Fun Things To Do with
Kids When Touring the Mall in Washington, D.C.
Smith (Road Trip Mom)
kids were 12, 10 and 7 when I took them with us for a visit our Nation's
Capital. Here a a few of the fun things we did when we toured the
Mall in Washington D.C. We recommend you try these too:
the kids a camera
each of the kids their own disposable camera to use during your touring.
them capture their own memories with their own eye. You may be surprised
at what they find meaningful. My kids spent a lot of their shots taking
pictures of the ducks in the reflecting pool on the mall, and of the cute
black fox squirrels that were hopping around everywhere.
fun with your cameras and, take some goofy perspective shots. My kids had
a great time doing this.
a picture of them "holding up" the Washington Monument. Or have it coming
out of their head like a hat.
just get an interesting perspective shot by squatting down low and looking
up at your child with a tall monument in the background.
they have had a lot of history lessons, most kids don't understand the
real meaning behind most of the monuments. Help make it more meaningful
by explaining briefly so that they can understand and make it age appropriate.
Show them that these things are important,
and in fact, we want people to remember them which is why they are shown
on most of our money!
out your wallet and give everyone a penny and show them the Lincoln Memorial
on the back of the penny. Then have them look very closely to see if they
can find the statue of President Lincoln inside the Lincoln Memorial on
the penny (see photo at right). Most kids are amazed at the teensy tiny
image of the statue on the penny since they have never noticed it before!
Show them that this same image is also on a $5 bill. Be sure to get
your money back. Kids have a way of trying to use your enthusiasm for thier
own profit (my kids sure tried anyway!)
of the monuments are ok to touch. A tactile experience helps children remember
the experience and really take it all in.
used to be a long line outside the Washington Monument of people waiting
to tour inside. Now days you need to have a ticket that tells you
what time you can go in, and they only give out a limited number of tickets
per day. The ticket kiosk is at the base of the hill near the monument
and opens early in the morning. The tickets are free, but once the tickets
are gone for that day, that's it so stop and pick some up first thing when
you get to the Mall.
Ice Cream Break
Visiting all the major monuments
in one day was like going on a long hike. In fact, it was exactly like
a long hike. We started at the Vietnam Memorial, then proceeded around
to the Lincoln memorial and made our way around. I recommend making a planned
stop for an ice cream break about half way through. I also recommend carrying
everything in a backpack and bringing a stroller for smaller tots.
Wave Hello to the President
Even if you don't see him
personally while you are there, keep your eye out for secret service guys
and point them out to your kids. As you walk down Constitution or Pennsylvania
Avenue, be sure to have everyone stop and "wave hello" to the Pres in his
house. Explain that the White House is the president's home and his office
where he also works.
||Be careful not to overdo
it with young children by trying to see too much in one day. We went to
about one museum per day which was just about right. The Smithsonian
Museums are all free to attend, so if you get tired, you can leave without
feeling like you didn't get your money's worth. The food there is expensive
though, so you may want to backpack in some sandwiches like we did.
If you get tired of the fake
"cute" poses kids usually make for pictures, let their personalities shine
through during photo ops. For example, photographing a big bear at
the Museum of Natural History? Let everyone show their bear side.
Have fun and make memories at the same time.
TIPS for the Museums:
museums were VERY crowded on the days we went. Summer is most likely the
most popular time of the year. If you are worried about losing your toddler
in the crows, you might want to consider a Harness
Buddy especially if you've got an escape artist or a run-away child.
They can store their water in the cute little backpack and have their hands
free to explore while you keep a firm grip on them in a crowd.
T-shirts and souvenirs are
usually much cheaper at the corner stands than they are in the gift shops,
so don't pass up a good opportunity to get everyone a T-shirt to remember
their fun. Photos make the best souvenirs, so don't forget to actually
have some prints made from your digital camera when you get home I recommend
-- You can upload your pictures from your computer and they mail you your
prints. It's a great deal and you don't have to make a trip to the store.
Also, use the opportunity to make the best souvenir ever - a photo
memory book. See mine!
Essentials to Carry
Water bottles! Have at least
a full bottle of water for each person. Snacks - food is expensive and
often at the end of long lines, so to eliminate whining, bring food! Sunscreen
-don't leave home without it.
Most of all, enjoy your time
together with your kids while enjoying the sights!
~ ..· ´¨¨))
..·´ Road Trip Mom -:¦:-
Smith is a former schoolteacher and mother of three who has logged thousands
of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom. Visit her website for
more than 101 travel games and activities for kids at MomsMinivan.com