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Old 10-05-2012, 11:12 PM   #1
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OT-Washington, DC

We are visiting DC in November with our 3 children (9,9,3). We are staying a few blocks from the national mall (where all the attractions are). We are planning on a day at the DC zoo. Any other recommendations for attractions and places to have dinner? Thanks
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:50 AM   #2
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Do a search for Washington DC. This topic has been discussed here many times. You'll find a lot of good information. You might want to consider purchasing a good guidebook as well.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by kandb View Post
We are visiting DC in November with our 3 children (9,9,3). We are staying a few blocks from the national mall (where all the attractions are). We are planning on a day at the DC zoo. Any other recommendations for attractions and places to have dinner? Thanks
There are actually very few restaurants near the mall. What side are you staying in? NorthWest or SouthWest? On NW side, there is a Hard Rock Cafe at 10th & E NW (next to Ford's Theater). There are a number family-friendly restaurants near the Verizon Center (7th & F) as well as Chinatown (same area, Gallery Place Metro).

Another option would be to take the Metro to Pentagon City. It is a large shopping area, so there are many family-friendly restaurants.

Near the Zoo, there is a great pizza place (2 Amy's) but it does require a car. If you are taking Metro, you can consider taking the Metro to the Friendship Heights station. There you find many of the big chains (Cheesecake Factory, Maggiano's, PF Changs, etc.)

ETA: Another good place to visit in the evening is Old Town Alexandria. Alexandria is an old port city and the streets are lined with restaurants and shops. You can get there easily by car or Metro.

Georgetown is similar, however it is much harder to get to. Driving through Georgetown is horrendous and there is no Metro. If you do venture into Georgetown make sure you hit Georgetown Cupcakes on M Street. It is where the TLC show DC Cupcake is/was filmed.

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Last edited by ssawka; 10-06-2012 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 10-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:45 AM   #5
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we love to eat at Clyde's near the Verizon Center/Chinatown

great food for both kids & adults

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Old 10-06-2012, 10:53 AM   #6
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If you have time and access to a car I highly recommend the Udvar Hazy Center. You also might hear it called the Air & Space museum annex. It's in Virginia near Dulles airport. It's free to get in but $15 to park. It's VERY cool. We took our kids this summer. They are 9, 7, 4 and 2. We weren't sure how it would go over but they loved it. There aren't any restaurants near it, but there is a McDonald's inside.

But honestly, there's enough to see on and around the Mall that you could easily fill a vacation.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:30 PM   #7
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take the trolley tour - there's a lot of pick-ups & drop-offs throughout dc - it covers everything - i also recommend the library of congress & the air & space - the cafeteria at the air & space is really nice -
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:28 PM   #8
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Thanks for the help, it's apprecited.
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Old 10-07-2012, 04:17 PM   #9
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If you have a car, head out to the National Harbor - I think you can also get there by water taxi. They have all the usual places to eat there plus some really unique ones. There is also a Gaylord hotel which will be getting all decked out for Christmas with a singing Christmas tree, artifical snow, etc.

Another good bet - take the red line on the metro to downtown Silver Spring. Lots of good places to eat there - both unique and familiar, and the prices will be much better than Old Town. There is really cool stuff in the lobby of the Discovery TV HQ.

As for attractions, you will be busy with the freebies - the Smithsonian, Air and Space, the monuments, etc. If you want to spend some money, the Spy Museum is pretty cool and so is the wax museum.

My kids HATED the Newseum. It was way over priced, plus, it is very depressing. The news is usually depressing. It is interesting for adults, but the kids begged to leave.

The national gallery of art is cool and has a great cafeteria downstairs with an interesting light tunnel that kids enjoy.

There is also an aquarium in the basement of the commerce building that is cool.
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Old 10-09-2012, 02:32 PM   #10
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You will have so much to see and do; we took our boys when they were 16 and 12; we always try to do the "cheaper" eating route; one thing about DC everything is a bit more expensive; we walked or took the Metro wherever we went, but if my memory is right the Potbelly's sandwich shop isn't too far form the mall and had delicious cheaper sandwiches; good sandwiches at Au Bon Pain also which had various locations; we took the Metro to the DuPont Circle and our splurge was the Luna Grille which was yummy and not too too pricey; there was also a delicious Chipotle restaurant in DuPont which is a chain but always a good meal; the DuPont area is beautiful; our other splurge was the restaurant in the American Indian Museum; it had very tasty and unusual food;
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