There’s no question that Washington, DC is a great place to explore with kids. A visit to the U.S. Capitol, taking in the views from the top of the Washington Monument and snapping a selfie from in front of the White House are all must-do’s, of course. But, what do you do with your kids in Washington, DC once you’ve enjoyed all the mandatory experiences? Take a look:
1. Visit One of the Largest Libraries in the World. Head to the Library of Congress for a free walking tour of the Jefferson Building or stay for a storytime in the Young Readers Center. It’s also a must to quietly visit the Main Reading Room. It’s completely amazing.
2. Explore New Cuisines. Yes, DC does have a lot to offer, culinarily speaking. In fact, DC Metro Food Tours allows you to savor gastronomic delights all over town. For an ethnic tour, try the Little Ethiopia Food Tour. Or, try southern-style dishes on the U Street Heart and Soul Food Tour.
3. Play Reporter for a Day. You’ll find bureaus for all the major news organizations, from CNN to NPR to BBC, in Washington, DC, but only at the Newseum can little ones play reporter for a day. Touch-screen kiosks allow visitors to prepare news stories. Or, sit behind the news desk to read the news on-camera.
4. Get Your Cupcake On. Wait in line at Georgetown Cupcake (yes, home to TLC’s DC Cupcakes). Choose from dozens of cupcakes, like Baby Pink Vanilla and Sunshine Chocolate, before enjoying your cupcake on the nearby Exorcist Steps. Before you go, take a walk around Georgetown University.
5. Eat Like the President and First Lady. Dine like the Obamas at one of their date night picks, such as The Source, Blue Duck Tavern, Equinox or Ristorante Tosca. You may have a tough time finding choices for picky eaters, but you should find tasty appetizer picks for a mid-afternoon treat.
6. Make Your Own Postage Stamps. One of my new favorite museums for visiting with kids is the National Postal Museum. There’s so much to do there from scavenger hunts to starting stamp collections to creating your own stamps using touch-screen kiosks. Be sure to take a selfie with Mr. ZIP before you leave.
7. See the Sights by Bike. Get a new perspective on DC by taking a bike tour with Bike and Roll. Enjoy a three-hour tour with a guide and bike between four and eight miles around town taking in monuments and memorials, like the Korean War Veterans Memorial and Washington Monument.
8. Learn All About Lincoln. From Lincoln’s Cottage to Ford’s Theatre, it’s impossible to leave Washington, DC without learning about our 16th president. Look for Lincoln’s likeness at the National Portrait Gallery, even Madame Tussauds. Also, tour Petersen House, the home where Lincoln died.
9. Explore Our Nation’s Star-Spangled History. Pay a visit to one the famous sites along the Star-Spangled Banner National Historic Trail. Sights run from Northern Virginia all the way up to Baltimore. Among those closest to DC are Francis Scott Key Park and Dumbarton House.
10. Indulge in a Sweet Treat. When you’re ready to take a break from sightseeing, it’s a must to stop for an ice cream at Thomas Sweet in Georgetown. You and your kids will love ice cream flavors, like Bubble Gum, Cookie Monster and Cake Batter. Enjoy a cone or combine two or three flavors into a sundae.
What are your favorite things to do in Washington, DC? Let me know in the comments section below.
Photo Credit: Greg Wass