I’m pretty sure that Mother Nature missed the memo and decided that summer is coming early. I ran four miles yesterday in “feels like” 95 and thought I was going to die. Ah, welcome to Washington,DC summer: hot, humid, and sunny. My boys get out of school next week and they aren’t going to many camps, so we have a busy summer planned. Thankfully, DC has plenty of things to do!
Wondering what to do in DC with your older kids (some of these work for kids of any age)? Here are my top 5 suggestions:
1. Visit the Zoo. We’ve been going to the zoo since before we had kids, but it’s even more fun with the kids. The zoo itself is free, but the parking is expensive. Unless you plan to metro (you can, but it’s a bit of a walk from there), a zoo membership offers free parking. It pays for itself in just two trips! This is number one on our list because Jones has been asking to go all spring.
2. Go up the tower at the Old Post Office Pavilion. This tower offers the best views of the DC area – way better than the Washington Monument! The windows are larger and the crowds are smaller. Bonus is that there is also a large food court with tons of food offerings and nice cold air conditioning. (Yes, AC is a priority in DC in the summer.)
3. Attend the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. This year it appears smaller than previous years, with only Peru as the focus. It still looks like a cool event. As an added bonus, the National Museum of the American Indian is right there and has some related exhibits right now. Bonus: Air conditioning.
4. Visit Udvar Hazy. OK, this involves a drive out of the city (and you can visit the Air and Space Museum in the city), but it’s totally worth the drive. The exhibit has tons of historic planes, as well as one of the space shuttles. In addition to the displays, my boys are old enough now to enjoy the IMAX theatre and the simulators. We’ve been going since the kids were teeny, because it’s great for all ages of kids.
5. Visit the International Spy Museum. Beer Geek and I visited this museum about 3 years ago and loved it, but it has a ton of exhibits that involve a lot of reading. Shoo is finally to a point where I think he’d be able to read everything and enjoy the activities, so we’ll be checking that one out this summer.
Of course, this barely scratches the surface of things to do in the DC area with kids. We’ll be hitting a water park or two, the National Geographic Museum currently has an exhibition on “Monster Fish”, and Shoo is fascinated with coins, so we’ll probably hit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing at some point as well. We may also take in a Nationals game and a DC United game. No worries, there’s plenty to do here and much of it is free!
Have you visited DC? What’s your favorite thing to do?