The history and learning opportunities alone make traveling to Washington D.C. a worthwhile trip. But with so many museums, government buildings and attractions the city can be overwhelming especially when visiting with children. Pre-planning and research are key to making a D.C. trip easy on the entire family.
Another great idea to consider is renting a home outside of D.C. When we visited last year, we rented a home in Annapolis. Although it was a bit of a drive, we were able to get away from the hustle and bustle of D.C. and experience both of these great cities.
Research is always important when traveling with children and even more so when visiting D.C. To assist you in your search, Washington D.C. has a Visitor’s Guide with information on hotels, events and attractions. The guide is updated twice a year and can be requested online. Be sure to also check the internet. There are many great sites and resources with information on events and tips.
Plan to Go Carless
There’s no need for a car in D.C. but walking around the city with children especially in the summer can be brutal. This is where research is important. We made a list of the museums and locations we wanted to visit and planned our days according to each ones proximity to each other. For example, we toured the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, had lunch at the National Museum of the American Indian and then toured the Botanic Garden. Each of the locations are next to each other which made walking easy and gave us a days worth of activities without needing the car.
Allow for Extra Time
Whether your driving or visiting a museum, everything in Washington D.C. takes a little longer than planned. So you don’t feel rushed plan for extra time in your schedule. It will allow the children to spend more on what they are interested in as well. We didn’t plan on visiting the Capitol’s Visitors Center but we ended up there and walked right into one of the last tours of the day. It was a great tour that even the children enjoyed and we wouldn’t of experienced if we hadn’t allowed for extra time to just explore.