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Dana lives in the historic Shaw neighborhood in Washington DC with her husband and son Cole (age 2). We asked Dana to share her favorite places to go in the nation’s capital.
Avoid the crowds and see the iconic cherry blossoms, plan your trip to Washington DC in the spring. Don’t forget to pack your comfy shoes (and stroller) because there’s lots to see in the District and it’s easier to walk than drive. From the National Mall to the Tidal Basin and the numerous Smithsonian Museums in between – there is something for everyone in DC.
Royal is a favorite coffee shop that also offers Colombian food. Their breakfast arepas are amazing! It’s a ten minute walk from our favorite little hidden park called Westminster. It is shaded and has a sprayground for cooling off on summer days.
We love District Taco – it’s a food truck that now has several physical locations. It’s super family-friendly, especially the location in Capitol Hill, which offers a good, reasonable spot to grab chips and guacamole or tacos after a day on the Mall, exploring museums and monuments.
I always recommend Union Market for an off the beaten track tourist destination. It’s a renovated food hall with great options and in the summer, they have a fun set-up outside – corn hole, “drive-in” movies, and an airstream offering popsicles and other fun treats.
American Indian Museum
One of the best things about DC is the plentiful museums — all of the Smithsonians are free! Most offer a kids area to explore which is great during cold winter days or sticky summer days. The play place at the American Indian Museum is wonderful and has a great story time. They also have a really tasty cafeteria with Native cuisine.
National Building Museum
Our most frequented museum is the National Building Museum. They have a “ticketed” play zone that is perfect for kids under 3 to burn off some travel energy, and an upstairs area packed with cool architecture exhibits including Tinkertoys, lego sculptures and other special exhibits.
Rock Creek Park
Rock Creek Park in DC is a massive park with lots to explore with kids– stables, a small nature museum, and the National Zoo. We love it because it offers easy hikes with kids in a carrier.
- The Smithsonian offers 11 museums and galleries on the National Mall and 6 other museums and the National Zoo in the greater National Capital Area.
- Paddle boat in the Tidal Basin and see the Jefferson and FDR Memorials
- Learn to become a covert agent at the Spy Museum
- Go to Madame Tussauds to see the presidents and the stars
- Ride the carousel at the National Mall
- The Phillips Collections has free Discovery Packs to help kids explore art at the museum
- Start a career in media at the Newseum
- Stop by the Children’s Garden at the United States Botanical Gardens
- Experience the three branches of government in person, visit Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and the White House (write to your congressional representative prior to your trip to arrange a tour of the White House).
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