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DC for One Day with car and kids 12 &14. What to see/do?

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Feb 21st, 2000, 05:38 PM
  #1
jm
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DC for One Day with car and kids 12 &14. What to see/do?

We're driving back to Toronto from Orlando in mid-March via Washington D.C. We have visited there a few years ago, but the kids have never been to DC. Any suggestions as to which particular sites to see on our one day stop-over?

Thanks
 
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Feb 21st, 2000, 06:49 PM
  #2
edie
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it depends on what your kids interests are, but it is a safe bet, given their ages, that they would enjoy the air and space museum. its located on the mall with all the other smithsonians, so you could see more than 1. and that's where all the monuments are, so if it's nice you could walk down and see the washington monument or any of the others. if they want to see a fun DC neighborhood, go to georgetown for lunch and a walk around. have fun!
 
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Feb 21st, 2000, 07:50 PM
  #3
Bob Brown
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I agree, the Air and Space Museum usually is a kid's favorite. But the Museum of Natural History also has an appeal. The paleontology exhibit has been upgraded and most kids, of all ages, like dinosaurs.
Parking around the mall can be a pain.
If you get there early, you might park on the street. But that is risky.
I got there once an hour ahead and parked a mile away.If you have to pay, you could spend $10 - $15.
It is a toss up beteen paying to park and taking the Metro, if there are 4 of your. We usually stay at a hotel that is in the suburbs and take the Metro just so we will not have to fight the parking. But, weekend parking is easier. Work day parking is a bother.
 
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Feb 29th, 2000, 11:34 AM
  #4
Cindy
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I live in D.C., and there is plenty to do, of course. I don't have teens, but if you kids haven't been to D.C. before, consider taking the Tourmobile. It is an open-air tram that takes you all around the monument area. You pay about $13 each, and you hear info about the city as it transports you about. You have on/off privileges. Driving downtown D.C. is a nightmare as there is little parking and parking enforcement is ruthless. Catch the tram anywhere on the mall, after you buy tickets at the tour-mobile hut. One of these is located outside the Smithsonian Metro stop on the mall.
I could also recommend the American History Museum, which has a nice display of First Ladies dresses, which might appeal to certain types of folks.
One of my favorites is Ford's Theatre, which is where President Lincoln was shot. There is a fabulous museum underneath, with such items as the clothes Lincoln wore and the gun. Very underrated.

There is also a good tour of the capitol, but you must get there early and there can be a line.

Enjoy!
 
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Feb 29th, 2000, 07:36 PM
  #5
sgorces
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I agree with the above postings, I only want to add some specifics. I toured D.C. for several days with my 13yo last year. One day leaves few options. I would: Spend about 2 hours in Air & Space, then take a brisk walking tour through the Library of Congress viewing room to see the awesome dome interior, speed walk over to the Supreme Court next door and take in the short but very interesting talk given in the Chambers when the court is not in session, walk through the Capitol building and into the Senate Chambers (again if not in session). Depending upon when you got started, it should be about midday. Grab a quick lunch. I would suggest going up the Washington Monument if you had another day. The wait is often long and it's most impressive from outside. Get on the tram mentioned above and ride to Lincoln memorial, take a walking tour around the monument, Korea memorial and Vietnam memorial. All this is very worthwhile. Then I would get back on the tram and ride to Arlington Cemetary for the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier, visit Kennedy's gravesite. Tired, there still plenty more to do, stay another day and visit the Holocaust Museum.
 
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Feb 29th, 2000, 09:27 PM
  #6
Meg
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I just spent the last two days in DC for the first time ever with no business to attend to. My highlights were the Holocaust Museum (not exactly fun but very meaningful), Museum of American History (I went specifically to see the dresses of the first ladies) and the Vietnam Memorial. If, by chance, you have any time left for art - try the Phillips Collection in Georgetown (a short metro ride from the Mall).
 
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Mar 1st, 2000, 06:57 AM
  #7
dan woodlief
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I would take the suggestion of spending about two hours in the Air and Space Museum. It has been under rennovation, and I am not sure what is closed off right now. I think the museum's web site will tell you. Also, see the paleontology exhibit that Bob mentioned. These are both good bets for kids. If your kids happen to be into history though, like I was at that age, the American History Museum or the Holocaust Museum (the best of all the museums in my opinion), would be great options. See the rotunda of the capitol building. Then walk all the way down the mall to the Lincoln Memorial, with a detour by the White House. Arlington is great if you have time, but it may be difficult in one day to fit it in. I would tour the monuments in early morning and mid to late afternoon and use the mid-day for the museums. You can grab lunch in some of the museums (I liked the cafeteria in the Natural History museum).
 
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Mar 1st, 2000, 08:27 AM
  #8
ilisa
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I am a docent at Air and Space and thought I would tell you about the renovations at the museum, in case you are interested in visiting. Renovations began in 1998 and will continue through 2001. THe main renovation is the replacement of skylights and window walls. This is necessary because these windows protect the artifacts. Without replacement, you could begin to see some deterioration. The following galleries are currently closed: Looking at Earth, Apollo to the Moon and Space Hall. Sorry, space buffs. Pioneers of Flight which contains Lindbergh's Lockheed Sirius, Earhart's Lockheed Vega and the Douglas World Cruiser, among other things, is scheduled to close in December. If you do decide to go to Air and Space, I do recommend a guided tour (and not just because I am a docent!). It is the best way to see the highlights of the museum if you are short on time. Even with the gallery closings, the museum can take several hours on your own. Please email me if you have any questions about the museum or its artifacts.
 
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Mar 1st, 2000, 10:10 PM
  #9
jm
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Thanks, everyone, for your excellent suggestions. My husband and I have been to the Holocaust museum. It was excellent and a highly emotional experience, as children of survivors. Our kids have been to the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jersualem last summer, so I think we'll take a raincheck on the one in D.C. for this trip. Thanks again.
 
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