Discover why Washington D.C. is  a great place for a family vacation.
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  • Sep28

    DC has a lot to offer families traveling with children and many attractions are free and do not require a ticket. But for those situations that do, you will want to make sure you have tickets in hand. offers a few suggested resources for securing tickets for your family to sporting and cultural events as well as concerts in DC.

    Congressional Tours

    Your Member of Congress can assist you with tours of the Capitol, gallery passes for a birds-eye view of the action on the House or Senate floor and tickets to certain attractions such as the Supreme Court and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. To learn more, visit our site describing what your Congressman can do for you.

    Ticket Aggregators/Discounters

    Post Tickets is a site run by the Washington Post that aggregates ticket offerings from many other sources for a wide range of events including sports, music concerts and other events.

    TICKETPLACE offers discounted tickets to theatre and performing arts venues in Metro DC. TICKETPLACE is a great way to see outstanding performances in many of the city’s top venues at a great price, although you may find it difficult to find tickets for blockbusters. You can buy tickets online or stop by the storefront in Penn Quarter located at 975 F Street, NW.


    You can also obtain tickets directly from venues hosting the events.

    Verizon Center is home to NBA, NHL, College Athletics and WNBA action along with dozens of concerts each year. When in town be sure to catch the DC Wizards, Washington Capitals, Georgetown Hoya Basketball or DC Mystics at this easily accessible and family friendly venue located in the heart of Penn Quarter.




    The Kennedy Center is DC’s premiere cultural stage and often offers family-friendly events, especially around the holiday season. (Also of note is the daily 6PM performance on the Millennium Stage that is free and does not require a ticket).

    Washington’s Professional Sports Teams


    You can watch Washington’s professional sports teams with tickets from:




    Don’t forget to check out national ticket sources as well:

  • Sep20

    Socks, check. Snacks, check. Books? Do you pack books when you take a family road trip? Tell us which books are your favorites.

    Here are some of our favorites…


    Peek a Moo was one of our daughter’s all time favorite books. It’s a lift-the-flap book and I think every flap had been taped back on before we broke down and bought a new copy for her. The book must be popular with other children too because I have since found Peek a Zoo, Peek a Pet and Peek a Boo (great for Halloween). This book is perfect for children ages 1-3.




    What Do People Do All Day is another favorite. Did you read it as a child? The thing about Richard Scarry books is there is just so much to look at so kids are entertained for much longer than flipping through a book with a simple picture on each page. What Do People Do All Day is the favorite in our house, but don’t forget about Cars and Trucks and Things that Go or The Best First Word Book Ever. These are good books for kids starting at age 2 and our daughter still likes them today and she’s 6.




    Where’s Waldo can be so much fun and sometimes so exasperating! It is a book for older kids, as young ones (and sometimes adults too) will get frustrated searching for the skinny guy in the red and white striped turtleneck.  But if you have a kid who likes a puzzle this book is for you. In the newer versions of the book they have added more characters beyond Waldo. Now you can look for a Wizard and a little dog in a red and white sweater too. Hours of fun! This book is probably best for kids kindergarten and above. p.s. I just discovered there’s a Where’s Waldo app too.




    The I Spy collection of books are another great series that is perfect for all ages. You can use the clues given by the book to find different items on the page or come up with your own search. The I Spy books have been a big hit in our family for years and we are still finding new things on the pages. These books are best for kids 2 and older.



    In addition to traditional paper books there are of course audio books and apps for kid’s books you can download on your iPad or iPhone. These are great for trips too. Check out these two great websites for some of our favorites.

    Tales2Go has a large selection of audio books for kids of all ages. Perfect if your child can’t read in the car or just can’t read yet.



    PicPocket Books has a great selection of digital children’s books for your iPhone or iPad.


    And don’t forget the National Book Festival this weekend on the National Mall in DC. Click here for my blog from last week which has complete information. The weather is going to be perfect so I hope you’ll make plans to go and maybe your child will discover a new book to read on the way home!

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  • Sep13

    The 12th Annual National Book Festival sponsored by the Library of Congress will be held next weekend, September 22-23, 2012 on the National Mall. This is a great opportunity for your kids to meet their favorite author and get excited about reading.

    To get a copy of this great poster email with your name and address.

    This year the National Book Festival will host over 100 authors. Various pavilions will focus on different topics ranging from Fiction & Mystery, History & Biography, Children & Teens, Poetry, Home & Family, Urban Fiction and Graphic Novels. Click here for a complete list of authors and don’t forget to check out the Target Family Story Telling Stage and the Let’s Read America pavilion sponsored by PBS Kids and Lego Duplo.

    Various authors will read from their books throughout the weekend. Click here for a schedule so you can plan your trip around hearing your favorite author and having your favorite book signed. You may purchase books at the festival or bring your own book to be signed. At our house we are especially excited about meeting Mary Pope Osborne, author of “The Magic Treehouse,” and Marc Brown, author of “Arthur.”

    National Book Festival hours are Saturday from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm and Sunday from 12:00 noon – 5:30 pm. The festival will be held on the National Mall (home to the Smithsonian Museums) between 9th Street and 14th Street, NW. The National Mall will be especially busy and parking will be tough. The best thing to do is take the metro to the Smithsonian stop.

    It’s a big festival so download the map here to help you navigate among all of the different tents and look for a volunteer who can also help you find your way around. One of the great hands-on sponsors of the event is the Junior League of Washington who will provide over 550 volunteers, for the 11th consecutive year. Keep an eye out for one of these ladies in the bright pink shirts if you need some help.

    Need a bite to eat while you’re there? Most Smithsonian Museums have cafeterias, click here for a list. Or visit the Kids Will Travel restaurants page for suggestions on spots in Penn Quarter and Chinatown. It’s a short walk from the mall and there are lots of kid friendly options. And finally check out our blog from last week for more tips on eating out in DC with kids.

    So who are you and your kids excited about meeting at this year’s National Book Festival?

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  • Sep06

    Ah, the challenge of eating out with kids. How do you find a restaurant that you can enjoy and is appropriate to take your kids to?

    I was having dinner with a friend the other night who pointed out a very important point, not all cities have the benefit of Open Table and so for some of you visiting DC this is a new and fabulous tool that takes a lot of the guess work out of finding a restaurant and making restaurant reservations.

    Open Table  allows you to make restaurant reservations online and read restaurant reviews from patrons. It is available on your computer and as an app on your phone. You simply enter in the time you would like to make a reservation for and for how many people and open table pulls up the restaurants with availability both at that time and around that time. You are able to do further searching by area which is great if you want to stay close to your hotel or grab a bite after touring a museum. You can also search by type of restaurant or for a specific restaurant, both within DC and the surrounding areas.  Open Table gives you a price scale and the reviews are a great way of getting a sense of whether the restaurant is appropriate for your kids.


    A newer online reservation site to DC is CityEats. This website was created in partnership with the Food Network (which I love). It is available on your computer and as an app and works on the same principle as Open Table. Select your time and number of people and CityEats will pull a list of available restaurants together for you. You are also able to narrow down your search by area or type of restaurant. The site has great pictures of the restaurants and reviews written by the website staff, but also includes helpful reviews from patrons. Two of the kid friendly restaurants that came up in my search were Cafe Bonaparte, great for fancy pancakes (more commonly known as crepes, but remember it’s all how you sell it to the kids) and Hill Country BBQ, banana pudding – need I say more?


    TIP: Don’t forget to cancel your reservation if you decide to go somewhere else, or the kids have a break down and you just can’t swing it. As the daughter of former restaurant owners I know how important this is.


    Another great site to check out is Out To Eat With Kids.  Type in your city and state (not just Washington, DC – try your hometown too) and find restaurant deals in the area that are tailored to kids and families. Two of our favorite DC area restaurants that participate are Red Hot & Blue and Chicken Out. Watch for the KidsLiveWell logo next to restaurants that offer healthy kid’s meals and be sure to check out the Out To Eat With Kids blog for even more tips on healthy eating for your kids at restaurants and at home. Sign up to receive information about their giveaways too.

    What are your favorite restaurants in DC to visit with kids?

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  • Sep05

    I know many of you have been back to school for weeks, but we headed back on Tuesday – 1st grade here we come.  The new pencils and backpacks remind me of the very important work all of our teachers do and the trust we put into them and our schools each day when we drop off these young minds to be filled with knowledge. Thank you to all of the educators in this country who give so much of themselves to our kids each day.