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Ask a Ranger
You may think of park rangers as denizens of the woods, but they're a conspicuous presence at Washington's memorials—look for the olive-green and gray uniforms. Rangers lead talks about each memorial run by the Park Service (every hour on the hour, from 10 am to 10 pm) unless they are short-staffed, which does happen. They are an invaluable source of information; don't hesitate to ask questions of them. Kids can get Junior Park Ranger activity booklets from the ranger booths at the Lincoln, Roosevelt, Vietnam, World War II, and King memorials.
Washington Walks (www.washingtonwalks.com) has tours with witty commentary that cover most of the major monuments and memorials. They operate from April through October, and each two-hour tour costs $15. DC by Foot (www.dcbyfoot.com) offers free (work for tips) walking tours of the memorials. Tours meet at the southwest corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue NW (closest to the Washington Monument) at 10 am most days, but check the website for details. Bike and Roll Washington DC (www.bikethesites.com) conducts tours on wheels from mid-March through November. The cost is $40-$45 for adults, $25-$35 for children 12 and under; price includes bike rental, helmet, bottled water, and snack.
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