Moon at the Air and Space

Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.

The Smithsonian Institute is made up of 19 museums and galleries as well as the Zoo. Most of them are free and open nearly every day of the year. We were able to visit a few of them and had a great time!

Touching a piece of the moon Air and Space in DC

The Air an Space Museum ended up being one our kids favorite museum (except for the Zoo). We could have stayed here all day! Hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. daily, with extended hours in the summer. There really isn’t parking, so we suggest taking public transportation. Otherwise plan to circle the block a few times until a spot opens up ūüôā Just don’t forget to pay for it. There are hundreds of aircraft, spacecraft, missiles, rockets and pretty much anything related to air and space.

Moon at the Air and Space

Touching a real piece of the Moon was the highlight for sure!

Having fun at the Air and Space in DC Air and Space

There are many hands-on exhibits, including aircraft for kids to sit in.

Air and Space Air and Space

Kids at the air and space in Washington DC

Block out at least two hours for a trip here, although you certainly could stay more or less depending on your time schedule. This gift shop was also quite fun as they had lots of little space items, like a pen that can write upside down and space ‘ice cream.’

 

 

mount-vernon-2

Mount Vernon with Kids

Mount Vernon is a MUST when visiting Washington D.C. It is about a 40 minute drive from The White House- and with the gorgeous fall leaves, some good blue grass music we found on a local radio station, the Potomac River running right next to us at times- it was a memorable fall day. We recommend blocking out at least 2 hours for this off season, and 3 during peak!

  

There is a very special feeling when you step on the grounds of Mount Vernon. It was easy to see why General Washington preferred his estate to the White House.  Ticket prices vary depending on different packages, add-ons etc, but basically Children ages 5 & under are free, Youth ages 6-11 are $10, Adults are $20 and Seniors 62+ are $16. Member of the Military, Veterans and their dependents also get a $3 discount with ID. If you order your tickets online in advance, there is also a discount. It is open 365 days per year, although different parts of the estate may be temporarily closed for renovation at different times. Be sure to check their website for the latest closures.

 

When we walked through the doors, we were immediately greeted by the friendly staff. Our children were each given an Adventure Map. There were different questions and we had to visit certain exhibits to hear or find the answer. They had a lot of fun with this, so make sure to get grab one for each child!

 

 

Just past the entrance is this beautiful model of Mount Vernon. We had so much fun looking at this and inspecting each and every room (a few are pictured below).

 

  Mount Vernon

The next stop- Mount Vernon! The walking trails are gorgeous, even on a drizzly day.

 

Photography isn’t allowed inside the estate, but it was very cool to walk through. Your guide can point out which furniture pieces were actually owned by General Washington. It goes rather quickly and although you aren’t able to walk inside every single room with the general ticket price,¬†you’ll still get some amazing views and insights to what life was like then (for an additional fee, you can upgrade to a VIP tour to walk in some of the areas that are closed off). The view from the piazza¬†of the Potomac River is breathtaking. We loved the many stories shared about General Washington. Standing where he once stood made everything so much more real.

 

After the tour of the estate, we walked around the grounds and checked out the many different rooms outside of the estate including the Kitchen, Smokehouse, Vehicles etc.

 

The kids had so much fun finding the final clue for their Adventure Maps.

 

We also visited The New Tomb, the final resting place of George and Martha.

 

After exploring everything outside, we headed back to the main building to tour the museum. We cruised through it, although once we got to the family gallery, we spent almost an hour exploring the many hands-on exhibits. We had it all to ourselves that day, but were told that during busy times they limit each family to 20 minutes to make sure everyone has a chance to play.

 

Mount Vernon does have many place to eat at, and after all that walking you’ll probably be hungry. To see all the dining options, click here.

Overall, Mount Vernon is a very family-friendly place to visit if you’re planning a trip to Washington D.C.