Hooray! You have made the wise decision to study English in Washington DC. On top of deciding to study at one of the prestigious language schools in DC, you have also decided to study in a truly metropolitan city that is the country’s largest melting pot of cultures.
Why do students choose to attend language schools in Washington DC? DC offers a wealth of language learning opportunities and a front row seat to American culture. Plus, there are so many fun things to do in DC as a student.
Students at inlingua, a well-respected Washington language school, have the world at their fingertips. Inlingua makes sure that in addition to taking an English class in DC, students have opportunities to have fun exploring DC. They put together weekly activities, so their students have the experience of a lifetime while being fully immersed in American culture and surrounded by the English language.
So, what exactly do students do for fun in DC? We’ve compiled a list of 12 things to do in between studying for your English test. Don’t forget – simply practicing speaking and listening to English will develop your English skills. All of these fun activities give you plenty of opportunities to practice these very skills. Get ready to have some fun!
1. Go “Monumenting”
DC is home to several incredibly iconic national monuments. Students love to go “monumenting” because it is free, and the sights are something to see. Plus, as a student in DC, you have the added benefit of seeing the monuments at various times and in various ways. For example, you can see the monuments in different seasons and different times of the day. Trust me – the monuments take on a whole new look when you see them in the evening versus the daytime.
Additionally, the monuments can be viewed in many different ways. While most people will walk around the National Mall to tour the monuments, you can also take bus tours. You can even climb the inside of the Washington Monument to the very top to get an amazing view of DC. And, if you are around during warmer months, there are aquatic activities that provide unique glimpses of the famous monuments.
2. Visit Free Museums
As any student knows, the cheaper, the better. And, you cannot get any cheaper than free! Fortunately, DC is home to 11 Smithsonian museums, which are free to visit year-round. If you have never visited a Smithsonian museum, you are in for a real treat. These museums are all thematic; for example, there is the National Museum of American History and the National Air and Space Museum.
3. Attend Festivals
Outdoor festivals are fun events that typically include music, entertainments, arts and crafts, and food vendors. Some of these festivals are free, and some have a fee to enter. If there is a fee, it is generally inexpensive. Festivals take place around the same time each year.
4. Go to Movies, Concerts, and Shows
As a student, you will discover there are tons of ways to save money by going to the movies. For example, there are several free outdoor movies during the summer. Plus, as the capital city, you also have the opportunity to see famous singers and bands, as well as theater productions. If you don’t have the money to splurge on high-priced concerts, don’t worry. DC has a fantastic music scene that won’t break your budget.
5. See Your Favorite Animals Up Close
The Smithsonian National Zoo is located in Washington DC, and it is open year-round. Even better – it is free! Located close to a metro stop, you can get there easily. The zoo is a perfect place to escape for the day, and spend some time with your favorite animals.
6. Support the Arts
Students will quickly discover DC’s art scene is outstanding. Support the arts community by visiting the numerous art galleries throughout the city. For instance, a fun way to spend a Friday night is to visit Frist Fridays in DuPont where you can visit art galleries from 6 pm – 8 pm. Most are free.
7. Watch Planes While You Picnic
A free, fun, and unique way to spend the afternoon is to watch the planes from Reagan National Airport take off and land at Gravely Point Park. The planes fly directly over the park offering great views. It is located off of George Washington Memorial Parkway in Arlington.
8. Do a Scavenger Hunt
For those new to the city, one of the best ways to learn your way around DC is to do a DC scavenger hunt. Scavenger hunts involve looking for clues or objects around the city. DC scavenger hunts are extremely popular, so you can find one through a website or even with a phone app.
9. Eat, Eat, Eat
As a cultural melting pot, do not expect to only find traditional American food in DC. Instead, come prepared to eat your way around the world. You can find food representative of other countries, as well as standard American fare everywhere from food trucks to five-star restaurants.
10. Bike Around DC
Another way to explore DC is to take advantage of the Capital Bikeshare service. By becoming a member of the bikeshare service, you can unlock and return a bike at one of the 500+ stations throughout the area. This is an excellent way to stay healthy and get around the bustling city.
11. Explore Other Countries
DC is also home to European Union and the Embassies of 28 EU Member States to the United States. Each May, the EU holds an Open House where guests are invited to experience European culture. There are cultural activities, food, music, and more. In addition, May is also when Passport DC takes place. This month-long event is another way to learn about other countries.
12. Enjoy the Nightlife Scene
DC also has a vibrant nightlife scene. For instance, students love to spend the evenings visiting the various bars around the Adams Morgan neighborhood and Logan Circle.