A Real Kids Guide to Washington DC

Author: Family Travel Forum Staff

Tags : Blogs, City Break, DC, Food & Wine, Kids, Multigen, Museums & Culture, North America, Shopping, Teens, USA, Weekend & Short Break

Whether you're a visitor or a local, you are guaranteed to learn something fun from The Kid's Guide to Washington, DC (Kid's Guides Series, PPQ, 2013) by Eileen Ogintz.  Once again, this travel expert tackles a major family vacation destination, in this case, Washington DC -- then writes a guidebook that makes a visit manageable and fun.

Best yet, her breezy style and tips from local kids makes it possible to put trip planning into the hands of your own kids, who can peruse her recommendations and become stakeholders in their own vacation.

Flags flying over The Capitol?  Capitol dome lit at night?

Ms. Ogintz warns your kids to watch and see if Congress is in session, and if not, she suggests they tour the Capitol Visitor Center with its fun gift shop and cafe. She suggests printing out the "Zoo Crew Training Manual Family Guide" from the National Zoo's website prior to your arrival, or downloading their up so you can stay current on the latest animals and where they're hiding. U.S. history is tucked into the text as fun factoids in easy-to-read tinted boxes, or Did You Know? sections.

Should you wait to see the Changing of the Guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery? Is the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives interesting? There is so much to see and do in the nation's capital, and so many free attractions and museums to choose from. We know that families with limited vacation time will find the minimal investment in a guide that helps them plan their trip to be worthwhile.

In addition to her weekly Taking the Kids column syndicated to newspapers around the country, Ogintz has penned nine family travel books including The Kid's Guide to Orlando and another to New York City, while raising three kids of her own.

It's true that the Sequester and other goings-on in Washington DC may affect your visit to the capital. Hours and openings change, especially in security-conscious DC. However, we recommend you put the The Kid's Guide to Washington, DC ($10.95) on your bookshelf today.

While it's best suited to ages 8+ if they're going to lead the rest of the family, the information it contains will remain useful on this trip, for your next Washington DC family vacation, when the grandparents return, and even when (and if) you go to see the kids graduate from Georgetown.

Note! This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question, and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.