We’ve been wanting to travel with the kids on a more regular basis – moreso recently, because all of our kids are out of that baby-baby stage, which makes trips a tiny bit easier. When an opportunity to stay in D.C. came up, I jumped at it and made plans. I grew up right outside of the city, so you could say that I feel strong ties to the place. Also, our kids had never been, so it was time.
We packed up the car, left early on a Friday morning and made the 6.5 hour drive to the District…just in time to check-in at Capitol Hill Hotel and hop on the metro and jump off at Chinatown for dinner with my family. So our weekend in D.C. started with a bang! – good food, fun cocktails, laughter, kids up way past their bedtimes.
Luckily, we were able to hop right back on to metro, with those very tired kids up way past their bedtimes, and make our way back to the hotel (only about 4 stops away from where we were, FYI). Yeh, I cannot express well enough how nice it was knowing that we had a great place to go back to, to recharge and let the kids do their thing. The remainder of the weekend was fantastic…and easy. With being able to feed the kids breakfast right downstairs as soon as they woke up (great spread, by the way) and only being a few blocks from EVERYTHING meant that we could walk to the museums, restaurants, etc.
Of course, we couldn’t do it all, with time constraints and KIDS, but I was surprised with how much we actually did get to do…and how enjoyable it all was. I think the key to the success of this weekend trip was me letting go of any grand, fantastical ideas of a weekend in the city (ha) and keeping it simple, not over-planning, making sure to fuel up with good food & having a place to stay that was family-friendly and in a good location. It all just worked out so well. Seriously loved this trip.
I’ve listed out below all of the places and things I think are worth checking out. I hope it helps, if you’re thinking of going on a weekend adventure to D.C. with the family!
Le Bon Cafe – great little spot for breakfast, coffee. Indoor and outdoor seating. So charming! I wanted to Instagram the crap out of it, but decided to not be annoying. lol.
Mangiolardo’s – perfect place to grab delicious sandwiches, cold drinks and chips
Tortilla Coast – if you’re looking for a casual, yummy dinner with the kids…this is the place.
Clyde’s, Chinatown – we love this place. always delicious food. It’s a bit more on the fancy end, I guess you could say (but not fancy fancy – you can wear jeans), so if you’d like an excuse to gussy-up a bit, definitely head here. We have always found it to be family friendly, by the way. Also, Chinatown is just fun!
National Air & Space Museum – our kids love this place. There’s so much to see! the gift shop is pretty good, too. 😉
Natural History Museum – always a winner, with its animal displays…and DINOSAUR exhibit.
Kennedy Center – we didn’t get to this…this time around, but you can take the kids to see a performance. Check their calendar to see what’s going on, because sometimes they even have free kid-friendly performances.
The Carousel on the National Mall – fun activity for the kids. It’s right on the mall, so it’s hard to miss. It was a nice break from walking for everyone.
Yards Park – a splash pad area, on the water. Great place to bring lunch and chill out for a while, while the kids play…provided it’s hot outside.
Eastern Market – I’ve heard this is one of the coolest markets…wishing we had been able to go while we were in town. Next time!
Capitol Hill Hotel – we stayed here on our recent trip to D.C. and loved it. It’s a boutique-type hotel, so not fancy shmancy, but it is nice and has all the amenities you could ask for. See my recent review for more info.
Metro – the metro was literally two blocks from our hotel, which was really convenient. We rode it all weekend. It can be tricky to figure out (if you’ve never had to use transportation like this), but there are maps (online and at each metro stop). We even had to ask an attendant for help once…and I grew up riding the metro, so. ha.
Uber – on Saturday, when we were all tired out from walking, we got an uber from lunch to the museums. You won’t have any trouble getting one within a few minutes either.
We came away with such great memories. Both Matt and I were so happy with the trip…and didn’t even mind the 8 hour car ride back to SC (too much).
We can’t wait to get back!
ps. seriously thank you for your recent feedback. It was read and taken to heart. You all rock! 🙂
Our stay was comped by Capitol Hill Hotel, in order for us to check it out and pass on our experience to you.
Find me on Instagram (@camilledipaola), for more of our messy, beautiful life.