Washington D.C is a great place for a little weekend trip with your family. Our nation’s capital can be a center for learning and discovery by visiting some of the amazing museums, memorials, and monuments that surround the D.C area. I remember when I was about 8 years old, I went to D.C with my family. I remember almost all of it too, from the visit to the White House, to running from the Smithsonian to the hotel soaking wet in our blue ponchos. It was a little family getaway I would not forget. I think that is why Washington D.C is a perfect place to take your kiddos. D.C is very kid-friendly with a number of things for children to take part in and see. Using my family’s trip as inspiration, this guide contains recommendations for the best kid-friendly activities, places to stay and eat while staying in Washington D.C.
As for the COVID-19 protocols, make sure you and your family are doing regular temperature checks and are staying home if anyone is feeling sick. The Smithsonian Museum is reopening on May 14, 2021. As for the monuments and memorials, they open individually throughout May, so make sure you check before you plan!
THINGS TO DO
One of the best things about D.C is that it generally is all very central and close together. If you cannot walk to your destination or have a car of your own, I recommend public bus transportation. Rental cars can be tricky, considering D.C.’s expensive parking rates and heavy traffic, so keep that in mind.
The Smithsonian’s are incredible. I have almost all of them recommended on my guide, they have the most interesting and immersive exhibits, creating an awesome learning environment. One of my favorites is the Museum of Natural History, be sure to watch the Night of the Museum movie before going, your kids will be even more excited to attend. Others include the Air and Space Museum and the Smithsonian Zoo. All have something different to offer, which is why I recommend going to a few. I never thought, at 8 years old, that I would enjoy the Air and Space Museum, but as soon as I sat my bottom in the cockpit of a fighter plane, I was persistent in visiting every other exhibit in the museum. My point being, they are all remarkable, and no matter what one you end up visiting it will be a good experience.
Next up is the International Spy Museum. The Spy Museum is extremely unique, and a very fun experience. It is best for older children ages 7-12, any younger, and I do not think they would get as much out of it. This museum contains exactly what the name describes, the spy museum is packed full of exhibits showcasing spy techniques and history through interactive activities and showcases. It is one that the whole family, both parents, and children, would enjoy. Next time I am in D.C, it is a place I would love to go back to.
As for sightseeing, I recommend knocking out the Washington Monument, World War 2 Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, and The White House all in the span of one day. They are all very close together, within easy walking distance, and if you do not do any more sightseeing the rest of your trip, your children got the best of it. Those monuments and memorials are so relevant for children to see, it made a huge impression on me when I started learning about those things in school.
WHERE TO EAT
There are restaurants around every corner in D.C..However, you never know which ones are specifically kid-friendly. Here are two places that are highly recommended for family dining.
Teds Bulletin is a great spot to take your kiddos. They have a full kid menu and a fun family atmosphere. They are specific in American Cuisine. So think hamburgers, french fries, and shakes. They also make their own in-house version of pop tarts which are absolutely delicious (see in pic below). If you are more health-conscious, do not worry, there are accommodations for that as well with a full list of salads and vegetarian/vegan meals on the menu.
Old Ebbitt Grill is a restaurant that I would recommend if you were looking to have a nicer dinner out with your family, I would suggest going last night of your stay. It is always fun to close the getaway with some yummy food and reminisce on the fun trip you all had together. Old Ebbitt Grill has an extensive menu including oysters, steak, and seafood. This restaurant also has a kids menu included on their website for all kids under 12 years old.
WHERE TO STAY
In this guide I specifically only mentioned one place, there are a ton of hotels around the D.C area it is not very difficult to find a good place to stay. However, one that really stood out to me was the Grand Hyatt Washington. This hotel is very central to the D.C area, right in the center of all the action just a few streets from the White House. It is family-friendly, nothing too fancy, and has great deals and prices. The Grand Hyatt includes a pool and a café for easy meal access, which is a huge plus when looking for quick breakfast options. It also includes an in-house Starbucks for any of you tired parents out there looking for a pick-me-up.
Overall, D.C is an awesome place for your next family getaway. With the collection of awesome sights and fun activities, it is a place that has niche something for everyone. Be sure to tag @tripvector when you take any insta worthy pictures if you use the guide. We would love to see and feature your adventures! Safe travels!