10 Things to do in DC during Pandemic

Washington Capital

Unfortunately, Covid-19 has closed many of D.C.’s iconic things to do in the city. But fear not!! There is plenty to do in and around the district, even during a global pandemic, that can get you out of the house, or out of your private office!

  1. National Mall 

One of the most iconic things to do in DC, and it is all outside! The mall is the perfect activity when following social distancing guidelines. The Washington Monument, the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Memorial, (and more!) are all located on the National Mall. Taking a walk through the mall, even for the 100th time, never gets old. Take in the beautiful views and become encapsulated in history. You can even stop and have a socially distanced picnic and take in the iconic views of DC. Just a few blocks from Oval Offices DC, the National Mall remains an iconic landmark of DC. 

National Mall in DC

  1. National Zoo 

The Zoo is another great outdoor activity, especially if you have kids! Go see all of your favorite zoo animals. It is still free, but they require you reserve a time pass online to limit the amount of guests in the zoo. It is a good idea to get these passes several days in advance for weekends, as they fill up fast. While some exhibits are closed, you can still go enjoy the big cats, ape house, bison, and elephant exhibits! They have also changed their hours, now open from 8am to 4pm. Face masks are required to enter the zoo. 

  1. Chantilly Air and Space Museum

The Chantilly Air and Space Museum is one of the few Smithsonian museums that is currently open. Check out the huge array of airplanes and experience the decades of development of flight! You can even see the iconic space shuttle. While the Air and Space Museum on the National Mall is closed, taking a little trip out of DC to Chantilly, VA is worth seeing these iconic planes and shuttles. Their hours are 10am-5:30pm and free timed passes are required to visit the museum. Face masks are also required. 

  1. Art Museum

Apart from the Air and Space Museum, other museums, like the DC art museums, have also reopened with adjusted hours and free timed passes. The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Renwick Gallery, and the National Portrait Gallery are all open now! Spend the day strolling around and enjoying beautiful art. Each of these museums are taking necessary safety precautions, including requiring face masks. 

  1. Mt. Vernon

Go visit George Washington’s house, Mount Vernon! Mount Vernon is open with extra safety precautions including requiring guests and staff to wear face masks and to social distance. You can purchase a timed pass on their website. Taking a drive out of DC to see our first president’s house is a great way to spend your day off enjoying the history of the area! 

  1. Theodore Roosevelt Island

Go just out of DC to enjoy some nature at Theodore Roosevelt Island. With trails for walking or running and places to put in your canoe or kayak into the Potomac River. You can even go on a ranger-led safari of the island (which are normally held on the weekend at 10:30am). A wide array of safe activities to do at the island to enjoy a nice day outside. The park is open 6am-10pm. 

  1. Georgetown Waterfront 

The Georgetown Waterfront is also a great, safe place to hang out on your day away from the office. Going out to enjoy some fresh air while walking along the Potomac River to enjoy views of Rosslyn and the Kennedy Center is a great way to spend a day off. Many restaurants at the waterfront are offering outside seating with safety precautions and maintaining social distancing regulations. 

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier DC

  1. Arlington National Cemetery

Take a short drive from Oval Offices DC, or take just a few metro stops, and pay your respects at the Arlington National Cemetery and see Kennedy’s gravesite. The Cemetery has recently started the tram tours backup that are taking guests to President John F. Kennedy gravesite and Memorial Avenue. They are following social distance protocol and have increased their cleaning procedures between tours. The Cemetery is open 8am-5pm every day. 

  1. International Spy Museum

Spend a day in the shoes of a spy! The International Spy Museum, which was recently redone, is open with Covid-19 safety precautions including cleaning procedures, masks, and social distancing requirements. It is recommended to purchase your tickets online ahead of time due to the safety limitations. The Museum is open 10am-6pm most days with longer hours on the weekend.  

  1. DC parks

Lastly, enjoy some of DC’s best parks! Going out to the park for a nice picnic is a safe way to get out of the office on a day off and enjoy DC’s weather. Whether that be Lafayette Park, Farragut Park, or Meridian Hill Park, they are all nearby your private office at Oval Offices DC. Lafayette Park is the closest to your office and, most importantly, right in front of the White House! Enjoy beautiful views of the White House while taking in the fall weather and park. While you can see the White House from our private offices during the winter months, you can get an even closer look from Lafayette Park. Even just taking off half a day, you can enjoy a nice fall afternoon remaining safe from the current pandemic! 

Each of these suggestions follow safety precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, so enjoy some time off from the office. Whether it’s a full day or even just a half day, get out and enjoy these landmarks that are in DC or nearby and easily accessible! 

-Brooke Alred

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