DC trip report

Hi all. I figured it would be good to add to the DC posts here especially since I found some of the prior posts useful. We are day 5 of 7 days in DC. We are myself, DH, DD10 and our dog staying at an Airbnb near capital hill. So far the weather has been super mild and lovely! We spent two weeks in Florida (one at Universal) and have stopped here before we head back to New England.

We are managing work and online school so we are not doing tourist stuff all day long. Sunday we arrived and just did our grocery shopping and dog walking. It was a lovely day and there were so many families out at playgrounds and markets - it was lovely.

Monday DD10 and I went to the air and space museum. Yes, it’s under construction but we spent two hours there and could have easily done another 2 hours. They’ve added a ton of interactive exhibits which were great.

Tuesday we got White House tours. We joked that we spent more time going through security then actually seeing the White House. Honestly, it’s ok. You see a few rooms and that’s it. There’s no tour per se and the app isn’t very good - though I recommend at least getting that. Afterwards we went to the National Museum of African American History and Culture which was great. We only had about 90 minutes for it (again work and school requirements) but it was done very well!

We did eat out last night at Barrel in Capital Hill area and it was really good!

Today we went to the Capital for our tour. We were really impressed. All the staff are ridiculously helpful and lovely. The tours are done really well and it felt like you were in it. Like you were someplace where government was actually happening (unlike the White House tour). We had 9am tours but we’re there early and the woman at check in gave us the tip to start asap and join an earlier tour so that things would be more quiet and personal. It was great advice as all the places we toured were quiet and pleasant. As we were wrapping up the noise levels rose like crazy as hundreds of people were starting their tours. We also asked about getting passes for the House and Senate and our docent gave us the following tips. There is both a House visit and Senate visit check in in the visitor center. We first checked the Senate and they told us we would need to get passes from our senator’s office. Now the docent told us that we could either head over to their office OR call their office and often an intern would run over with passes. I would suggest arranging this with your senator ahead of time. Instead of doing that we checked the House section and they just gave us passes. So we went through more security and went up to see the House. It wasn’t in full session but there were some folks there speaking which was really interesting to see. We may try and see about going back later this week to the senate. They also have speciality tours you can sign up for that are 15 people max. All in all it was a great experience!

We had the full day free today so we went to the Botanical Garden (my fam reported it was nice but under renovation so small - I was walking the dog) and then we had lunch at the National Museum of the American Museum and spent about 90 min there. Lunch was solid but felt expensive. There were some live demonstrations and q&a that was really interesting. It was also my favorite gift shop. We then walked to the Washington Monument and went up (we got tickets a while ago). Fun experience and great views. We then took the circulator to see the monuments. We ended up at the Lincoln Monument around sunset time which was really striking. Then we took the circulator through rush hour back to the capital hill area and made some tacos for dinner :smiley:

Tomorrow DD10 and I are going to the Natural Museum and Library of Congress. Hopefully we can find the kids section there.

Friday is open ended right now. Not yet sure what we will do but DH will have the afternoon free so we will try and do something.

Most of our trip has been walking, metro or dc circulator. We do have a car but have opted to leave it in our parking spot. We don’t mind paying a bit for metro etc as we generally enjoy public transportation. Get your smart card, load it up and commute everywhere. The circulator has been especially great as it can be reused within 2 hours free. So great way to visit monuments etc.

Oh, forgot to mention. DD10 and DH went to the Wizards Monday. Tickets were fairly cheap as the Wizards aren’t having a great year right now. Butt hey had a great time.


Thanks so much for this. I really enjoyed your report so far. Great tips about the Capital and seeing the House/Senate Chambers.

May you continue to have a great visit!

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You’ve done so much! Sounds like a great week. My DD22 that lives in DC and her bf frequently go to Wizards games. Always super cheap tix. DD20 is flying out for her spring break in late March and the big draw for her is promised NBA and NHL games!

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Thanks. We did manage to go to the Natural Museum which was really great. DD10 loved the minerals section. It was really cool. We then came back for lunch and went to the Library of Congress where everyone was very nice. They did have little kids activity which was good and then we tracked down the kids library. The kids library is just that but it was great to sit for an hour while she read.

Friday we did school and work then went on a walk around the Capital as earlier in the week it was all fenced up. It’s so nice when you can actually walk all over the property! We then took it easy and went out to a great pizza place, La Casina which had Nutella pizza for dessert.

Saturday we headed home with almost no traffic.

It was a great trip with so much to do and see there. All the museums were great and transportation was easy. We didn’t have any issues with crowds but expect it’s gonna get busy soon.


Thanks for the report and tips! Going in April for 5 days! I feel advanced planning is worse than WDW! Too many things to do!!

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I really appreciate the tip about being early for your tour. We have been given a 9am tour time.
Family won’t like being early for a morning thing, but I’ll remind them how great it was when we got on an earlier tour (only half full) at the Slot Canyons.