Washington D.C. with kids (in winter)

22 Jan 2015

The piri-piri family is currently out enjoying a little holiday in the U.S.A.. In case, you have not been following us, we have completed our Washington, D.C. leg and are currently in New Orleans.
There are plenty of suggested itineraries out there with some very decent suggestions depending on the amount of time you have to see the capital (my favourite one is this one). So, I will not write a full one at the risk of sounding completely redundant. Instead, I thought I would share our thoughts, ideas and tips for visiting the city with children, especially in winter.

Smithsonian National History Museum

Overall, I really liked the city and we spent 4 days there but could have spent a lot more. It was really easy to get around with a baby carrier and the metro. Considering we were visiting in winter, we had to plan indoor activities and visits to avoid the rain and the cold.
So without further ado, here some ideas and tips.


- All national museums are free so you can see so many great things cheaply, shelter from the rain and cold and find something that will suit your little ones interest.
- Plan to have a quarter for the lockers in the national museums if like us you are visiting in winter and don't want to carry around winter coats and hats, gloves etc.
- We loved the National Museum of the American Indian. While the exhibits are just what you'd expect of a traditional museum, the kids' section is great. We spent a whole morning there. Kids have to pick up a passport and get a real native stamp on it when they have completed certain activities. There is weaving, kayaking, igloo building, etc. There is a little library with books about all things Indian. The cafeteria is also excellent. The food served is all native inspired and it was really delicious. A fabulous day out in itself.
- We also liked the Natural History Museum where LJ was fascinated by the evolution section, the butterfly tunnel (admission fee) and the diamonds. Arrive early to beat the groups of school kids!
- We also visited the American History Museum but this was less child-friendly in my opinion and the stories are a little disjointed. The original star-spangled banner was impressive for us though.
- I also personally wanted to see the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, having studied them at University. To me, these were a great sight but to LJ they were just "some very old papers with faded writing"!

- As tempting as it is, I think with kids, you cannot try and see it all. You really need to select what museums you want to see and stick to them. The fact that they are all grouped around the same location helps though.


- Food highlight for me was Rosa Mexicano's guacamole. Oh man. I could go back just for that. We treated ourselves on a rainy day and the restaurant (near Chinatown) was perfect for kids too. The staff was friendly and very helpful. They even brought a plate of avocado chopped up for baby E.
- Kramer books (in Dupont Circle) is a bookstore and cafè. Perfect for breakfast, brunch or just a piece of cake and coffee to warm up. We also looked at books there, of course. You can just sit and read. And they sell great children books!

The White House

- Of course, the White House was a must-see too (much smaller than I expected) but LJ is still a little too young to fully comprehend the idea of the President and his power.
- Our "coup de coeur" is probably our little walk through Georgetown. We loved seeing the beautiful houses, old oil lamps, grabbing a cupcake and ending by the river to watch the ducks while running around the maze.


Have you ever been to Washington? What did you like the most? What would you recommend?

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