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Washington DC with Kids

Non Voyage: A Capital Celebration Where You Need DC to Be

If the new administration has your family dreaming of our nation's historic roots, a trip to Washington DC is sure to inspire the next generation of public servants. We continue our week of big-city non voyages in the nation's capital with activities and food that will help families recreate the DC experience without breaking their wallets.

  • The National Mall is lined with some of the best museums in the world, and one of the most popular is the National Air and Space Museum.  Teach your budding astronauts about the history of manned space flight and then have them create their own rocket ship that will transport them to the moon. Rockets can be built out of blocks, cardboard or with any scraps you have lying around.
  • The International Spy Museum is one of the most unique places to visit in DC, where children and adults alike can learn about the CIA and FBI's covert operations and the techniques used to keep the nation from harm.  Recreate the experience with a backyard scavenger hunt where lil ones can search for hidden treasures and practice their detective skills.  Don't forget the trench coats and magnifying glasses to make them feel official.
  • Even in the age of email, everybody still loves to get mail and the National Postal Museum shows kids how their letters get delivered. Visit your local post office and have the kids pick out their own stamps and mail letters to their family and friends. See if the postal workers will allow your tots to view the sorting machines in the back too.
  • It's hard to imagine what life was like before cars, computers and modern conveniences, but Mount Vernon, George and Martha Washington's home, does just that. Give your children the colonial experience by turning off the phone and computer for an afternoon of retro cooking with recipes from the birth of our nation, including johnny cakes, shepherd's pie and apple butter.
  • Washington DC brings Southern hospitality and Northern sophistication to the Mid Atlantic and the city's food reflects those cultures.  President Obama has already visited the famed eatery, Ben's Chili Bowl, where the deliciousness is used to smother hot dogs, sausages and burgers, so make some of those goodies at home. The Obamas are also ushering in a new era in organic cooking at the White House so take your youngsters to the local green market or farm and let them choose the ingredients they would like to nosh on that night.
Join The Conversation
Michelann Michelann 7 years
I think it's important to make sure your child is old enough (or mature enough) to appreciate some of these places. I don't think Washington D.C. is the right vacation choice for your three year old. I know when I visited Mount Vernon my visit was disrupted by some young children whose parents should have known they couldn't keep quiet during what was probably a very boring tour for them.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
For kids who don't mind a little spice/kick, make them half-smokes to enjoy with their chili! They are a delicious DC specialty.
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