From the beautiful government buildings to the sprawling parks and squares, Washington D.C. is a fascinating place to visit. Not only is the city home to some of the world’s best museums, but it also has a vibrant culinary and arts scene. It truly is a great destination for couples, families, and groups! With so many different things to do, you may find yourself struggling to figure out what the best group activities in D.C. are.
Luckily, Let’s Roam is here to help! To inspire you a little, we’ve come up with an incredible range of interactive group activities you can do all over Our Nation’s Capital. Try app-based scavenger hunts that will take you to the best places in all corners of the city. Or opt for boat tours on the Potomac! No matter your preference, we’re sure you’ll find something perfect here for you and your group.
Enjoying the Sites of D.C. With Let’s Roam
Our Nation’s Capital boasts a seemingly endless list of great things to do. From world-class museums and charming neighborhoods to scandalously great nightlife, there’s something for everyone in the District of Columbia. Let’s Roam can help you make planning your next group activity in D.C. a breeze! Just check out our extensive library of destination guides and must-see lists on the Let’s Roam Explorer blog. And our fun-filled D.C. scavenger hunts won’t let you down, either. Click on the link below for more info, or keep reading to find great hunts around the city.
Exciting Group Activities You Can Do in Washington D.C.
Below, you’ll find a list of some of the many fun group activities to do in Washington D.C. From strolling the National Mall to exploring new neighborhoods on a Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt, we’re chock-full of ideas. Whether it’s your first trip to D.C. or your hundredth, you’re going to have a blast. Let’s get to it!
1. Explore Washington D.C. on a Let’s Roam Scavenger Hunt.
With these scavenger hunts covering the city’s biggest attractions, we have everything you need to make your ordinary group trip into an extraordinary adventure! Each of our hunts can be customized so that they are perfect for families, team-building activities, corporate events, or groups of friends.
If this is your first time visiting D.C., a scavenger hunt in some of the most popular neighborhoods is a wonderful way for your group to get their bearings and promote teamwork at the same time. These expertly designed hunts will show you not only the biggest attractions in an area but also the hidden gems that only the locals know about. Here are just a few ideas for some inspiration. You can find all these hunts plus many more on the Let’s Roam app. May the best team win!
Washington D.C.’s Cultural Gems Scavenger Hunt
In many ways, Washington D.C. has helped define American culture with its towering monuments, vibrant neighborhoods, and an endless list of historic attractions. Washington D.C.’s Cultural Gems scavenger hunt helps you visit many of these top attractions in just one and a half to two hours!
Some of the highlights of the hunt include the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the National Archives Museum, and the Pavilion Cafe at the Sculpture Garden. The route covers around 1.78 miles. So don’t forget to put on your walking shoes!
All Things Washington Scavenger Hunt
Here’s one for all the GW lovers out there! The All Things Washington scavenger hunt will take visitors past some of the city’s most iconic landmarks to learn more about America’s first president. Everywhere you turn, you’ll see vestiges of George Washington and the legacy he left behind. Featured locations on the tour include the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the White House, the DAR Monument, and so much more.
Georgetown Gallivanting Gadgeteers Hunt
Founded in 1789, Georgetown University is one of the oldest colleges in the country. It’s the alma mater for some of America’s most distinguished citizens, including two US presidents! The campus is based in the Georgetown neighborhood of D.C., and this scavenger hunt will have you gallivanting around as you visit many of the campus’s most important buildings. After you’ve completed all the fun challenges, you can even say that you went to Georgetown!
Observatory Circle Star-Search Scavenger Hunt
Observatory Circle is an affluent neighborhood in northwestern D.C., home to the vice president of the United States, the United States Naval Observatory, and a slew of embassies. During the Observatory Circle Star-Search hunt, you’ll learn about the neighborhood’s past, present, and future as told by the many influential people who have lived there. You’ll discover a softer side of D.C. beyond the imposing architecture and presidential parkways.
Navy Yard Nautical Navigators’ Hunt
The impact that the Navy Yard has had on the country is obvious. After all, it’s been the former shipyard and ordinance plant for the United States Navy since the late 18th century. During this Navy Yard Nautical Navigators’ Hunt, you’ll dive into maritime history as you venture into this neighborhood’s charming streets. Some of the many stops on this hunt include the Navy Museum, Flight Path 1817, and Willard Park.
NoMa Nomad’s Treasure Trek
Named for its central location north of Massachusetts Avenue near Capitol Hill, NoMa is an emerging neighborhood rising from D.C.’s old industrial ashes. Edgy restaurants and boutiques are popping up in old industrial lots, and the vibrant Union Station pulls in the punters with its shopping arcade. During the NoMa Nomad’s Treasure Trek, you’ll discover more about Lincoln’s assassination, the history behind Capitol Hill, and Japanese-American patriotism during World War II.
2. Go on a ghost tour.
In a city as old and storied as Washington D.C., you’re basically guaranteed to have a lot of ghosts. Some of the most important people in America’s history have lived, loved, and laughed there. Others have fought in heroic battles, had deadly duels, or suffered untimely deaths. And many of them have some unfinished business to take care of!
Join us on the Ghosts of Washington D.C. scavenger hunt! Reach into the otherworld, and find out the legends behind D.C.’s most famous ghosts, including the Founding Fathers themselves! The hunt will take you to some of the most haunted landmarks in D.C. You’ll pass by the White House, The Hay-Adams hotel, Renwick Gallery, Lafayette Square, and the National Theatre. As you walk in the final footsteps of Abraham Lincoln, you’ll be reminded of how many people lived and died in the city.
3. Visit the National Zoo.
Lions, tigers, and panda bears, oh my! The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, also simply known as the National Zoo, is one of the most prestigious organizations in the country. The zoo is home to more than 2,100 animals from 400 different species. There are animal demos throughout the day where you can learn more about your favorite furry friends. And the icing on the cake? Entry to the zoo is completely free!
While you’re there, you can say hello to many of them as you stroll around. But why not let your wild side loose with our National Zoo-Loose Adventure? This roaringly fun hunt will take you by the great apes, the giant pandas, and more.
4. Check out the city’s vibrant street art.
Street art has exploded onto the art scene in cities all over the world, and our nation’s capital is no different! Often depicting social issues or historical events, street art is a fantastic way to learn more about a destination. Accordingly, it can be seen as an expression of a destination’s past.
Luckily for us, MuralsDC has sprung into action. This organization has collaborated with the city’s Department of Public Works and the Commission on the Arts and Humanities to bring a kaleidoscope of color to the streets as it aims to replace illegal graffiti and revitalize neighborhoods.
Some of the best street art can be found in Blagden Alley at the junction of 9th and 10th and M and N Streets. This area is on the National Register of Historic Places, and it has become a mecca for art lovers. Another great spot to check out street art is the Dupont Underground, a former underground streetcar station that has been upcycled into a multidisciplinary art platform. The final spot you should explore is the U Street Corridor, a historically black neighborhood featuring colorful murals and old-school eateries.
While it’s possible to simply grab a map and start your own street art crawl, what better way to learn the stories behind the murals than on an app-based scavenger hunt? The Dynamic Mural Movement hunt lets you explore the city’s street art at your own pace, giving you plenty of time to take photos and learn more about these fabulous paintings.
5. Go for a stroll on the National Mall.
The National Mall is one of the most impressive stretches of monuments and memorials in the United States. It’s open seven days a week and is the perfect spot to give your group a great introduction to Washington D.C. While you’re there, you can visit the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam War Memorial, or one of the incredible Smithsonian Museums. Check out the National Air and Space Museum, the National Portrait Gallery, or the National Museum of Art!
To get an in-depth view of some of the monuments there, get tickets to the Monuments and More at the National Mall scavenger hunt. From civil rights leaders to war heroes, this hunt will give you a closer look at the men and women behind the monuments. As you solve trivia and complete challenges, you’ll get a whole new perspective on the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Vietnam War Memorial. Plus, you’ll have a great time doing it!
One of the best times to visit the National Mall is either early in the morning or late in the evening. That’s because the tourist crowds have left for the day. So make sure you plan accordingly! If you need some help planning your stay in D.C., check out our guide on What to Do on a Day Trip to Washington, D.C. We’ve created the perfect way to fit in tons of great sites and activities in just one day!
6. Go on a pub crawl.
While Washington D.C. is known for being the political center of America, it does have a fun side. The capital has some of the best nightlife on the East Coast thanks to the massive population of young people who live there! With oh-so-cool pop-up bars, historic pubs, and everything in between, there’s something for everyone here.
There are many different ways to get your pub crawling on. First, you can find tour operators who offer pub crawls. You can also design your own pub crawl, handpicking some of your favorite bars in a particular neighborhood. If this is the route you want to take, make sure to allow lots of time to get from one place to another. Try not to overschedule! Getting groups of people from one bar to another is a little like herding cats.
Otherwise, you can make life much easier by downloading the Let’s Roam app. Here, you can access a couple of great pub crawl options. If you want to make the event truly special, you can even have it customized by one of our in-house adventure experts! Since it allows for friendly competition, this is a great team-building experience. Plus, people get the chance to show off their problem-solving skills!
Wildin’ Out Washington D.C. Bar Crawl
This Dupont Circle-based bar crawl will show you how people let their hair down in this prestigious neighborhood! From peaceful pubs to daunting dance floors, there’s no shortage of fun or diversity. During the crawl, you’ll visit D.C. favorites like Rewind, St. Arnold’s on Jefferson, and Manor DC. Take part in crazy challenges, and get down!
Ye Olde Pub Crawl Through Old Town
Based in Alexandria, one of America’s oldest drinking neighborhoods, the Ye Olde Pub Crawl will take you to some of the area’s most historic bars. Did you know that Alexandria’s first tavern was opened way back in 1785? This pub had a tremendous impact on the economic, political, and social life of the city! You can learn even more about the history of bars and booze in Alexandria on this historic pub tour. Stop by an early 20th-century druggist turned trendy bar, dance an Irish jig, and finish off with a breathtaking view of the Potomac River.
7. Explore some of D.C.’s lesser-known neighborhoods.
If your group is partially D.C.-based or has many people that have traveled there before, how about checking out one of the city’s not-so-touristy neighborhoods? Full of gorgeous buildings, historical buildings, and locally owned businesses, these neighborhoods are where most D.C. residents live, work, and play!
Forest Hills Foliage Frolic Scavenger Hunt
Forest Hills is a historic residential neighborhood lying minutes from the sights of D.C. The streets are dotted with embassies from around the world, and it’s an interesting place to explore for history lovers. The Forest Hills Foliage Frolic Hunt gives you a chance to step back into the neighborhood’s history. Visit the Peirce Mill Historic Site, the Peirce Mill Spy Station, and Jusserand Memorial Park as well as many hidden gems.
Want to learn even more about the Forest Hills neighborhood while sharpening your sleuthing skills? Then check out the Forest Hills Foliage Frenzy Hunt!
Takoma Trinket Trek Scavenger Hunt
Washington D.C.’s Takoma neighborhood may be small. But it has a huge personality! Takoma was founded in 1883 and has done a fantastic job preserving its history. This, combined with a small-town feel and cosmopolitan charm, makes Takoma one of the city’s most unsung neighborhoods!
The Takoma Trinket Trek scavenger hunt will show you the best sights of Takoma. Explore the Thomas-Siegler House and Garden, Herlong the Carved Dragon, and Takoma Park. Along the way, you’ll discover architectural marvels and gaze in awe at some of the eclectic sculptures found throughout the neighborhood.
Anacostia Astonishing Adventure Scavenger Hunt
Nested on the shore of the Anacostia River, this charming neighborhood is one of the oldest in Washington D.C.! Thanks to the nearby Navy Yard, people began moving here in the 1800s, including famous abolitionist Frederick Douglass. While the neighborhood began to fall on hard times, more people came and went throughout the decades.
Luckily, those days are long gone! This fascinating neighborhood is back to being as lively and vibrant as it was during the 19th century. The Anacostia Astonishing Adventure scavenger hunt will take you deep into the neighborhood. You can view the Big Chair Landmark, Uniontown, and the Frederick Douglass House.
Brookland Washington D.C. Scavenger Hunt
Known as D.C.’s very own “Little Rome,” Brookland is full of churches, chapels, and monasteries. But there’s more to this charming neighborhood than that! Located in the northeastern corner of D.C., Brookland boasts tree-lined streets, historic homes, art galleries, and exciting performance spaces. The Brookland Washington D.C. Scavenger Hunt will show you both sides of this fascinating neighborhood. Some of the many sights you will see include the Tomb of the Virgin Mary, the Grotto of Lourdes, and the Corinthian Chapel.
North Cleveland Park-tastic Pursuit Scavenger Hunt
Located in the Northwest Quadrant of D.C., North Cleveland Park feels very much like a suburb right in the middle of a bustling city. Historic homes, leafy streets, and a picturesque historic district make North Cleveland Park a great place to explore. During the North Cleveland Park scavenger hunt, you’ll learn more about the history of the area, starting with its early inhabitants and on to its role during the Civil War.
Southwest Waterfront Wharf Wonders Scavenger Hunt
The Southwest Waterfront neighborhood is home to the country’s longest continually operating open-air fish market and a warm riverfront community complete with houseboats. Although it feels like another planet, this idyllic neighborhood is just steps away from some of D.C.s most renowned monuments, memorials, and museums.
During the Southwest Waterfront scavenger hunt, you’ll see the NASA Wind Tunnel Propeller, the 9/11 Memorial dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives that day, the Dominic Catholic Church, and a legendary school bell that symbolizes the impact education has had on this country.
Columbia Heights Hunt-stravaganza Scavenger Hunt
Known for its vibrant Hispanic culture, Columbia Heights is one of the city’s most diverse neighborhoods. It was once a thriving hub for African-American culture and is considered to be one of D.C.’s earliest streetcar suburbs.
Columbia Heights has experienced a period of rapid re-development. As such, some of the best restaurants and bars in our nation’s capital have opened here! During the Columbia Heights scavenger hunt, you’ll see the African-American Civil War Memorial, Meridian Hill Park, and the Whitelaw Hotel—plus much, much more!
8. Watch your favorite sports team in action.
Washington D.C. is home to a number of sports teams, including the Washington Nationals, Capitals, and Wizards. Whether you’re a fan of hockey, baseball, or basketball, there’s a game for you! Going to sporting events is a great way to build up camaraderie as you cheer on your favorite teams. If you’re with a big enough group, you may even be able to get discounted group tickets for some of the games!
9. Go on a boat cruise.
Washington D.C. is well known for its great location on the Potomac River. This allows residents and visitors to enjoy the sights of the city by sea (well, kind of). The best place to hop on board is in Georgetown. Here, you can choose from heritage sightseeing tours on the Georgetown Canal, sailing on a historic tall ship, elegant sunset dinner cruises, or booze cruises that are anything but elegant.
If you want to experience a D.C. boat ride but don’t have the time to make it a group activity, you can always go for a ride on the D.C. water taxi. The taxi runs from March through December, allowing you to visit Alexandria, Georgetown, The Wharf, or National Harbor easily.
10. Host your own Paint and Sip.
Paint and sips have become popular group activities over the past few decades. During these sessions, fledgling artists have the opportunity to access all of the tools, guidance, and wine they need to bring their artistic vision to life. This is a fun way to show off some skills you may not have even known you had. Besides, there’s no better way to unleash your inner creativity than with the help of a glass (or two!) of wine.
You have a couple of options. First, you can join a professionally led paint-and-sip class! Here, artists will explain how to turn your empty canvas into a work of art. Or, you can plan your own private event and simply rent out an art studio or event space and let your creative juices run wild! If you’re feeling really inspired, you can even pair this with your very own wine-tasting event!
11. Go to a free outdoor event.
When the weather gets nice, Washingtonians love to enjoy all the free outdoor events on offer in the city! From jazz nights or ice skating in the National Gallery of Art’s sculpture garden to free outdoor movies in the parks, there are plenty of fun in-person activities to do as a group.
The Washington tourism board has an up-to-date list of all free outdoor events and activities happening throughout the city. So make sure to check their website to find out what awesome things you can do there! Many of the events are on a first come, first served basis, so don’t forget to go early. That will increase your chances of getting a good space.
12. Go for a hike.
Washington D.C. is lucky enough to be surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. It probably comes as no surprise that there are many hiking trails located just a short drive from the city! Some of the best spots close to the city include Greenbelt Park, Rock Creek Park, the Capital Crescent Trail, and the Glover Archbold Trail. If you want to venture a little bit further afield, you can hit the hiking trails in Harpers Ferry, Bull Run Regional Park, Shenandoah National Park, or Great Falls Park.
13. Explore D.C. on two wheels.
The D.C. Metro area boasts hundreds of miles of bike trails. This makes cruising around the city on two wheels popular amongst both locals and visitors. You can join one of the many bike tours that take visitors around the city. Most of the tours seem to last around three hours, but some go as long as five hours. If you’re not an experienced biker, this is a great way to see the city with the help of a knowledgeable guide who will help you stay safe for the entire ride.
Otherwise, you can rent a bike and go off exploring on your own DIY bike tour. A great starting point is the C&O Canal Trailhead. From here, you can peddle along the Georgetown Waterfront Park, watching the boaters make their way down the Potomac. You can then make your way over to the Washington Monument and the National Mall before finishing your trip at the Capitol Building. You can either grab a bite to eat or a drink on one of the picturesque side streets, which are home to dozens of great bars and restaurants.
14. Have a fun-filled brunch.
Brunch is a great way to relax together over a delicious meal, particularly if it’s Sunday morning after a night out on the town! And it’s a big thing in Washington—some of the city’s best restaurants offer a carefully curated menu. If the weather is nice, you may even be able to dig into this scrumptious meal on a tranquil garden or patio. This is a great time for family or team bonding. Or it can just be the perfect excuse to spend time with your favorite group of friends!
Since brunch is a pretty popular pastime in D.C., don’t forget to make your reservations in advance. This is particularly true if you’re traveling as part of a large group. Some of the best places to dine include Commissary, ala, Han Palace, Lyle’s, and Ambar. Depending on the restaurant, you can also add an all-you-can-drink mimosa or bubbles package, which certainly helps you get the day started off with a bang!
15. Go on a food tour, or join a culinary class.
This city is full of foodies from all corners of the planet, so we can’t think of a better place when it comes to going on a food tour or scheduling a group cooking or mixology class! Food tours can take you to all of the hole-in-the-wall places you likely would have never found on your own. The guides are usually very knowledgeable not only about the restaurant scene of D.C. but about the city as a whole. This is a great way to spend a few hours before heading out for another activity. Everyone needs to eat at some point, don’t they?
If you prefer to get your hands dirty and do the cooking yourself, cooking classes are another great choice for groups. Since the city is so diverse, you have a slew of choices. You could learn how to make Northern Italian cuisine, traditional sushi, or South American empanadas. The choice is yours!
16. Discover the surrounding area on an exciting day trip.
Nestled between Virginia and Maryland, Washington D.C. gives visitors easy access to a number of fantastic day trip destinations that can all be reached after just a few hours of driving. You can head out to Monticello or Mount Vernon to see how some of America’s most important presidents spent their days. Or check out the charming small towns of Saint Michaels, Alexandria, or Harpers Ferry. If you’re a military buff, you can also visit the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg and Fredericksburg.
So, Are You Ready to Roam?
Itching to hit the streets yet? Whether you’re brainstorming corporate team-building activities or just want some small-group fun, there’s definitely something here for you. We hope this list of awesome group activities in D.C. has given you the inspiration you need to plan a fun team-building event for adults or family get-togethers.
If you’d like to learn more about the different neighborhoods and attractions in Washington D.C., make sure to head over to the Let’s Roam Explorer blog. Full of dozens of great articles covering the D.C. area, our blog will help you make planning your trip there a breeze!
Frequently Asked Questions
There are tons of great group activities in Washington. From going on a boat tour of the Potomac River to exploring the National Mall, there is something for everyone in our nation’s capital.
If you’re traveling to D.C. with a group of adults and aren’t sure what group activities to do, look no further! From National Mall walks and bike rides along the Potomac to boozy brunches, D.C. has you covered.
D.C. has some great indoor activities that are perfect for groups. You can organize a paint and sip or a cooking class or spend the day visiting one of the many world-class museums there!