What to do in D.C.?

Apr 4th, 2008, 04:16 PM
Original Poster
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What to do in D.C.?

Hello! My family is planning a trip to D.C. over the Memorial Day weekend, because my little sister is in a school band marching in the parade that weekend. For most of the weekend, it will be my parents and myself (I am 15). This will be our 4th trip to D.C. in that many years. That said, we would like to see some sights that we haven't seen. We have visited the majority of the big museums and monuments.
We will be in D.C. from late afternoon Saturday, all of Sunday and Monday, and flying out mid-day Tuesday. We are staying at the Melrose on Pennsylvania Ave., where we have stayed before.
Are there any places or restaurants that you might suggest, somewhere where we may not have seen before? Also, any suggestions about watching the parade-how early to get there, where to stand?
Thank you!
memermouse is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 04:33 PM
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You are a very precocious fifteen-year-old.

It is likely that most of the museums you visited in the past now have special exhibits that were not on view during your previous trips to D.C.

Perhaps you'll find some ideas here: www.washington.org
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 04:35 PM
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If you haven't seen the Building Museum, give it a try. Be sure to take one of the tours, which explains the building's remarkable history and architecture, and then check out their special exhibitions. They also have the best gift shop in DC, with lots of little toys for grownups.
Anonymous is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 07:29 PM
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Have you been to the International Spy Museum? I was there a couple of weeks ago with my teen and we both enjoyed it. They also have a new interactive exhibit (which requires advance booking and an extra fee) called "Operation Spy" where you pretend to go on a spy mission to retrieve a stolen item. If you enjoy acting, you'd love this.
Since you are going to be here over a holiday weekend, you will either need to book your tickets in advance for the Spy Musuem or you will need to get there first thing in the morning. (The tickets are limited in number each day and are timed for a specific hour.) We were there the Saturday before Easter and the line to buy general admission tickets that afternoon was out the door and down the street and they didn't have any tickets for "Operation Spy". I was so glad I'd gotten my tickets early.
Another new exhbit that just opened a few weeks ago is the Butterfly Pavilion at the Smithsonian's Museum of Natural History. There is a fee to go into the Butterfly Pavilion and you should check the Museum's website about how to get tickets.
Finally, there's always some good IMAX movies playing at the Air and Space Museum, the Udvar-Hazy Museum or the Museum of Natural History.
longhorn55 is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 11:59 AM
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Also, the Newseum is opening this Friday (April 11th). It is brand new so I haven't been there yet BUT there used to be one in Rosslyn and it was fascinating and my kids loved it; you can get a recording of yourself pretending to be a newscaster with the Capitol in the background which is very fun. There is an admission fee, however, unlike the Smithsonian museums...I think it will be $20 so that is pricey for a family.
peggionthego is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 01:12 PM
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here is the link to my D.C. trip report and pictures
have fun!!
LizaMarie is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 01:40 PM
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Our favorite things were touring the Capitol, the White House, and going to Arlington National Cemetery.
volcanogirl is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 01:53 PM
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If you are interested in art, the Phillips Collection is great and in an interesting neighborhood. http://www.phillipscollection.org/

I agree with Anon's suggestion of the Building Museum - be sure to take the guided tour.

The Imax movies at the Natural History Museum at usually very good.

And this is kinda out there, but what the heck, I'll throw it out anyway. Hillwood Museum, the former home of an heiress (Marjorie Merriweather Post). I would have loved it when I was 15, my sister would have been bored silly. Take a look at the website and see what you think: http://www.hillwoodmuseum.org/

321go is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 02:06 PM
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Not sure if you've seen this one or not, but we thought the Holocaust Museum was really amazing and very moving.
volcanogirl is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 05:48 PM
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We live in WDC and my fifteen y-o volunteers at the Holocaust museum and strongly suggests you spend sometime there (you can get tickets beforehand for a small fee or go in the morning, get timed tickets and return later in the day). She's going to the Newseum next week with her school and will write back later to let you know what she thought! American History is closed right now, but she strongly suggests Mt. Vernon -- it's been redone and she LOVES it! (She's standing beside me dictating) There might be something good at National Geographic -- I saw an ad for something that looked interesting.
mayhem is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 05:55 PM
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You might enjoy the Udvar-Hazy museum of the Smithsonian out at Dulles Airport. It's a wonderful spot filled with planes.

Another could be to take the Mt Vernon cruise and see a lot of DC and Virginia via the Potomac River.

You'd have to check on this but the U S Observatory used to give evening tours where you viewed the heavens through their great telescope.

I do think you'd enjoy the Spy museum and the Newsmuseum too.
LN is offline  
Apr 7th, 2008, 07:31 PM
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If you and your family like gardens, you might want to visit Dumbarton Oaks in upper Georgetown. The flowers should be beautiful that time of year.
Also, if you have never been to Great Falls National park it is worth a trip. (The Virginia side of the park is actually nicer than the Maryland side of the river.) Of course, this assumes that you have access to a car.
laminmd is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 04:13 AM
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memermouse, one of my favorite exhibits in DC is Ford's Theater, which is where Lincoln was assassinated. You can tour the building, including the box where Lincoln was seated, and there was a fantastic museum in the basement with artifacts from that night including such items as Lincoln's clothes (still with bloodstains) and Booth's pistol. About once every half-hour, a NPS ranger comes out on the stage and tells the story of the assasination, and it's amazing how real it seems, since that it was only 140 or so years ago. You can also visit the house across 10th Street where Lincoln was taken after the shooting and later died.
smetz is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 04:48 AM
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Ford's Theatre is currently closed for renovation. However, the Peterson House, where Lincoln died, is still open.
longhorn55 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2008, 03:45 PM
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We just returned from D.C. on Sunday. We took my 13 year old daughter. We all loved Mt. Vernon, the home of George Washington. We did not allow enough time though - save the good part of a day. We enjoyed the air & space museum and the Smithsonian Castle.
andicat is offline  
Jun 4th, 2008, 11:26 AM
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hazel1 is offline  
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