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  1. #1
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    Default Washington DC Trip on a budget

    I am hoping to find someone around the DC area to give me some ideas of good
    places to do things with kids (free or cheap) and also some good kid friendly
    places to eat dinner.

    We are going to DC April 1-4th and have already gotten a hotel in Takoma Park
    MD at a good price.

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks ~ Lynn
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  3. #2
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    Re: Budget101.com : Washington DC Trip on a budget


    All of the Smithsonian museums are free. There's enough there to keep anyone
    busy for years. The most kid friendly are Natural History (the Insect Museum
    rocks), American History, Air & Space (all on the mall within easy walking
    distance from the subway's Smithsonian station) and the zoo (not on the mall but
    also within easy walking distance of the subway, can't remember the station name
    for that one.) Their website with lots of detailed information -- http://www.si.org.

    You can get subway passes for a rate that might be a better deal for you than
    buying regular fare cards. You can find more information and advance ordering
    at http://www.wmata.com.

    All the various monuments, the Capitol, Archives and such are free too.
    Definitely visit the Washington Monument. The others are cool too but might be
    a bit dull for the kids, depending on their ages.

    You can go see the Capitals for a really good deal if they're in town. More
    info can be found at http://www.washingtoncaps.com.

    There's also the Holocaust Museum (also on the mall,) depending on the age of
    your kids. I haven't been there but I've heard it's pretty intense. You'll
    need to get advance tickets if you want to go there. (not free)

    The Spy Museum is a fairly new one, haven't been there yet. I've heard
    advance tickets are highly recommended there. It's near the Gallery
    Place/Chinatown subway station. (not free)

    If you're willing to drive a bit there's Mount Vernon (not free.)
    http://www.mountvernon.org

    Union Station is a very cool building to check out and there's a food court
    there if you want a little more variety than you'll find in the museums.

    You'll be there during the Cherry Blossom Festival and hopefully the trees
    will be blooming. Definitely take a walk around the Tidal Basin to see them.

    Go to Arlington Cemetery to see the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the
    Unknown Soldier. It's really something special. (There's also a subway stop
    there.)

    Go to Hains Point to see the statue there, it's a huge guy coming out of the
    ground, it's very cool and makes for a nice outside trip. That does take
    driving so it might not work if you're doing the subway thing.

    Or visit the sculpture gardens at the National Art Musem and the Hirshhorn.
    Also on the mall and free.

    Take a ride on the subway to Rosslyn to ride on a really, really long
    escalator if you just need to sit down for a little bit.

    Another awesome place to just see is the Willard Hotel. It's just around the
    corner from the White House. It's a beautiful, awe-inspiring place.

    For restaurants there's a zillion in the city. Most of the ones I know are
    around the Gallery Place metro stop. Fuddrucker's is a burger place that's
    definitely kid friendly and has great burgers. There's also ESPN Zone if you
    want to pay too much for nothing special food and then pay even more to play the
    dozens of games in their lower level. They must have every sports arcade game
    there is. (Not one of my favorite places but kids love it.) There's the
    Melting Pot, never been there myself but I've heard it's fun. Everything there
    is fondue. There's a mongolian barbeque place somewhere around there too but I
    can't think of the name. Eating on a budget in the city can be pretty tough.
    You might have better luck eating in Takoma Park.

    I'd definitely do some research first to be sure of hours and such. And try
    to plan around rush hour. The subway is crazy crowded during rush hour. If you
    plan to use the subway I'd give the map a bit of a study. It's not a horribly
    complicated system but it could save you some time if you have an idea of where
    you're going before you get into the station. Some of them are huge and can be
    a bit overwhelming. I definitely would use the subway though. Trying to drive
    and park in the city just isn't worth the trouble.

    Have a great time! It's an awesome city.

    Lori.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Budget101.com : Washington DC Trip on a budget


    Lynn-
    The Washington Zoo is free as is the Smithsonian Institute Museum. As for
    restaurants, we make it a point to NOT eat in Washington because it is so
    expensive so I can't help you on that.
    Sue in PA
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  5. #4
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    Re: Budget101.com : Washington DC Trip on a budget


    WOW! I was worried everything would cost! Thank you!
    Lynn
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  6. #5
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    Default Re: Washington DC Trip on a budget

    This is wonderful! We were thinking of going to Washington, but I was concerned about the cost. I didn't know the Smithsonian was free. Thanks everyone for the tips.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Washington DC Trip on a budget

    If you have a hotel with a fridge you can keep cost down by eating from the grocery store and make sure you travel around with bottled water/juices and simple sandwiches so you don't have to hit vender's all over the city! We were blessed to have a whole month in the district last year while DH had classes to attend. Company put us up in a Hotel with full kitchen and had a subway stop and mall right in the basement! Most of the stuff was totally free and things like Mount Vernon were small fees we could spread out over the month. Have fun!

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Washington DC Trip on a budget

    Fantastic ideas here. Hubby and I are planning to go to DC in May or June and I know these ideas will come in handy. We will be staying with family in MD. I'm so excited!
    Love to Save

 

 

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