How to Visit the World War II Memorial with Kids

World War II Memorial in Washington, DC

World War II Memorial in Washington, DC – Photo by tupungato

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

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The Junior Ranger Program has a National Malls and Memorial Parks book.
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For the latest, up-to-the-minute information about closures and events, you’ll want to visit the National Park Service’s website here.

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The WWII 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 or late at night when it’s much less crowded.

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No tickets are required for any part of the WWII Memorial.
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The World War II Memorial is an outdoor memorial. There isn’t much shade at the actual memorial, but there are some trees that offer shade on either side of the memorial.

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There are bathrooms available at the ranger station on the Independence Avenue side of the memorial, which is to the left if you were facing the memorial with the Washington Monument behind you and the Lincoln Memorial in front of you. The World War II Memorial bathrooms are only open when the ranger station is open, 9:30am to 10:00pm, 7 days a week (except Christmas).
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There are benches by the Rainbow Pool (at the center of the memorial) as well as on either side of the World War II Memorial where you can find some shade under the trees. *The National Park Service does NOT allow wading or walking in the Rainbow Pool, but you can put your feet in to cool off.

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This memorial doesn’t have steps of any kind, so it’s very accessible to wheelchairs and strollers. You can borrow a wheelchair from the ranger station when it’s open (9:30am-10pm daily, except for Christmas) and there are a few handicap parking spaces by the ranger station on Home Front Drive, SW.
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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.

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The closest food available is by the Lincoln Memorial (if you are facing the Lincoln Memorial, it’s on the left), but if it is summertime, you will often find food trucks without a couple of blocks. My kids love the experience of ordering from a food truck; they think it’s so fun! The shade trees next to the World War II Memorial are a great place for a picnic.

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Cameras are permitted at the WWII Memorial.

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

How to Get to the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC

National World War II Memorial
1750 Independence Ave. SW Washington, DC 20024
Nearest Intersection: 17th St. & Independence Ave. SW

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The nearest Metro station is Smithsonian on the Mall. You will walk about 13 minutes (0.7 miles) to get to the memorial and pass the Washington Monument along the way. Once you exit the station, just start walking towards the Lincoln Memorial…you can’t miss it! Another option is the Federal Triangle station which is 0.8 miles and about a 17-minute walk.

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If riding the DC Circulator (all rides just $1), use the National Mall route and get off at either the WWII Memorial/Constitution Gardens stop or the MLK/FDR Memorial stop. You will have about a 5-7 minute walk from either stop. If you want to avoid crossing any roads, use the World War II Memorial/Constitution Gardens stop – once you get off the bus, walk towards the Washington Monument, turn right on 17th street, and the WWII Memorial will be on your right.
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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. The closest bike dock for Capital Bikeshare is across 17th Street from the WWII Memorial, along 17th Street and Independence Avenue, SW.
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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.

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Parking at the WWII Memorial is very limited to a few spots for handicapped parking only. You can park along Constitution Avenue, NW when it isn’t rush hour. Parking is 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 World War II Memorial in Washington, DC

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