Touring Washington DC's Monuments and Memorials with Kids #90DayRoadTrip10:36 AM
I was recently asked by The J.M. Smucker Company to create some unique tips for using a new product and I wanted to share with you, all opinions are my own.
The boys and I had an incredible time in Washington DC touring the different monuments and memorials. Getting into DC from our hotel in Virginia was a breeze thanks to the Metro and I love that all of the memorials and monuments are free to visit! When you are a family of five, free is a magical word when it comes to attractions. I thought I would share some photos of our day in the nation's capital and include some tips that might come in handy when you visit with your family!
Don't Forget Your Tickets
Tickets? Yep, I did just say all the monuments and memorials are free, but that doesn't mean there aren't any tickets involved. The Washington Monument is one such attraction in Washington DC that while free, does require free timed tickets for entry into the actual monument. You can order yours for a small fee ahead of time online, or you can line up at the Washington Monument Lodge beginning at 7:30 am. in order to score timed tickets for that day which are handed out beginning at 8:30 am. Of course, you could do what we did and enjoy the view from the outside.
Know Your Way Around
There are a few maps sprinkled throughout the National Mall, but it is easy to get turned around. Downloading or printing out a map of the mall can help you know where you're going at all times. You can find a National Mall map here.
Bring Plenty of Snacks and Water
Another thing there is not a lot of in the National Mall area, are opportunities for food and drinks. There are some cart vendors serving overpriced water, Gatorade and ice cream here and there, and some refreshment stands that have some light lunch fare, but they can sometimes be far away from each other. Bringing your own snacks and water can save you not only money, but from having unhappy children too.
In a previous post I shared how the boys and I stopped by Walmart, our SNACKATION headquarters to pick up some of our favorite Smucker's snacks to take with us into Washington DC. I knew we would be walking in the sun all day, and that the boys would get hungry and thirsty often. So, we picked up the new Jif Whips in chocolate peanut butter flavor, Jif To Go Dippers and my youngest's favorite, Smucker's Uncrustables. The boys had plenty of snacks all day long, and we enjoyed taking some breaks and enjoying some downtime in front of some of the nation's most well-known monuments. Don't forget to stop by your local Walmart for all of your Smucker's SNACKATION needs!
Be Prepared to Walk
Please don't be like some of the women I saw today, and wear uncomfortable shoes and clothing. There is a lot of walking in Washington DC if you want to make the most of your time there. The boys and I walked over 5 miles visiting all of the monuments and memorials, be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes when you head out to have fun with the kids.
Don't Skip Lesser Known Monuments and Memorials
It is easy to just focus on the main memorials and monuments when visiting Washington DC, but you might just miss out on many of the lesser known memorials and monuments when you do that. While there were large crowds near the Washington and Lincoln Monuments, there was virtually no one at the Martin Luther King Jr. and FDR Memorials. Be sure to keep your eyes open for opportunities to enjoy some of the area's lesser known attractions without the crowd.
There is no way to see everything that Washington DC has to offer in a single day. In fact, you could visit for a week and probably still not see it all, so go into your visit knowing this. Take your time and pace yourself so that everyone doesn't get too cranky and tired on the first day. We decided to do monuments and memorials one day, museums another and the zoo, white house and archives on our last day in town.