Here’s a list of some fun tourist activities for visitors who may be disappointed by all of the shutdown-related closures.

With the partial federal government shutdown affecting national tourist sites like the Smithsonian Institution’s museums and national parks, it can be confusing for tourists to find something to do. Luckily, there are a bunch of private groups like freetoursbyfoot.com that are staying on top of what is remaining open.

Memorials

The memorials all around D.C. will remain open, though their restrooms may not. You can still get your history on as most of them have self-guided information in the form of plaques and signs to let you know all about them. Make sure you get to Virginia to see the Iwo Jima Memorial! Though the website will not be updated during the shutdown, the National Park Service is still a great resource for the locations and history of all the memorials.

Courtesy of the National Park Service

National Parks

In this area, attractions like the National Mall and Great Falls will remain open, though restrooms may not be cleaned and trash may not be collected regularly. NPR did a great piece on how states are paying to keep national parks open around the country by chipping in for the facility maintenance fees.

national parks

Courtesy of the National Park Service

Private Museums

There are still many self-funded museums where you can soak in the culture. You may have to pay an admission fee, so check the museum’s website before you go.

The National Building Museum is located at 401 F Street NW in Washington, D.C., and adult tickets are $10. Seniors, students, and youths up to age 17 pay $7 per ticket and tickets for the STEAM Weather Station Feature are $24. Tickets are available online for purchase here.

national building museum

Courtesy of The National Building Museum

The Newseum is located at 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., and offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of media and world events. Private tours are available, or individual tickets can be purchased online here. Youth tickets for ages 7-18 are $14.95, senior tickets for ages 65+ are $19.95, and adult tickets are $24.95. If you purchase online you may be eligible for a 15 percent discount!

newseum

Courtesy of The Newseum

Other privately-funded museums include The Spy Museum, National Geographic Museum, Koshland Science Museum, The Phillips Collection, Kreeger Museum, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Mount Vernon

George Washington’s historic estate is a perfect outing for history buffs. Tour the house and grounds and really soak in the atmosphere created by period-costumed actors. Take the scenic route on the GW Parkway to get there, and don’t forget to stop in Old Town Alexandria for lunch or picnic supplies!

mount vernon

Courtesy of Mount Vernon

Despite the partial government shutdown, there is plenty of fun to be had. D.C. is full of amazing restaurants, breweries, and theaters. Take a look at our list of foodie destinations for the Instagram-obsessed. It’s a delicious way to see the DMV! Don’t forget to check out historic Annapolis, Old Town Alexandria and other small towns like Occoquan, VA.

Did we miss any of the great tourist destinations that are staying open through the shutdown? Let us know in the comments below!

 

Check out Artechouse, a museum from your wildest dreams!

and …

Head to D.C.’s Our Community Now homepage for more local news, events, and features!

 

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