Discover why Washington D.C. is  a great place for a family vacation.
  • Art
  • Feb25

    The weather is getting nicer and if your family is looking for something to do that is educational and outside then we have the perfect place for you – Hillwood Estate, Museum and Gardens.

    So here’s the background: Hillwood was owned by Marjorie Merriweather Post, who once was the richest woman in America and owned Post Cereal Company. Hillwood was one of three houses she owned. (You may have heard of one of the others, Mar-A-Lago, now owned by President Trump.)

    Hillwood Museum

    My mom and I went to Hillwood a few years ago and we liked it. When we heard there was a new exhibit we were excited to visit again. The exhibit is called the Four Seasons and it is four giants made out of things found during each of the four seasons. While you are exploring outside don’t miss the Japanese Gardens and don’t fall in the water. We thought this would be a great place to read a book. Across from the Japanese Gardens is a family dog graveyard that is so sweet.

    Hillwood Museum

    This trip we did a quick browse through the house and had fun looking at some of our favorite rooms. Don’t miss the breakfast room and her closet and the sign on her bedroom door. The house is almost like an American palace.

    Hillwood Museum

    The Four Seasons exhibit ends on March 31st so get this on your weekend agenda.

    • Where: 4155 Linnean Avenue, NW Washington, DC
    • Hours: Open Tuesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
    • Cost: There is a suggested donation of $18 for adults and $5 for children
  • Jan06

    Renwick Gallery Wonder

    The Renwick Gallery is back and better than ever with a special exhibit called Wonder that will be here through the Summer. The Gallery was closed for a two year renovation and although you won’t notice any real changes to the building, it has reopened in grand fashion with this new exhibit. Photography is encouraged and your children will be amazed. Don’t miss it.

    Renwick Gallery

    Renwick Gallery

    Missing some of your old favorites at the gallery? No need to worry, the Ghost Clock and other pieces in the permanent collection will be back on display this summer when the Wonder exhibit ends.

    Renwick Gallery Wonder

    The Renwick Gallery is located across the street from the White House, which makes it an easy stop to add to your touring agenda. There are also several kid friendly restaurants near by such as Grilled Cheese DC, which has grilled cheese and wine – just sayin’.

    • Where: Pennsylvania Avenue at 17th Street NW, Washington, DC
    • Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm daily
    • Cost: The museum is part of the Smithsonian Institution and therefore is free.
    • Metro Stop: The two closest metro stops are Metro Center and Farragut West.
    • Wonder Exhibit: The upstairs exhibit will be on display through May 8, 2016 and the downstairs portion of the exhibit will close on July 10, 2016.


  • Jan24

    Are your kids full of questions about being President after watching the Inauguration this Monday? The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is a great place to learn about the U.S. Presidency and see all of the dresses the First Ladies wore to the inaugural balls. The National Portrait Gallery is also a good place to visit. There you will see the official portraits of all of the U.S. Presidents.

    The National Museum of American History

    The Presidential exhibit at the museum, “The American Presidency: A Glorious Burden,” will give your child a view into the lives of the 43 U.S. Presidents. Through over 900 artifacts, such as letters to the President written by children, political cartoons and old news reels, you will learn about the most powerful job in the world.

    The First Ladies exhibit not only features the beautiful dresses worn by the first ladies to the inaugural balls, but also offers a history of the important role first ladies have played in our nation’s history as advocate, campaigner and official hostess. You won’t see the red dress Michelle Obama wore to the Inaugural Ball on Monday as the museum only collects the dress from the first Inauguration, but you will see the white and silver dress she wore four years ago.

    • Hours: 10:00 am – 5:30 pm
    • Location: The National Mall, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W
    • Metro Stop: Smithsonian on the Red line
    • Admission is free.
    • Strollers are permitted.

    National Portrait Gallery

    The National Portrait Gallery has a complete collection of portraits of all 43 U.S. Presidents. This permanent exhibit is located on the 2nd floor. It is so interesting to see the different styles of the portraits and how those reflect the individual’s personality. See how many President’s you and your child recognize and start a discussion about the important role each man played in our nation’s history.

    • Hours: 11:30 am – 7:00 pm
    • Location: This museum is part of the Smithsonian, but is not located on the National Mall. It is just a few blocks away though at 8th and F streets, NW.
    • Metro Stop: Gallery Place/Chinatown on the Yellow, Green and Red line
    • Admission is free.
    • Strollers are permitted.

    Our city is alive with history and if you’re lucky your child will learn something without even realizing it!


  • Aug03

    Visiting art museums with children doesn’t necessarily conjure up feelings of enjoyment, but contrary to what you may believe, visiting an art museum can be fun for all of you.

    Many art museums in DC offer special programming for children. From family days to museum guides designed specifically for children, there are lots of options to help kids enjoy looking at art.

    DC’s Corcoran Gallery of Art offers a great handout for families. In it are helpful tips for visiting art museums with children. Here are some of my favorites.

    Play I spy. Come up with a few items you and your children are going to look for in the paintings while you tour the museum: dogs, crowns, flowers, for example. Or play I spy with your child while you look at a specific painting. I spy the color red, or circles, for example.

    Create your own scavenger hunt. Make the gift shop your first stop at the museum and pick up postcards of works on display, then explore the galleries and look for the paintings. You can mail the postcards to your friends and family after the visit.

    Re-title the painting. Ask your child what they think the title of the painting should be.

    Jump In! If you were inside the painting what else might you see or hear or smell.

    I love these ideas!

    Below is a list of our favorite art museums to visit with children.

    The National Gallery of Art

    • Metro Stop: Smithsonian
    • Hours and Tickets: The National Gallery of Art, located on the National Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets at Constitution Avenue NW, is open Monday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. The Gallery is closed on December 25 and January 1. The museum is free so no tickets are necessary.
    • Food: There are several food options within the National Gallery. Click here for more information. There are also lots of family friendly options in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area which is within walking distance of the museum. Click here for a list of some of the restaurants we enjoy.

    The National Gallery of Art is made up of two buildings. The West Building houses European art from the 13th century through the 19th century as well as American paintings and sculpture from colonial times to the early 20th century.

    The East Building houses modern and contemporary art.

    The two buildings are connected underground and you get to walk through this awesome tunnel. What kid wouldn’t love this?

    Along the underground corridor connecting the two buildings you will find the more formal Cascade Cafe and the kid friendly Garden Cafe.

    The underground corridor is also where you will find the ever popular gift shops which are filled with great toys, books and art themed activities for kids.

    The National Gallery of Art offers ongoing family programming throughout the year. Click here for a list of upcoming performances and drop-in programs. If you decide to take a quick look around, stop at the visitor’s desk to pick up a free children’s audio tour designed for children 7-12. Click here for more information. The museum also offers a NGAKids website with lots of interactive art activities for the kids.

    American Art Museum

    • Metro Stop: Gallery Place – Chinatown
    • Hours and Tickets: The American Art Museum, located at 8th and F Streets, N.W., is open daily from 11:30 am – 7:00 pm. The Gallery is closed on December 25. The museum is free so no tickets are necessary.
    • Food: There is a small cafe within the atrium at the American History Museum and like the National Gallery of Art, the museum is within walking distance of lots of great restaurants in the Penn Quarter/Chinatown area. Click here for a list of some of the restaurants we enjoy.

    The Smithsonian’s American Art Museum houses only art created by American artists. The works span the life of our country and include photographs and folk art in addition to traditional paintings. This is where you will find every U.S. President’s portrait. The American Art Museum offers ongoing family programming throughout the year. Click here for more information. If you aren’t planning to visit the museum during a time when a special program is being offered you can still go online to download themed scavenger hunts to tackle during your museum visit. There is a beautiful atrium at the American Art Museum with a small water feature. A great place for the kids to run around, but you’ll have to watch they don’t get wet. The atrium also has a small cafe, perfect to stop, sit and enjoy a snack.

    The Renwick Gallery

    • Metro Stop: Farragut North or Farragut West
    • Hours and Tickets: The Renwick Gallery, located at 1661 Pennsylvania Avenue NW (at 17th Street), is open daily from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm. The Gallery is closed on December 25. The museum is free so no tickets are necessary.
    • Food: Right around the corner from the Renwick on Connecticut Avenue is one of our favorite cafes, Teaism. The Renwick is located in downtown DC so for other options in the area we recommend you visit our restaurants page.

    Across the street from the White House is the Renwick Gallery, home to the Smithsonian’s American craft and decorative art collection. Don’t miss Wendell Castle’s Ghost Clock, my favorite piece in the collection. The museum is small so you can tour it quickly and offers a kid friendly scavenger hunt at the front desk so be sure to pick one up on your way in.

    The Corcoran Gallery of Art

    • Metro Stop: Farragut North or Farragut West
    • Hours and Tickets: The Corcoran, located at 500 17th Street NW, is open Wednesday – Sunday from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm with extended hours until 9:00 pm on Thursdays. The Gallery is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Tickets are required and can be purchased at the door. Adults are $10.00 and children under 12 are free.
    • Food: See the above Renwick recommendations as the two museums are very close to one another.

    Just around the corner from the Renwick is the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Corcoran houses traditional and modern American and European art from the 18th, 19th and 20th century. As I mentioned above, the museum offers a great handout at the front desk for families. It is full of coloring pages and craft ideas, but the best part is the tips page.

    I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to expose your children to some wonderful art while you’re in DC. And remember the Smithsonian museums are free so if the kids just aren’t in to it you can leave without wasting any money.