Touring Washington D.C. with a Toddler

By 4:09 PM , , , ,

As I have mentioned this has been the summer of weddings for our family. In June I was a bridesmaid and our little guy was the ring bearer in my cousin's wedding in Virginia. My husband had never been to D.C. (well apparently he did go as a young child but didn't remember the trip) so we took the opportunity to visit the city after the wedding. Just for fun here is a picture of my brother, hubby, and son before the rehearsal dinner and then another of E and my hubs before the wedding. And yes ladies, my brother IS single...any takers?

O.k. back to the DC portion of the trip. We stayed at the brand new Hampton Inn at the White House (literally it was one block from the White House). It was a little pricey but  an awesome location and the hotel staff were GREAT. Both our almost 12 month old and myself ended up being sick the entire trip which made it a little difficult but we still packed it full and had a blast non-the-less. In case you are looking in to traveling to D.C. with a little one I thought I would share some of the highlights from our trip. 

Tip #1: Bring a good stroller. Seriously you will do a ton of walking. The more space your stroller has for storage underneath the better. However, don't under estimate the metro. It really very affordable and TOTALLY worth it if you need to save time or beat the heat. 

Most of our first day was spent driving from Alexandria, VA to D.C. and returning our rental car, getting checked in to the hotel, etc. but we did manage to get in a good walking tour of the city the first evening. We started out at the White House and walked down the mall to Washington Monument. It was hot, hot, hot people and a lot of walking but still really a great way to see the city. Of course we had to get a family selfie in front of the monument, excuse the sweat.

Day #2 we started off with the National History Museum which is always great and really fun for kids. Our little loved seeing the animals the most while J and I had a blast checking out what we would have looked like a century ago.

(totally scary right)
We then headed to the National Museum of Crime and Punishment. This is one of the few museums in Washington that is not free as it is a private museum but I would still highly recommend it. We found a Groupon for it so check it out when you go to see if there are any online deals before you go. There was lots of neat things to see and even some displays I had to close my eyes was pretty intense. It was particularly neat to see the car that Bonnie and Clyde were killed in and to test drive a police car through a simulator. You also got to shoot up a criminal. So. Fun.

After that we went on a walking tour ALL over the city. We walked to the Capital. Then went through the Space and Aviation Museum (also wonderful but it was packed and we were exhausted so I failed to get any pictures). We then walked through the Botanical Gardens and made our way down to the Vietnam Memorial, followed by the WWII memorial and we were head to the Lincoln Memorial when it started to DOWN POUR. I'm talking straight up flood gates opened up. Which honestly was sort of a welcome break after the extreme heat but I pretty sure at least two people thought about reporting us to child services as we rung out our babies clothing it was so soaked. We decided to take shelter on the Lincoln Memorial. Here is our wet dog look. Hey, we made a memory right?

We then headed up to Georgetown and finished the evening out with dinner at Whole Foods in the college town. I can honestly say I don't think I have ever been so exhausted in my entire life.

Tip #2: Bring sunscreen and plenty of water bottles. Water is expensive to buy at the museums but you can bring in your own along with snacks. I highly recommend doing so as we all know when a child is hungry you need something to pop in their mouth asap and their is not always food nearby at the museums. 

Day #3 we had an afternoon flight so we got up early and headed to the Holocaust Museum which is absolutely spectacular under normal conditions. However, we had a very fussy, sick and miserable baby and the museum was packed with a large group of Holocaust survivor. The tour guide asked us to please remain silent throughout the museum out of respect to the survivors and we were ushered on to an elevator with no turning back. That is when our baby decided it would be a great time to start shrieking. We tried to exit the museum as quickly as possible but it was SO packed we felt like we were being guided into the gas chambers ourselves as we shuffled along like a cow in the crowds. This museum does have an awesome mini exhibit designed for kids (noise is o.k. here) that takes you through the life of a Jewish boy. It is very kid friendly and everything can be touched and climbed on.

We then grabbed an Uber (first ever ride and it was AWESOME-what a cool service) and headed to the airport to catch our flight home. All in all it was a fantastic, exhausting trip and I am glad we did it sick and all! 

Next family trip....? One more wedding in Athens and then in September we finally get to take our family beach trip. I'm counting down the days.

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  1. So glad you guys had a great trip! Bummer about the Holocaust Museum though. The Holocaust and the American Art Museum are my favorites in D.C.!

  2. Looks like you had a blast! We love DC and have visited often over the years. Visiting your lovely blog from the homemaking party this week

  3. Love museums! Sounds like y'all had a blast, and I completely agree about the stroller tip (absolute MUST HAVE when going places with a little one). :-)