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Family Vacation Ideas

Other things to do in the Washington D.C. area

Other things to do and places to visit in the D.C. area

After you've visited all the top Washington D.C. attractions, there's still lots more to see! Washington D.C. and the surrounding areas are rich with cultural, educational, and downright fun activities for your entire family.

While some attractions are subject to individual tastes, and the appeal of others may vary depending on whether you have kids (and their ages), here's a list of attractions you should definitely consider for your Washington D.C. vacation.

Ford's Theater

Ford's Theater, Washington D.C.The site of Abraham Lincoln's assassination, the recently renovated Ford's Theater is a neat place to visit for a very interesting tour. Tickets are free, but must be obtained in advance (same day). You'll enter the theater and choose your seat on the main floor or in the balcony. All seats provide a view of the private box where Lincoln sat on the night he was assassinated. The box still sits as it was decorated when President Lincoln was shot while watching "Our American Cousin" on April 14th, 1865.

Lincoln Box, Ford's Theater, Washington D.C.You'll hear a very interesting story of the events on that fateful night told in intricate detail by a member of the National Parks' Service. You'll have an eerie feeling that you are actually there as you hear the details of how John Wilkes Booth planned and carried out his plan. If you're sitting in the balcony you may actually hear his footsteps as he approaches President Lincoln's private box.

There's a museum within the theater building with many interesting items from the day including the pistol used in the assassination. You can also go across the street to the Peterson House to view the bedroom where Lincoln was taken that night and died the next morning.

Monuments cruise

Potomac monuments cruiseOperated by the Potomac Riverboat Company, this one or two hour cruise departs from either Georgetown or Old Town Alexandria for a one-way or roundtrip boat ride on the Potomac. You'll pass monuments such at the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument, and also see landmarks like the Kennedy Center and the Watergate Hotel.

A pre-recorded program describes what you are seeing throughout the trip, and varies in each direction to make the round trip worthwhile. The best time for this cruise is around sunset which highlights the areas mystique.

Washington Monument & Lincoln MemorialJefferson Memorial

Roundtrip tickets are under $30 for adults and about $15 for kids 11 and under.

Mount Vernon

Mount VernonGeorge Washingon's Mount Vernon estate & gardens is a short drive south of Washington D.C. and a great way to spend a morning- or perhaps an entire day. General admission tickets are about $15 for adults, and about ½ that for kids.You can walk through the buildings in the complex while being treated to an informative background narrative by knowledgeable volunteers. You can also tour the grounds on your own, or arrange any number of guided tours (for a small additional fee).

Mount Vernon National Treasure tourWe took the "National Treasure" tour which I'd highly recommend. For only $5 we were able to see the locations where scenes from National Treasure 2 were filmed, and hear lots of interesting stories about the planning and filming of the movie. Plus, we got to see places that nobody else gets to see! The kids loved it!

Union Station

Union Station, Washington D.C.This beautifully restored train station is easily accessible by the Metro and is a great place to shop, eat, or just enjoy the architecture. Despite the many things to do in Washington D.C., one thing missing is an abundance of restaurants and souvenir shops that you'd expect to find in a traditional 'tourist' location. Other than cafeterias and gift shops in many of the buildings, there just aren't that many other options (unless you visit street vendors).

Union Station has a variety of restaurants to choose from for any budget in the food court. There are also a couple of more upscale restaurants in the building. You'll find just about any souvenir you can imagine in the many shops located throughout the station.

More Washington D.C. vacation information:

Washington D.C. vacation overview

Washington D.C. vacation planning

Top Washington D.C. attractions






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