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What to do in Washington DC: Gaze at the Lincoln Memorial
I was pretty surprised that both kids said that the Lincoln Memorial was their favourite place. Better than the zoo? The day we went to the Lincoln Memorial, the kids were exhausted. We went to the Smithsonian American History Museum and the Natural History Museum earlier that morning. And after spending hours at the museums, we managed to walk the entire length of the National Mall, to the Washington Monument, through the World War II Memorial and finally getting to the Lincoln Memorial.
It was a long walk. The kids were tired. But as soon as they saw the steps, and I told them his impressive statue would be up those steps, it was a race to the top!
What to do in Washington DC: Visit the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
My husband thought I was avoiding this museum. I was not. He wanted to go after we had seen two other museums. I was mentally exhausted, so I knew the kids would not have lasted more than 3o minutes at the Air and Space Museum. And they would have really missed out on an amazing place. So we went here the next day. It was our first stop. This museum has discovery stations so that the kids can get hands-on experience related to astronomy, aviation, space exploration, and much more! They have demonstrations to teach you about different subjects. The kids learned about How Things Fly, and Maya got to be the volunteer.
I loved the exhibit on the Wright Brothers. I got to show Maya how amazing Amelia Earhart was in her day, and not only did she fly, but she was a fashionista as well! Next, the kids went into the Skylab Orbital Workshop, which was interesting. The kids got to see a full-size test model of the Hubble space telescope, spacecraft, and many planes.
What to do in Washington DC: Learn to get around by metro
Living in a small town, we don’t have the same public transportation as the big cities. Riding the metro station was a treat for the kids! We taught Maya how to read the maps, and she got us from place to place. Of course, being on the metro gave us time to tell the kids stories of other places we had been around the world when we were younger and how reading a metro map can take you anywhere. The kids wanted to take the metro every chance we got. Our closest station was Union Station, and it was impressive. The kids got a history lesson from me as we looked around. One night we got out of the metro and walked up the escalators. It was a lot of steps. Almost 50 on an incline. The kids made it to the top without complaining, but as soon as we got to the top, they and all the other kids were mad. Couldn’t we just take the elevator?
What to do in Washington DC: Explore Georgetown
My kids loved Georgetown. Of course, I love Georgetown as well. But my reasons are for the shopping. Nevertheless, we did not enter a single store for me unless it was a restaurant or somehow was associated with edible treats.
My kids are pretty adventurous in trying new foods. And I had already warned them that they had to try something new. So I thought, why not try tapas! Our kids experienced their first Spanish tapas restaurant, Bodega, while we were in Washington DC. The kids sampled Tortilla Espanola (Spanish style potato, onion and egg layered omelet), Judias Verdes Finas Salteadas con Almendras (french green beans with almond), and Croquetas de Pollo (fried chicken croquettes). For our main course, I ordered Paella Marinera con Bogavante (seafood paella with monkfish, clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp and lobster). The kids tried everything. They did not care so much for the mussels, but they did at least try it. And they loved the paella. I can’t wait to make it for them at home!
I had a different place in mind for dessert, Georgetown Cupcake. It was a short walk from Bodega. Surprisingly, the line to Georgetown Cupcake was not that long. We waited for about 20 minutes; I have to say it was worth it.
Those cupcakes really are that good. The cake part is delicious, and I liked that the frosting was not a mile high and thick. Maya and Adam both picked chocolate ganache. My husband and I both picked pumpkin spice. And for our seconds, I picked coconut, Adam picked vanilla birthday cake, my husband picked gluten-free lava cake, and Maya picked a lava fudge cupcake. So yummy and so worth the calories! This is why my daughter suddenly decided to pick up cupcake making when we got back home.
What to do in Washington DC: Stay at Hotel George
We are huge fans of the boutique-style Kimpton Hotel brand and try to stay in them whenever we travel. On this visit, we stayed at the Hotel George, which was in the heart of Capitol Hill. These hotels cater to families and pets. When we arrived, Maya and Adam, both received a welcome gift. There was hot chocolate and all the fixings in the lobby. My husband and I loved that night they pulled out the Wii, and the kids could play games. Of course, we adults like the Kimpton for the complimentary hosted hourly wine each night. Because of the season, you could have yourself a hot toddy.
We can’t wait to go back and visit Washington DC again. There indeed is still so much to see and do.