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Tysons Corner / DC - activities for pm/evening for group of 13 y/o girls

Tysons Corner / DC - activities for pm/evening for group of 13 y/o girls

Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 01:18 PM
  #1  
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Tysons Corner / DC - activities for pm/evening for group of 13 y/o girls

Hi, we're visiting VA for a soccer tournament and will be staying in Tysons Corner. We'll have a bunch of 13 y/o girsl with a block of free time an a Saturday afternoon/evening.

Any recommendations for fun things to do or places to visit around that area?

Also would appreciate any good fun restaurant ideas for a group like this.

Is going into DC a not-too-difficult option? Would it be hard to drive in and park? Better to take the metro?

Thanks!
Half_Full is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 01:25 PM
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Of course you can park in a parking garage. You could hope to find street parking. I think seeing the monuments after dark would be very nice.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 02:21 PM
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If you have a "bunch" of kids, it will probably be cheaper to drive in and park than to take the Metro. (Also, taking the Metro from Tysons is problematic as there is no Metro stop there.)
Be sure to map out your route (e.g. GoogleMaps) and expect it to take longer than they tell you it will. You will run into traffic on a Saturday afternoon trying to get out of Tysons.
It would be nice if you could find street parking, but don't count on it. If you do, be sure to read ALL the signs anywhere near your car as there are always some sort of parking restrictions. The easiest choice may to just park in a parking garage. Here's a link to a site that will map out various parking garages, their hours of operation and what they charge. http://washingtondc.bestparking.com/index.php
longhorn55 is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 03:40 PM
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I just need to check and make sure you know that Tysons is the home of one of the largest, if not the largest mall in Virginia. I would rather the girls see something historic or educational but they are 13 year-old girls...
Birdie is offline  
Old Sep 23rd, 2010, 04:51 PM
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LOL Birdie, I had heard about the big mall there. I'm sure the girls could enjoy that, but was hoping to entice them with something interesting/fun/unique in the area (shhhh, don't tell them that it might be educational too!)
Half_Full is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2010, 05:11 PM
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It's a drag that the tournament is there because the traffic is horrible and there is nothing intrinsically local there. Just make the Mall non negotiable and do the real thing. How much free time will you have?
con_brio is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2010, 06:45 AM
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It should not be hard to get in and out of DC on a Saturday afternoon and evening. Drive in to DC via either Leesburg Pike or 267 to I-66. That will bring you right onto Constitution Avenue on the north side of the Lincoln Memorial, very close to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Park there, either on Constitution if you find a spot, or take a left turn and park on 22nd or 21st streets. See the Vietnam, Korean and Lincoln Memorials.

Then continue down Constitution, turn left on 17th Street [POTENTIAL STOP 1], go up a few blocks and turn right on H Street. Go slowly in the right lane and see the north front of the White House on your right as you pass Lafayette Square.

Turn right on 15th Street (on your left is the Treasury Buiding, as seen on the back of the $10 bill), go two blocks and turn left on F Street. Turn right on 10th Street, go slowly in the right lane (you may even be able to stop for a moment here) so you can look at Ford's Theater on the left, and the House Where Lincoln Died on the right.

Continue on 10th Street past the ugly FBI HQ building on your left, then turn left on Pennsylvania Avenue. You will then have a lovely view ahead of the Capitol Building.

Turn right on 3rd Street and across the National Mall, with a spectacular view to the left (the Capitol) and the right (Washington Monument). Turn left just as you pass the reflecting pool into the Capitol grounds. [POTENTIAL STOP 2]. The National Arboretum will be on your right. Go 3/4 around the small traffic circle (with the James Garfield statue) and back across the front of the Capitol, straight through another small traffic circle and go north on 1st Street NW. Cross Constitution Ave. and take the next right onto Louisiana Ave.

You will be driving straight toward Union Station. At the end of Louisiana Ave., turn right around the semicircle in front of Union Station, and take the 3rd right onto Massachusetts Ave., then right onto 2nd St NE.

Take the 3rd right onto Constitution Avenue, then left onto 1st Street NE. The east front of the Capitol, newly revealed after a long time behind construction fencing, will now be on your right, and you will be passing the Supreme Court and the Library of Congress on your left.

After passing the Capitol, turn right onto Independence Ave. and continue for a few blocks, then turn right onto 3rd Street. [You've now made a full circle around the Capitol]

Turn left on Jefferson Drive, just as you pass the distinctive curvy Museum of the American Indian on your left. You are now driving west along the Mall toward the Washington Monument [POTENTIAL STOP 3] amongst the Smithsonian Museums:

American Indian (L), East Wing of National Gallery (R)
Air and Space (L), National Gallery of Art (R)
Hirschorn (L), Sculpture Garden (R)
Smithsonian "Castle" (L), Natural History (R)
Dept of Agriculture (L), American History (R)

Continue on Jefferson until it ends at the Washington Monument and turn left. Take the next right onto Independence (and catch a glimpse of the Jefferson Memorial across the Tidal Basin on your left), then the next right onto 17th Street.

Now the WWII Memorial is on your left, and past it the reflecting pool and the Lincoln Memorial.

Congratulations, girls, the educational part of your trip is now over. Continue to dinner in some hopping part of town like Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Penn Quarter or Barracks Row.

The first stop, for the Lincoln Memorial, is mandatory. The others depend on your time and desires:

POTENTIAL STOP 1 Park on 17th Street (or the side streets to the left), walk across the Ellipse and take pix of the south lawn of the White House. (You can do this stop at the very end of the tour after you pass the WWII memorial as well).

POTENTIAL STOP 2 Park in front of the National Arboretum and walk to the big Grant statue at the head of the reflecting pool and onto the grass at the West Front of the Capitol and look down the Mall toward the Washington Monument.

POTENTIAL STOP 3 If it is later on a Saturday evening you may find a parking space on Jefferson Street (perhaps in front of the Castle) and you can wander out into the middle of the Mall and take everything in.
DancingBearMD is offline  
Old Sep 28th, 2010, 07:06 AM
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Thanks for the help. We now have our game schedules and will be free starting about 3 pm. Thanks longhorn55 for the parking link; that should be very helpful once we figure out our destination.

And DancingBearMD -- WOW!! Thanks for the detailed ideas for potential sites/touring strategy. I'll have to sit down with my daughter and review more carefully on a map. You've given us a lot of options to think about. Part of the decision will be dependent on how many of the girls end up wanting to go in with us (vs. going to the mall or hotel pool). I've been on enough of these trips to know that it will be impossible to get the whole group to come to a decision, so I just want to have a reasonable plan and then anyone can come along.

Also - any specific restaurant ideas for a mid-sized group like this?

Thanks again!
Half_Full is offline  
Old Sep 29th, 2010, 05:42 AM
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Anything above 6-8 you'll probably want to (1) get the girls to agree to break into a couple of tables, and (2) stick with the larger chain restaurants. Penn Quarter has Clyde's (a local chain) and Gordon Biersch among others.

I ate lunch yesterday at the Bethesda branch of Vapiano, which is counter-service Italian (chain out of Germany)--there is one in Penn Quarter/Chinatown. Nothing special about the food but it's casual and sleek, has large communal tables so could work for you:
http://www.vapianointernational.com/vapiano/
DancingBearMD is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2010, 01:47 PM
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Thanks for the help. Used some of your driving route and made a couple brief stops to give the girls a taste of the mall/monuments.

I had forgotten to write your restaurant advice, but amazingly we ended up at Vapiano's -- good food and perfect atmosphere for our group.
Half_Full is offline  
Old Oct 13th, 2010, 07:38 AM
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Glad to hear it worked out!
DancingBearMD is offline  
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