We recently took an adventure with the kids to Washington DC. We drove from Nashville and what should of taken 10 hours took about 12 hours. We had not one but two tires with nails in them! So it made quite the adventure! We decided to go to Washington to attend the National Turner Syndrome Convention for Ella and stay a few extra days sight seeing!
We stayed at the Marriott in Crystal City for the conference and I highly recommend staying! Everyone was so helpful and the rooms were great! It’s also attached to the metro, which makes going out sightseeing very convenient. There is also a mini mall attached with a few restaurants and shops.
We had the best time exploring and seeing so many different things! I think we could of spent a week there. Some of the highlights from the trip were the White House, Arlington National Cemetery, The Lincoln Memorial, The Natural History Museum, Mt. Vernon and of course the food!
We drove one morning to Mt. Vernon and it was not too crowded. Of course this was the middle of July and it was steaming hot! I guess you could say we got the full experience of how they lived without air conditioning. We really could of spent a whole day there. Touring the house was really neat and had so much history! Our guide was wonderful and very patient with the kids! On a side note if you have one that has to the bathroom during the tour you will not be able to just meet up with your group, you will have to join another group and tour until you see your group or meet them at the end.
After touring the house the kids enjoyed running around and seeing the beautiful view. If it was not so hot we probably would of spent more time seeing the property but the kids had hit their limit with the heat and were hungry. Luckily there is an indoor museum for kids to explore. They also offer a mini food court with salads, panini’s, burgers, pizza and other basic food. So you can see most things in a half-day or take your time and spend a whole day to see it all!
I feel like you can spend a week exploring the National Mall. We saw the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial one evening and it was not very crowded. I also think around sunset is the perfect time to go! For our family the Vietnam Memorial was very special. My mother in law is from Vietnam and my father in law fought in Vietnam so it’s pretty special to our family. Without them I would not have my sweet family.
We also spent one morning at Arlington Cemetery. Yes probably not the highlight for the kids but something I wanted the kids to see and hope they appreciate one day. We did buy the shuttle option and went to watch the changing of the guards. You can spend more time hopping on and off the shuttle but because of the kids we just went to the ceremony. Ella actually said that was one of her favorite things. It’s always very humbling to see how many fought for our freedom!
The kid’s favorite museums were the Natural History Museum and the Air and Space Museum. To be honest the Natural History Museum was so crowded it was hard to enjoy but the kids loved it! You could spend the whole day here with as many exhibits as the have to offer. The kids also enjoyed the hands on learning activities.
The Air and Space Museum was Beckett’s favorite! We even enjoyed learning so much about the history of flying that as adults you so often forget. The kids even enjoyed a little air and history demonstration class. There was so much history and education at this museum, including the Wright Brothers first plane. I loved seeing everything about NASA and the first flights! We only spent a few hours and saw about a quarter of the museum. So again another place you could spend an entire day exploring!
One evening we headed to an early dinner at a great little sushi place called Toryumon that also had a great happy hour with food and drinks! My kids love noodles and fried rice and we managed to order off the happy hour menu so it was pretty reasonable. After stuffing our faces we walked a few blocks over to the White House. Again another place that was great to walk around in the evening. It was not crowded at all and easy to snap a quick picture! We were also able to avoid the rush hour traffic by enjoying some more exploring.
Hope this helps with a few spots to check out in DC, I’ll be sharing my favorite picks for food on my next post!