A Five-Day Getaway
Follow the three-day weekend plan, and add the following activities. Unless your kids are very young (and therefore don't have the attention span for this), you can dedicate a day to learning about how our government works and touring government sites (see Chapter 8). This is best done during the week, when you might be able to catch the U.S. Supreme Court and/or Congress in session. Write ahead of time, and see if it's possible to meet with your representative or senator while you're in town. It will be a memorable family event, and one that you should definitely bring the camera to record (even if you didn't vote for him or her).Day Four
Begin with a hearty breakfast at Eastern Market. Perhaps one of the adults can run over to the line for free tickets to the Capitol while the other waits with the kids for a seat for a breakfast of blueberry buckwheat pancakes or the breakfast “brick” — eggs, sausage, and a roll. If there's time, explore the marketplace.
Try to get a morning tour of the Capitol, the legislative seat of our government. The guided tour will take forty-five minutes, and you'll probably want to walk around a bit. Make sure you let the kids try the whisper that can be heard across the room. Then tour the U.S. Supreme Court.
You might want to head to Union Station for lunch at either the food court (with forty kiosks to choose from, there's bound to be something for everyone), or a sit-down meal at Uno Chicago Grill or America. If the kids are feeling rambunctious, let them run through the National Postal Museum across the street from Union Station. It will take less than an hour and will be surprisingly entertaining for everyone.
If you want to just walk through the streets of the city and window shop (or even buy something), Georgetown is Washington's latenight shopping area, where many of the stores are open until 11
Then head to the Library of Congress, the world's largest library with 26 million items, and follow it up with a trip to the National Archives, where the kids will see the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.
Everyone will be pretty tired, so a nice leisurely dinner is probably in order. You can head to Georgetown and eat in a historic restaurant like 1789 (pricey, but memorable). Benihana is always a hit, Clyde's has a great hamburger, or enjoy a relaxing dinner at Firefly downtown in the Hotel Madera.Day Five
If you've brought the car, drive out to the new Udvar-Hazy Center near Dulles, where you can see even more aviation artifacts and specimens. The museum has the