Even though the National Cathedral is temporarily closed, you're free to explore the stunning acres surrounding it. The property is open from dawn to dusk daily. Take a scenic stroll around the luxurious gardens with your pet, friends or a date to enjoy the natural beauty near your home.
- Explore whimsical winter scenery on a hike:Great Falls is in McLean, Virginia, a short drive from D.C. If you're going to explore this enchanting park, you'll find that it's one of the most romantic things to do in D.C. during the COVID-19 pandemic. The River Trail leads you to the frozen waterfalls from Mather Gorge and the Potomac. You can easily take in the views with three safe observation decks.
- Shop or grab a bite to eat at Farmers Market SW:Shop local produce, meats, dairy and bread to support local businesses and while getting your groceries. Visit Station 4 across the street for weekend brunch or order a family meal to enjoy while doing virtual activities at home.
- Take a walk around Mount Vernon:George Washington's former home is open to the public every day. If you're going to visit, you must wear a mask indoors and outdoors. You'll probably want to buy tickets in advance to take a look inside our first president's old house.
- Take a trip around town on a trolley: If you'd like to see all of D.C. at once, you might want to take a scenic tour on a trolley. The Old Town Trolley Tour brings you to hundreds of prominent places throughout the D.C. area, offering a narration of what you're seeing. Keep in mind that they're limiting seating to maintain social distancing among riders. Trolleys are available throughout the day, so you can take a ride whenever you want.
- Learn the way of the spy: The famous International Spy Museum is open to the public during select hours during the day. Explore innovative disguise techniques and learn the secrets of spies over the ages. The museum encourages you to buy your tickets online instead of getting them in person.
- Stroll along the Memorial Parks at the National Mall: Even though most museums in the National Mall are temporarily closed or limiting capacity, all the memorials west of the Washington Monument are open to the public. Since all the memorials are outdoors, you'll have plenty of room to keep your distance from others. You can begin your tour at the National World War II Memorial and end at the Jefferson Memorial.
- Enjoy native and exotic plants at the U.S. National Arboretum: After being stuck indoors, it'll be nice to visit the U.S. National Arboretum to feel more connected to nature. This beautiful property is home to hundreds of acres of luxurious gardens. You can get in for free when it's open to the public during certain hours of the week. Keep in mind that you have to wear a mask and maintain social distance from other guests. The bathroom and dining facilities might not be available, so you'll have to make other arrangements for food.
- Go bird watching at Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens:Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens is right across from the U.S. Arboretum, making it easier for you to spend the whole day outside. Enjoy the water lilies and lotuses when they're in full bloom over the summer. Take a short hike on the park's trails, and keep an eye out for native birds like bobwhites and meadowlarks. The park is open every day of the week, but hours are limited. You may want to have a plan in place for where you're going to eat.
Visit Station 4 in SW DC
If you're wondering what to do in the D.C. area during the COVID-19 pandemic to satisfy your hunger, come visit Station 4, a New American restaurant located nearby the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. We're open for business, offering both indoor and outdoor seating and we're taking extra precautions to ensure a safe dining experience for all our guests. We also offer takeout and third-party delivery services if you're more comfortable eating at home or in a nearby park. Make a reservation and enjoy a delicious meal after exploring the D.C. area.