I am Wanderlust.
If I’m stuck in the house for more than a day or two – I go CRAZY. This can be a problem…I’m a Stay-at-Home Mom. Ugh. I love being a SAHM and a Work-from-Home Mom (blogger/doTERRA) but I need OUT. Even a trip to Target or Starbucks can help. But I still need even further out sometimes too. It’s a good thing I’m a military wife and I move every few years!
My poor husband will come home from a week trip and be ready to relax at home – and it’s right about that time that I start getting antsy. So we pack up the car and diaper bag for a day trip to a surrounding city. I love where we live right now. Dover, Delaware is such a central location for city fun. We are only 2 hours from Washington DC, 3 hours from New York City, 1 hour from Philadelphia, 1 hour from the beach, and 4 hours from Williamsburg and Jamestown. Washington DC has become a regular day trip for us. We load up everything we need and leave by 8 am, arrive in DC by 10 and leave back for home after dinner. The only stressful part of the day is crossing the Bay Bridge! Ha! (heights over water are NOT my thing).
We could go back to Washington DC over and over. Here are some fun things that we’ve done with our young kids (almost 3 and 1.5).
Things To Do in Washington D.C. with Kids
FREE Pay your respects at Arlington National Cemetery. It’s a great learning experience and a must while in DC.
FREE We go to the National Air & Space Museum almost every time we go to DC. Obviously, being an Air Force family, we love our airplanes. This museum is SO interactive for kids. See airplanes, how they work, talk to specialists in the field, see rockets, and much more.
This is also a great place to stop for lunch if you want a basic fast food. There’s a large atrium attached to the museum with a McDonalds.
FREE See the bones of dinosaurs and mummies here! There’s the Hope Diamond and fabulous shiny rocks galore, see and hold bugs, and walk with the butterflies! This one is always a hit with the kids.
Note that this museum has a decent cafe in the basement!
$2-$8 We did this on our last trip to DC and I cannot believe that we didn’t do it sooner. This is a great way to see a lot of monuments without getting blisters on your feet. The bike rental program is very affordable and simple to use and they have stops all over the National Mall.
FREE Take your time to pay your respects by visiting the Monuments on the Mall. There’s the World War II, Vietnam War, Korean, Lincoln Memorials and more.
$1 Reserve your tickets to go inside the Washington Monument. Tickets are very cheap – I think just a $1 to reserve your spot. CLOSED until Spring 2017.
FREE Reserve your tickets in advance. This is a FREE guided tour of the Capitol building! Don’t miss this! We love to Baby Wear through some of these activities. See my Top 8 Reasons to Babywear!
8. Udvar Hazy
FREE Like Airplanes? Here’s ANOTHER airplane museum! This one is very close to Dulles Airport and has a cheap bus running back and forth from the airport to the museum. Burn a few hours before your flight and see many different airplanes and even a Space Shuttle! If you drive here, prepare to pay for parking.
9. Bull Run & the Winery at Bull Run
Bull Run is run by the National Parks Service. Check out the sites and the small museum and then drive over the the Winery at Bull Run for lunch. They have an adults-only side and a family side. Bring your picnic lunch or buy lunch from a food truck and have a tasting of wine while your kids run out their extra energy in the grass lawn!
FREE See the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and other important documents plus walk through a museum. Military families can enter on the East side and skip the line.
FREE Learn all about the history of the United States! See things like Dorthy’s Red Ruby slippers, First Lady dresses, Washington’s Uniform, and Jefferson’s lap desk.
12. The National Zoo
FREE We love the National Zoo! See all your favorite animals for free! Parking on premise does cost money but we think it’s worth not having to walk. Watch Orangutans swing overhead and see Asian elephants and Giant Pandas.
Ride the Ferris Wheel, shop, and have dinner at the National Harbor. This attraction is technically in Maryland but it’s very close to Washington D.C.!
I hope this list helps you out! We love DC and I hope you love it too! A Trip to Washington DC is never wasted! There are so many free and educational activities!
Check out my Travel page for more fun travel tips!