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The Library of Congress

101 Independence Avenue SE Washington, DC 20540

Monday through Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm, Closed on Sundays.


museums, indoor-activities

Just Past the Capitol from the National Mall, this Library and Museum Engages All Ages.

The Library of Congress is the second largest library in the world. With its vast trove of multimedia resources – including millions of books, recordings, photographs, newspapers, maps, and manuscripts – it deserves the top spot on our list of premier libraries. The library holds the powerful honor of being the federal government's oldest cultural institution, and thus a great place to imbue kids with a sense of curiosity and wonder.

It offers free tours geared towards families during busy periods. Ask at the front desk to see if they are offering one while you are there. The Young Readers Center is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:00 pm and is catered towards kids and their parents. They have books for you to read with your little ones and occasional activities for them to participate in. They even have a kids activity sheet, in lieu of a scavenger hunt, to keep kids interested and busy while they are exploring the library.

It’s easiest to travel there by Metro, as the library is two blocks from the Capitol South Station on the Orange, Blue or Silver Line and just half a mile from Union Station on the Red Line, but parking lots are available nearby and street parking can be found, though sometimes a little circling is required.

Marion Park Playground is about a ten-minute walk from the Library of Congress, and Matchbox - Capitol Hill is just a few minutes from there and they offer outdoor seating. Sweetgreen Capitol Hill is also just down the street and reliably provides great healthy options for you and your kids to take to a nearby park or sitting area. Additionally, Ted's Bulletin is about a fifteen-minute walk from the library and has delicious brunch items and so much more!


Good for older kids Admission Free Architecture
Thoughtfully captured by:
Randi Banks
Randi (Betts) Banks grew up in New York and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. She moved to Washington, D.C. more than thirteen years ago with her husband, Eaghmon, and they love to explore the area and seek out adventure, now with their two young children along for the ride. Growing up right near the beach, they are happiest when on or near the water, so exploring the rivers, lakes, and streams in the greater DC area is a favorite pastime for their family. In addition to serving as one of the Washington, DC area ambassadors, Randi is also the Editor in Chief and Co-founder of happyly.
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