What to do in Washington DC with teenager

Jan 20th, 2004, 09:25 AM
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What to do in Washington DC with teenager

We are visiting Washington DC during spring break with our 16 year old daughter. This is the first time for both daughter and me (husband has been several times on business). Need some advise on what to do and see. Probably staying at the Hyatt Regency.
RCR is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 09:44 AM
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What are her interests?

There is so much to do there it is hard to know where to start without knowing soemthing about her. Along the mall thee are tons of museums to suit almost anyone. If she has any interest in history, the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, not to mention the White House, are in the same general area.

The National Zoo is an option. There are also a variety of civil war battlefields within an easy day's trip from DC (I know, you usually do not think Civil War and teenage girl in the same thought. I can only tell you the single most remembered trip my now-grown daughter still talks about is our visit to Gettysburg and her reciting the Gettysburg address from the same spot Lincoln delivered it).

Depending on seasonal variations, the cherry blossoms may be in full bloom at that time. If you have never seen them, IMO they should be on everyone's lists of things to see before they die.

Northern Virginia and the upper reaches of the Shendoah Valley are great drives, especially in the springtime. Harper's Ferry is one of my favorite stops in this area.

If you do not decide on a schedule ahead of time, in cities I have never before visited, I always try to take a fairly comprehensive tour on the first day which then gives me more information on which to decide what else to see while I'm there.

Have a wonderful trip. DC is a fascinating place to visit.
dwooddon is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 10:19 AM
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Besides all the monuments, memorials and smithsonian museums, we went to the theater where Lincoln was assasinated (the name escapes me at the moment), across the street from it is the home where Lincoln was brought after he was shot, and it's open for tours. We went over there, we must have been the only tourist all day, the guide was a wealth of information and told us stories about the event that we had never heard of before. It was quite fascinating just listening to him, well worth the visit.

The Georgetown area is also nice to visit, it's a nice college town.
MFNYC is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 11:10 AM
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We loved Mount Vernon--George Washington's house in Alexandria, VA. Our kids still talk about the morning we spent there.
gaffannie is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 11:23 AM
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Holocaust Museum might be worth considering with a 16 year-old.
Doh is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 11:46 AM
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Speaking of Georgetown, how about adding some colege tours to the itinerary? She'll be going off to college in a year or so, so why not start touring a couple of campuses now so she can get a feel for them?
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 12:11 PM
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Definitely take her to the Holocaust Museum. Not a fun tour, but an important one.

Presuming she has seen 'Legally Blonde' at least 100 times, make sure your tours let her see the bunny, I mean the hopper.
wsoxrebel is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 12:19 PM
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A place I like to go & also take the kids is Arlington National Cemetary. Beside all the history, some past & some current, in the cemetary, there is the tomb of the unknown soldiers, & the Robert E. Lee house.
Bill_I is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 02:35 PM
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Georgetown along M street would be good. You have to go to at least one Smithsonian; maybe the American History museum, which may sound boring but actually has some pretty cool stuff life Dorothy's slippers from Wizard of Oz and a picket sign from the Florida recount protests. It also pays attention to music history.

My recommendation to anybody is to see the Lincoln Memorial at night. Catch a free performance at the Kennedy Center before or afterward.
designmr is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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I went to DC with my mom when I was 19. The Lincoln Memorial and the reflecting pool made a big impression on me, as did the Vietnam memorial. The Lincoln Memomorial was so powerful because I had seen footage of MLK Jr. making speeches there, Vietnam war protests, and so on. It was very moving to stand in the same place where so many events have occured. The Vietnam memorial was a huge surprise for me. I didn't think it would affect me, but it did.
J_Correa is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 03:13 PM
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She might like the new Spy Museum. It is close to the Ford theater (that's the name of the one where Lincoln was shot). Lot's of real spy gadgets and fun stuff (James Bond's car, etc.) and it's educational also, re the cold war tactics. My 12 yr old loved it.
emd is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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Georgetown has some fun shops and restaurants. Also the Dupont Circle area. If she likes zoos, the National Zoo is a must. Have fun.
Birdie is offline  
Jan 20th, 2004, 11:22 PM
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Note to nytraveler: Not every teenager is able to tour colleges to get a feel for where they might want to go. I would say that luxury is reserved mostly for kids whose parents have money!
Alisa is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 01:41 AM
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I remember I tremendously enjoyed the Air and Space Museum at that age.
hsv is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 03:00 AM
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Well, I don't agree that only kids whose parents have money get to tour colleges. If nothing else you can tour some colleges in your local area (within a couple of hour drive) for nothing but gas money. And if you're in another city anyway it doesn't cost anything to look at a couple of the schools there. All it takes it a little forethought. Even if the schools you look at are never on your child's application list it helps give them some perspective on big vs small, city vs suburban etc.

(I looked at several colleges that way - and my parents had so much money that I had to go to college on scholarships and student loans.)
nytraveler is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 04:56 AM
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Spy Museum, Air and Space, Vietnam Mem., Lincoln Mem., Zoo, Iwo Jima Mem. Arlington Cem., US Treasury (Mint). These are all great and there are many others. Some require tickets and buying tix in advance helps. Having lunch and walking around in Georgetown may also be a nice diversion for your daughter.
Katdruben is offline  
Jan 21st, 2004, 05:15 AM
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I lived in D.C. for several years and saw everything except the Holocaust museum because at the time I just couldn't make myself do it. We will be taking the kids this summer. Very recently I visited on business and took a run early in the morning and came across the Korean War Memorial which I had never seen. With low fog over the memorial early in the morning it was the most hauntingly beautiful memorial I have ever seen.
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