This guest post on family friendly activities in Washington DC was written by MommyCon Blogger Collective Member Christy, who blogs at Stained With Style.
The best part about traveling in Washington DC, is the wealth of things to do. From the Smithsonians, to ChinaTown, Georgetown and Mt. Vernon, Washington DC has something for everyone!
National Monuments and Museums
The National Mall is not your traditional mall with shops. This DC must-do is filled with our nations icons. When you stand in just the right spot, you will see that on one side is the Washington Monument and on the other end is the capitol building. Its an easy walk from there to the Lincoln Memorial. When the cherry blossoms are in bloom, this is the most beautiful view in the whole city. Truly a sight to see! Here is a map of the area with the Metro stop. You can also walk to the White House, but unless you have written to your representatives months in advance, you will not be able to go inside.
Most of the Smithsonian Museums are free of charge and open all year. It is a great way to not only beat the heat, but learn about some of our nations rich history. Around the Mall you will find many of these museums, including my favorite, the American History Museum. Inside you will find cultural icons such as Dorothy’s red shoes from the Wizard of Oz and my childhood favorite, the First Ladies’ dresses. Most of the museums also have great cafes inside, so no need to worry about feeding the kids.
The Natural History Museum has and epic dinosaur exhibit, but it is unfortunately closed for renovations. There are plenty of other exhibits to see such as the Hope Diamond and a very cool fossil exhibit.
The National Building Museum. This is sure to be a summertime hit in DC, and the icebergs ahead exhibit opens on July 2. Tickets should be purchased ahead of time as I am sure this will be popular. Also at the NBM is a hands on exhibit and my personal favorite, fantastic dollhouses on loan from the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Washington DC is home to the National Zoo, one of the best zoo’s in the world. The giant panda exhibit is a must see! While many of the inside habitats don’t open until 9 am, the grounds open at 8 and you can see many of the animals enjoying the cooler morning air. The zoo also has its own metro stop, Woodley Park.
Chinatown and Penn Quarter is an excellent stop on your DC visit, especially if you are interested in visiting Ford’s Theater (the site of President Lincoln’s assassination) , the National Portrait Gallery or the Spy Museum. Don’t miss the colorful dragon entrance-way to Chinatown.
Georgetown is not as easy to access by metro (the residents prefer it that way), but is accessible by metro bus. Georgetown is a fantastic place to visit. It boasts outdoor shopping options, delicious dining options, and lots of historic charm. It is also home to Georgetown Cupcakes and my personal favorite, Baked and Wired.
The Washington Nationals. DC is home to the MLB team the Nats, and they just happen to be at home during the weekend of MommyCon. The stadium is easily accessible via the Metro and you can buy tickets here.
Arlington House and the Cemetery. The home of Robert E. Lee is open from 9-5:30 during the summer. The cemetery itself is open every day, with a metro stop located nearby. As the weather will be very hot and it often involves a lot of walking (strollers are challenging on the shuttle) it may not be the best option for very small children. At the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which happens every hour on the hour, attendees are expected to remain quiet during the ceremony.
There are a variety of tour options when visiting Washington DC. One of the easiest ways to see the city (especially on a hot day) is a hop on/hop off guided tour bus.
The National Park Service offers a variety of free tours of the National Monuments.
Bike and Roll hosts two-wheeled tours of the monuments and memorials, and they have bikes with paniers, child seats, tandems and helmets.
As with any city, traffic and parking can be challenging. If you have options, it is best to use public transportation. Riding on the Metro, and its buses is the easiest way to get around town. All of the activities that I have listed have a metro stop or a bus that is directly accessible. DC is one of the pioneer cities for UberFamily. This option offers a carseat or a booster for one child in the event that you would like a car service. Its a handy way to travel with the kiddo.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide of all of the things that you can find in our nations capitol. Please consult the Washington.org website for more ideas for your DC MommyCon weekend.
Christy is a crunchy mom of three, who lives in the DC area. She loves baby technology, finding an amazing bargain, traveling, and attempting to stay fabulous (& unstained). Follow along at www.stainedwithstyle.com, on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.