THE INSIDE SCOOP ON EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT VISITING THE WASHINGTON MONUMENT IN WASHINGTON, DC WITH KIDS.
The Washington Monument grounds are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year. The monument itself is open for tours (make sure to use the link above to check for closures, it’s been closed intermittently a lot over the last couple of years) daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm. It is closed on Christmas day and the Fourth of July.
Tickets are required if you would like to go inside and to the top of the Washington Monument. You request the tickets online, they are not available any other way. They no longer distribute any tickets on-site.
Tickets become available at 10am for the next day, so you’ll want to be prepared to jump online and reserve them. (For example, if you want to tour the Washington Monument on June 5th, you can request your tickets starting at 10am on June 4th. Each ticket is good for up to four individuals traveling together. There is a non-refundable reservation fee of $1.50 a ticket.
The Washington Monument is outdoors and has no shade of any sort. If the weather is windy, you will feel it a bit more intensely here too, because it is on a hill.
The closest bathroom is in the Washington Monument Lodge, which is just down the hill from the monument. You will want to be facing the US Capitol Building and walk down the hill towards the Capitol to 15th Street. It’s a white stone building. *This bathroom has changing tables.*
There is another public bathroom, also at the bottom of the hill, on Independence Avenue. If your next stop is on this side of the street, such as the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Smithsonian Castle, or the Air and Space Museum, etc. then using this bathroom may save you a little bit of walking.
Benches surround the Washington Monument and give you a great view of the entire National Mall which stretches from the US Capitol on the east side to the Lincoln Memorial on the west. Be aware that there is no shade here and the sun can get intense in the summertime.
This memorial doesn’t have steps of any kind, so it’s very accessible to both wheelchairs and strollers.
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.
The closest food available is mostly to be the food trucks lined up on 15th Street. My kids love the experience of ordering from a food truck; they think it’s so fun! Find some shade at the bottom of the hill and have a picnic!
Other options include the Sweet Home Cafe and the National Museum of African American History and Culture (0.3 miles), the food kiosk in front of the National Museum of American History (0.4).
If you are looking for more variety, then you’re best bet may be the food court inside the Ronald Reagan Building. It also have longer hours than any of the museum cafes.
Cameras are permitted inside and outside the Washington Monument. This is one of the most iconic landmarks in Washington, DC, so you’ll definitely want to get a selfie here!
How to Get to the Washington Monument in Washington, DC
2 15th St. NW Washington, D.C.
Nearest Intersection: 15th Street and Madison Drive, NW
The nearest Metro station is the Smithsonian Metro station. It’s 0.5 miles away and is flat until you come to the hill that the Washington Monument sits on.
If riding the DC Circulator (all rides just $1), use the National Mall route and get off at either the Holocaust Memorial Museum / Bureau of Engraving and Printing or the Washington Monument / National Museum of African American History and Culture stop. Both will put you at the bottom of the hill.
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 is a bike dock for Capital Bikeshare at the corner of Jefferson Drive and 14th Street. If you are standing with the Washington Monument behind you and the US Capitol Building in front of you, walk towards the Capitol Building and it will be on the right.
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.
Street parking near the Washington Monument will be near impossible during the busy summer months. You may get lucky and find a parking spot on Madison Drive or Jefferson Drive which line the National Mall, but you’re best bet is to park further out and walk or take public transportation.
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.
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