Family of 5 Needs Help Please

Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:53 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 735
I live in DC. Stay in the Dupont Circle area, not on Capitol Hill. At night, there is lots of activity in the Dupont Circle area. There is a selection of restaurants, 2 Starbucks and excellent movie theaters specializing in art and foreign film.

There is also a great ice cream place.

My personal favorite Dupont Circle restaurant is Bistro du Coin on the corner of Florida and Connecticut Avenues, NW.

Have fun!
LaurenSKahn is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2003, 04:30 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 491
We just returned from a trip to DC last week with 1 child, age 10. I keep meaning to post a trip report, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. We stayed near the Summerfield Suites (I could see it from our balcony). Excellent location and the metro is so easy to use. Our son loved figuring out which train direction for us to use. It's clean, safe and the directions are very clear. Most stops are $1.10 each way. We tended to go out in the morning to one area, stay there all day and come back at night to relax a bit, so we spent $2.20 per day each on the metro, except one day when we went all over the place several times. Then we ventured out on foot for dinner and found great restaurants within a 5-10 minute walk. It was a nice, friendly neighborhood with lots of shops and restaurants. We really enjoyed it and I would definitely stay in Dupont circle again. We even used the metro to go from the airport to our hotel, then from our hotel to a train, with suitcases and all. It was no problem (except one escalator that was out! That one was a bit of a schlep with the bags!). Ben and Jerry's ice cream is a great treat, right next to the metro on your way back to the hotel. We also enjoyed Cosi which is a bagel (square bagels called 'squagels'), coffee, sandwich place, also next to the Metro. Looked like a big Starbucks, but a lot more variety. It's open late at night, too. You can't go wrong staying near Dupont Circle.
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Old Apr 25th, 2003, 07:15 PM
  #23  
bluestructure
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The National Zoo is 2 stops north on the RED line from dupont circle. The kids would love that for a day. Dupont is the safest and best place to stay in. Changing trains on the METRO would be kinda difficult for someone who has never been on the METRO before so be careful. keep a close eye on your kids at all times on the subway, never stand in the middle of the escalator, its not Sears so beware!, dont throw your fare card away - you need it to get out as well as get in the station. There is a METRO desk at every station and maps to help people. all the advice i can give on the METRO, just have fun and good luck. dont forget your walking shoes!
 
Old Apr 27th, 2003, 06:51 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 17
2 adults and 14yr old daughter stayed in dupont circle jury hotel area, very safe. took metro every day very easy to navigate and very safe. check at metro station on weekly passes we paid $17.50 each for a unlimited use weekly pass. order ticket for spy musem and holocost museum before you go to dc, other wise expect long ticket lines. check with your congress person for free tours.
we did a bike tour of mall area that was very enjoyable, very safe and not as tiring as walking all over which we also did. recomend doing the bike tour first as yo willl then have a good idea of where eveything is and what you want to see. http://www.bikethesites.com/
try capital reservations fo hotel
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 08:20 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 96
Speaking of tours, a privately-operated "hop-on-and-off" trolley bus runs a circuit around many of the tourist attractions on the Mall and beyond (like Ford's theater). The trolley can be a fast, convenient way to get from place to place especially when travelling with a relatively young child (6-year-old) who may not be able to trek as far the older children and the grown-ups, especially in the sauna-like heat of July. The all-day tickets aren't all that cheap, so it may or may not a useful option for your family.

Another thing - even though tourism is down in DC, it will have to be WAY WAY down before the summer-time crowds at the major attractions become noticeably thinner. Try to arrive at popular attractions like the Air and Space Museum as early as possible in the AM to avoid the worst of the press. Even if it means braving the Metro during rush hour! (Don't worry - the Metro is easy to use)

While visiting the Mall area, don't overlook the new sculpture garden near the National Gallery of Art - some of the sculptures are humorous enough to amuse kids, and the adjacent cafe is a nice place for lunch. Also - in addition to the cafes in the various Smithsonian Museums and the outdoor hot dog stands on the Mall, the Union Station train station (near the Capitol) also has a large food court with many family-friendly options (located on the lower level).

Perhaps you'll want to delete this before your kids see it (!)- but here goes - In addition to a rather small gift shop on the ground floor selling mainly dinosaur-themed items, the Museum of Natural History also has two enormous gift shops in the basement - one of which is entirely devoted to kids' stuff (toys, souvenirs and even educational items).

You will have a great vacation - there is so much to see and do in Washington that every memeber of your family is sure to find lots to enjoy!
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Old Apr 27th, 2003, 08:24 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 71
We have stayed in the Dupont Circle area with our family a few times visiting D.C. and have really enjoyed it-I even took the subway back from a Wizard game with my 13 year old son at midnight and felt completely safe. When my sons were younger all we heard about was the "Red line to Shady Grove" for months after our trip to D.c. We visited once the beginning of June and it was in the 90's and we used our subway passes to sometimes go only a few blocks because it was much nicer than walking in the crowds and the heat. Check into the tourmobile sponsored by the National Park Service as it takes you from different tourist sites-it is a little pricey for five people and sometimes gets very crowded but is worth the few minutes off your feet between sites-the tour guides are very knowledgeable,it is a hop on hop off service throughout the day allowing you to spend as much or as little time at each spot as you would like to. We have also done the tourmobile tour of the museums at night-this one you stay with the same tour guide and have a designated time at each site but our tour guide was very flexible and everyone spent a lot of time at each monument-the FDR memorial is beautiful at night. Both tours were worth the money spent
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 08:02 AM
  #27  
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Thank you all so much for all of your wonderful help and suggestions! I feel much more confident about my decisions now. We are getting very excited for our trip!
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Old May 7th, 2003, 05:35 AM
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 235
The 6 yr. old is too young for the Holocaust Museum althought there is a section of it aimed at kids (Daniel's Story)...you could also consider going outside DC to Oldtown Alexandria and Mount Vernon. Be sure to get to the Spy Museum; it may be possible to purchase timed tickets in advance now...I would certainly look into that. And it is HOT, HOT, HOT here in July!! I'd suggest those fanny packs that also hold a water bottle...plenty of sunscreen. Don't know much about hotels but be sure to get one with a pool.
peggi is offline  
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