3 Day Washington DC Trip Itinerary (with youngsters)

Sponsored by Allianz Journey Insurance coverage

Washington DC could not sound like essentially the most thrilling vacation journey vacation spot for a teen and tween who’ve spent most of their lives touring (and visiting far too many museums).

DC will likely be boring” my two daughters protested after I informed them we had been taking our annual vacation season journey this yr to the nation’s capital.

Mom and daughters looking out over the National Mall in DC
With my teen & tween in entrance of the Abraham Lincoln Memorial

So, I appointed myself the troublesome process of constructing a memorable Washington DC trip for all members of our household. And I’m very comfortable to say, “Mission achieved.”

Each of our women cherished their journey to DC. They loved experiencing firsthand lots of the locations they’ve seen in movies and TV or realized about at school. They cherished the additional enjoyable issues we did like bike using, ice skating, and vacation purchasing.

Mom and two daughters riding bikes in Washington DC
We loved biking the Nationwide Mall

If you happen to’re in search of a three-day itinerary for Washington DC that may please your youngsters, in addition to mother and pop in fact, then you’ll take pleasure in this Washington DC journey I’ve highlighted beneath.

Table of Contents

Is Washington DC a Good Vacation spot To Go to In The Vacation Season?

Parents and their daughters posing for a photo under an arch of Christmas lights
Decorations in Georgetown, D.C.

When Allianz Partners High 10 Thanksgiving Vacation spot Index got here out sharing the highest 10 locations for People touring in america for Thanksgiving and the Vacation season, we determined to decide on quantity 9 on the listing, Washington DC.

(New York Metropolis in fact topped the listing, adopted by Seattle, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, Atlanta, Phoenix, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Dallas.)

Whereas it is perhaps too late so that you can journey to DC for Thanksgiving, Christmas is across the nook and a time that’s simply as nice to expertise any of those locations.

A lot of the seasonal Christmas experiences begin the day after Thanksgiving, so it’s excellent timing to take pleasure in them.

About This 3 Day Itinerary for Washington DC

Mon and daughter taking a photo outside the US Capitol Builing in Washington DC
We loved a tour of the U.S. Capitol Constructing

For this journey to DC, we needed to slot in a couple of vacation experiences in addition to go to the highest Washington DC points of interest together with memorials, museums, and naturally, a style of native tradition.

We arrived on a Sunday afternoon and left after lunch on Wednesday, so had a full three days of exploring.

Relying in your schedule, it’s possible you’ll have to be versatile with the way you do that itinerary. Chances are you’ll have to adapt it to suit your circumstances. Use this as a information and inspiration, and juggle it round as you see match.

I’ve additionally included some suggestions with different strategies (principally what we might have performed in a different way). We make the errors so it can save you money and time. You’re welcome!

Day 1: Sunday Afternoon in Georgetown

Row of shopfronts in the main street of Georgetown
Row of shopfronts in Georgetown

Downtown DC is fairly quiet on a Sunday, so we determined to discover Georgetown situated on the Potomac River in Northwest Washington, D.C.

Georgetown is thought to be the oldest neighborhood in Washington DC and is full of colourful row houses, cobblestone streets, good purchasing, and scrumptious cupcakes.

It made for the right first cease as we simply wandered round and took all of it in, and stretched our legs after a five-hour drive from our dwelling in Raleigh, NC. Right here’s the place we went.

Cease 1: Lunch at Thunder Burger & Bar

Burger, ketchup and potatoes on a plate
Nice burgers!

Sunday brunch was nonetheless occurring once we arrived reasonably late at 2pm on the Thunder Burger & Bar on Foremost Avenue. That suited us as we had been all famished after a food-less drive.

Craig chowed down on their Breakfast Burger topped with Virginia ham, grilled pineapple, and over simple egg – similar to we do in Australia.

My Shakshuka was scrumptious! The Mediterranean spices within the meatballs had been so flavorful, and virtually tricked me into considering I used to be consuming a falafel however with a a lot better texture.

The women fortunately shared an enormous plate of Rooster and Waffles with a double thumbs up. And for a DC restaurant, the costs had been fairly affordable.

Cease 2: Wander the Georgetown streets

Mother and daughter walking along a sidewalk with American flag and townhownes
Georgetown is charming!

Among the best free issues to do in Georgetown, particularly with older youngsters, is to simply roam across the streets, do some purchasing, have a look at some vacation decorations and see what you may uncover.

The intersection of M and Wisconsin Avenue is the guts of Georgetown, with boutique-lined streets extending in all 4 instructions.

A mom and two daughters walking along a city street with Christmas decorations

We fortunately adopted the women into big-name shops like City Outfitters and Glossier, but additionally unbiased shops like the lovable Bridge Avenue Books.

As new kitten homeowners, we stopped for some time to gaze on the kittens by way of the window of the Crumbs & Whiskers Kitten & Cat Cafe.

Flip down among the facet streets and cobblestone alleys to see what you uncover. Like this illuminated butterfly backyard, we discovered it on the grounds of a historic church.

Large butterfly decorations in a city park

Cease 3: Pattern Cupcakes at Baked & Wired

Cupcakes on display in a bakery
Tremendous in style cupcake retailer!

We had memorable cupcakes and low right here a couple of years in the past, so in fact, we knew this may be a DC spotlight for our youngsters!

Baked & Wired is a household bakery making small-batch baked items and scrumptious craft espresso. Lining the counter is all kinds of cupcakes with flavors like flapjack, the nice pumpkin, soiled chai, and crimson velvet. They even have vegan and gluten-free choices!

Kalyra says don’t miss the Tessita cupcake, a vanilla cake with dulce de leche filling, topped with chocolate hazelnut satin frosting.

I discover their cupcakes to be the right moist texture and never sickly candy regardless of the abundance of creamy icing on high.

You may both eat in amongst lovely portraiture adorning the partitions or take them to-go as you stroll alongside the lovable Georgetown canal pathways to admire the historic colourful homes and Christmas lights.

Cease 4: Go to the Previous Stone Home

Old Stone House in Georgetown

The Old Stone House is the oldest construction on its unique basis in Washington, D.C.

This pre-revolutionary colonial constructing is sort of small with not loads to see. You may go to the decrease ground of the constructing which has some reveals in what was as soon as the kitchen.

I discovered the outside gardens to be fairly pretty. I loved sitting right here ending my espresso and cupcake!

Cease 5: Ice Skating at Washington Harbor

People ice skating inside a rink surrounded by buildings

Only a few steps from Georgetown on the Potomac River is Washington Harbor’s Vacation ice skating rink.

Ice skating has turn into one in all our vacation traditions since we first did it at Bryant Park in NYC for Christmas.

I’m unsure if the ice-skating rink was tough or if I used to be simply rusty, but it surely felt like skating alongside a gravel pathway at first.

Mom and daughters ice skating photo

Fairly quickly our skates warmed as much as it because the ice grew to become extra worn down and we stayed up and skated for about an hour. The one factor lacking was Christmas music!

This ice-skating rink is Washington DC’s largest. Alternatively, the ice-skating rink within the Nationwide Artwork Gallery sculpture backyard comes extremely really helpful, but it surely had not but opened for the season.

People ice skating inside a rink with a fire pit
Warmed our arms round this hearth pit
People ice skating inside a rink surrounded by buildings
Mom and two daughters getting photo in front of a Christmas tree
There’s a Christmas tree up the steps right here too!

HOT TIP: Get right here at nightfall. The crowds will likely be much less, and also you’ll get fairly sundown colours. I cherished the placing views of the Watergate Lodge (sure, the SAME place as Nixon scandal) all lit up at night time.

Cease 6: Dinner at Agora D.C.

We took an Uber to Dupont Circle as we thought it was a vibrant place to hang around and Georgetown acquired actually quiet as soon as the solar went down.

Dupont Circle was a flop on a Sunday night time, however we discovered a fantastic restaurant a couple of streets again that was solely a 15-minute stroll from our resort.

Agora D.C. is a family-owned Mediterranean Mezze Restaurant. It’s impressed by the wealthy culinary traditions of Turkey melded with flavors from Greece and Lebanon.

People dining in a Turkish restaurant
Good atmosphere

Fragrant, Spicy, and Scrumptious with a smooth ambiance and a fairly reasonably priced value, particularly with their share plates.

I used to be nonetheless full from our late lunch so was greater than happy with an Htipiti appetizer of roasted crimson Pepper, Feta, Thyme, Olive Oil, and a bowl of scrumptious brussels on a mattress of lemon yogurt, urfa peppers, and golden raisins.

There are a selection of flatbread flavors the youngsters will love and Craig loved a plate of Kofte: minced lamb and New York strip patties with Cack, Sumac, Onions, and tomatoes.

I additionally had a glass of Lebanese Syrah – my first ever Lebanese wine and I used to be impressed with this smoothness.

Day 2: Nationwide Mall by Bike, Spy Museum & Vacation Markets

Family riding bikes
We cherished biking round D.C.

Among the best issues to do in Washington DC is to tour the Nationwide Mall. You possibly can simply spend a full day right here because it’s surrounded by among the high points of interest in DC.

If you happen to don’t know something concerning the National Mall, it’s not a shopping center, however a unending expanse of land encompassing inspiring monuments and museums which can be administered by the Nationwide Park Service.

View of the Nationwide Mall from high of the Washington Monument

This placing “America’s entrance yard “stretches for practically two-miles and has the Lincoln Memorial on one finish, the U.S. Capitol Constructing on the opposite, museums lined on both facet and the Washington Monument piercing the sky in between. The White Home can also be simply off the Mall.

Touring the Mall is an unimaginable lesson in historical past as among the US’s most iconic memorials inform the story of the individuals and occasions that formed the nation.

On the opposite half of the Mall (the japanese facet) are among the world’s finest museums.

However as we solely had three days in DC, we wanted a method to see as a lot of the Nationwide Mall as potential in such a short while.

Biking Round The Nationwide Mall

Three girls bike riding in Washington DC
Nice method to discover the Mall

Okay. So for those who’re going to include museums and memorials with a teen and tween, you higher someway discover a distinctive and memorable method to do it.

I knew bike using across the Nationwide Mall could be it.

Granted, they complained as quickly as they came upon. Craig spoiled my shock by telling them the night earlier than. I used to be going to inform them by handing over their bike helmets at check-in to keep away from stretched-out intervals of complaining.

Family riding bikes
DC is flat and really easy to bike!

I grew to become enemy Quantity One, till they acquired on the bikes, skilled the enjoyable of it, and realized simply how a lot worse it might have been if we walked round that Mall as a substitute.

We solely managed to discover half of the Mall on at the present time in Washington DC (between 10am-3pm) and that was on bikes!

We rode across the tidal basin, stopping on the memorials alongside there. We then visited the Lincoln Memorial, earlier than using right down to the Washington Monument.

Girl riding a bike in Washington DC
We biked to the Washington Monument

We took a fast break after that with lunch from the many meals vehicles lined alongside the streets. I can’t say it was incredible meals, however they’re cheaper and sooner than the eating places close by. (Maybe pack a picnic!)

Meals vehicles lining the Nationwide Mall

After lunch we rode again round stopping at a couple of extra memorials earlier than dropping off the bikes at 3pm.

Nationwide Mall Memorials

Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Abraham Lincoln Memorial

All the memorials within the western half of the Nationwide Mall are FREE.

There’s not loads to learn or do right here besides replicate and benefit from the tranquil magnificence of every memorial. I’m impressed on the effort put into all of them.

Plan your stops round your pre-booked tour of the Washington Monument. We booked ours for 12pm, however in hindsight, 9am would have perhaps been a greater time.

Additionally, for those who don’t need to bike or stroll the Nationwide Mall, there are guided tours you can join which take you round in a bus.

These memorials beneath are listed within the order we seen them on our bike journey.

Cease 1: Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Monument in DC
Stunning location on the Tidal Basin

Certainly one of my favourite of the Washington memorials for its architectural magnificence (particularly amidst the backdrop of the blooming cherry blossoms) is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial on the Tidal Basin.

Mom and daughter taking a photo of a monument
Spectacular bronze statue

It stands as a logo of liberty and has marble steps main as much as big ionic columns housing a bronze statue of Jefferson searching over the Washington Monument.

The partitions are inlaid with excerpts from his letters, speeches, and the Declaration of Independence.

Cease 2: Franklin D Roosevelt Memorial

Man looking up at the Thomas Jefferson Monument in DC
Empowering quotes

Positively essentially the most distinctive of the memorials is the one in honor of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 4 phrases in workplace from the Nice Despair to World Struggle II.

Elanor Roosevelt

I cherished its tranquil nature set again into the forest on the banks of the Tidal Basin with waterfalls, statues of FDR (along with his canine) and his spouse Elanor and well-known quotes etched into the brown marble partitions.

Cease 3: Martin Luther King Memorial

Giant stone monument of Martin Luther King in DC

Because the Lincoln Memorial was the place of MLK’s most well-known speech, “I’ve a dream”, it is smart that his MLK Memorial is situated fairly near it.

The memorial, unveiled in 2011, is predicated on a line from the speech, “With this religion, we can hew out of a mountain of despair, a stone of hope.”

Giant stone monument of Martin Luther King in DC
Stone of Hope

The massive (oddly) white granite statue of Dr. King is the stone of hope and the 2 items of granite close to him are depicted because the mountain of despair. Alongside the again is a black wall with quotes of MLK reminding us to maintain working in direction of inclusion for all.

Cease 4: Lincoln Memorial

Abraham Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial

Some of the well-known memorials on this planet is the Lincoln Memorial with its white, larger-than-life, marble statue of the larger-than-life President Abraham Lincoln wanting instantly over the reflection pool previous the Washington Monument and to the domed Capitol constructing.

Mom and daughters looking up at monument of Abraham Lincoln
Good day Abe!

My women acknowledged it as quickly as we walked to the reflection pool because the place from Forrest Gump!

Mom and daughters looking out over the National Mall in DC
Wonderful views of reflection pool

This is among the finest views in Washington DC and a fantastic place to replicate upon what Lincoln stood for and the way he helped change the world for the higher.

Cease 5: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

People looking at a war memorial in Washington DC

I usually really feel fairly emotional strolling up and down the black wall of the Vietnam Struggle Memorial wanting on the seemingly limitless listing of names etched into the wall of the hundreds of members of the U.S. armed forces who fought, died in service, or had been listed MIA through the Vietnam Struggle. 

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial stands as one of the vital visited and shifting memorials on the Nationwide Mall

Cease 6: Korean Struggle Veterans Memorial

Statues of men in a war memorial in DC

The Korean Struggle Veterans Memorial is equally placing and unnerving with 19 stainless-steel statues of troopers on patrol.

It’s the depth of their faces that makes you’re feeling such as you’re being hunted within the jungle throughout wartime.

The mural wall behind them – much like the Vietnam battle memorial – has real-life pictures of the two,499 males, ladies, and canine who served within the battle. It’s fairly a sight to see.

Cease 7: World Struggle II Memorial

Lake and fountain at a war memorial monument in DC

Some of the poignant of the Washington DC Memorials is the World War II Memorial on the backside of Washington Monument hill.

Opened in 2004, it honors the spirit and sacrifice of the 16 million women and men who served abroad and the greater than 400,000 that perished.

There may be a lot to see and replicate on on this in style memorial. There’s a lovely fountain at its middle, which 56 granite columns forming a semi-circle round.

They symbolize unity among the many 48 states, seven federal territories, and the District of Columbia. There are two 43-foot-tall arches on reverse sides: the northern arch represents victory within the Atlantic, whereas the southern arch symbolizes victory within the Pacific.

Cease 8: Climb to The High of the Washington Monument (12pm)

Mom and two daughters looking up at a 555 ft tall monument in DC
555 ft excessive gives superb views!

Do you know you may go as much as the highest of the 555 ft excessive Washington Monument? Although your 360-degree views of Washington will likely be by way of tiny home windows, it’s nicely value it.

This monumental obelisk was constructed to honor George Washington and nonetheless, at present stands because the world’s tallest freestanding stone construction.

A elevate will take you as much as the remark deck the place you may see practically 25 miles in each course. Spot the landmarks just like the U.S. Capitol, the White Home, Arlington Nationwide Cemetery, the Pentagon, Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Nationwide Cathedral.

Aerial view of a lake and buildings in Washington DC
Gorgeous view of the Lincoln Memorial and Reflection Pool
Aerial view of a large green park and buildings in Washington DC
View of The White Home and Ellipse

There may be additionally a small museum with details about the constructing of the monument and a statue of Washington on the backside of the elevate.

Don’t shut your eyes when going again down. It’ll decelerate twice to present you a glimpse of the inside partitions, that are lined with commemorative stones.

Like many of the monuments, memorials, and museums in Washington, this tour is free. Though, for those who guide forward on-line – and I like to recommend you do – you’ll have to pay a $1 reserving charge per ticket.

Girl looking out a winow over a city skyline
Unimaginable view in direction of the U.S. Capitol Constructing

Tickets for the next day are launched at 10am every day, and it’s like making an attempt to seize Taylor Swift tickets. I arrived at 10am on Monday and will see the tickets accessible rapidly counting down. I managed to get 4 tickets for noon.

If you happen to don’t get any, they launch some tickets on the morning of, however you’ll have to line up outdoors the monument fairly early. All tickets for the day had been gone once we arrived at noon.

It’s also possible to guide tickets precisely 30 days prematurely of your tour date.

NOTE: The next guided tour of the Nationwide Mall by bus consists of entry to the Washington Monument. It’s additionally helpful for many who don’t need to bike or stroll the Nationwide Mall. Reserve your place on the tour here.

Cease 9: Cease for a view of the White Home

Large black metal fence surrounding the White House
Distant view of the South Garden from in entrance of the Ellipse (E St NW)

Wish to go to the White Home? Particularly to see the attractive Christmas decorations? Craig and I did it in 2014 after being invited by the White Home for his or her first-ever journey summit. It was one of many high highlights of our 12-year journey running a blog profession.

couple posing in front of Christmas tree in the White House
With Craig contained in the White Home in 2014

As this was a last-minute journey to DC, we missed the chance to guide a tour to go to the White Home. You may attain out to your native representatives to tour the White Home, but it surely should be performed at the least 21 days prematurely and no additional than 90 days prematurely.

As I mentioned, we make errors that can assist you keep away from them! However, for those who’re planning to go to DC for the vacations in 2022, you’ll be too late. However not for those who’re planning to journey in 2023.

We rode from the Nationwide Mall round the Ellipse – the place they had been placing collectively their Christmas tree to the again gates of the White Home.

Christmas tree getting decorated at The White House
Christmas tree on the Ellipse

You might be fairly removed from the home right here however get the basic view of the White Home and its semi-circular portico overlooking the big expansive South garden.

TOP TIP: Go round to the entrance of the White Home on H Avenue that overlooks Lafayette Square. You will get a lot nearer to the home and get a really completely different and delightful view of the White Home’s northern facade.

I actually loved standing right here and considering life within the White Home and all it takes for an individual with a dream to really make it there.

Fountain in front of The White House
View from the entrance on H Avenue

Be aware: this road can get closed off at any time. We went at 5pm and the Secret Service officers shut it down. Given the variety of helicopters roaming the skies, we figured President Biden was about to depart the constructing.

You may go a block again on the northern facet of Lafayette Sq. and nonetheless get views. We additionally noticed a reporter (I believe from CNN) movie a political phase from right here. Look as much as the roof and see for those who can see the snipers! Sort of creepy, however our internal spies additionally discover it kinda cool.

We returned at 7am to H Avenue and had your complete north facet view of the White Home to ourselves.

Cease 10: Espresso Break at Colada

Dad and daughters in coffee shop

How have I by no means had Cuban espresso earlier than?

After dropping off our bike leases within the District Wharf space – which seems to be like it might be quite a lot of enjoyable at night time, particularly in the summertime – we had half-hour to relaxation earlier than our subsequent high Washington DC attraction.

We stopped on the vibrant Colada Shop café and bar the place I made a decision to attempt a café con leche, which for those who don’t know is espresso, steamed milk, candy Cuban crema.

I cherished the recent zing it gave me with out the heaviness of a milky latte.

Because it’s close to the bike rental cease, this may be a great place to have breakfast earlier than your bike journey. In addition they produce other areas round DC. 

Cease 11: Worldwide Spy Museum

People exploring a spy museum in DC

Once we requested our Instagram community what are the perfect issues to do in Washington DC with youngsters, the overwhelming majority mentioned, “Worldwide Spy Museum”.

There have been no complaints of boredom for the 2 hours we spent there refining our spy abilities, studying about espionage, the significance of intelligence gathering, and the lives of real-life spies.

People exploring a spy museum in DC

The museum is partaking from the beginning by giving all guests a particular undercover spy mission. You’re given an alias and a mission, all recorded on a card which you utilize on stations located across the museum to make use of your spy abilities to uncover mission clues, crack codes, and resolve the thriller – you even get to create your individual digital spy disguise.

Whereas it was enjoyable to be a faux spy, after studying concerning the lifetime of spies, and the danger of coming to torturous ends, it’s not one thing I ever have an curiosity in being!

Cease 12: Discover the Downtown Vacation Market

People enjoying a Christmas market

Kalyra mentioned the Downtown Holiday Markets had been her favourite factor to do in Washington DC. Teenagers are at all times going to like the chance to buy their pursuits.

The Vacation Markets are in Penn Quarter simply north of the mall till Dec 23rd. You’ll discover greater than 70 native artisans and exhibitors together with black and minority-owned companies.

There are meals distributors with tasty treats like donuts, empanadas, and German meals. Stay music was additionally enjoying and there have been interactive gentle shows lining the markets.

We cherished them. and picked up some lovely drawn prints from Marcella Kriebel and a few Christmas creation calendars from the German stall.

Cease 13: Dinner at Pi Pizzeria

Family eating pizza in a restaurant
Household-friendly pizza joint

For an reasonably priced household dinner, it’s possible you’ll take pleasure in consuming at Pi Pizzeria, which was solely a block away from the Downtown Vacation Market in Penn Quarter.

You may customise your individual pizzas or select from their distinctive specialty deep crust or skinny pizzas. They’re massive sufficient for your loved ones to share at a fantastic value they usually even have gluten-free pizzas.

Two pizzas in a restaurant
We shared two pizzas between 4

And, they poured us actually massive glasses of chianti. A glass of chianti with pizza reminiscing over a enjoyable day using round DC and pretending to be spies was full of heat vacation cheer.

Day 3: Capitol Hill & Nationwide Mall Museums

Mom and daughter taking photo in front of a pond and US Capitol Builing in Washington DC
U.S. Capitol Constructing

After cramming loads into day two, we determined that day three ought to be spent exploring the opposite half of the Nationwide Mall (the Jap facet) that includes the U.S. Capitol and the world-famous Smithsonian Museums.

Right here’s what we acquired as much as on day three of our Washington DC trip.

Cease 1: U.S. Capitol Constructing Tour (9am)

People on a tour inside the US Capitol Builing in Washington DC
The Crypt

The U.S. Capitol Building is among the most recognizable buildings on this planet and the middle of American democracy. No journey to Washington DC could be full with out paying a go to to the place the place legal guidelines are debated and payments handed on behalf of the American individuals.

Sadly, due to the January 6th storming of the Capitol, our women had been excited to go to Capitol Hill simply so they might see the place all of it occurred. (They positively had been NOT in approval of what occurred!)

Round room inside the US Capitol Builing in Washington DC
The Rotunda

As we’re additionally planning to turn into US residents, they usually be taught a lot concerning the branches of presidency at school, I do know this may be a fantastic Washington attraction with youngsters.

A guided tour of the US Capitol begins with an informative 13-minute movie known as “Out of Many, One, which shares the historical past of this constructing and department of presidency.

Domed ceiling inside the US Capitol Builing in Washington DC
Trying up within the Rotunda on the ceiling of the dome

The 45-minute tour then continues by way of the constructing to the Crypt, the Rotunda which is below the gorgeous Capitol dome, and the Nationwide Statuary Corridor, which is full of statues of necessary leaders in historical past (not essentially politicians).

A public tour of the U.S. Capitol is free. Reserve your tickets in advance. However, for those who don’t thoughts lengthy strains, there are restricted same-day tickets accessible.

If you wish to go to the Home and Senate galleries or watch Congress in session, you should guide this beforehand by reaching out to your native Congressman.

We had time after the tour to wander the grounds of the US Capitol and take pictures. They had been placing up the Christmas tree, which is basically lovely at night time when lit.

Cease 2: Library of Congress (10:45)

Outsdie view of the Library of Congress

Even if you’re not a guide nerd or care about Congress, it’s value visiting the Library of Congress (Thomas Jefferson Building) simply to see the flowery design of the inside.

I solely reserved a timed entry go as a result of it was proper subsequent to the Capitol Constructing, and because it’s the largest library on this planet, I assumed my book-loving teen would like it.

I believe I cherished it greater than her!

Lobby Beautiful lobby inside the Library of Congress
Gorgeous structure

The Library of Congress is dwelling to over 164 million gadgets together with books, manuscripts, maps, pictures, and movies that are housed throughout three buildings on Capitol Hill.

The Thomas Jefferson Constructing is the place vacationers have a tendency to go to. There are a couple of reveals you may see inside, however largely you’ll be gawking on the architectural fantastic thing about the Nice Corridor with marble arches and columns. Each inch is roofed in decorations from many US artists and sculptures, brightly painted partitions, and ceilings.

Stunning ceiling iBooks inside the Library of Congress
Beautiful ceiling

You may view a uncommon and excellent copy of the Gutenberg Bible, which is the primary Bible printed utilizing the printing press.

There was an exhibit showcasing gorgeous images amassed by the library because the 1800s. We significantly cherished this Royal cat and dancing grandmother!

A spotlight was seeing Thomas Jefferson’s private assortment of 6,400 books that based the Library of Congress. He offered them for $24,000 again in 1800.

Books inside the Library of Congress
Thomas Jefferson’s private assortment

And don’t miss the principle Studying Room, which you’ll be able to overlook from the second stage of the constructing. Spend time wanting on the ornate portray on the ceiling and the figures surrounding the work. There may be an info plaque that describes the symbolism of the artwork.

Beautiful lobby inside the Library of Congress
Studying Room

I solely discovered this out after our go to, however you will get a library card from right here, which can provide you entry to the Studying Room.

NOTE: You are able to do a paid guided tour of the Capitol Constructing and Library of Congress. It additionally features a cease on the Supreme Courtroom and the power to loosen up as your information shares the historical past and insider info. You additionally then received’t want to fret about reserving tickets prematurely or ready on lengthy strains as your entry is included within the tour. Book your spot here.

Cease 3: Lunch at Capitol Hill

Townhome in Washington DC
City-home in Capitol Hill

Lunch choices aren’t nice proper on the Nationwide Mall. You actually should stroll a couple of streets away. Though I’ve heard the café contained in the US Capitol is definitely fairly good and it’s possible you’ll get to rub shoulders with some necessary politicians. Good or unhealthy? You resolve!

We walked 15-minutes down into Capitol Hill. I assumed it is perhaps extra of a enjoyable neighborhood to take a look at than it was.

Family walking on a sidewalk in main street Capitol Hill
Pennsylvania Ave in Capitol Hill

In hindsight, I’ll have skipped it and simply grabbed lunch on the Capitol to save lots of on time and many strolling. However we did discover a fantastic lunch spot and low there.

District Taco (656 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) is a sequence so one can find them round DC. The meals was scrumptious, and comparatively reasonably priced, and I cherished how customizable all their dishes had been.

I used to be so comfortable to eat scrumptious nachos and have the power to select off or exchange the ‘Decide de Calle’ with tomatoes and salsa (I can’t eat uncooked onion and stay comfortable).

Across the nook from District Taco is Peregrine Espresso, which has excellent espresso. We relaxed right here for a bit absorbing native life and planning the second half of at the present time in Washington.

Cease 4: See the Tropics within the U.S. Botanic Gardens

Boardwalk and plants in a graden

Again to the Nationwide Mall with our first cease on the stress-free United States Botanic Gardens. Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Backyard is the oldest constantly working botanic backyard in america

There’s a conservatory and out of doors gardens to discover.

The rainforest was one in all Kalyra’s favourite issues to do in DC – besides wearing our winter garments, it was so stiflingly scorching that we couldn’t keep in for too lengthy with out stripping right down to nakedness.

The dome inside The Tropics rises to 93 toes and has a mezzanine stage from which you’ll be able to view the jungle cover. It was really lovely and a cheerful place for me.

There are a “Season’s Greenings” vacation show now till Jan 2, 2023, G-gauge mannequin trains will run within the gated out of doors gardens and the Conservatory will characteristic poinsettias, vacation decor, and D.C. landmarks created from crops.

Cease 5: Discover the Smithsonian Museums

Exterior of a museum
Hirshhorn Museum

You’ll actually need to plan nicely for which museums to discover alongside the northern half of the Nationwide Mall. There’s a Smithsonian Museum to swimsuit any form of curiosity and magnificence – and they’re all FREE.

The Smithsonian Establishment is the world’s largest museum, training, and analysis advanced, with 21 museums and the Nationwide Zoo (additionally free to enter).

The preferred ones require timed entry passes. We missed out on visiting the Air and Space Museum and the National Museum of African American History & Culture as a result of we didn’t notice this, and all passes had been booked out!

These had been two of the museums most really helpful to us. As a method to keep away from lacking out, you may join this paid guided tour of both these museums which ensures you entry.

As we aren’t big museums individuals, I knew, the women particularly, wouldn’t recognize me including too many museums to our Washington DC journey.

We selected a pair and principally simply popped in to see an exhibition or two in every one. So, plan accordingly primarily based in your pursuits and journey model.

Listed here are the museums we visited.

National Museum of the American Indian

Display inside a museum

We went straight to the 4th ground of the Our Universes exhibit, which focuses on indigenous worldviews and philosophies associated to the creation and order of the universe—and the non secular relationship between humankind and the pure world. 

I want I had extra time (or ideally solo time) to actually absorb the various tribal philosophies.

For these with youthful youngsters, the interactive, family-friendly imagiNATIONS Exercise Middle supplies younger guests a vigorous house with all kinds of studying experiences.

One other potential change to at the present time’s itinerary in DC would have been to eat lunch on the Mitsitam Café contained in the museum. It options Native meals discovered all through the Western Hemisphere.

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Backyard

Art sculpture

I actually loved the Hirshhorn Museum, which options worldwide fashionable and modern artwork and a novel cylindrical constructing designed by Gordon Bunshaft.

We simply selected the highest ground and cherished the placing Pickett’s Cost panorama by Mark Bradford that wraps across the outer fringe of the ground.

Wall painting in an Art museum

It’s a collage of coloured paper that turns the historic Gettysburg Pickett’s Cost cyclorama (which we’ve skilled) right into a collection of eight highly effective, summary work. Every is about 45 to 50 toes lengthy and 12 toes excessive.

I additionally actually loved the Guerilla Women exhibition Put it This Method talking out for equality and inclusion for feminine artists.

Art museum
Attention-grabbing stat that shouldn’t be!

A reader additionally really helpful that the timed passes to the exhibit. One with Eternity: Yayoi Kusama within the Hirshhorn Assortment, is value getting (particularly for the gram pictures!).

Out the entrance of the gallery is the 1.3-acre sunken Sculpture Backyard which options works from a number of artists. of Auguste Rodin’s most well-known sculptures, entitled The Burghers of Calais, may be discovered right here.

Even the timber had been chosen for his or her sculpture-like qualities and within the backyard, you’ll discover Babylon weeping willows, copper beeches, weeping beeches, Japanese black pines, and daybreak redwood timber.

Be sure you cease by Yoko Ono’s Wishing Tree the place you may whisper your want for peace.

Nationwide Gallery of Artwork Sculpture Backyard

Art sculpture

The Sculpture Backyard on the National Gallery of Art is an excellent oasis in the midst of a tiring Museum Day.

Get pleasure from works of recent sculpture as you slowly wander by way of the 6.1-acre backyard. There’s a café the place you may relaxation for some time, and as talked about beforehand, an ice-skating rink through the Vacation season.

We had been so exhausted by the tip of the day that we loved utilizing our $100 resort credit score to eat on the Lady Madison restaurant in our resort. It was my favourite meal of our journey in DC.

The bacon cheeseburger was scrumptious. They set the bar for what a burger ought to style like in a land of burgers. Our waiter, Abdul was so pretty.

Day 4: The Ford Theater + Alexandria

The final morning of our household journey to DC was all about President Lincoln and a stopover for lunch earlier than our lengthy drive dwelling.

You probably have a morning free after spending three days in Washington DC, right here’s how one can spend it.

Cease 1: Breakfast at Lincoln’s Waffle Store (8am)

People having breakfast in a diner

Some of the in style – and reasonably priced – locations to eat breakfast in Washington DC is Lincoln’s Waffle Shop.

We deliberate it for the final day as we had booked into the Ford Theater Museum throughout the street at 9am.

As you may think about, you’ll discover a menu filled with waffles and your typical diner-type breakfast meals: grits, potato hash, over-easy eggs, sausage, and bacon.

I discovered it very tasty and cherished how the sausage was not your typical diner, weeny-in-size, and cardboard in style.

I additionally loved how this restaurant was a pleasing mixture of vacationers and locals – teams of building employees and cops getting a hearty begin to their day.

Cease 2: Tour Ford’s Theater

Exterior of Ford Theater in DC
Standard DC attraction

I wasn’t certain if Ford’s Theater could be value it, however given we’d heard a lot about Lincoln throughout our time in DC – one of many biggest Presidents of all time – we’d be remiss to not go to the place the place he was shot and later died.

After he was shot within the Presidential suite of the Ford Theater by Sales space, he was taken throughout the street to a boarding home to die 9 hours later in dignity.

A go to to Ford’s Theater – a nationwide park – means that you can see each.

Displays in a museum

The tour begins within the museum the place you be taught extra about Lincoln’s household, the Civil Struggle, and the timeline of his dying. You then go to the theater to see the place he was shot. If you happen to’re fortunate, there could also be a rangers speak on, which I discovered informative and purchased the assassination to stay.

You then go to the Peterson House throughout the street to see the room the place Lincoln died and to be taught what occurred to all these concerned within the assassination.

Bed in a museum
Mattress the place Lincoln handed away

It was similar to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, the place Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Ensure you book your tickets in advance for this. We went in on the opening and once we walked out an hour later the road outdoors went all the way in which down the road.

They’ve timed-entry tickets each half hour, that are solely $5.

A restricted variety of free entry tickets can be found on the field workplace on a first-come foundation.

Ford Theater where Lincoln was assassinated
High left Presidents sales space is the place Lincoln was sitting when shot

A enjoyable factor to do with youngsters in DC through the holidays could be to see A Christmas Carol efficiency at Ford’s Theater. In hindsight, I want I did this, particularly after visiting the Museum.

WARNING: Not all stops on the positioning are included with each ticket. Concentrate when reserving your tour. I don’t assume it’s value visiting until you may see all of the reveals, particularly the theater.

Cease 3: Go to Alexandria, Virginia

Downtown street scene with store fronts on each side

We determined to cease in at Previous City Alexandria, 15-minutes south of DC in Virginia on our approach dwelling to Raleigh as my analysis informed me that Oprah thought this was essentially the most “Christmassy city within the US.’

The women had been fairly upset we stopped right here, as they needed to get dwelling to their kittens, and there have been only a few Christmas decorations up but (pre-Thanksgiving).

Alexandria is a nationally designated historic district based in 1749, most famous for its wealthy historical past and superbly preserved 18th and 19th-century structure.

Mom and daughters walking down a road
Exploring Alexandria

Old Town Alexandria is dwelling to unbiased eating places, boutique shops, and historic museums, with a contemporary waterfront space alongside the Potomac River.

It was slightly underwhelming, however I want to return and discover extra deeply one other time.

We didn’t spend an excessive amount of time right here. We explored the principle road, had a scrumptious espresso at Misha’s (which additionally had scrumptious sausage rolls made similar to again dwelling in Australia), and a hearty Irish lunch at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub on King St.

Store fronts in a downtown street

We actually wanted it because the drive dwelling took us virtually 7 hours due to vacation visitors!

This can be one thing you need to skip in your DC household journey, relying on whether or not that is in your approach dwelling or not.

Chances are you’ll want to visit Mt Vernon if in case you have extra time within the afternoon. It’s meant to be very lovely through the holidays with its Candlelight tour and decorations.

OR, you simply could need to take your weary toes dwelling to your kittens.

High Suggestions to your Washington DC Trip with Children

Use this map that can assist you together with your planning. Save a duplicate and alter as you see match. This can aid you plan out your days, so that you spend much less time strolling round. After you’ve performed that, take a look at these different suggestions for visiting Washington DC:

  • Ebook your high Washington DC points of interest prematurely. They’re in style and can guide rapidly, particularly throughout vacation season. Although lots of the museums and authorities points of interest are free, many require timed entry passes. Your pre-booked tour occasions will decide the way you schedule your days.
  • In case you are driving up from the South, give your self additional visitors time because the stretch between DC and Richmond must be one of many worst within the nation. We’re at present sitting in visitors on our approach dwelling and we’re already 90 minutes delayed and circumnavigating round nation roads – nonetheless the quickest approach!
  • If you happen to’re visiting DC outdoors of the Vacation season, most of those points of interest and excursions are nonetheless related! Simply substitute one thing else in for the Vacation points of interest we skilled.
  • Meals is sort of costly in Washington DC, so now we have talked about a couple of locations we thought had been reasonably priced and price visiting. It was exhausting to seek out one thing in between terrible quick meals and costly eating places. I’m gluten-free which implies it’s exhausting to seek out simple breakfast choices like bagels or muffins from the numerous bakeries round. I hope you may!
  • If you happen to plan on visiting a couple of paid points of interest, it’s possible you’ll lower your expenses with a Washington DC Sightseeing Pass. For instance The Worldwide Spy Museum, guided bike tour of the Nationwide Mall, and a visit to George Washington’s Mt Vernon are all included on it, so it should prevent cash in your entrance passes.

The place to Keep in Washington DC

Hotel room with two beds and desk
Our room at The Madison Hotel

On this brief 3-day household trip to DC, it was ultimate to decide on a resort inside strolling distance to the Nationwide Mall.

After making use of our methods to save lots of on lodging, we discovered the perfect deal by way of our American Categorical Gold bank card with their Lodge Assortment.

If you happen to keep greater than 2 nights, you get a $100 credit score to spend on qualifying eating, spa, and resort actions. You additionally get a room improve – if available- and it was to a deluxe queen.

Steak, asparagus, fries
Dinner on the resort restaurant

We booked a room at The Madison on 15th road solely a few blocks away from the White Home.

 We might stroll all over the place – Georgetown was even a 3-minute stroll from our resort.

The room was snug however most necessary of all, was the handy location.

Parking in DC

If you happen to’re on a USA street journey and driving to DC, make sure that to analysis the price of parking at your resort. Most have valet parking solely and cost on common round $65 per night time!

As we arrived on Sunday, road parking was free. So we parked the primary night time on the road after which moved it to a parking storage the following morning, which solely charged $32 in a single day (this doesn’t embody out and in privileges).

There are many parking garages downtown that may have offers like this. Be aware, most are closed on a Sunday. (However you get the free road parking for those who can jag a spot).

When you park, you shouldn’t want your automotive for this journey. You’re higher off taking an Uber/Lyft or using the DC Metro.

Remaining Ideas On This Washington DC Trip

Mom and daughters looking out over the National Mall in DC
Reflection Pool

So there you’ve got it, that is how one can spend three days in Washington DC together with your tweens and youths and as you may see, there’s quite a bit to see and do.

I extremely advocate hiring bikes and biking from A to B in your journey. We had been solely capable of cowl all of the stops we did on day two as a result of we had been capable of cycle between them.

If you happen to don’t really feel like biking, you will have to be ready to chop a couple of issues off on day two of this itinerary.

We hope that you simply discovered this information helpful and that it helped you propose your DC trip. However, earlier than you go…

Don’t neglect Journey Insurance coverage!

Girl riding a bike near a lake
Biking across the Tidal Basin in D.C.

Journey insurance coverage is the very first thing we buy earlier than reserving a visit so we’re protected ought to one thing go flawed whereas we’re ready for our journey to start! Fortunately journey insurance coverage may be actually reasonably priced.

We’re ambassadors for Allianz Journey Insurance coverage and advocate them to your journey insurance coverage. Contemplate their OneTrip Prime and OneTrip Premier journey insurance coverage for a ton of Sensible-Advantages.

We personally have an annual plan as we’re frequent vacationers. We love packing our luggage and strolling out the door realizing we’re at all times coated. 

The free Allianz TravelSmart™ App makes it simple to handle your Allianz Journey Insurance coverage plan on the go. It additionally has options that can assist you monitor flights, get updates about occasions which will affect your travels, and helpful emergency numbers for the vacation spot you’re touring to.

If you happen to appreciated this submit on Washington DC Trip journey please contemplate sharing it. And if you’re on Pinterest, you may pin the beneath picture to save lots of for later!

3 Day Washington DC Vacation Itinerary (With Teens & Tweens in the Holidays)