Kid-Friendly City Guide to Washington DC

Washington DC is a fantastic place to visit with or without kids. During bad weather there are many indoor museums to visit (most of them with kid-focused exhibits); for better weather there are outdoor monuments, boat rides, and crab shacks. The Zoo has places to visit during all types of weather.

DC, with it's well thought out Metro system, is a great place to visit with kids. In fact, there is so much to see in DC that it’s impossible to see it all on a week end trip. A great strategy for places with a plethora of stuff is to choose some sort of theme and pick activities based on that. We feel strongly that family travel should be fun but educational, so we look for one or two aspects of an area to learn about and then choose our itinerary based on that.
See also City Visits: Keep Your Sanity While Your Kids Have a Blast!

Here is a list of fun stuff from our own experience ans well as stuff gleaned from Fodor’s Talk forum (in no particular order):

FDR Memorial is the kid-friendliest monument: There is a lotta watta, space to run, and places to sit.

Bull Run Campground outside of DC in Manassas is huge with playground, picnic areas, stables, disc golf, pools, wildlife trails, and other stuff. If traveling without a car, take a cab from the metro station. A great place for kids to burn off energy.

and maybe a night tour of the monuments...

why not go to a foreign restaurant in the area near Dupont Circle. For example, DC is one of the few places in America where you can eat at an Ethiopian restuarant -- and everybody I know who tried it, loved it. Also Japanese, Greek, Indian, .... There are lots of different restuarants in a small area. Do a little research and make a short-list of places within your budget.

Check for free entertainment in the city--there are often free concerts in the lobby at the Kennedy Center or at various government buildings, and the KC is another spot with a killer rooftop view.

The National Spy Museum really did look fabulous and people affiliated with the CIA and KGB contibuted to creating it.

The “Goes without Saying” section:
The Smithsonian: the Smithsonian website also has info on the other DC museums in order to help kids get more out of them.
The National Zoo -- Pandas!
The National Gallery
Air and Space Museum

Please comment on this blog and/or add to the wikimap with your own suggestions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. Great ideas. Don't forget to also check out the free kid and family activities at the Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art. They offer films, shows, kid programs, and hands-on activities.