Washington DC Family Photo Review
Washington DC Family Photo Review – When planning a family trip to Washington DC, there is a definite balance to strike when planning your day. The balance between education, museums, history, fun, and activity is essential to ensure your kids enjoy their experience in our nation’s capital.
A family trip to Washington DC is an educational adventure that can be a hit or a miss with your kids. However, we’re here to help guide you through the things they’ll love and those that they’ll find “BORING!”
First of all, find a place to stay (hotel or rental) that will keep you in the action. For families, we’ve found that DC closes at 5 PM. Unless you’re going to check out a local eatery or bar, there isn’t much nightlife for families in the district! So, find a place to stay that has things to offer your family in the evenings. At least, that’s where we would start!
As for things to do, there’s plenty to enjoy between 10 AM and 5 PM. Below are some of the hits and misses for My Central Florida Family when travelling with the kids.
- The National Zoo
- Air and Space Museum
- Museum of Natural History
- The Spy Museum
- The Night Bus Tour
- The View from the Old Post Office Tower (now inside the Trump Hotel)
- The Lincoln Memorial
- The Washington Monument
- Bureau of Printing and Engraving
- Just about everything else.
The tours of the Capitol and White House left the kids feeling bored. Walking the outdoor monuments like the WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam Memorials were torture.
Now, we decided to bring Grandma with us on our recent trip and, as parents, we were able to escape and do some of the things that we knew our kids wouldn’t enjoy while they enjoyed relaxing at the hotel.
There is a lot of walking, so keep that in mind. Uber and cabs are always available and easy to get, so take an opportunity to go to Georgetown, Arlington and more. We decided to do the Big Red Bus tour (hop on, hop off) for two days so that saved us tired feet! Do know that if you decide on the two-day ticket, the days are consecutive. They will not allow you to choose which days you want to ride.
Before you even select your dates to visit, be aware that you can contact your Senator or Congressman’s office in Washington D.C. to ask them to set up visits for the White House, the Capitol, the FBI Building, Pentagon, and they will offer you more suggestions on what to see and best times to go. I say plan well ahead because depending on the month you visit, the White House tours are difficult to secure and I would give yourselves at least three months’ notice in order to obtain tickets through your Senator or Congressman. The Pentagon tickets are planned well ahead of time as well.
By having their office make a day and time for your tour of the Capitol, you stand in shorter lines than those visitors who are visiting that day. But be aware that they no longer take you into the Senate and House of Representatives chambers unless you have a special pass. You can obtain that as well through the Senators’ and Congressman’s offices (you need one from each office for each chamber).
You can visit their offices to pick up the special passes, which for some reason I found really cool. I was told that Senator Rubio’s office serves you orange juice and you can do a tour of Senate offices for a treat from each state! We observed some families being toured around the Capitol building by a staff member, so it’s worth checking to see if they can do that for you too.
The National Archives Building, which houses the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and the Bill of Rights might be a bore to the kids that are not historically inclined, but as adults, we enjoyed it. Be sure to get there first thing in the morning as it gets very crowded throughout the day.
In Arlington, we paid extra for a bus tour at Arlington Cemetery which was worth it as you learned much more about the grounds. Don’t miss the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which occurred every hour or every 30 minutes during the summer (April 1 to September 30th). Their discipline was unwavering.
Top 3 Restaurants we enjoyed:
- Old Ebbitt Grill (an absolute favorite by all)
- Founding Farmers
- Eating from a food truck
No matter what you choose to do, there are activities in DC that the kids will enjoy. The history, tours, and educational aspect can prove daunting, so be sure to schedule in some ice skating in the winter or a festival in the spring/summer to keep them entertained too. No matter what, you will create family memories that will live on in photos for years to come!
Disclaimer: This Washington DC Family Photo Review is based on the experience of My Central Florida and should be taken as opinion of that experience. Details are subject to change over time so be sure to verify details from our accounts.