Looking for information about Inauguration events and related activities for kids? Here are some ways to get into the Inauguration spirit, listed by start date, beginning as soon as tomorrow.
Inauguration Activities for Kids
Where: Mount Vernon
When: Thursday – Tuesday, 9am – 4pm
Admission: $17/adults, $8/ages 6-11, free for 5 and under
There will be special activities at George Washington’s former home inspired by the inauguration of the 44th president! Kids can participate in a “George Washington Presidential Scavenger Hunt” and look for clues that will lead to a special prize (while supplies last). Guests can also take the oath of office, view a replica of the first presidential inauguration with a life-size figure of Washington taking the oath of office, “step into Washington’s shoes” by placing their hand on a reproduction of the Bible upon which Washington took the oath of office, and recite the presidential oath. This is on top of the tours and regular offerings at Mount Vernon.
When: Thursday, Friday, & Saturday evenings
In honor of the inauguration, the Newseum and Hirshhorn Museum are collaborating to celebrate freedom by projecting the art and words of renowned artist Ai Weiwei onto the exterior of the Newseum. Images will appear on the 74-foot-tall marble First Amendment tablet Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Sounds worthy of not just a drive-by (or walk- or bike-by), but a park-and-check-it-out-for-awhile, too.
National Day of Service
Where: Throughout the area
When: Throughout the weekend
As the inauguration coincides with Martin Luther King, Jr, Day, President Obama has called for a National Day of Service in his honor to kick off this weekend’s ceremonies. He has said he wanted “service to be a big part of my inauguration because it’s played a huge role in my life,” and encourages people to take part by helping out in their communities and beyond. It starts with a summit on the National Mall on Saturday at 9:30am. And there are opportunities to clean up parks, help feed the homeless, distribute coats to those in need, collect books for a book drive, help beautify the memorials, and much more. Search the National Day of Service database to find a way you and the kids can participate.
Meet the Presidents and First Ladies
Where: National Portrait Gallery
When: Saturday, Sunday, & Monday 1-6pm
Drop in at the National Portrait Gallery to meet George and Martha Washington (1-3pm) and Abraham and Mary Lincoln (3-6pm). They may share their inaugural experiences! You can also get to know the Presidents through “Portrait Story Days” (1-4pm on Saturday, 2-5pm on Sunday), where you can listen to stories about them, see their portraits, and do a related art activity.
Where: Madame Tussauds
When: Saturday, 12-6pm
Admission: $22.26/adults, $18.02 ages 4-12, free for 3 and under
It’s Kids Inauguration Day at the wax museum downtown. Tour the President’s Gallery, featuring wax figures of all 44 POTUS, and learn some interesting inauguration facts along the way. All kids who visit the museum will receive a certificate of inauguration. Save 15% on tickets by purchasing in advance online.
Celebrate at the Smithsonian
Where: Smithsonian Museums
When: Throughout the weekend
The National Mall will be bustling, and so will the many museums lined up along it and in other parts of the city. The Smithsonian is celebrating the big occasion by presenting special programs and highlighting exhibits related to the presidency. From musical performances to the First Ladies’ dresses to “Portrait Stories” about the presidents to hobnobbing with the Washingtons and the Lincolns (as mentioned above), there is plenty going on to get the kids involved.
Collect the Presidents
Where: National Postal Museum
When: Saturday and Sunday, 12-3:30pm
In celebration of the Inaugural events, the National Postal Museum is hosting related activities for kids & families. Visitors can make and take home their very own stamp collection featuring famous American presidents, as well as design their own presidential stamp.
Where: National Mall
When: Monday, 11:30am
This is the big moment, and while you can’t get close enough to see it firsthand, you can be part of the experience and watch it all go down on big screens set up on the National Mall. Think of it as an extension of the VIP section — you are in DC, merely blocks away from the action. The ceremony begins at 11:30am, but it’s recommended to get there early, as it definitely will be crowded. Entry is in just a few specific places — go here to see where they are.
Where: Pennsylania Avenue
When: Monday, 2pm
After the swearing in, then a luncheon at the Capitol, festivities will take to the streets. Pennsylvania Avenue, to be more precise, as the President and Vice President make their way to the White House. Along with the guests of honor and the First and Second Ladies, there will be floats, marching bands, and representatives from many organizations among the procession. Tickets are not required to view the parade. Public entry points will open at 6:30am, and will remain open until the parade route can no longer accommodate additional people. It’s recommended to get there early for a chance of seeing anything.
Dear Mr. President
Where: Washington Post Building
When: Monday, 9am – 5pm
Bring the kids to the Washington Post, where they can write letters to President Obama expressing what they think his goals should be for his next term. Every letter will be delivered to the White House, and a selection will be displayed in The Post’s front window. Every participant will receive a KidsPost pen and the first 20 will get a T-shirt, too. And if you can’t make it on Monday, kids can submit a letter online here.