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Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: karsen
Date: July 14, 2008 09:10AM
We're heading to D.C. for a family vacation.

I'd like to see the Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and my brother is trying to get us a White House tour.

What else would you suggest seeing in D.C.?



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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: DavidS
Date: July 14, 2008 09:14AM
D.C. is great for family vacations. Lots of great museums that are interesting for both adults and kids. The Smithsonian Air and Space and American History Museums have always been my favorites. Natural History is also excellent. And, you can't beat the admission price.

Not sure how old the rest of your family members are, but I also recommend the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: July 14, 2008 09:16AM
. . .as stated the museums are free and I actually enjoyed the metro (with it's weird mood lighting, if it hasn't changed). . .



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 14, 2008 09:21AM
1500 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Hurry, before it gets boarded up.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: MGS_forgot_password
Date: July 14, 2008 09:24AM
It's not in D.C., but the Udvar-Hazy Center(National Air and Space Museum) out by Dulles is the best museum I've even been to.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: MacMagus
Date: July 14, 2008 09:27AM
> We're heading to D.C. for a family vacation.

With kids?

Natural History. National Gallery. Spy Museum. National Zoo. All good stuff for adults with or without kids. The Metro makes it easy to get around without a car.

Take a DC Ducks tour from Union Station. It's a bus that turns into a boat and covers the Potomac side. Kids get duck-call whistles.

The Old Ebbitt Grill is a nice place for dinner. Or ESPN Zone if you need to entertain kids.

DC alone is a whole trip, but there's cool stuff all around if you're willing to leave the city. If you're renting a car, take in a bit of Virginia and Maryland.

The Air and Space Museum in Virginia kicks the DC Air and Space Museum's butt (MGSfp should have stressed that more smiling smiley ). 'National Aquarium in Baltimore is fun and there's a children's science museum, shopping and nice restaurants right there... also a nicer ESPN Zone than they have in DC...

And then there's Six Flags America.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: Biff Lugnut
Date: July 14, 2008 09:27AM
2nd on Udvar-Hazy. Most impressive.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: 3d
Date: July 14, 2008 09:43AM
Mr. Rogers' sweater at the Smithsonian smiling smiley
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: July 14, 2008 09:44AM
Quote
DavidS
D.C. is great for family vacations. Lots of great museums that are interesting for both adults and kids. The Smithsonian Air and Space and American History Museums have always been my favorites. Natural History is also excellent. And, you can't beat the admission price.

Not sure how old the rest of your family members are, but I also recommend the U.S. Holocaust Memorial and Museum.

ditto on everything DavidS said.

The American History Museum is supposed to be reopening this Fall. I was a bit disappointed to find out the hard way that they were undergoing renovations the last time I was there. I always enjoyed walking through the computer history section, and seeing THE Star Spangled Banner.

The Air & Space museum annex near Dulles is also well worth the trip [www.nasm.si.edu] - relatively easy to get to via the metro and buses if you won't be getting a rental car.

Other must-sees for me include:
Arlington and the Lee mansion [www.arlingtoncemetery.org]
National Archives [www.archives.gov]
The US Capitol
US Navy Museum [www.history.navy.mil]
National Firearms Museum [www.nationalfirearmsmuseum.org] (not very convenient to get to, though, ever since they moved to Fairfax)

There are MANY, many other museums and monuments to see - one of the best maps I've found to see everything on (including the all-important locations of Metro Stations WITH indications of where the actual entrances to the stations are - it may not sound important, but without them, you likely will end up having to wander a few blocks in random directions until you stumble across them) was put out by the National Park service (I couldn't find it on their website, but it is available here: [www.aaas.org] )

If you don't already have lodging booked, try getting a hotel in Crystal City - there's easy metro access, which will get you to anywhere you'd want to go, and all of the hotels have free shuttles to get you to/from National Airport.


Whoops - looks like it took me too long to type this up - make that 3rd on Udvar-Hazy...
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: karsen
Date: July 14, 2008 09:52AM
Thanks for the suggestions. The Spy museum looks cool.

Our kids are 13 and 4 years old.



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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: DRR
Date: July 14, 2008 10:03AM
It's your call, but I think 13 and 14 are old enough for the Holocaust Museum and Memorial. Highly recommended.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: July 14, 2008 10:04AM
Quote
karsen
Thanks for the suggestions. The Spy museum looks cool.

Our kids are 13 and 4 years old.

The kids will definitely like it - It seemed kind of hokey to my adult eyes, but all the kids I saw there were having a great time.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: July 14, 2008 10:11AM
Quote
DRR
It's your call, but I think 13 and 14 are old enough for the Holocaust Museum and Memorial. Highly recommended.

Just remembered - the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is right next door also...might as well take that in, too...
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: karsen
Date: July 14, 2008 10:19AM
Quote
DRR
It's your call, but I think 13 and 14 are old enough for the Holocaust Museum and Memorial. Highly recommended.

13 and FOUR.



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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: July 14, 2008 10:25AM
The Jefferson Memorial has a great view. The National Archives is always at the top of my list. The Smithsonian, just to see the goofy stuff we save, the Spy Museum, and if you have time to pop up to Baltimore, Fort McHenry and the National Aquarium. There is also a doll house museum, really lovely, and the Old Treasury Building was redone about 15 years ago and is spectacular. Ditto the Patent Office, which was redone about five years ago. The East Wing of the National Gallery of Art is wonderful.

I think I would wait on the Holocaust Museum till your children state an interest.

Also, if the Nationals are in town, they have a beautiful new ballpark and there are plenty of seats available. Some of them are even affordable!
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: slbett
Date: July 14, 2008 10:28AM
All are good suggestions. Need time to see all of them. You say "family" vacation. If the kids are small, get a tram/bus pass that lets you get on at many locations an makes the rounds of the sites. If kids are a little older, spend a half day or so at Arlington. (you can get passes for the transportation there if you start the day there like we did). It is well worth the time you spend there and you will also see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Something you can remember the rest of your lives. You can also see the Pentagon from Arlington and the center of DC. I got some great shots from there. At the far end of Arlington is the Iwo Jima Memorial. (Raising the Flag monument)
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: freeradical
Date: July 14, 2008 11:09AM
This medical museum is pretty wild.

[nmhm.washingtondc.museum]
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: July 14, 2008 11:35AM
Quote
karsen
Thanks for the suggestions. The Spy museum looks cool.

Our kids are 13 and 4 years old.

13 year old will like the Spy Museum. 4 yo will be bored. 13 yo should hopefully be profoundly affected by the Holocaust Memorial. HM would hopefully go over the head of the 4 yo but there are images there i wouldn't want a child that young to see perchance.

white house tours need to be arranged months in advance through your congressional representative. Udaf-Hazy was good but then my son is an aviation buff. the US Mint tour was fun but it takes a bit of planning to get tickets (free). Native American museum was interesting for me but my son was bored. cafeteria there had great food, though.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: karsen
Date: July 14, 2008 11:45AM
Quote
graylocks
Quote
karsen
Thanks for the suggestions. The Spy museum looks cool.

Our kids are 13 and 4 years old.

13 year old will like the Spy Museum. 4 yo will be bored. 13 yo should hopefully be profoundly affected by the Holocaust Memorial. HM would hopefully go over the head of the 4 yo but there are images there i wouldn't want a child that young to see perchance.

white house tours need to be arranged months in advance through your congressional representative. Udaf-Hazy was good but then my son is an aviation buff. the US Mint tour was fun but it takes a bit of planning to get tickets (free). Native American museum was interesting for me but my son was bored. cafeteria there had great food, though.

Good info. all around.

We'll skip the Holocaust Museum for sure. It's not something I want to expose my 4 year old to yet. We have one near us in St Pete we can visit too.

We're going next week. My brother made a call this morning and got us a White House tour. I guess he knows some people.

How do you get the tickets to the Mint?



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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: July 14, 2008 11:55AM
We took our German friends to the Bureau of Printing and Engraving and they could not believe that anyone was allowed to watch the money being made! It is pretty interesting.

Your problem, I think, will be that the kids are so far apart in age - hard to find things interesting to both.

I don't think anyone has mentioned the National Zoo - always good for everyone!
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: SDGuy
Date: July 14, 2008 12:00PM
Quote
karsen
How do you get the tickets to the Mint?

I think graylocks meant the Bureau of Engraving and Printing - the US Mint has no production facilities in DC [www.usmint.gov]

For info straight from the BEP, go here: [www.moneyfactory.gov] or call: 1-866-874-2330 (telephone?!?? - so primitive. they should have updated information on their website!!)
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: July 14, 2008 12:04PM
yes, Bureau of Engraving! i knew it wasn't actually a mint but i couldn't think of the name. we did see money being made though.

there's a kiosk near the BEP you need to get to early in the morning so that you have the best selection of tour times. around 10am last summer in June we couldn't get tickets until the 6:00pm tour. same thing for the Washington Monument tours though we never got to that kiosk in time for tickets.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 14, 2008 12:12PM
[www.bep.treas.gov]

when I was there last, it was first come first serve and there was no line.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: billb
Date: July 14, 2008 12:14PM
The Mint has a kiosk at 50 Mass. Ave. :-)
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: July 14, 2008 12:15PM
Everyone else covered most things I'd suggest...

However, I would also plan to "walk the mall"... from the Capitol building to the Washington Monument, and through to the Lincoln Memorial. Long walk, but a beautiful one.

I also STRONGLY suggest a trip across the river to the Roosevelt Memorial, near dusk if possible..
And a trip over to Arlington National Cemetary. See the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and take a walk around.
Even if your kids are prone to be bored there, take a few minutes walk around. Pictures do not, and can not, convey the power of the place.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: $tevie
Date: July 14, 2008 01:14PM
Years ago we took the Tourmobile around DC. The thing that is nice about it is that you can hit all the famous sights and from there you can determine which ones you would like to go inside on the following days. It will also take you to Arlington Nat'l Cemetary. You can get off at any stop(s) you like and get back on again, all day long for the one price.

We were 3 adults but we enjoyed it. I would think, although I don't have children, that the advantage for a person with young kids is you won't wear them out walking from one place to the next to the next.

In short, we had a very good time on the Tourmobile.
[www.tourmobile.com]



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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: tahoedrew
Date: July 14, 2008 03:07PM
I lived in DC for four years while I attend the Univ. of Maryland. A few of my favorites I see at least once a year when I got back to visit everyone:

Memorial: Einstein memorial (just across Constitution from the Vietnam Memorial)

casual dinner outside: outdoor restaurant on top of Hotel Washington (15th and Pennsylvania - it's awesome if you go as the sun is setting and all the monuments lights come on)

Bars (if you get away from the kids or for those without little ones): Big Hunt and Brickskellar (Dupont Circle area)

Vietnamese food: Miss Saigon in Georgetown



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2008 03:36PM by tahoedrew.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: kanesa
Date: July 14, 2008 03:23PM
I love DC. There is so much to see and do. You have great suggestions here. I loved the White House tour and was lucky enough to be at the Capitol when they had a roll call vote. Got to see lots of bigwigs.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: Racer X
Date: July 14, 2008 05:09PM
Hookers and Junkies Museum with a recorded walking tour narrated by former Mayor Marion Berry.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/14/2008 05:10PM by Racer X.
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Re: Must See In D.C.?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: July 14, 2008 07:35PM
There are TWO Roosevelt "memorials". There's one for FDR, across the boulevard from Lincoln (maybe 10 minute walk)--really amazing. And then there's Roosevelt Island, named after Teddy.
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