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3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

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posts: 47
reviews: 16
3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

We will be in D.C. for a few days during Thanksgiving. We arrive on Tuesday night the 26th and leave on Saturday the 30th. We will have 3 full days to explore with 1 of the days being Thanksgiving day. We are a family of 4 (kids 11 and 13), and we are staying at the Palomar in Dupont.

I am trying to figure out the best plan for a loose itinerary. I have read that not everything will be open on the Thursday of Thanksgiving, and have read that the Friday after could be very crowded. So what would be the best plan for us day by day? I am thinking we should do the top Smithsonian museums on that Thursday. Those are open on Thanksgiving, right? Below is our list of must see and maybe see attractions.

Also, any recs for a Thanksgiving dinner or lunch... nothing fancy? I was reading about Clyde's, Ebbits and Founding Farmers.

Lastly, anything special going on during these days we should see or do? Will the outdoor ice skating rink be open yet? Where is that located and is it neat, or just a typical rink?

These are our must sees:

Air & Space Museum

Natural History Museum

American History Museum

National Archives (short stop)

Monuments & Memorials (prefer nighttime)

The Capitol (waiting to hear from Congressman's office if they can schedule us a tour)

DC Cupcakes in Georgetown (13 year old's request :-)

These are might like to see (We could add any of these if we have time):

Bureau of Engraving & Printing

Spy Museum

Crime & Punishment Museum


Ford's Theater

Arlington Cemetery

Thanks so much!

Washington DC...
posts: 151
reviews: 4
1. Re: 3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

First off, yes, the museums (at least Smithsonian ones) will be open. I'm pretty sure the only day they close is Christmas.

Of the food choices you mentioned, Founding Farmers is by far your best choice. Old Ebbit Grill is actually a Clyde's property so it's the same food as going to a Clydes. And while it did have history once upon a time, the location today is not the same as the historic location. Another good restaurant is Farmers, Fishers and Bakers. I think you will enjoy both that and Founding Farmers, but book your reservations in advance. We recently sent friends visiting from Australia to Founding Farmers and they loved it.

If your Congressman can't schedule a tour, try your Senator's offices as well. It may be tough since Congress will be in recess that week and a lot of their staff (sometimes all) take off then. Your best bet will be Tuesday night or Wednesday morning if they're able to do it. The Capitol Museum though should be open on Wednesday and doesn't require any tour stuff. They may also have tickets, but honestly I don't know as I've only gone there once since they opened and not by my choice.

We don't really do a parade or anything fance for Thanksgiving (the busiest place in DC will be the airport as many "locals" are actually from other parts of the country). I think Silver Spring (right across the border in MD and off Metro) may do a parade. You may want to check out the Native American Indian Museum on Friday as that's American Indian Heritage Day and perhaps they do something. Either way, it's timely.

The actual day itself is very quiet in the city. I've biked through the whole city and along the Mt. Vernon Trail home and passed only two people in 20 miles on the trails. So T-Day you should probably visit the biggest museums as I suspect there won't be many folks there. Think Air & Space, Natural History, American History, and those along that stretch of the Mall.

On the non-Smithsonian ones, I would double check their open times. I would be surprised if they're open on T-Day. Honestly, I don't think the Crime & Punishment Museum is worth your time unless you're really interested in it. And one other suggestion, if you're over by the Capitol, consider touring the Supreme Court and Library of Congress as both are across the street and fit well into that narrative.

Oh yah, one final word of warning--Metro will be on holiday times so if you plan to use, expect about 20-30 minutes between trains.

Miami, Florida
posts: 34
2. Re: 3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

I agree with the restaurant recommendation from the other contributor. If you're interested in a detailed itinerary, here's a link to an article about "How to See Washington, DC in 2 Days" - trolleytours.com/washington-dc/2-days-in-was… While you're staying a bit longer, the information there might still be useful for you.

Have a great trip!

Washington, D.C.
posts: 262
reviews: 58
3. Re: 3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

I would say make Thanksgiving day a 'down' day and relax, and choose a few museums you may want to go to. The first poster was correct, in regards to when the museums are open/closed. I would suggest this site for museum hours:


You may also want to check this site for sightseeing options:


I'm a fan of Hop On/Hop Off tours so I don't have to worry about finding parking, and walking not knowing where I am going. That tour usually takes you to all of the locations you mentioned you want to see.

washington dc
posts: 2,325
reviews: 1
4. Re: 3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

ZooLights opens Thanksgiving weekend and is lots of fun. Check www.fonz.org for details closer to Nov.

posts: 47
reviews: 16
5. Re: 3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

Thanks for the suggestions and tips!

The ZooLights sound like something the kids might like, and I'll look into the Native American Indian Museum for a possible stop on Friday. I didn't think about the Metro being on holiday hours, so I will keep that in mind.

6. Re: 3 day itinerary suggestions - Thanksgiving week

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