Fathers day weekend my parents drove in for a visit and we realized they had never seen some of the memorials and monuments in downtown DC. My husband prides himself in giving excellent monument tours to visitors, so we had to remedy that immediately. We woke up pretty early Saturday morning because we have a boy who rises early, and we made it a point to head straight downtown.
We chose to park in the city instead of riding the metro because there isn’t a great metro stop by the Lincoln Memorial and it’s surroundings, and the metro is undergoing lots of renovations which are causing more delays. We were able to find parking near the tidal basin and the paddle boat dock, which was a perfect spot for our adventures. The five of us walked to the World War II Memorial, then the Lincoln Memorial and lastly the Vietnam War Memorial before lunch.
It was getting hot out, so we decided to check out the American History Museum, which was a bit of a walk. Due to security checks, we had to wait a bit in line to get into the museum. Don’t let that deter you from going in, the line isn’t that long. When we got in, we popped into the Jazz Cafe for a quick snack.
Ollie, Grandpa and I went to Wegmans Wonderplace which is a children’s area intended for kids from 0-6 (side note: Wegmans Wonderplace is also what we call our local Wegmans store because we love it and it’s our happy place). It was just what Oliver needed after a morning in his stroller. He was able to crawl around freely and explore all kinds of blocks, fake fruit and little kid sized pots and pans. They even had a blocked off area for crawlers with mirrors and a bar for them to pull themselves up. It was perfect and we will definitely be back. Hubby and Grandma went exploring the other exhibits in the museum, stopping to look at the First Ladies exhibit, the Dolls House exhibit and The Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit.
We ended the day at our favorite restaurant in Alexandria, Viet House. It was an excellent day and we are already hoping to make another trip to the American History Museum soon.
Tips for the American History Museum:
- Don’t be deterred by the line to get in, the security line moves quickly
- Don’t wait in line for a bathroom at the entrance, go to one that’s less popular further into the museum
- There are two places to eat, Stars and Stripes Cafe downstairs and Jazz Cafe upstairs
- If you have kids, definitely make time to go to the kid specific exhibits on the first floor