How lucky can a family be to live in a city where a history lesson is just outside your door and in most cases, the fun is free! We don’t take advantage of living in DC enough, but when we do, we go big.
Food downtown can get expensive, so to keep costs low, I plan ahead by packing lunches and snacks. I also pack transportation attention packs, fun music, and when the weather calls for cold and snow, warm clothes and extra layers. Even this is more fun with a theme.
With flurries in the forecast, snowman sandwiches packed our lunch boxes.
I used a snowman cookie cutter and cut the shapes into wheat bread. Save the bread scrapes and tear them into bits.
Parking in the city is tough. I wish I had a secret location to share with you that always promised a spot, but no magical spot exists. Here is where your bread scrapes will come in handy. While walking from your far away parking spot throw some bread crumbs for the birds – the birds and kiddos will enjoy it.
We ventured downtown to check out Wegman’s Wonder Place located in the Smithsonian American History Museum. It was one of the first weekends after it opened and the line to get in proved it’s popularity. Thankfully, we had a lunch packed, some books to read, and sticker books to fill our time until it was our turn to enter. We breezed through the line and the wait.
Now I wouldn’t make a special trip for this exhibit, it is small and lacks the hands-on learning of other children’s exhibits, however, my boys ran and played until they were worn out and had a great time. There was nothing for them to break, there were other little people for them to play with and they could let their imagination run wild. The National Children’s Museum (now closed) was also small and just doesn’t have the same draw as other children’s museums in cities around DC. I would love to see a Please Touch Museum like the one in Philadelphia – can anyone make that happen?
After they ran and played we headed next door to the big kid science lab. This exhibit provided more learning opportunities for my five year and my husband – but it wasn’t toddler friendly and therefore not family friendly. The employees were helpful and informative, and the science was exciting for my five year old. Before heading back outside we walked through the other exhibits in the museum. The Star Spangled Banner, Julia Child’s kitchen, and the transportation exhibit were among our favorites.
Once we got bundled back up and outside, the weather was perfect for a stroll and the afternoon begged for hot chocolate. So we walked and feed the birds – taking a detour all the way to the Washington Monument.
Graham could not get over how tall it was and kept trying to lay down to see the top. (He got soaked)
The boys walked all the way around taking in the beauty of the city.
After our detour we finally made our way to Starbucks for the hot chocolates and it was a perfect way to end our adventure.
Where are your favorite family sight seeing spots? We love the museums – nothing beats free adventures and a walk around the city is great exercise. Thankfully the little guy is still small enough to hold, because the big guy was too tired for another step and had to catch a ride.
Have fun out there!