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DC with Kids in October: Hotel? Itinerary Fine Tuning?

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Johnson City, TN
posts: 56
DC with Kids in October: Hotel? Itinerary Fine Tuning?


My husband and I are taking the kids (daughter age 12 and son age 10) to Washington, DC for their first visit. We arrive on Thursday, Oct 12 and leave Sunday, Oct 15. We are using points to stay at a Holiday Inn. It seems that convenience to the Metro should be our top priority... If that is the case then we should stay at Holiday Inn Capitol at 550 C St, SW. I know it's a block from Metro and from Air and Space Museum. But... I keep thinking of the lack of personality of staying in an area surrounded by govt buildings. There is another HI at 1501 Rhode Island Ave and one near Union Station "On The Hill" at 415 New Jersey Ave. Would these be better? I suppose I should take the convenient one at 550 C St and just Metro into colorful neighborhoods (like DuPont Circle) for dinner... Any advice?

As far as itinerary, there are just so many places we want to go but not enough time! Our top 3 places are: Air and Space Museum, Natural History Museum and the Zoo. The others that "would be nice" to see if we could are the Capitol, White House and the Monuments and Memorials.

We arrive on a Thursday afternoon so i was thinking of a moonlight tour with either DC Party Shuttle or Old Town Trolley to see the monuments and memorials. Then on Friday, Air and Space in the AM and a tour of Capitol (if we can get tix) in the PM. On Saturday, I thought Zoo in the AM and Natural History in the PM. We ought to hit the road by 1 PM on Sunday so we could do something in the AM. Any advice and fine tuning or rearranging would be appreciated.


Sterling, VA
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
posts: 12,014
reviews: 135
1. Re: DC with Kids in October: Hotel? Itinerary Fine Tuning?

Yes, the Holiday Inn Capitol is in an area that's dead at night. Excluding the hotel restaurants, the area eateries are only open M-F for breakfast and lunch. However, the hotel gets good reviews and as you mentioned, you are right by the L'Enfant Plaza Metro station, the Air & Space Museum, and the American Indian Museum. Your itinerary sounds fine--just note that there is much to see at the Zoo (you could end up spending all day there!) so budget your time accordingly. Enjoy your stay!

Arlington, Virginia
Destination Expert
for Washington DC
posts: 3,002
reviews: 25
2. Re: DC with Kids in October: Hotel? Itinerary Fine Tuning?

I agree that your itinerary looks good and I'd stick with the hotel. The convenience to the places you want to see is key since you have such a short time. You can have breakfast at the hotel, at the nearby McDonalds or buy some muffins and drinks or something and keep them in your room. On Saturday, you can pick up something near the Woodley Park metro or there's a Starbucks directly across from the zoo on Connecticut Avenue. Check the zoo's website for feeding times and other fun things for the kids (like the small petting zoo).

For dinner, Dupont Circle is a nice area and you could also take the metro two stops to Gallery Place/Chinatown. There are tons of options there. Matchbox, Ella's Woodfired Pizza, Austin Grill, Clyde's are some of the many family-friendly places.

Enjoy your trip!

3. Re: DC with Kids in October: Hotel? Itinerary Fine Tuning?

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