For any American who loves travel and history, without a doubt, Washington, D.C. should rank high on your Travel Bucket list. I have had the opportunity to visit the Capitol several times, during different seasons. Fall is definitely one of my most favorite, though spring does bring the cherry blossoms which is also a site to see. My husband and I have had the wonderful pleasure of taking our two older children with us to visit Washington, D.C. the last three years in a row. Each year with them gets better and better, as they get older and appreciate and understand what is happening around them.
If planning a trip to D.C., I would strongly suggest doing some research prior to your visit, along with considering the age of your child(ren) that will be joining you. Our first trip to the Capitol, our kids were 7 and 5. They had never been to a big city where there are big city blocks and expected to walk as much as they did. It was also our first attempt without a stroller for our younger one, and let’s just say, it didn’t go so well. In hindsight, I would have bought a cheap umbrella stroller when we got there to use in between subway stops and museums tours, then left it behind as we boarded the plane. But with the 2nd and 3rd trip, they were kind of OK with the idea that they would have to walk. They had also been to New York City at this point, which also provided more familiarity with big city transportation.
Another idea is to discuss with your children’s teachers about what they are learning in class about US history and politics. Each year has drawn on some interesting topics. The first time we took them they were learning about the Declaration of Independence and President Lincoln. My son was also obsessed with Natural History Museums, and my daughter the re-elected President, as Obama had just been voted in for a 2nd term and their school did mock elections. That year, we asked them what they wanted to see the most: the White House, the Declaration of Independence and the Lincoln Memorial. We also did a side visit to the Smithsonian Air and Space, Natural History and American History Museum. We did nothing more than that, on the educational side, because we knew if we pushed beyond their interest, the trip would not be a fun one for any of us.
We did add some fun into the mix by putting a Washington Redskins football game on our itinerary, where we had a chance to watch the team warm-up on the field. And, a trip to ICE! at the Gaylord National– a magnificent display of ice carvings and a fun surprise of ice-slides at the end. The Gaylord National is a locals’ destination for the holidays with their popular atrium decorated to the nine’s for Christmas.
Our most recent visit happened in the Fall. It was absolutely gorgeous, and to be honest, none of us had ever seen colors so rich and abundant. It was an exciting experience for all of us! This time around, our children were 9 and 7. We were able to do more in the ways of historical sites. They were both interested in learning more about the Presidents and how the United States formed. We secured a tour of the Capitol building, visited Mount Vernon and took a D.C. by Foot walking tour of the Assassination of President Lincoln.
We also did some adult-stuff that we dragged them along to, like brunch at the Four Seasons in Georgetown, lunch at The Willard and mass at the National Cathedral.
As a special treat, we went ice skating on the Potomac in Washington Harbour, and of course, a visit to the American Girl Store at Tyson’s Corner.
Visting Washington, D.C. has been some of my favorite family travel experiences. I can’t wait for when our twins are old enough to take them for a visit to the Nation’s Capitol.
This post is part of the Instagram Travel Thursday series through Skimbaco.com. Enjoy my travels and other fascinating travels from Instagram travel writers from around the world on Instagram using #IGTravelThursday and #RSMLVDC.
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