A Washington DC family vacation can be great fun and educational. You’ll learn all about American history by visiting the museums and government buildings and have other fun experiences as well. For example, your entire family will have a great time at the National Zoo viewing the exotic animals on display. Lions, tigers, and bears, oh my!
For older children, the Smithsonian Museum is an inspiring and unbeatable educational value. You’ll see the Spirit of St. Louis, the first plane to cross the Atlantic, and the capsule that carried John Glenn into orbit around the earth. They’ll love holding an actual moon rock brought back by the first astronauts to set foot on the moon.
The Declaration of Independence is on display at the Museum of American History, and for the kids, the stuffed and mounted horse Comanche, the only survivor of the Battle of Little Big Horn. Colonel George Custer made his famous last stand there and entered the annals of American history.
The Mall is just a short walk away in the shadow of the Washington Monument. That’s also where you can visit the memorial to Abraham Lincoln, our most revered president. The Lincoln Memorial houses a massive statue of the seated Lincoln that has inspired countless visitors.
You’ll enjoy watching the kids play around the Reflecting Pool. A short walk away is the beautiful Jefferson Memorial. Also close by is the inspiring Viet Nam Veterans Memorial where the names of all those who lost their lives in Viet Nam are inscribed. It can be an emotional moment for those who lived through that war.
The Metro system is one of the best and cleanest public transportation systems in the world. You can take it anywhere in the city. Take it to Pennsylvania Avenue and you’ll see the White House where the President and the First Family live and conduct the nation’s business.
A walk Capitol Hill might allow you to visit your representative, provided Congress is in session. You might also choose to watch the senate and your state senator in action. The Metro will also take you to Ford’s Theater, where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.
Then, if you’re driving, take a trip up Massachusetts Avenue to Embassy Row, where the various embassies proudly fly their nation’s flag. A short drive will also take you to Georgetown where you can shop at trendy boutiques, dine in any number of ethnic restaurants and enjoy an evening of music in one of the great clubs that abound in this area near the University.
A trip to nearby Arlington, Virginia is a must. There you’ll see National Cemetery, which was built on land seized by the Union during the Civil War. The land was originally owned by the family of the famous Confederate General Robert E. Lee.
All in all, a Washington DC family vacation will leave an impression on every member of the family. Some may experience a resurgence of National pride, awe at what this nation has accomplished, or just an understanding of the different parts of our Government.