I travel to many exotic spots. But, one of my favorite places to visit with my family is Washington DC.
The city’s image may be massive. But, DC is actually quite small which makes it super easy to navigate and conquer. On this quick two night jaunt, I invited my niece and nephew for a pre-Labor Day slumber party at the Mandarin Oriental, a hotel perfectly situated near The Mall. In forty-eight hours, we managed to visit the Martin Luther King Memorial, Washington Monument and two of three of my favorite museums: The Newseum, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History and Smithsonian National Museum of American History.
If you don’t know about The Newseum, it’s time to investigate this institution. It’s an institution devoted to how news is gathered and disseminated. Here’s why kids love it: There are interactive exhibits where kids can be a part of a newscast, 4D films that showcase innovators in news history and pieces of history (The Berlin Wall, the battered telecommunication equipment from the twin towers destroyed in 9/11) that demonstrate the news gathering process is to freedom.
Washington DC is home to 19 free museums under the Smithsonian umbrella. In one hour at the Natural History Museum you can take in a tarantula feeding, handle a hissing cockroach, have butterflies land on your head and see dinosaur bones. Five minutes away, the museum of American History has a fabulous exhibit on American Innovators. We learned about DJs, pacemakers and computers. Upstairs are Dorothy’s ruby red skippers and the Star Spangled Banner exhibit. The ride simulators are always a big hit. We did a 3D dolphin experience in the ride simulators.
The Mall’s many monuments and memorials offer great teaching moments. The new Martin Luther King Memorial is a Civil Rights class; the World War II Memorial is a conversation about patriotism.
FACT: DC is a place that makes culture fun.