Here’s the scoop on the 3 best attractions for kids in Washington DC – and there is so much more to do too, these are just a few of our favorites.
When planning our family trip to the nations capital, Washington DC this summer, I worried that there might not be enough to keep young kids engaged. This would be our first trip to a city with a 3 and 4 year old and I couldn’t imagine them enjoying multiple museum trips, appreciating the monuments or wanting to walk around and explore. I’m happy to report that not only did we find some amazingly kid friendly things to do, but I also found myself apologizing to them for the trip being, in their words, “too short.”
Smithsonian’s National Zoo
3001 Connecticut Ave N.W.
From the kids farm to the merry go round to the live animal shows, there’s plenty to see at The National Zoo. Located in the heart of the city, the park is easy to get to by car or metro and best of all, it’s free. Although known for their giant panda’s, we fell in love with the orangutan’s who alongside a trainer, put on a show demonstrating just how brilliant they really are. High wires hang above the zoo and if you’re lucky, you may just catch one of the apes making their way around like a circus performer.
555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
This magnificent seven level building is packed with interactive exhibits exploring the media. We spent the most of our time goofing around in the newsroom, an area which allows you to play reporter. The kids held the microphone, pretended to read from the prompter and had the opportunity to watch themselves on camera afterwards. There’s also a fantastic movie depicting some of our nations most influential news makers, which normally wouldn’t excite the kids, but it’s short and 4-D so everybody’s happy.
The National Air and Space Museum
601 Independence Ave S.W.
There is so much to see, touch and experience that we literally had to drag the kids out of there. Jump on a simulator, climb into the cockpit of a Cessna 150 or explore flight, air pressure and gravity through a number of fun and interactive exhibits. There truly is something exciting around every corner. Admission is free except for the Imax, planetarium, and some simulators.
And for the older kids – and even the awe of the younger ones, remember there is so much more to explore in DC too with all the monuments, architecture, and historic buildings to appreciate as you tour town from the White House to the Washington Monument and all the other memorials, it’s gorgeous and fun for families with children of any age.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Elise Edwards began her career writing, producing and reporting for CNN. She later served as the Supervising Producer of E! Networks, “The Daily 10″ and has most recently been freelance writing for websites and magazines including LA Weekly, Los Angeles Confidential, JustLuxe, and San Diego Family. She lives with her husband, two children (ages 3 and 4), and Tibetan Terrier in beautiful Santa Monica, CA where she enjoys days at the beach, long walks along Montana Ave and writing for her parenting blog, LuxeAngelesMom.com. Follow her on Twitter @luxeangelesmom