The Three-Day Weekend in the Capital
If you're visiting D.C. over a Monday-holiday weekend, expect many other families to do the same. Book hotels early, and do make reservations at the restaurants you and your family really want to go to.Day One
If it's not a federal holiday, and you've opted for a Friday-Saturday-Sunday visit, try to get the White House tour for Friday morning. It should be a little easier to get and less hectic and crowded. Eat a quick lunch at Old Ebbitt Grill or Ollie's Trolley, which has great burgers and hotdogs.
Then head to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to see paper money being printed and shredded. You can catch a tour in the early afternoon — the last one is at 2
If you are traveling with toddlers, make sure you include the D.C. Ducks Tour, the National Zoo, the new National Children's Museum (if it is open), the Smithsonian Carousel at the Mall, and the Orkin Insect Zoo at the Museum of Natural History.
If you have energy left, head to the Mall and do as much of the Museum of American History as you can, if renovations are completed. Pause for an ice cream in the re-created old ice cream parlor in the museum, and let the younger kids take a ride on the carousel outside the museum. If the museum is not yet open, go to the new National Museum of the American Indian instead. In the evening, take one of the night bus tours.Day Two
After a quick breakfast in your hotel, head straight to the Mall, and finish Air and Space and Natural History. Eat lunch in either Wright Court in Air & Space, where you can choose burgers, pizza, or a chicken meal, or the restaurant in Natural History, which features soups and sandwiches. If you've got time, stop in at the National Aquarium around 2
D.C. is a tourist town, and many visitors are too exhausted to go out at night. This means you often can get into a good theater performance at night. Many Broadway shows make their way to Washington, and you can often see some excellent theater on tour, often for half price by calling TICKETplace (202-842-5387), which offers half-price tickets the day of the show.
If you're planning on heading to the Kennedy Center for the free daily 6
Start with one of those terrific D.C. Sunday brunches (see Chapter 15), then visit the zoo and the International Spy Museum. If you get hungry, the Waffle Shop right next to the Petersen House is an authentic D.C. lunch counter, where you can get crab cakes or steak sandwiches with great onion rings for about $10.
In the evening, visit Verizon Center for a sporting event. Tickets are pretty easy to come by.