Top Things to do in Washington with your kids.
We recently took a winter getaway to Washington, DC. We wanted to go somewhere we could drive to and that would have great things for our toddler to enjoy. My husband and I have not been to Washington, DC since we were kids ourselves. We decided to stay at the Marriott Residence Inn in Washington (www.marriot.com). It was a big plus to have a suite with kitchen facilities. They also have a pool and free warm breakfast. The hotel was within walking distance of The National Mall. There is parking at the hotel, but is $41 a day. Everyone was extremely helpful and the staff at the hotel was amazing. There was not a lot of restaurant choices close to the hotel, but there were plenty within a fifteen minute walk.
Kid Friendly Sites in Washington
Most of the museums are free in Washington, which makes it a particularly great family destination. We started at the National Museum of Natural History, it was a nice walk and we got to see The Capital on the way. This is a huge museum. My son really enjoyed the dinosaur exhibit and we paid an extra $5 for my son and $6 per adult to go into the butterfly exhibit. It was very small, but allows you to see butterflies in a natural habitat. There was too much to see in one visit, but hope to go back again. We did eat lunch at the museum and found a lot of great choices – everything from pizza to burgers.
Our next stop was the National Air and Space Museum, which was filled with lots of rocket ships and planes to look at. It takes you through the various decades of the evolution of flight. There was a play area for toddlers and an interactive area for kids. My son really enjoyed the play area, the interactive area was better for older children. There’s also an Imax Theater and Planetarium which is an additional cost. Check the events schedule to see if the program would be of interest to your family.
The museums are so large that we were not able to get through all of them or even get to them all. We were invited to the Newseum, but were unable to make it. We’ll plan to visit on our next trip. This museum combines interactive activities through five centuries of history to make for a fun way to learn about the news. They have an area where children can play journalists, which I know my son would have loved to do. The museum showcases history and current events. Its really worth the trip, we are looking forward to it when our son is a little older.
We also didn’t have time to visit the National Zoo (nationalzoo.si.edu) and the National Children’s Museum. These are both places that we know our son would love to visit and we will definitely put on our list when we head back to Washington. We did however make the visit to see The White House. It was amazing. The first thing my son said when he saw it was “party” and of course we said there are many parties there. He then, of course, wanted to go. We were there during the holidays so it was especially beautiful.
Here are some great sites I used to plan your trip http://dc.about.com/od/childrensactivities/tp/15BestforKids.htm and http://washington.org/100free .
About The Author: Alisha Rappaport is a consultant for non profit foundations and is a mommy blogger for Wicked Good Travel Tips. She enjoys taking her son on new adventures and sharing her experiences with our readers.
Photo Source: Alisha Rappaport, Google Commons