There’s never been a better time to visit our nation’s capital. Packed with cool museums, internationally recognized landmarks, and kid-friendly (often FREE) activities, Washington D.C. is a great destination for a family vacation, with an easy-to-navigate transportation system to boot! Here are five of our favorite kid-approved attractions in Washington D.C. For more great family-fun suggestions, check out DK Eyewitness Travel’s Top 10 Washington D.C.
Possibly the most famous residential landmark in the world, this dramatic Neo-Classical mansion has been the residence of the US president and family, the seat of executive power, and a working office building for over 200 years.
Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW (Visitor Center: Dept. of Commerce 14th & 15th Sts on Pennsylvania Ave. NW) Phone: 202.456.7041(for tours) Free Admission www.nps.gov/whho
Kids' dreams are founded on and inspired by these ravishing soaring devices and spectacular rockets, while their parents and grandparents can reminisce over the early days of aviation and see how far we've come. End the visit by treating children to a scoop of the freeze-dried ice cream.
Address: Independence Ave. SW & 7th St. SW Phone: 202.633.1000Open: 10am-5: 30pm daily; Closed: Dec. 25 Museum Admission: Free Planetarium shows: $8.50 Lockheed Martin IMAX theater: $8.50 Theater/Planetarium Combo: $14 www.nasm.si.edu
The animals in Washington DC's zoo are housed in large recreated natural habitats and are close enough to be clearly observed. Sea lion demonstrations never fail to delight. The Kids' Farm is an educational, interactive, outdoor exhibit, where children can touch and learn about farmyard animals.
This spire is the dominant feature on the city skyline, 555ft high and gleaming in its marble cladding. One of the tallest freestanding masonry constructions in the world, built between 1848 and 1884, it offers stunning views from the observation platform.
Address: 15th St. between Independence & Constitution Aves. Open: 9am-5pm daily Closed: Jul 4, Dec 25 Free Admission www.nps.gov/wamo
The star attraction for children here is the 2pm feedings; sharks on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, piranha on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, and alligators on Fridays. The aquarium houses 300 specimens in its glass tank, and provides easy-to-understand informative material about freshwater habitats, the oceans, and the marine life they support. Inquisitive little visitors always surround the touch tank. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful, and children's questions are handled with aplomb.
Address: 14th St between Pennsylvania & Constitution Aves, NW Open 9am-5pm daily Closed: Thanksgiving, Dec 25 Admission: $7.00 *Please be prepared to pay by cash or check as the Aquarium is unable to process credit cards www.nationalaquarium.com