As the beginning of the year gets underway, many families start thinking about travel. After all, vacation planning is a great way to chase off the winter blues! The United States is vast, and there are so many amazing spots to visit. That often leaves parents wondering—what are some of the best places to visit with kids? In this series of blogs, we want to explore some of the top kid friendly venues in the country. Read along, and you’re sure to find a spot that fits you and your family!
One of the top destinations for families with kids happens to be our nation’s capital: Washington D.C. Here you’ll find many national treasures such as the White House, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the National Mall. But giant stone monuments aren’t all you’ll find in the District of Columbia! You’ve also got a plethora of amazing educational museums like the Smithsonian, the International Spy Museum, and the Washington D.C. Children’s Museum. Couple these e-ticket locations with low-key activities like catching a movie, bowling, or swimming and you’ve got a great family getaway!
My family and I have been dreaming about visiting Washington D.C. for years. We’re hoping to make that dream a reality sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I’ve planned out a fun, faux itinerary.
Our local airport has a direct flight into Washington D.C. This makes it convenient for us to jump on a plane! However, taking a road trip may be more appealing to your family for various reasons like preference, finances, or timing.
Upon arriving, we would likely choose a hotel in the downtown area—something convenient for walking to many popular destinations. With young kids in our family, we would also choose a spot with a swimming pool. This is non-negotiable!
After storing our luggage in our room and checking out all the amenities, I already know our next step. We would purchase a ticket for Washington D.C.’s Big Bus. This is one of those open top buses that allows you to see all the most popular tourist sites without too much hassle and fuss. You get to hop on and off at your leisure, which is super handy when you’re in a new place.
We recently visited Paris and London, and we used the Big Bus on our first day in each city. This helped us get oriented, and it also helped us decide which spots were the most interesting to us so that we could return later and explore in more depth.
When travelling with kids, the Big Bus gets two thumbs up!
My family tends to like a balanced vacation—one day of activity and one day of relaxation. So, on day two we would likely relax and take things a little slower. This is a great day to swim, catch a movie, and do some shopping. Think about visiting a book store to buy your children a book or two to read that is suitable for their age group. If you can choose a topic that is Washington related, so much the better. It’s also a great time to find a delicious restaurant. Here is where our Kidfriendlyvenues app comes into its own. Plenty of star-rated venues by other moms to choose from.
At the top of my family’s bucket list is a visit to the White House. Did you know you can get special permission to go inside the White House and take a tour? If you’re wondering how to visit the White House, then read on!
To tour the White House, you must apply in advance via your state congressman, and you need to do this between 3 weeks and 3 months ahead of time. The tours are free, but they’re on a first come, first served, basis. This means you’ll want to reach out to your congressman as soon as you know your travel dates (within the 3-month period.)
Don’t worry, though. If you want to see the White House but don’t get a tour spot, you can still view it from Pennsylvania Avenue. It’s a great view, and one you’ll admire in your photos for years to come.
This is another day of rest and relaxation when those books you bought for them can be read in comfort. Then it will be quality family time enjoyed as we eat around a table full of special new foods that we are encouraged to try while we chat about what's great about Washington DC and our plans for a big super-sized day to come.
We would likely spend a full day checking out some of the great museums in Washington D.C. The Smithsonian Museum and its respective branches are free. This puts them at the top of the list for many budget-minded travelers! These branches include the American History Museum and the Air & Space Museum. Another popular free option is the National Gallery of Art.
We would visit some of these free spots, but we’d also make room for other great options that have a charge, such as the International Spy Museum. My kids find the idea super appealing, but you’ll want to choose spots that work with your own family’s interests.
What about you? Have you dreamed of visiting Washington D.C. with kids? No matter what kind of getaway you’re planning, you’ll want to check out the KFV app to see which spots are recommended by other busy working moms like yourself. From there, you can begin creating the perfect itinerary!