VIDEO: Family Fun in DC

by Lithium Technologies ‎04-06-2015 11:37 AM - edited ‎04-30-2015 11:22 AM (1,409 Views)

Packed with history, art and great food, Washington, D.C., makes a capital getaway for all ages.


The hub of American democracy, our nation’s capital hums with activity as history is made from the White House to Capitol Hill. Gleaming white granite monuments stand amid 250,000 acres of parkland, and curiosities abound in the Smithsonian’s 19 museums and galleries. Warmer temperatures bring an abundance of celebrations, from the Smithsonian Folklife Festival to the DC Jazz Festival. The height of the season burns brightly each Fourth of July, when fireworks blossom over the National Mall.


Hop on and hop off the Old Town Trolley for an easy tour of the district’s major attractions (many of them free). At the National Portrait Gallery, take the self-guided tour for families; it highlights kid-friendly works, such as Duane Hanson’s Woman Eating, a realistic, 3-D depiction of a woman having a sundae. Or, spend a warm Sunday afternoon in Meridian Hill Park, where drummers and dancers gather in a celebration of rhythm, just as they have in this spot since the 1960s.

Kid tip: When it’s time for a break from exploring the museums, pause for an IMAX movie. The visually stunning shows at the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum last about 45 minutes—enough time for everyone to get a second wind.



At the National Air and Space Museum’s Udvar-Hazy Center, see a space shuttle and pilot a real flight simulator. For soaring views of everything from the White House to the Washington Channel, ascend the Washington Monument’s 500-foot-high observation deck (open again after a few years of restoration). Feel like a special agent in training at the International Spy Museum, where nothing is what it seems. That tube of lipstick? A cleverly disguised KGB pistol.

That fountain pen? A camera. In this espionage-themed wonderland, interactive exhibits highlight fascinating codes, gadgets and secret operations.

Kid tip: Plan to spend an hour or more in the International Spy Museum’s gift shop, filled with flash drive rings, secret-compartment snow globes and invisible-ink pens.



Taste Colonial-themed dishes like corn pudding at AAA Two Diamond-rated Gadsby’s Tavern, a quick metro ride away in neighboring Alexandria, Virginia. It’s a fitting menu for the establishment where George Washington himself once dined and danced. On weekends, nibble samples—from empanadas to crabcakes—in the historic Eastern Market. And for a dish that modern movers and shakers from President Barack Obama to former French President Nicolas Sarkozy have enjoyed, head to AAA One Diamond-rated Ben’s Chili Bowl; the classic house chili comes ladled over burgers, fries, hot dogs or all by its lonesome in a bowl.

Kid tip: Even hard-to-please eaters will find something familiar on the historically themed menu of Gadsby’s Tavern: baked macaroni and cheese, as popularized by one Thomas Jefferson.


To plan your next trip to D.C., visit or go to


A version of this story appears in the May/June 2015 issue of AAA Living magazine.


Image credit/source: ThinkStock


Video credit: Destination DC

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