Tags: Travel | Washington DC | Staycation | Family | Fun

Washington, DC Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM

Washington D.C. is nicknamed "The Capital of the Free World" and the city is rich with historic and educational sites for families looking for a staycation. Not only does the city provide extensive opportunities to visit museums and monuments, many of these attractions are free or very low-cost which makes them appealing to families on a budget.

As described by National Geographic, "Designed by an idealistic Frenchman, constructed (largely by slave labor) upon dredged marshland, named for a fledgling nation's founding father, and established as the seat of the U.S. government, Washington, D.C., is a fitting Main Street for an upstart nation."

Here are seven great places for families on a staycation to visit in Washington D.C.:

1. National Mall: Visit the National Mall via the family friendly DC by Foot company. "This highly engaging tour will take you through the heart of the National Mall entertaining you and your family with stories, hidden secrets and historical information."

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2. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History: From exhibits such as The Last American Dinosaurs: Discovering a Lost World and IMAX films including Island of Lemurs: Madagascar 3D, this museum offers vacationing families every opportunity to experience an educational and fun day together. Museum "must-sees" include the Hope Diamond, live butterflies and plants in the insect zoo and the African Elephant rotunda.

3. Old Town Trolley Tours: For families on a staycation this is an easy and convenient way to explore Washington D.C. especially as no reservations are required and patrons can get off and on the tour at will. Tour stops include the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington National Cathedral and the White House. According to Old Town, "Our friendly conductors take you through our country’s rich past to present day through humorous stories and fascinating trivia, making each tour interesting and fun."

4. Smithsonian National Zoo: This 163-acre zoological park not only offers free admission, it provides an entertaining and educationally rich environment for both adults and children to enjoy. With exhibits as varied as an African Savannah to the giant panda cub Bao Bao, families will not want to miss the opportunity to learn about the over 1,800 individual animals that call the zoo their home.

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5. Library of Congress: This research library, which serves the United States Congress, offers a fascinating wealth of information for both the young and adults. "It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections." Guided tours are available as well as various exhibitions, concerts, lectures, reading, shopping and dining opportunities.

6. Arlington National Cemetery: This United States military cemetery serves as the final resting place of many of America's heroes. It is also home to the gravesite of John F. Kennedy, many prominent Americans and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The cemetery encourages visitors to "discover Arlington's rich history, witness the time-honored ceremonies, take in the scenic landscapes and grounds, wander through the headstones and monuments, reflect on the names, and ponder the stories each person could tell."

7. John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts: This attraction for families traveling on vacation houses the National Symphony Orchestra, the Washington Ballet and the Washington National Opera, as well as a number of other theater and musical performances. Some of the ticket prices can be steep, however throughout the year there are also many free performances. The center is also a living memorial to President John F. Kennedy and provides a variety of guided tours.

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Washington D.C. is nicknamed The Capital of the Free World and the city is rich with historic and educational sites for families looking for a staycation.
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2015-31-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:31 PM
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