Three Days in DC

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Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:11 am

dm200 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:05 am
I would skip the National Zoo, sorry but the last time I was there a year ago I felt it was a national disgrace, run down, most of the animals were MIA, really disappointing. Perhaps I've been spoiled with the NYC area zoo's which tend to have a lot more animals and is updated.
That is disappointing. We live in the area - but it has been quite a while since we have been there.

I will try to go his year and see what has changed.

With zoos, some of the things that are (or seem) great for visitors are not the best for the animals. One of the exhibits we really liked there was the Polar Bears - but I don't think it was good for them.
While the Zoo is free, they were charging $5 for a guide to the zoo exhibits! I'd rather they charge a nominal fee for the zoo entrance and give out the guides as part of it. Needless to say, hardly anyone took them up on the offer for a guidebook.
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TBillT
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by TBillT » Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:45 am

A few of the museums may be partial-closed for multi-year renovations. I am thinking Air and Space just announced some portions closed, and the new huge TRex/Dino display is scheduled to open June_2019 in the Nat History

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dm200
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by dm200 » Mon Mar 11, 2019 12:19 pm

Depending on what children like and do not like - riding on the Metro Rail system - above ground sections can be interesting. You can cross the Potomac River on a bridge - and see planes landing and/or taking off from Reagan National airport.

I suspect some children would love it and others would hate it.

If you are into churches/places of worship -

Catholic - national Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Episcopal - Washington National Cathedral

Theseus
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Theseus » Tue Mar 19, 2019 8:59 am

I have two suggestions for OP.

My friend used to do a scavenger hunt every year (amazing race type thing) that required you to solve clues to find the next site and so on. I am sure kids would enjoy it - all along exploring DC monuments. If you google you should find some that might fit your dates. Here is one that I saw.
https://www.urbanadventurequest.com/tou ... fault.aspx

It most likely is not free but National Geographic Museum should be fun for kids.

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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Pogo » Tue Mar 19, 2019 9:42 am

For something off the beaten path: National Harbor, just outside DC (drive or taxi). Look for "The Awakening" statue -- the kids will love it.

For an easy and inexpensive lunch: Food Court at Pentagon City Mall or China Town. When you're in Pentagon City, you can walk over to the 9/11 memorial.

The Phillips collection is free T-F and has a great collection of impressionists -- more accessible for kids I think.

The American History Museum has a lot of hands-on exhibits and is currently showing a "superheros" exhibit.

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bengal22
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by bengal22 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:00 am

We enjoyed Washington cathedral. You can see the embassy's on the way. Woodrow Wilson's house near there I think. My Vernon is cool
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dm200
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by dm200 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:07 am

bengal22 wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:00 am
We enjoyed Washington cathedral. You can see the embassy's on the way. Woodrow Wilson's house near there I think. My Vernon is cool
Yes - if you are interested in large churches and cathedrals - the National Cathedral is very interesting. It is very commonly used for funerals and memorial services for dignitaries and office holders. I think there was a televised funeral or memorial service when President Bush died. It is the Cathedral of the Episcopal Church.

Very different, but very impressive is the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception - at or near Catholic University. Very large catholic events are often hosted there - I think the Pope went to something there.

caffeperfavore
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by caffeperfavore » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:09 am

Go eat at an Ethiopian restaurant in Adams Morgan. Seriously, it's delicious and it would be a fun experience for the kids. DC has a large Ethiopian population and is probably one of the best places in the country to experience it. It's one of the things I really miss from living there.

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dm200
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by dm200 » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:24 am

caffeperfavore wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:09 am
Go eat at an Ethiopian restaurant in Adams Morgan. Seriously, it's delicious and it would be a fun experience for the kids. DC has a large Ethiopian population and is probably one of the best places in the country to experience it. It's one of the things I really miss from living there.
The area has a wide, wide variety of restaurants - Chinese, Thai, Korean, Indian, Afghan, ......

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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by caffeperfavore » Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:31 am

dm200 wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:24 am
caffeperfavore wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:09 am
Go eat at an Ethiopian restaurant in Adams Morgan. Seriously, it's delicious and it would be a fun experience for the kids. DC has a large Ethiopian population and is probably one of the best places in the country to experience it. It's one of the things I really miss from living there.
The area has a wide, wide variety of restaurants - Chinese, Thai, Korean, Indian, Afghan, ......
Yes I know, I lived there for a decade and am there frequently; but you can find those restaurants (well, except for Afghan) nearly anywhere. You can't find really good Ethiopian many places and not done as well anywhere else in the US, except maybe NYC.

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StormShadow
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by StormShadow » Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:23 am

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:39 am
Taking the fam to visit some family in the DC area.

havent been in a while. Planning to hit the museums, Arlington, National Zoo. Usual stuff. May run over to Annapolis for a noon formation.

Any must-see I’m forgetting? Kids ages 10, 13, 17.

We want to eat at nice local restaurants in town when touring museums and such. Any suggestions? Any evening suggestions for out in Alexandria?
+1 Air Space Museum and National History Museum.
Washington Monument, White House, National Capital, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and Rotunda at the National Archives (every American should see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights).
Fly a kite in the National Mall.
Georgetown Cupcake.
I thought the Spy museum was ok (grew up a James Bond fan), but its a little pricy (especially with 3 kids) and gimmicky.

PM me for my favorite Chinese and Korean restaurants in the area.

AnonJohn
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by AnonJohn » Tue Mar 19, 2019 1:09 pm

Not in DC proper, but Udvar-Hazy is quite something.

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:54 pm

I think you haven't gone yet? Assuming that's the case, if you haven't been here in 5 years, you won't recognize the Wharf area - completely built up, and some new trendy (but usually expensive) restaurants are there. Probably depends on your kids whether they'd like it or not.

The DC dining scene has gone nuts in the past few years - both in terms of quality and price. I'm being location-biased here, but there are some family-friendly and good options in the Eastern Market / Barracks Row area of Capitol Hill, which could dovetail nicely with a day sightseeing downtown. You could also spend $400/head at Little Pearl...

I believe the Obama portraits are still at the National Portrait Gallery, if that's of interest.

Obviously all the National Mall stuff is on the list of things to consider, especially if the kids haven't seen it before. The Natural History Museum has some interesting displays on early human evolution and illness outbreaks (not related), but it's undergoing some renovations and is a bit of a mess right now (and their food court is a temporary setup and best avoided). Right next door is the Sculpture Garden with a surprisingly good (not amazing, but good) cafe if you want a sit-down lunch while museum hopping. The Air and Space museum also has feature films at its IMAX theater, which might be a way to break up the day depending on how your kids travel. They'll do some evening showings too sometimes, which are fun.

If you're into Italian Renaissance art, the National Gallery of Art has a Tintoretto exhibit. Washington Post did a writeup on it (https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertai ... f92c999cce). I plan to go check it out while it's in town.

Getting over to Annapolis is always nice, especially if the weather ever breaks.

I assume you know you're coming at the peak of Cherry Blossom season, so I'd suggest avoiding driving, parking, or even trying taxi/uber into the Tidal Basin. But it makes for fun people watching. If it's your thing, you could just set up a picnic blanket in the area, have lunch, and take in the ground.

Enjoy!
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:57 pm

caffeperfavore wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:31 am
dm200 wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:24 am
caffeperfavore wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 10:09 am
Go eat at an Ethiopian restaurant in Adams Morgan. Seriously, it's delicious and it would be a fun experience for the kids. DC has a large Ethiopian population and is probably one of the best places in the country to experience it. It's one of the things I really miss from living there.
The area has a wide, wide variety of restaurants - Chinese, Thai, Korean, Indian, Afghan, ......
Yes I know, I lived there for a decade and am there frequently; but you can find those restaurants (well, except for Afghan) nearly anywhere. You can't find really good Ethiopian many places and not done as well anywhere else in the US, except maybe NYC.
This is delicious. Historically, "Little Ethiopia" is the area around 9th and U St. NW. I haven't been over to Adams Morgan in some time, so perhaps there's good stuff there too. Ethiopian is definitely a fun eating experience - you get to eat with your hands! - especially if your kids are reasonably adventurous.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:02 pm

dm200 wrote:
Mon Mar 11, 2019 11:05 am
I would skip the National Zoo, sorry but the last time I was there a year ago I felt it was a national disgrace, run down, most of the animals were MIA, really disappointing. Perhaps I've been spoiled with the NYC area zoo's which tend to have a lot more animals and is updated.
That is disappointing. We live in the area - but it has been quite a while since we have been there.

I will try to go his year and see what has changed.

With zoos, some of the things that are (or seem) great for visitors are not the best for the animals. One of the exhibits we really liked there was the Polar Bears - but I don't think it was good for them.
I'm a local and reading this thread backwards for some reason. The Zoo has a few challenges, but we take our young kids there a lot, and it's good. Not the best zoo in the country, but it's good, metro accessible, and has a fair amount of variety. I wouldn't use "run down" to describe it. We've gone early in the morning in spring and fall days, and the animals have definitely been out and about. Watched them feed the cheetahs (frozen) rabbits on Easter morning one year, which caused some consternation among the children present.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

ChrisC
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by ChrisC » Fri Mar 22, 2019 5:22 pm

Take a tour of the Bureau of Printing & Engraving (and not too far away in walking distance is the U.S. Holocaust Museum).

Away from the Mall area, especially if you have a car, I'd recommend Mount Vernon (our first President's home) in Alexandria off the GW Parkway (a gorgeous drive during the Spring and Fall), the Frederick Douglas House in Southeast (you can get there by public transportation as well), and the National Marine Corp Museum off I-95, in Triangle Virginia.

If you like ethnic foods, follow Economist Tyler Cowen's list of ethnic food restuarants in the DC area. I've eaten at several and always enjoyed: https://tylercowensethnicdiningguide.co ... p/welcome/

Regarding Annapolis (where my son graduated USNA), that requires a separate full day, especially if you have a child interested in attending USNA or nearby St. John's.

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Bacchus01
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 5:18 am

StormShadow wrote:
Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:23 am
Bacchus01 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:39 am
Taking the fam to visit some family in the DC area.

havent been in a while. Planning to hit the museums, Arlington, National Zoo. Usual stuff. May run over to Annapolis for a noon formation.

Any must-see I’m forgetting? Kids ages 10, 13, 17.

We want to eat at nice local restaurants in town when touring museums and such. Any suggestions? Any evening suggestions for out in Alexandria?
+1 Air Space Museum and National History Museum.
Washington Monument, White House, National Capital, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and Rotunda at the National Archives (every American should see the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights).
Fly a kite in the National Mall.
Georgetown Cupcake.
I thought the Spy museum was ok (grew up a James Bond fan), but its a little pricy (especially with 3 kids) and gimmicky.

PM me for my favorite Chinese and Korean restaurants in the area.
Thank you. Just getting back from a week in China. No more Asian food for me for a few months. Nope.

annebert
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by annebert » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:50 am

I think the Building museum is still closed (has been for a couple of years). Right around that museum and extending over to the Smithsonian Castle are fantastic gardens, nice to walk through. IMHO there's not tons to see in the Castle, but it's fun to go look at and great for photo opps. And on the Mall right there is a carousel that the kids would probably love to ride (I'm 60-something, and I still do!). I think all my other favorites have been mentioned already.

123
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by 123 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:16 pm

If you'll be staying in any hotels the best time to visit is when Congress is not in session. Rates are generally lower when you don't have to compete with the lobbyists and others of that ilk that pay anything to exert influence.
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by abuss368 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 12:21 pm

We went on a trip a few years ago and visited the White House, Capitol, Air & Space (not in D.C. but the Virginia location - there are two now), Lincoln Memorial, Korea Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, WW II Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery.

The Air & Space location in Virginia includes both the Blackbird and Space Shuttle.
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by raymclean » Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:39 pm

Washington DC is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and if you are going to be here anytime in the next 6 weeks, it will be in full bloom for you and your family. As George Will pointed out years ago in one of his Spring columns, Lady Bird Johnson got hundreds of thousands of tulip and daffodil bulbs planted in perfect display everywhere. If you have spring allergies, bring your allerest or Flonase or extra handkerchiefs because it is pollen time.
To the excellent suggestions given above, I would add a vote for the Kennedy Center http://www.kennedy-center.org to see a free Millennium Stage production (every day at around 5:45pm) (you can check what is scheduled on the website). The cafeteria upstairs on the roof is good, reasonable and you can take your lunch outside to sit at a table and view the incredible vista of the city. My guests have always enjoyed the Washington National Cathedral cathedral.org which is located at the highest point of the city and has amazing views from the top floor. Also walking through the FDR memorial after dark. +1 for the new African American Museum and the Museum of the American Indian. If there are any women in your family interested in art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts is terrific (land has a great lunch room).
Have a great time and best wishes for good weather.
Ray

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JoeRetire
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by JoeRetire » Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:55 pm

Bacchus01 wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:39 am
Taking the fam to visit some family in the DC area.

havent been in a while. Planning to hit the museums, Arlington, National Zoo. Usual stuff. May run over to Annapolis for a noon formation.

Any must-see I’m forgetting? Kids ages 10, 13, 17.

We want to eat at nice local restaurants in town when touring museums and such. Any suggestions? Any evening suggestions for out in Alexandria?
Washington DC is one of my favorite cities in the world. And I love museums.

Visit the National Museum of the American Indian. Eat in their cafe. Different foods representing tribes from different US regions. Very nice!
see: https://americanindian.si.edu/visit/was ... itam-cafe/

Take a monuments tour at night. Very moving!

You must see the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Sad but enlightening.

If you are my age, you must visit the Vietnam Memorial. I get choked up thinking about it.
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Murgatroyd
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Murgatroyd » Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:59 pm

If you’re on “the yard” in Annapolis there’s a really cool little museum that few know about. It traces the history of our navy since the revolution. They have an exhibit of miniature hand made wooden ships from the 1800’s that’s pretty amazing. Old swords too. It is probably only 30 or 40 minutes to see it but very worthwhile. GO NAVY!

https://www.usna.edu/Museum/index.php

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Bacchus01
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Bacchus01 » Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:41 pm

Murgatroyd wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 6:59 pm
If you’re on “the yard” in Annapolis there’s a really cool little museum that few know about. It traces the history of our navy since the revolution. They have an exhibit of miniature hand made wooden ships from the 1800’s that’s pretty amazing. Old swords too. It is probably only 30 or 40 minutes to see it but very worthwhile. GO NAVY!

https://www.usna.edu/Museum/index.php
It is cool. I’ve seen it.

I spent two years at Annapolis.

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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Nearly A Moose » Sat Mar 23, 2019 11:24 pm

annebert wrote:
Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:50 am
I think the Building museum is still closed (has been for a couple of years). Right around that museum and extending over to the Smithsonian Castle are fantastic gardens, nice to walk through. IMHO there's not tons to see in the Castle, but it's fun to go look at and great for photo opps. And on the Mall right there is a carousel that the kids would probably love to ride (I'm 60-something, and I still do!). I think all my other favorites have been mentioned already.
It’s definitely open, or at least it was as of the end of 2018. We take our kids there a lot. This can be a great museum if one of the rotating displays is interesting to you. Otherwise, I find the standard stuff a little underwhelming. Check online first if this is on your list.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by VictoriaF » Sun Mar 24, 2019 8:16 am

Nearly A Moose wrote:
Thu Mar 21, 2019 9:54 pm
If you're into Italian Renaissance art, the National Gallery of Art has a Tintoretto exhibit. Washington Post did a writeup on it (https://www.washingtonpost.com/entertai ... f92c999cce). I plan to go check it out while it's in town.
Thank you for the tip. I am local and will make sure to see the Tintoretto exhibit.

Victoria
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scubadiver
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by scubadiver » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:25 pm

Arlington National Cemetary
Air and Space Museum (Dulles)
Washington Mall: Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Smithsonian Museum (pick one not currently undergoing renovation)
Marine Corps Museum (a bit out of the way in Quantico, but well worth the trip)

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CaliJim
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by CaliJim » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:48 pm

I always liked the Bureau of Engraving and Printing tour. Kids get to see where moonaaay is printed and coins are stamped. EZ to walk to from the Mall. IFRC: Close to the holocaust mueseum.
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Bacchus01
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Bacchus01 » Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:52 pm

scubadiver wrote:
Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:25 pm
Arlington National Cemetary
Air and Space Museum (Dulles)
Washington Mall: Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, Smithsonian Museum (pick one not currently undergoing renovation)
Marine Corps Museum (a bit out of the way in Quantico, but well worth the trip)
That’s about our whole plan, plus the zoo and the holocaust museum. And good food.

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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by Mako52 » Mon Mar 25, 2019 7:30 am

the one restaurant I recommend in DC is Jose Andres's first restaurant in the US: Jaleo, right by the Capital One Arena (nee Verizon Center).

He has a very high opinion of himself and his cooking, but Jaleo's tapas are really, really good. I also like The Hamilton and Old Ebbitt Grill for a true "DC" dining experience. The Jack Rose Saloon has a great selection of whiskey near Adams Morgan.

There are battery powered rental scooters all over the place, which your older kids might enjoy. Fun thing to do around Embassy Row.

aristotelian
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by aristotelian » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:04 am

Abi's Azteca in Arlington. DC has a huge Salvadoran community and this would be a good family friendly place convenient to Alexandria.

Busboys and Poets is a good local chain serving a variety of cuisines. Not fantastic but dependable and family friendly. They have a handful of locations around the city, including one downtown near Capital One Arena.

DC also has a large Ethiopian community. There are dozens of restaurants around the city and I have never encountered a bad one.

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rob
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by rob » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:12 am

StandingRock wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 3:26 pm
FederalFIRE wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:48 am
radiowave wrote:
Sun Mar 10, 2019 11:45 am
Air & Space museum on the mall. Plan to spend some quality time there.
Always a good one, though right now it's being renovated in phases, so it's more crowded than usual and fewer exhibits.
I was also contemplating a trip for this spring, and the Space museum was at the top of my list so I was disappointed to hear they were renovating. Would you recommend a certain day of the week or time of day when it might be less crowded?
The one out near the airport is also great and often overlooked.... https://airandspace.si.edu/udvar-hazy-center
| Rob | Its a dangerous business going out your front door. - J.R.R.Tolkien

annebert
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by annebert » Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:23 pm

Ah, I confused the Art and Industries Museum on the Mall with the National Building Museum - sorry about that.

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cruzbay
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Re: Three Days in DC

Post by cruzbay » Mon Mar 25, 2019 3:54 pm

The DC Circulator buses are now free to ride. Here is their website:
https://www.dccirculator.com/

Have a great time!

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