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1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

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1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

We'll be in DC for too short a time from Sun 4/8 leaving at noon on Tuesday 4/10. In that short time, what would you suggest we see that would get my son psyched. Here's what I'm thinking but have never been:


White House (glimpse outside)

Lincoln Memorial

Washington Monument

Cherry Blossoms walk thru

Any thoughts on cool night tours? Thanks!

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1. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

Sounds good to me. Pick one or two of the many Smithsonian museums. The WWII memorial is near the Washington Monument and is really nice.

Map of National Mall: nps.gov/nama/…NACCmap1.pdf

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2. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

The cherry blossom are likely to be long gone by the time you get here. But you could still walk over to the Jefferson Memorial and FDR and Martin Luther King.

Columbia, Maryland
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3. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

The Smitsonian is many museums, not just one (but you may already know that). For a 9 year old, Air and Space, Natual History, and American History would be my main choices. The Washington Monument is closed so you won't be able to go up it. An alternative is the Old Post Office Pavilion bell tower. The overview of the city from there is very good, some say better than the Washington Monument because you can view from all 4 sides and the openings are much, much bigger.

Arlington, Virginia
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4. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

Would you consider an evening bike tour of the monuments "cool"? If so, you might try the Monuments@Night Bike Tour offered by Bike and Roll. I have no personal knowledge of this tour, so this is not a recommendation--just information:


washington dc
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5. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old


Sunday afternoon Feel the beat of a local tradition: head to Meridian Hill Park on Sundays (weather-permitting) between 3 and 9pm to hear the famous drum circle, a fixture in the park for more than 40 years that brings together people together from all different backgrounds to hear drum beats and watch African dancing. For a hands-on experience, bring your own drum to join in.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

The Newseum would also be worth a visit.Went there with the wife last month.

It has interactive activities that you and your son could keep as a momento. - For example, they can film you in a live TV cross to Capitol Hill where you will both be reporters reading a teleprompter script. - If you like the result you can buy a copy of the recording on DVD as a momento.

It has a lot of other intersting things to look at as well such as the largest section of the Berlin wall,complete with East German guard tower, on the bottom floor.

Lots of things for mumma and son to see and touch !

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7. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

No to the Newseum with such a short time and young child. It needs at least 3-4 hours and there is so much more to see in 1.5 days.

Cherry blossoms will be gone.

Sun. afternoon - Meridian Hill park drum circle. Walk from there to Dupont Circle and eat on the patio of Zorba's Cafe. If you're feeling vigorous, take metro to Arlington Cemetery station and walk 1 mile across Memorial Bridge for fantastic views of the city then arriving at Lincoln Memorial. See Lincoln & Viet Nam vets memorials. Take a taxi home. OR do a monuments by night tour.

(Check www.wmata.com for weekend track work which may slow trains)

Monday - all day on the mall. Pick two museums your son fancies - usually Air & Space & Natural history. Allow 2 hours in each. Skip any "official building" tours (Capitol, White House) it will be cool enough just walking around and seeing the grandeur from outside. But if you can pop into Library of Congress it is spectacular. If you go see the White House (outside) also stop into the nearby Renwick art museum - some wonderful fanciful craft-art - see "Game Fish" and the grand salon.

Near Air & Space - the Botanical garden is a nice break from museums, and crazy sci-fi cactus, elevated forest walkway and generally weird plants interest every kid, even jaded teenage boys. You are also near the National Gallery of art East wing - even if you just go in the atrium and see the Calder. But kids love the star tunnel between buildings. West wing is fun too - do a scavenger hunt - still lifes are great for dead birds, or hunt for dogs in boring old scenery paintings.

If you go to American History, (great hands-on science lab for kids) also walk across the mall to the Freer and see the peacock room. And ride the carousel of course. (just fyi - It goes faster than most, and makes me seasick.)

Just wander - everything is free. The sculpture garden is fun. ( Try explaining what a typewriter eraser is to a 9 year old!)

Monday morning depends of course on time and where you are staying. FDR memorial is great - particularly for inspiring conversation with kids. Canal boat ride in Georgetown. The Building Museum is cool. The American Art museum has very approachable folk art - especially the "light bulb throne"

Have fun.



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8. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

It would be nice if you could schedule some time for Arlington Cemetary. Try to plan your visit to see The Changing of the Guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It was one of the major highlights of our trip! :)

Edited: 14 March 2012, 15:40
9. Re: 1.5 Days in DC w/ 9 year old

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