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Old 02-25-2008, 12:06 PM   #1
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Washington D.C. trip
Decided at last minute to join family for a D.C. visit - any insider hints and tips? Restaurant recs (kid friendly, reasonable cost)?

We'll be staying in Foggy Bottom area. Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2008, 06:32 PM   #2
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We just got back from a few days in DC. I don't have any insider's tips but I can tell you we had a blast.

We stayed in downtown DC -- the other end of K street so the restaurants we tried were in that neighborhood. If you don't mind a cab ride over towards downtown I can recommend the two places we tried and liked. One was the Capital City Brewery which was kind of loud and bustling but fun. There are 2 locations in DC -- one in Capital Hill and the other downtown. Probably earlier is better to avoid the after work bar crowd. One night we got there around 7 and there was a 45 minute wait for a table. We didn't wait but headed next door to a wonderful Italian restaurant called Luigino's

While we were in DC we went to the Air & Space Museum, the Botanical Gardens, The Hirshorn Museum and the Museum of Natural History.

My kids liked everything we did -- including the long trek in the cold from the Lincoln Memorial to the Vietnam Memorial to the Washington Memorial and then finally to the Smithsonian where we warmed up inside the Castle with hot chocolates before heading over to the Hirshorn Museum (modern art and sculpture.) I was amazed how receptive my kids were to everything they saw there. I can see that they are starting to appreciate many different forms of art.

The Air & Space Museum was a huge hit as was the Museum of Natural History. There is a great Butterfly Exhibit at the Natural History museum where you walk through a room full of flowers and butterflies -- butterflies are everywhere so you have to watch where you walk. Pretty amazing.

The Air & Space Museum has some cool flight simulations you can try but my kids were never up for those ride type things so we skipped them. There are also treasures on display from the Museum of American History that are there while the History Museum is being renovated. Some really wonderful things including Lincoln's top hat, Dorothy's Ruby Slippers, Kermit the Frog -- it was so much fun to see those little gems from our history.

The Botanical Gardens has an amazing Orchid exhibit filled with the most gorgeous flowers.

All the Smithsonian museums are free with some extras that you pay for (like the flight simulators and the Butterfly exhibit) but even if you chose to just see the free stuff, there is plenty to see and do.

We walked a lot and took cabs where we needed to go but I have heard you can get around pretty well on the subway.

My word of warning is if you do plan to spend time in the museums, figure out ahead of time where you want to eat lunch. The food court at the Air & Space is a huge McWasteland with an overpriced McCafe upstairs and the usual fast food downstairs. I have heard that there are actual restaurants in some of the museums including one in the Native American Museum that serves regional food. So check out the Smithsonian's website here for some help in planning your trip.

We almost headed over to the International Spy Museum but there is admission to that and we were on a budget (maybe another trip?) -- it sounded like fun, if you are up for spending the $.

Well, gotta get dinner on the table and I'm running late. Hope you have as much fun in DC as we did!
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Old 02-27-2008, 02:06 PM   #3
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You can take the Metro everywhere. It is cheap, clean and safe. Call your congressman now to get passes to the White House. See if you can arrange to meet him or her while you are there. The History museum has an old fashioned soda shop that the kids will love. It also has some really great stuff like a giant train inside. The Air and Space museum is really great. I would also strongly recommend the Holocaust Museum. Although not "fun" it is an excellent depiction of what happened. The visitors have a choice whether to see some of the more graphic material. It involves the visitor by giving them the name of victim and having them follow the course of that person's story.
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Old 02-27-2008, 05:03 PM   #4
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Oh you are so lucky!! We went for our senior trip and I remember it like it was yesterday. That was the best trip of my life, so far anyways. That was in 1994 and I thought it was expensive then, but it is a touristy place so you are going to pay. But it's worth it. I can't wait to go again someday.

We used the Metro too and it was perfectly safe. Boy did my feet/legs hurt from all that walking. Wear good shoes.

Have a great time!!
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Old 03-01-2008, 01:04 PM   #5
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I have to go with Air and Apace museum too, AND the museum of natural history.
If you can work it into the trip, the national aquarium in baltimore is less than an hour away, it is THE best.
Have fun!
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Old 03-02-2008, 02:50 PM   #6
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We took a trolley tour to get our bearings and thought that was very helpful. You get to see the landmarks and can get off and on at various stops.

I don't know how old your children are, but when we did the tour of the White House years ago, my kids weren't excited about it (older one was in kindergarten and the younger one was 2) ~ I should have waited until they were older.

There's a lot of great restaurants in DC, but none that I can recall my kids saying they would like to return to.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 03-05-2008, 11:49 AM   #7
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Oh, boy, this makes me wish I was going, too.

Last time I was in DC, kennedy was president.

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