A Real Kid's Guide to Washington DC - My Family Travels

Just in time for summer, there’s a brand new edition of The Kid’s Guide to Washington, DC (Kid’s Guides Series, PPQ, 2023) by Eileen Ogintz.¬†Whether you’re a visitor or a local, you are guaranteed to learn something fun from this pocket-sized, kid-friendly guide.

As in the earlier edition, travel expert Ogintz 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 kids’ tips make it possible to put trip planning into the hands of your own kids. Encourage chlldren to peruse her recommendations and become stakeholders in their own vacation.

The second edition of the Kid's Guide to Washington DC
The second edition of the Kid’s Guide to Washington DC

What Makes a Good Guide to Washington DC?

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

She warns kids to watch and see if Congress is in session, for example, by making the above observations. If it’s not, she suggests they tour the Capitol Visitor Center with its fun gift shop and cafe. She also recommends printing out the “Zoo Crew Training Manual Family Guide” from the National Zoo’s website prior to your arrival. Tuck a copy into their book or download one for a scavenger hunt. Stay current on the latest zoo animals and where they’re hiding.

Think like a secret agent at the International Spy Museum. Choose from a list of the top-rated family restaurants. Shop for the coolest souvenirs. Of course, U.S. history is tucked into the text as fun factoids in easy-to-read tinted boxes, or Did You Know? sections.

Real Kids’ Tips from Locals

Ms. Ogintz interviews dozens of “real” local kids to find out their favorite places and insider tips about their hometown. 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. With so many free attractions and museums to choose from, it’s great to have a trusted guide. We know that families with limited vacation time will find the minimal investment in this guide well worthwhile. Trust us, it will help all ages plan the most relevant trip to the capital.

In addition to her weekly Taking the Kids column syndicated to newspapers around the country, Ogintz has penned 10 other Kid’s Guide family travel guidebooks, while raising three kids of her own.

Make an Investment in this Kids’ Guide to Washington DC

It’s true that budget wrangling, politics and other goings-on in Washington DC may affect your visit to the capital. Hours and openings change, especially in security-conscious DC. That’s why we recommend the The Kid’s Guide to Washington, DC so you’re always prepared. The new book costs $16 for the Kindle version or $16.95 in print. (We prefer the print version because it makes a great souvenir on your bookshelf.)

Young readers from age 6 will enjoy the text and images. We think the guide is best suited to ages 8 and older if they’re going to lead the rest of the family. By the way, this guide’s information 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. That’s why it took publisher Globe Pecquot a decade to issue the second edition!

Dear Reader: This page may contain affiliate links which may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Our independent journalism is not influenced by any advertiser or commercial initiative unless it is clearly marked as sponsored content. As travel products change, please be sure to reconfirm all details and stay up to date with current events to ensure a safe and successful trip.