World War II Memorial in Washington, DC
The inside scoop on everything you need to know about visiting the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC with kids.
Planning Your Trip to the World War II Memorial in DC
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.
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).
There are benches by the Rainbow Pool (at the 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.
This memorial doesn't have steps of any kind, so is 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.
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.
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 is a great place for a picnic.
No tickets are required for any part of the WWII Memorial.
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How to Get to the WWII 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! If you're already on the Red Line though, another option is Federal Triangle station which is 0.8 miles and about a 17 minute walk.
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.
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.
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 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 don't mind walking 9-15 minutes, you can park along Ohio Drive, by the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial/Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, or at the Tidal Basin parking lot (1500 Maine Avenue SW).
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
3 Fascinating Facts about D-Day to Share with Your Kids at the World War 2 Memorial in Washington, DC
I found myself calling out to my husband and kids, “Hey, did you know….?!” We all marveled at the ingenuity and bravery of the Allied leaders and soldiers as they stormed the beaches of Normandy. The book gave a quick, but rather thorough, overview of why World War II started and the countries involved. It helped me understand for the first time all of the circumstances that necessitated D-Day and the immense planning that went into it. This would be a good book to read before visiting the World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.Read More
My boys must have already worn a look of boredom when we walked up to the World War II Memorial. As we approached the memorial…Read More
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