Talk about social studies in real life, Washington, DC is not only educational for the entire family but also super fun and economical. Visiting the monuments is free. The National Zoo is free. The Metro is cheap, and sometimes our boys would be just fine riding that around all day and doing nothing else. Other family attractions are city parks, water taxis, the Newseum, and events at the Kennedy Center.
For Mom and Dad, there is no shortage of delicious restaurants, evening shows, and romantic wine bars. My sister has lived in the Washington, DC area for quite some time now, and we absolutely love visiting her, my brother-in-law, and niece in this fun, historical, and diverse city.
If you’ve never been to DC, you are probably going to hit up the major tourist attractions first. All the bustling around can be hard on little people, so it may be wise to have a “down” day, and if you plan one of these, check out some of the city’s amazing parks. For a low-key day, let the kiddos play at some of the great parks in DC and the surrounding areas. If you don’t see a park while you’re out and about, ask someone at your hotel, and they can surely guide you to the nearest park. During our last visit, we took my five-year old and my niece to three different parks in one day. They had an absolute blast.
You can’t visit Washington, DC without experiencing The National Mall. This is where you’ll find all of the monuments, the reflecting pool, the Smithsonian museums, and more. We love spending the day at The National Mall, and if you haven’t been, it does take an entire day to walk to all of the monuments and visit the museums. Try not to schedule anything else on the day you visit The National Mall. You want to absorb all that it has to offer without feeling rushed to get to the next place. Pack some sunscreen and a picnic lunch and enjoy a great time!
The National Zoo is a staple in Washington, DC. It’s a great place for the entire family. For a city zoo, the habitats are quite large and natural. Though it’s smack in the middle of the city, the zoo is very shaded and cool. There is a Metro stop a few blocks away which makes transportation easy. If you do ride the Metro, make the ‘Woodly Park-Zoo’ stop. Admittance is free for all ages.
The Metro is a great way to get around the city. If you fly to Washington, DC, it is certainly less expensive than taking a taxi everywhere. Parking is extraordinarily frustrating, so if you’ve driven to DC, once you’ve parked at your hotel, I would recommend leaving your vehicle there, unless you’re driving out of the city to another attraction. There are Metro stops near all major tourist sites. If you are going to be using the Metro more than once during your trip, you should purchase a SmartTrip card which is a reusable card that costs $1 less per ride.