Below are some potential ideas to assist you in planning your visit to Capitol Hill, these are suggestions only and are not the full range of possibilities. Member and Senator Offices are also good sources for assisting in your planning.
If you have:
- One hour – if you only have a moment on Capitol Hill, one of the best activities is to walk around, or simply sit on a bench, and enjoy the beautiful and historic Capitol Grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Watch the squirrels, rest in the Summerhouse, or simply take a moment to admire the amazing architecture of the Capitol Dome.
- Two to Three Hours – take the opportunity to tour the historic Capitol Building. Free passes are available through your member of Congress, or you can visit the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center for more information. Be sure to note the prohibited items.
Already visited the Capitol? Visit the U.S. Botanic Garden including its world-renowned Conservatory filled with plants from across the United States and around the globe.
- Half-a-day – See your government in action, contact your member of Congress for a House or Senate Gallery passes available, these will enable you to see the floor of the Senate and House in action first hand and visit one of the other nearby Congressional Office buildings and meet your member. international visitors may inquire about Gallery passes at the House and Senate Appointment desks on the upper level of the Capitol Visitor Center. For more information on the Galleries visit: http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/visit/.
- A full day – You can easily spend a day on Capitol Hill and the myriad of places of interest. Those interested in art and architecture, history, politics, law, botany and many other subject areas will all find a wealth of information.
Be sure to tour the U.S. Capitol, visit Exhibition Hall at the Capitol Visitor Center and walk from the Capitol Visitor Center underground the beautiful Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building. Also take the opportunity to visit the U.S. Supreme Court and walk down Jenkins Hill from the U.S. Capitol Building through the Olmsted Grounds to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, National Garden and Bartholdi Park, home to Bartholdi’s historic Fountain of Light and Water.
- Children under 5 – many activities on Capitol Hill may not be of interest to children under 5, most require reading or listening for extended periods. However, children under 5 may enjoy walking the grounds and watching the squirrels and other animals, in addition the U.S. Botanic Garden has outdoor exhibits that may be of interest to children including a Children’s Garden with hands-on activities and a butterfly garden, both are seasonal. Around the holidays in December, the Garden hosts a model train exhibit popular with children.
- Children Grades K-12 – thousands of school-aged children visit Capitol Hill every year, both with families and with schools and other groups. A number of resources exist for parents and educators to assist in both planning your visit and for developing lesson plans around a range of topics. Additional resources can be found at: http://www.visitthecapitol.gov/education/ and http://www.usbg.gov/learn.