4 free things to do in the DC area New Year’s Day

If your head needs clearing and your legs need stretching, a walk in the park could do you wonders. And for New Year’s Day, all Virginia state parks have free admission, and parks in both Virginia and Maryland are holding free guided First Day Hikes, designed to spur interest in each state’s natural beauty. (Courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources)
If your head needs clearing and your legs need stretching, a walk in the park could do you wonders. And for New Year’s Day, all Virginia state parks have free admission, and parks in both Virginia and Maryland are holding free guided First Day Hikes, designed to spur interest in each state’s natural beauty. Find information on Virginia’s First Day Hikes and Maryland’s First Day Hikes. (Courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources) (Courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources)
The Season’s Greenings show at the U.S. Botanic Gardens ends Jan. 2,  including a model train that runs in and around a collection of plant-based re-creations of more than 50 national parks and historic places, including the Grand Canyon, the Gateway Arch, Mount Vernon, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and more. The garden is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Architect of the Capitol)
The Season’s Greenings show at the U.S. Botanic Gardens ends Jan. 2, including a model train that runs in and around a collection of plant-based re-creations of more than 50 national parks and historic places, including the Grand Canyon, the Gateway Arch, Mount Vernon, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and more. The garden is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Courtesy Architect of the Capitol) (Architect of the Capitol)
The Smithsonian Institution's Smithsonian Castle is seen at the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. The Smithsonian Institution is working to establish its first international museum outpost in London as the city redevelops its Olympic park. Smithsonian officials announced Tuesday that London's mayor and developers have secured $50 million in private contributions to build the facility.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
If there’s a Smithsonian museum on the National Mall you’ve been meaning to hit for some time, New year’s Day is a good day to get in. There’ll generally be a bit less traffic heading into and out of the District, and the Smithsonian’s John Gibbons says New Year’s Day is “a little lighter” in attendance than your average day, meaning you’ve got more of a chance to see art and artifacts without being jostled. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP)
You can wrap up New Year’s Day with the last night of the Smithsonian National Zoo’s ZooLights extravaganza, with more than a half-million eco-friendly lights putting on a show for visitors. Admission is free and the show runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Courtesy Smithsonian’s National Zoo/Jim Jenkins) (Smithsonian's National Zoo/Jim Jenkins)
(1/4)
If your head needs clearing and your legs need stretching, a walk in the park could do you wonders. And for New Year’s Day, all Virginia state parks have free admission, and parks in both Virginia and Maryland are holding free guided First Day Hikes, designed to spur interest in each state’s natural beauty. (Courtesy Maryland Department of Natural Resources)
The Season’s Greenings show at the U.S. Botanic Gardens ends Jan. 2,  including a model train that runs in and around a collection of plant-based re-creations of more than 50 national parks and historic places, including the Grand Canyon, the Gateway Arch, Mount Vernon, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty and more. The garden is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Architect of the Capitol)
The Smithsonian Institution's Smithsonian Castle is seen at the National Mall in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015. The Smithsonian Institution is working to establish its first international museum outpost in London as the city redevelops its Olympic park. Smithsonian officials announced Tuesday that London's mayor and developers have secured $50 million in private contributions to build the facility.  (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

There are plenty of events to help ring out the old year, but here are a few ways to ring in 2017, free of charge.

Follow @WTOP on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

© 2016 WTOP. All Rights Reserved.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up