fun things to do with kids in washington dc - family travel   Travel for Kids
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Washington DC

Washington DC

Washington, DC, capital of the United States of America, is a "biggie." Traveling with kids in Washington, DC, you could wander for days, exploring the riches of fabulous free museums and historic sights. The key to a fun family trip is don't try to cram too much into each day (especially in summer, which can be quite hot and humid). The city has space and grace, trees and grass, so take time to sit in the shade and wonder how Thomas Jefferson could walk two grizzly cubs around the White House gardens.

Washington DC Photo Album
  The National Mall – Museums
    Capitol Hill
    Downtown - Penn Square – White House
    Memorials and Tidal Basin – Washington Monument
    Upper Northwest
    Washington, DC day trips – Mount Vernon
    Tourmobile Sightseeing Trams – A convenient way to get to the museums and monuments (which are pretty spread out) is to take the hop-on, hop-off Tourmobile Sightseeing Trams. There are 16 stops around the city, kids are half price. Click here for the map and kiosk location.
DC Circulator – The Circulator bus is inexpensive, easy to ride, and has a good loop route around the National Mall. It's also a good way to from Union Station or Georgetown to downtown. Click here for the map routes.
    Ride the metro – The Washington, DC metro is clean, well-run and a fun and easy way get around. Kids will enjoy the distinctive coffered ceilings in the subway, as well as the huge long escalators to ascend or descend from the street. Fares aren't expensive, and there's also a one day pass for unlimited travel.

Arlington National Cemetery (Arlington, VA) – Arlington National Cemetery remembers America's war heroes, from the American Revolution to the present day, as well as astronauts, explorers, writers, doctors, presidents, and Supreme Court justices. Arlington National Cemetery is big, and you may want explore on your own, but your best bet is to hop on Tourmobile Sightseeing and ride through the cemetery, stopping at the graves of John F. Kennedy, Tomb of the Unknowns, and the Robert E. Lee Memorial.

family hotels washington dc

Travel for Kids has so many fun things to do with kids in Washington, D.C., but you'll need a fun place to stay.

Here's our own Travel for Kids hand-picked list of family hotels in Washington, D.C., all styles and price ranges, in neighborhoods that are comfortable for families, and near to places you'll want to explore:

Washington DC family hotels
kids books washington dc
Our White House washington dc childrens books  
Our White House
National Children's Book and Literacy Alliance

A fabulous anthology of short stories, poems, letters from presidents to their children, a visit by Charles Dickens, accounts by people who built and worked in the White House, presidential hobbies, ghosts, a White House wedding, dresses worn by First Ladies, packed with original illustrations – Jefferson in his kitchen garden, British burning the White House, “Freedom” collages, all the presidents board game, and more. Two hundred years of the great American story! (Illustrated chapter book)


Looking at Lincoln
Maira Kalman

A fresh, fun look at Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president, whose portrait is on a five-dollar bill. He loved apples and vanilla cake, hated slavery, believed the country should stay united, and when you visit the Lincoln Memorial, you can look into his beautiful eyes. Fabulously illustrated, this is a gem. (Picture book)


biography Looking at Lincoln washington dc children
washington dc kids biography Lives of the Presidents
Lives of the Presidents
Kathleen Krull, Kathryn Hewitt

Entertaining and fascinating profiles each president from George Washington to Barack Obama – which president barked like a dog, who was called "Little Pygmy," sang loudly in the shower, or had big feet? Irresistible illustrations of each president and first lady, good for older kids. (Picture book)



Archie Roosevelt, and his brother Kermit and sister Ethel uncover a riddle and clues that lead them on a treasure hunt through the White House (aided by a ghost) to find ... what? (Chapter book)

And for another super White House adventure: Chasing George Washington


First Pup pets white house kids washington dc  
The First Pup
Bob Staake

True story of how a Portuguese water dog, born on a farm in Texas, came to live in the White House, and why he's called Bo. Delightfully illustrated. (Picture book)


What To Do About Alice?
Barbara Kerley, Edwin Fotheringham

“How Alice Roosevelt broke the rules, charmed the world and drove her father Teddy crazy.” High-spirited story of Teddy Roosevelt’s adventurous daughter, with irresistible illustrations! (Picture book)


What to Do About Alice roosevelt kids biography washington dc
kids washington dc Mystery at the Washington Monument
Mystery at the Washington Monument
(Capital Mysteries)
Ron Roy, Timothy Bush

In another mystery with KC Corcoran and her best friend Marshall, there's something strange going on in Washington Monument, and the clues are a broken memorial stone and some peanut shells. Plus, info about the Washington Monument. (Easy reader)

Don't miss more adventures of KC and Marshall, all centered on historic Washington, DC landmarks: A Thief at the National Zoo, Trouble at the Treasury, Fireworks at the FBI, Who Broke Lincoln's Thumb?, A Spy in the White House, The Skeleton in the Smithsonian, Kidnapped at the Capital, Who Cloned the President?


The Real Spy's Guide to Becoming a Spy
Peter Earnest, Suzanne Harper

This is the perfect book to read before you visit the International Spy Museum, written by the director of the museum, and a spy for thirty years. What a spy's life really like, plus spy speak, quizzes and practice your skills. (Chapter book)


The Real Spy's Guide to Becoming a Real Spy kids washington dc
kids landmarks washington dc The Lincoln Memorial  

Find out about the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument before you visit – when and how were they built, how big is the statue of Lincoln, how long did it take to build the Washington Monument, and more. (Picture book)


Look Out, Washington, D.C.!
Patricia Reilly Giff

Emily and her whole class at the Polk Street School are headed to Washington, D.C. on a two day trip. Emily's diary is tiny, but it's filled with her new experiences, plus additional facts about sights you'll see in the city. (Easy reader)


Look Out, Washington, D.C.! kids books
awesome adventures at the smithsonian official kids guide  

Just for kids guide to Smithsonian museums, chock full of museum maps, what's in the galleries, activities to do, and more information online. Essential for your trip to Washington DC with kids. (Activity book)

And also, guidebook for all eight museums: Official Guide to the Smithsonian



Fun facts about Washington, DC, each with a matching sticker. Over 60 reusable stickers of landmarks, statues, monuments, portraits, memorials, and objects in the museums. (Sticker book)


Ultimate Sticker Book Washington D.C.
larry gets lost in washington dc  
Larrry Gets Lost in Washington DC
John Skewes, Andrew Fox

Take a trip around Washington DC with Pete and his dog, Larry. After running off at the Lincoln Memorial, Larry sees a big white house with fancy lawn, but no Pete. Larry circles around all the museums at the National Mall, whips by the Declaration of Independence, checks out a tattered flag, goes underground at the Capitol, and finds Pete at the Jefferson Memorial. (Picture book)


(More children's books on other Washington DC pages)
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