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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

 

 
     
What to Do About Alice roosevelt kids biography washington dc  
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)

 

     
First Kids
Noah McCullough

Fun facts and short bios of all the kids in the White House – the Monroe daughters were the first kids to use tin bathtubs in the White House, Tad Lincoln hammered nails into his dad's desk, Alice Roosevelt carried her pet snake in her purse, Malia and Sasha Obama have to make their beds every day in the White House. (Illustrated chapter book)

 

 
First Kids white house 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
     
Capital kids books washington dc  
Capital!
Laura Krauss Melmed, Frane Lessac

Take a tour through Washington, DC, find out how money is printed, touch a lunar rock at the Air and Space Museum, take in a play at the Kennedy Center, check out the National Zoo, plus memorials and branches of government. Super illustrations and lots of great info, perfect for your visit to Washington, DC. (Picture book)

 

     

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.
     
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

 

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