Discover why Washington D.C. is  a great place for a family vacation.
  • Parks
  • Oct03

    We might be in the midst of a government shutdown and that means many sights in DC are closed. But wait! There are still things to do in the Capital city!

    Click on the below links to get more information on the sites that are open in DC.

    Pretend to be a reporter at The Newseum

    The International Spy Museum is always a crowd favorite

    Make a call from the Oval Office at Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

    Madame Tussauds DC

    There are free concerts every evening at the Kennedy Center

    Visit George Washington’s Home at Mount Vernon

    Mount Vernon

    Climb the tower steps at the Washington National Cathedral

    Washington National Cathedral

    Take a trip to the country for a Fall Festival

    Cox Farm Fall Festival

    image by Kamber Petty

    Our area favorites are at Cox Farm and Butler’s Orchard. Join them for hayrides, apple cider and corn mazes.

    So what is closed because of the government shutdown? Here is a list of the popular tourist spots in the city that are currently and unfortunately closed.

    • All the Smithsonian Museums
    • All the National Monuments
    • The National Zoo
    • The Capitol
    • The Bureau of Engraving and Printing


  • Aug30

    My husband and I found early on that if we could find a playground when we were touring we would have a much happier child on our hands. It’s amazing how a few pushes on a swing can make a grumpy child happy again. So if your child is like ours, where should you go for a trip down the slide in DC? Here are a few suggestions.

    The National Mall is known as America’s front yard and is a great place to let children run and run. Stop into one of the Smithsonian Museum gift shops and pick up a kite or a ball to play with.

    There is also a carousel outside of the Smithsonian Castle, midway down the mall. It costs $3.50 to take a spin and is open 10:00 am – 5:30 pm daily from March through Labor Day. The Fall and Winter hours are Labor Day through February 28th, 11:00 am – 5:00 pm.

    Capitol Hill is the best place to find a playground near the major tourist sites. There are three playgrounds within walking distance of the Capitol and Union Station. All of these playgrounds are located on the East side of the Capitol, opposite the National Mall.

    The biggest is Lincoln Park, located on East Capitol between 11th and 13th, on the border of NE and SE. This is a big grassy park, perfect for running, but it also includes two small gated playgrounds with slides.

    Another option is Stanton Park, located between 4th and 6th Streets and Massachusetts Ave., NE. It is a much smaller park, again with a gated playground with slides. This park is located close to Union Station, where you can catch the metro, rent a bike or grab a bite to eat.

    The final park on Capitol Hill is on the SE side (same side as the House of Representatives) of the Capitol. This park, called Garfield Park, is quite near the raised SW Freeway, but is a popular spot none the less. It has a gated playground with baby swings and a larger climbing area for the older kids.

    If it’s a hot day and you don’t mind if your kids get wet then there are two more options to keep in mind.

    Yards Park is located near the new Nationals baseball stadium. The park is a 1.4 mile walk from the Capitol or you can take the metro to the Navy Yard Station. This is a great spot with a large grassy area for running, a walking trail along the river and awesome water fountains and pools. Click here for a complete list of seasonal activities.

    Another similar park, although much smaller, can be found along the Potomac River at the Georgetown Waterfront. This park is part of a great biking trail along the Potomac River and the Georgetown Canal. It would be fun to rent some bikes and take a family bike ride as it is pretty flat and very scenic. Capitol Bike Share has a bike kiosk just steps from the park on Wisconsin Avenue at the C&O Canal. But back to the water park, the water fountains are located at the corner of Wisconsin Avenue and K Street, NW. Georgetown is also a great place for shopping and eating. Click here for some of our favorite restaurants.

    Have fun exploring!


  • Jul26

    I am always excited to learn about something new in my hometown and earlier this summer some good friends invited us to their daughter’s first birthday party where we discovered D.C.’s Yards Park. I am a huge fan and am doing my best to spread the word about this new treasure in the city!

    Yards Park is located near the National’s baseball stadium. The Navy Yard metro stop is within walking distance and although there is street parking available, save yourself the hassle and hop on the metro. Click here for a metro map.

    Whether you’re looking for a picnic spot, want to let your kids run through a fountain, watch an outdoor movie or listen to live music, this spot has it all.

    Yards Park sits on Washington’s other river, the Anacostia River and is a great mix of serene gardens, a walking path along the river and a huge wading pool complete with fountains and a waterfall for the kids.

    The wading pool is only 11″ deep so you won’t need your bathing suit, but your kids will definitely want to crawl around and go through the fountains so I would pack one for them. (Don’t forget the swim diaper!)

    In addition to the great green space and the water, there are free outdoor activities throughout the year. Click here for a full schedule and start times.

    There is a lunch concert each Wednesday through September 5th located at The Fairgrounds on Half Street, SE across from the Navy Yard metro station. Click here for more information.

    Another fun lunch time activity in the area is the Truckeroo Food Truck Festival held every Friday starting at 11:00 am, also at The Fairgrounds. Food Trucks are a recent phenomenom in D.C. and each Friday some of the most popular gather at the Fairgrounds for a street party of sorts.

    There is an outdoor movie each Thursday located at the corner of New Jersey Avenue, SE and Tingey Street, SE on Tingey Plaza. Tonight’s movie, Muppet Treasure Island, is the last movie for the summer, but if you’re planning a trip to D.C. next summer be sure to check the calendar for upcoming movies. Keep in mind the Thursday movies, although geared towards families, start at sundown or approximately 8:45 pm. This activity may be better for older kids, dependent on bedtimes or just how much your child can sleep through.

    The concerts on Friday evenings are located along the Anacostia River, just off Water Street. Click here for a map. Concerts run through September 14th. You can pack a picnic or take advantage of the food provided by Red Apron Butchery, Buzz Bakery, ChurchKey,  Luke’s Lobster, STIX and BBQ Bus.

    If you decide you want to pack a picnic these three grocery stores/markets on Capitol Hill will be the most conveniently located: Eastern Market, Yes! Organic Market and Harris Teeter. Eastern Market and Yes! Organic Market are both located at the Eastern Market metro stop and Harris Teeter is located one stop further at the Potomac Avenue metro stop. All three are on the Orange and Blue line. Click here for a metro map so you can plan your trip.

    Yards Park is a hopping spot in the summer. Check their calendar before your trip for upcoming events and even if you’re visiting D.C. during another season Yards Park is still a must do.