In July we were very adventurous! We had 2 trips in 1! My previous blog was our time in Philadelphia and this blog is about our time in DC, our great capital! I lived in Maryland right outside of DC for a few years so I definitely was not new to area. The boys were babies so they really don’t remember going before this trip either. I did get to see one new monument, the Martin Luther King monument for the first time and was very happy to finally get to see what they were working on before I moved.
Our trip started with a visit to the National Harbor (technically in MD) to visit old friends! This was a newer spot when I lived here but I had been to the area. The new shops and traffic there was awesome to see. The kids had lunch and played down on the sand where they had sculptures and activities to play. We stopped in the Peeps store (super cute!) and had some ice cream on the way out, it was July after all!
My big surprise was that we were going to be celebrating Independence Day (4th of July fireworks and all) at Mt Vernon with George and Martha Washington! This was the best idea yet I thought. I did have some irritable kids who didn’t quite see this experience as a great time and they tried to make it a bad time for all but luckily the other two kids overcompensated and were angels getting to get the experience. On the lawn were games that would have been played in George Washington’s era. There were George and Martha actors and most of the buildings had live people in them or were open for you to view. Carson got to be involved in moving the wreath on to Washington’s tomb (so cool!). There were bands and blankets lining the whole hillside looking over the Potomac waiting for the sun to go down to watch a great fireworks display! Once the fireworks and music played we may have even seen a smiler or two from those opposing us the most! That was the Independence Day we celebrated with the Washington’s!
The fun didn’t end there! If you have been to DC there is SO much to see and you are going to have trouble seeing it all in one day or a few days. Make sure if you have any kids that may still ask to be held to bring a STROLLER. Even if they are 5. If they are liable to ask you to hold them bring the stroller. There is so much walking to be able to check out all of the monuments. It was a beautiful steamy day in July and we were able to cover all of these monuments: World War II Memorial (kids were able to dip their toes in the water here), the White House (not inside you have to call ahead to get on a tour for this through your state. We did do this before and just for your information they did not allow strollers so we walked with a toddler while pregnant also in the heat!). We also saw the Washington Monument (still would like to go to the top), Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial.
A storm blew in and we got ourselves safely inside of the National Museum of American History too! There are so many great museums you will have to check out in DC! The kids got their first ride on the subway which is neat to a suburb kid. They learned how to read the maps to get to different landmarks and back to our hotel. It was with some exhausted kids and parents!!
I would do some research if you plan a trip to DC with the family. The stroller advice is golden. Everything is so close but yet so far away. You feel like since you are there you need to see it all because it isn’t far away from each other but it all adds up. I would recommend doing the Memorials one day and the museums another day. If you really want to see inside the White House or Pentagon I would get online to try to request a tour for the dates you are trying to go into DC. This is a great experience just needs to be preplanned. You might even throw in a 3rd day if you want to go to Mt Vernon (George Washington’s home) and Arlington Cemetary or Ford Theater or experience some of the restaurants. Those things are pretty spaced out. Check out all of the Smithsonian Museums, the Holocaust Museum, and much more! It is a great experience and it gives such a great history and presence you have to make it on your bucket list! Here are some of our pics below!