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Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

Houston
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Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

Here is my tentative itinerary for our trip to DC and then Williamsburg.

I am traveling with my family of four (myself, husband, 7 year old son, and 4 year old daughter).

We taking the train from Houston to Washington DC and arrive on Sunday March 9th at 9:53 a.m.

Please let me know if you think this is a reasonable plan with the amount of time we have.

We will depart for Williamsburg on Wednesday the 12th.

Any suggestions for restaurants that are family friendly? I plan to purchase a Smartcard for the metro, so I was wondering if this is the best way to get around. Thanks for the input in advance.

Sunday:

Lunch

International Spy Museum (2 hours)

Fords Theatre, Peterson House (2 hours)

Back to hotel/eat dinner

Monuments at Night Tour (Old Towne Trolley)

Monday:

National Archives- I reserved a tour that occurs one time a day at 9:45 a.m.

Smithsonian of American History

(???) Smithsonian Air and Space Museum- closes at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday:

Library of Congress Tour

White House Tour tentatively schedule for 12:40 p.m.

US Capital Tour

Tour of Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Nonpartisan Pedicab
City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Night Tours, Private Tours
Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour
City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Night Tours
Old Town Trolley Tours of Washington DC
City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Hop-On Hop-Off Tours, Night Tours
DC Pedicab
Taxis & Shuttles, City Tours, Historical & Heritage Tours, Night Tours, Private Tours
Maryland
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1. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

Honestly, I think your children are too young for the Spy Museum (lots of reading, and it really caters to teens and up) and probably will be bored at the Archives and not too thrilled by the Library of Congress tour and the US Capitol tour. Have you considered adding any more "kid-oriented" activities, e.g., the Insect Zoo at National Museum of Natural History, to balance the more adult activities?

Arlington, Virginia
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2. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

A few comments on your itinerary:

1. Your children are too young to get anything out of the Spy Museum. (The exhibits require a lot of reading.) There is no charge for the 4-year-old, but you would have to pay $15 for the 7-year-old. The kids might have fun looking at the stuff at the gift shop and you can do that without paying the admission fee. If you still want to do the Spy Museum, you should consider booking your tickets in advance. Since that weekend is Spring Break for a lot of people (but not the locals), I anticipate a long line to buy tickets--all of which are timed--for that Sunday afternoon.

2. It appears from the Ford's Theatre website that all the tickets for Sunday afternoon are gone. So, if you are going to do this, you'll need to choose another date and you'll need to book tickets now. (Also, if you want to see the theatre itself, you are going to need to choose a tour that includes "Theatre Walk-Through." It's not offered everyday.) I could spend 2 hours at the museum at Ford's Theatre, seeing the theatre and going to the Petersen House, but I can't see spending that long there with 2 young children--again, lots of reading. I'd allow for a quick walk through the museum (the most interesting artifacts are at the end) and a walk-through of the theatre and Petersen House. That would take about an hour.

3. Have you booked a tour of the U.S. Capitol? You'll save yourself a long wait in line if you do that before your visit. Also, unless a tour of the Bureau and Printing and Engraving has been arranged for you through the office of your Representative or Senator, you will have to go there first thing in the morning to stand in line for same-day tickets.

For more information on all of the places for which advance tickets are required or recommended, look at the next-to-last "Top Question" to the right of this page: "What attractions require/offer timed or advance tickets?"

Washington DC...
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3. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

FYI, you will need a SmarTrip card for your 7-year old, but the 4-year old can ride for free.

You don't have a lot of places that are of interest to such young children. You might want to go to the Natural History Museum for them.

You don't say where you are staying, but suggestions for places to eat will be better with that information. You probably don't want to travel too far for dinner.

Houston
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4. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

Thanks for your replies.

I have taken the Spy Museum off the itinerary based on your advice. I booked tickets for the Ford's Theatre on Monday afternoon (thanks for the heads up) because I hadn't prepurchased those. So instead,

I added the Natural History Museum on Sunday afternoon. Thank you for the tip.

I thought the Air and Space Museum might be interesting for my 7 year old, and I considered splitting up and taking my daughter to the National Zoo while my husband and son go to the Air and Space Museum. Is there something different about this zoo compared to other zoos?

We are staying at the Embassy Suites at Chevy Chase. Thanks again for all the help.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

The National Zoo has pandas, including a baby panda.

There are many options for eating near the Embassy Suites Chevy Chase, though many are national chains. One that is not is Alfio's, about 2 blocks away from your hotel. http://www.alfios.com/ There is also a nice Clyde's even closer. It has a model train that encircles the main floor's dining room and has interesting ship models and a real race car. http://www.clydes.com/chevy-chase

Arlington, Virginia
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6. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

The baby panda sleeps a lot, so it might not too interesting to watch. What might be more fun to watch at the zoo are the baby tigers. We saw them in December and they were so cute running all over the tiger enclosure. They kept my kids' attention for a long time--and my kids are in their 20's! The seals and sea lions are also fun to watch, especially during feeding times. There's an underground viewing area so you can watch them swimming underwater. Finally, there's a Kids Farm especially designed for kids aged 3 - 8, so you might want to visit it too.

If you have not already done so, I recommend taking a look at the National Zoo website. There's info on the pandas, animal feeding times, animal programs, etc.

http://nationalzoo.si.edu/visit/

Houston
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7. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

Thanks again for all the information. It really helps. Any suggestions for a nice restaurant for my husband and myself? We are going to leave the kids with Nana one night.

Washington DC...
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8. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

DC has a lot of nice restaurants. If you gave just a hint of what sort of place you might like you will get better suggestions. The Clyde's I mentioned above could be one of them.

Houston
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9. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

I have read some restaurant reviews and have narrowed it to Siroc, rasika, or maybe an Ethiopian food restaurant. What would be your choice if you had to pick one?

Washington DC...
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10. Re: Traveling second week of March- Itinerary advice please

If you want to be able to talk to each other, Rasika is not the right place. I am not a fan of Ethiopian, and I have never been to Siroc. It should be a nice place though.

Right across the street, and accessible without going outside from your hotel, is Range. Again, I have not eaten there, but it should be nice. yelp.com/biz/range-by-bryan-voltaggio-washin…

Edited: 12:38 pm, February 28, 2014