How to visit the Lincoln Memorial with Kids

Lincoln Memorial Statue in Washington, DC

Statue of Abraham Lincoln, Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC — Photo by sborisov

THE INSIDE SCOOP ON EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VISITING THE LINCOLN MEMORIAL IN WASHINGTON, DC WITH KIDS.

We have a Lincoln Memorial Photo Scavenger Hunt! Although this is perfect for the young, it’s also pretty great for the young at heart…who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt?! Included in this printable pdf is a Photo Scavenger Hunt with 6 things to look for while visiting the Lincoln Memorial and the stories behind each photo. What a fun way to learn!

The Junior Ranger Program has a National Malls and Memorial Parks book.

For the latest, up-to-the-minute information about closures and events, you’ll want to visit the National Park Service’s website here.

The Lincoln Memorial is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. It never closes and can be a neat place to visit in the early morning hours when it’s much less crowded.
Tickets are not required to enter the Lincoln Memorial.
The Lincoln Memorial is an outdoor memorial and there is no air conditioning in the statue chamber. It is shaded though, so you do find a reprieve from the sun. Beneath the statue chamber is an indoor exhibit area showcasing the memorial construction, water fountains, bathrooms, and an elevator to the statue.
There are bathrooms available in the lower lobby area in the southeast corner of the building, follow the ramp on the left side of the memorial.
There are benches by the Reflecting Pool in front of the Lincoln Memorial, but many people also find the actual steps of the Lincoln Memorial a fun place to sit and rest a bit while enjoying the awesome elevated view of the National Mall. If it is a hot day, be aware that there is no shade on the steps.

If you are standing with the Reflecting Pool behind you, and the Lincoln Memorial in front of you, you will find a ramp for wheelchairs and strollers to the left. This ramp will lead you up to the lower lobby area in the southeast part of the building, where you’ll take an elevator to the statue chamber.

You can borrow a wheelchair from the ranger station when it’s open (9:30am-10pm daily, except for Christmas) as long as there is one available. You will need to provide a form of ID until the wheelchair is returned.

There is handicapped parking on the south side of the Lincoln Memorial.

Although National Parks are pet-friendly and your dog is welcome at the National Mall, they are NOT permitted in most of the memorials. If you bring your pet, the National Park Service has asked the dogs to stay on a leash, and please always clean up after them.

Although there is not a cafe or food options in the Lincoln Memorial, there is a food kiosk between the Lincoln and Korean War Memorial that sells standard American fare such as hamburgers, hot dogs, fries, and salad.

Photography is permitted in the Lincoln Memorial.

There are some great photo opportunities if you stand just outside the statue chamber with the Washington Monument in front of you. Or walk around the outside of the memorial (just outside the memorial) and you can still see the Washington Monument from either corner or go around back for a fantastic picture of Arlington Cemetary across the Potomac River.

We have a Lincoln Memorial Photo Scavenger Hunt! Although this is perfect for the young, it’s also pretty great for the young at heart…who doesn’t love a scavenger hunt?! Included in this printable pdf is a Photo Scavenger Hunt with 6 things to look for while visiting the Lincoln Memorial and the stories behind each photo. What a fun way to learn!

The Junior Ranger Program has a National Malls and Memorial Parks book.

How to Get to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

Lincoln Memorial
2 Lincoln Memorial Circle, NW Washington, DC 20002
Nearest Intersection: Independence Ave. SW & Daniel Chester French Dr. SW

The nearest Metro station is Foggy Bottom (0.7 miles away) or the Smithsonian on the Mall station (1.2 miles away). Both will require quite a walk, so Metro is not usually your best option for visiting the memorial unless you are already planning to stop by and see the Washington Monument, World War II Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, or the Korean War Memorial along the way. You will pass all of these while walking from the Smithsonian Metro station.

(If you are walking towards the Lincoln Memorial, take the paths to the right if you want to see Vietnam Veterans Memorial or to the left to see the Korean War Memorial.)

If riding the DC Circulator (all rides just $1), use the National Mall route and get off at the Lincoln Memorial/Korean War Memorial stop.
There is bicycle parking near each of the major memorials, but the National Park Service asks that you walk your bikes through the memorials for everyone’s safety and to show respect. There are two bike docks for Capital Bikeshare on either side of the Lincoln Memorial.

Dockless scooters are all around, click here to read a helpful article on how to use the scooters. *Please be aware, that according to the scooter companies, you must be 18 years old to use a scooter.

Parking at the Lincoln Memorial is very limited. You can park along Constitution Avenue, NW when it isn’t rush hour or along West Basin Drive, SW by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial/Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial (0.5 miles). These street parking options are for paid parking (you’ll need the ParkMobile App) and limited to 2 hours. Carefully read parking signs to avoid getting a ticket.

Alternatively, if you want to park all day without worrying about 2 hour limits, you can park along Ohio Drive, SW, near the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial/Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, or at the Tidal Basin parking lot (1500 Maine Avenue SW), or in Lots A, B & C south of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and then walk to the nearest attraction or Circulator stop.

If you want to know you have a guaranteed parking spot waiting for you, we recommend you use SpotHero and choose a garage closeby.

Cool Stories About the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

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