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pallen123's avatar

My sweet six year old daughter is visiting Washington DC this week. Besides the usual museums, what is something she can do there that would be really fun and special?

Asked by pallen123 (1514points) March 31st, 2010

My 6 year old daughter and 3 year old son are visiting DC with grandma next Monday through Thursday. Any fun suggestions for the kiddos?

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19 Answers

janbb's avatar

National Zoo
Cherry Blossoms on the Mall
Lincoln Memorial

filmfann's avatar

Monday will be the Easter Egg hunt at the White House. Is she part of that?
In two weeks will be the 165th anniversary of Lincoln’s Assassination, and Jefferson’s 267th birthday. Too bad she will miss that.

wundayatta's avatar

Doing a paddle boat in the tidal basin and looking at the cherry blossoms. Not sure if I would do this with a three year old, but I’d send a six year old if she was up for it—and if Grandma is up for it.

I’d go to the IMAX theater at the Air and Space Museum. That’ll wow them, and probably keep them entertained. Plus you can sit down. Touring is a really tiring thing to do. The museums are not so much fun, I don’t think, for kids. They often don’t understand what they are seeing. Maybe the National Gallery or the National Portraiture Museum. There’s fun stuff in the contemporary gallery. Walls of TVs in neon outlines of the United States. Other really wild installations.

Yeah, the National Zoo will be best for kids. It’s a good one! @janbb knows what she’s talking about.

bobloblaw's avatar

Take her to the Jefferson Memorial. Nobody ever goes to the Jefferson Memorial. He’s a little lonely.

asmonet's avatar

This week is actually FABULOUS for DC. I live about a half hour away, and it’s wonderful in the spring.

Sakura Matsuri and the Lantern Lighting are the things I’m looking forward to the most this year. I found some other events for you to check out online:

• April 3, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., Fireworks Light Up the Night
The fifth annual Prelude to the Fireworks is a three-hour family festival of live musical performances, kids craft activities, and cuisine from local restaurants. Leading up to a fireworks show, the starry-skied display starts at 8:30 p.m. and can be viewed from the festival area (Southwest Waterfront, 877/442–5666, free) or aboard the Spirit of Washington dinner cruise (866/302–2469, from $91).

• April 4, 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m., Lantern Lighting Ceremony
The highlight of this event is the lighting of a 359-year-old stone Japanese lantern, with a formal ceremony including traditional performers, Washington dignitaries, and Cherry Blossom Princesses. (Tidal Basin at Independence Ave. and 17th St. SW, free.)

• April 10, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade
This annual tradition features giant colorful balloons, marching bands, and other high-energy performers, and will also be simulcast live on ABC 7/WJLA-TV and NewsChannel 8. (Constitution Ave. between 9th and 15th St. NW, free; grandstand seating on Constitution Ave. between 15th and 16th streets NW, 800/551–7328, $17.)

• April 10, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sakura Matsuri
This Japanese street festival takes over right where the Cherry Blossom parade leaves off, with the largest one-day exhibition of Japanese culture in the U.S. Demonstrations of taiko drums, samurai swordsmen, karate, and the art of bonsai are only a few of the more than 30 hours of live performances on five stages. Make sure to arrive hungry to sample the Japanese fare and potent sake at the Matsuri Markets, and check out the traditional products for sale at the Ginza Marketplace. The younger members of the family will appreciate the 1,600-square-foot Children’s Corner, where they can try their hand at origami, learn a few Japanese words, and listen to traditional storytelling (12th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, free). Visit the Japan National Tourist Organization tent for the chance to win a trip for two to Japan (West side of 12th St. and Pennsylvania Ave.).

Fun, gorgeous and educational!

Trillian's avatar

Check the Smithsonian, they have stuff going on for kids all the time.

JLeslie's avatar

If you go to the Air and Space museum, the movie To Fly is a must.

mcbealer's avatar

Buy a kite and fly it out on the Mall. The weather’s supposed to be very warm, so they could even pack up a picnic lunch and spend a relaxing afternoon there.

The crowds around the tidal basin may be a bit much, especially for a 3 year old child. Unless they can go early in the day, they might want to skip that altogether.

Another fun outdoor place for kids is the Smithsonian sculpture garden.

Once they are 3–5 years older take them to the International Spy Museum, they would really enjoy that.

semblance's avatar

If she is not already familar with subway systems take her on the light rail that goes underneath Washington DC. Make sure you get out at least some of the underground stations and you can see how huge the tunnels are, how they’re supported, and how far up escalators you have to go to get to the surface. If she already has that sort of thing in your town, this is obviously no big deal. However, it would be impressive as a first time experience to any young child, particularly when it is explained to them that they are deep underground at times.

PacificToast's avatar

Go to the California Tortilla for lunch or dinner. Best burritos in D.C.

Judi's avatar

Isn’t Williamsburg close?

asmonet's avatar

@Judi: From DC, it’s a little under three hours by car. But if they’re up for a road trip it would be a ton of fun. :)

Kismet's avatar

Most of it has been covered.
I always enjoy the National Zoo and China Town.
I enjoyed them when I was little and I still do.

There are several stops around DC that are pretty interesting too, like White Flint Mall is a couple minutes by metro. And that has a Dave and Busters.

Pandora's avatar

@bobloblaw I went. He’s not so lonely any more. :D

Pandora's avatar

National Aquarium in DC. on 14th street. You choose a great weekend. The cherry blossoms are suppose to be in full bloom this weekend. A stop for them to run around and have fun at the Washington Mall (Park in front of the Lincoln Memorial) while having a picnic is also nice to do. Careful of the horse crap. :)
Don’t do the History Museum. They are too young to understand most of it and the lines are long.

bobloblaw's avatar

@Pandora Awesome! I’ve visited him, too. Jefferson’s monument is my favorite.

Pandora's avatar

@bobloblaw, It does have an awesome view and since its not so busy there, its a good place to stop and rest and take in the view.

JLeslie's avatar

Someone above mentioned the metro/subway system. The DC systen is very nice and the maps are very easy, They can figure out what color line to take to get to where you want to go, a learning experience for them about public transport if they don’t usually use subways. As the trains arrive the lights flash on the floor. Really one of the nicer systems in the country.

ThrallKiller's avatar

If she likes the Wizard of Oz, be sure to have someone point out to her the ruby slippers at the Smithsonian.

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