Things To Do In Washington, DC With Toddlers

Since I was younger, holidays would always get me really excited! Back in the Philippines, it seemed as if we have long weekends every single month! How I miss those! My friends and I would always plan to go somewhere each holiday. Before being a mom, my husband and I would choose to just stay at home and relax to enjoy the holidays; and most of the time, I’d be online shopping because of all the great deals! After giving birth to my kids, I guess my adventurous side got awakened; or maybe it gave me the perfect excuse to force my husband outside our house (he loves to stay at home). I found myself planning family trips for every holiday and for every occasion. Last 4th of July weekend, our family visited Washington, DC to enjoy the long weekend. If you have toddlers like I do, this post is perfect for you. Today, I will be sharing what you can do in Washington, DC with your kids.

About Washington, DC

We live less than an hour away from Washington, DC so we thought it’s a perfect destination for the 4th of July weekend; because it’s just going to be a quick drive. If you’re traveling with kids, especially toddlers, it’s important to consider how much the travel time is going to be. Shorter trips are absolutely preferable. Check out these tips on what you can do make your trip as smooth as possible.

Monuments and memorials, eclectic neighborhoods, true local flavor – Washington, DC is a place unlike any other. It’s your home away from home with free museums and America’s front yard. Since we didn’t want to spend a lot during our 4th of July trip, we figured we should take advantage of all the things that you could do in Washington, DC for free. You can read more about it here.

Where We Stayed

About Kimpton George Hotel

We stayed in at a boutique hotel in Capitol Hill, Kimpton George Hotel. Situated along a power corridor where many of DC’s VIPs spend their days, Kimpton George Hotel, is a block from Union Station and two blocks from the north lawn of the Capitol. You can read more about them here.

Kimpton George Hotel lobby, boutique hotel in Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Kimpton George Hotel prioritizes the wellness, along with the comfort and relaxation, of their guests. Each room is provided with a yoga mat, and an infused water is served in the living room. They also have a fitness center where kids can enjoy hula hoops; and an in-room spa is offered as well. A wine hour is also hosted every night. You can read more about their amenities here.

I love the modern design Kimpton George Hotel exudes – from the lobby to the gallery, and especially the room. And I adore how they made sure everything ties in nicely from the decorations and furniture down to the smallest details like the framed artworks in our room and bathroom, as well as the throw pillows on our bed.

About Our Room

Kimpton George Hotel have different guest rooms and suites for everyone. Among them are Deluxe Queen, Executive King, and Presidential Suite. They also have accessible accommodations. You can read more about their rooms and suites here.

Kimpton George Hotel room, boutique hotel in Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

We stayed in a Deluxe Queen Queen with Sleeper Sofa. It features 2 queen beds with refreshingly crisp sheets on luxurious pillow-top beds, large work desk, separate seating area with sleeper sofa, spacious marble bath, and luxury bath amenities.

Our room was cozy and inviting, and spacious enough so the kids have an area to play and run around in. There is also a built-in shelf for liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner dispensers in the shower which I thought was really neat. We liked the fact that there’s a separate seating area where we spent the night watching TV while the kids are in bed.

Our favorite part was how relaxing the beds were. I couldn’t believe it but the kids slept in until 7 AM during our entire stay (they usually wake up at 5-6 AM)! It was AMAZING because my husband and I were able to sleep in too!!! And if you’re a parent to a toddler, you’d know how those days are very rare! I was obsessed with their zebra-printed and leopard-printed robes too! Who says you can’t be stylish while being comfortable? It gave me the comfort I needed after a warm shower while reading a book to the kids after a long day of touristing.

Why we loved Kimpton George Hotel – There are lots of things why we loved staying at Kimpton George Hotel. First, there were treats waiting for everyone in our room when we arrived. And when I say treats for everyone, I meant wine for Mommy, goldfish and juice pouches for the kids, and fruits, chips, and cookies for everyone. It was such a sweet gesture that we truly appreciated.

Mommy & kids toddlers, enjoying their treats in their Kimpton George Hotel room, boutique hotel in Capitol Hill, Washington, DC

Second, when the fridge in our room won’t work, they sent an engineer with an extra fridge up our room and had us use the new fridge when he couldn’t get the other fridge to work. Having a working fridge is a must for us because I always pack my kids milk and fruits whenever we travel; and I really appreciated that gesture.

Third, when I told them our room smelled like someone smoked in there, even though they told me all their rooms are non-smoking, they switched us to a new room without any issues. And they even called us after we’re all settled to ask if everything is according to what we like. Their customer service was AMAZING!!! They went above and beyond to make sure we were all comfortable, relaxed, and that we were enjoying our stay.

And lastly, it’s location. It is pretty close to everything we wanted to visit. We only had to take 5-minute taxi and uber rides to get to where we wanted to go. Anyone traveling with kids, especially toddlers, will find that precious!

If you want to find out more about Kimpton George Hotel or book a room, call (202) 347-4200 or check out their website. When you book your room, tell them One Awesome Momma sent you.

Where We Dined

During our trip to Washington, DC, where we dined was absolutely dependent on where we were. Doing touristy stuff with kids means that I had to find a place where we could eat as close as possible to where we were. I couldn’t risk traveling another 10-15 minutes just to get something to eat especially if it’s right around our meal time.

On our first night, we had dinner at Nando’s Peri Peri Chicken. It was a 15-minute walk from our hotel which we happily took since the kids were still a bit full because they enjoyed the treats that were waiting for us when we arrived at the hotel. They have tons of options like Salads, Wraps, Sandwiches, and Platters. You can even customize how spicy you want your chicken to be. We opted to have the non-spicy Chicken (for the kids), fries, and corn. Our meal was amazing and the kids seemed to love it too!

Bistro Bis, restaurant at Kimpton George Hotel in Washington, DC

For breakfast on our second day, we dined at Bistro Bis. They open at 7 AM and located at the hotel lobby which was perfect. They have a great selection of pastries and cereals, along with their specialties. We had Toasted Bagel with Smoked Salmon, French Toast with a side of Egg, and Belgium Style Waffle. Everything was really good and it kept us (my husband and I, of course the kids had to have snacks in between) full for a good 4 hours.

For lunch, we just decided to go to the nearest McDonald’s because it’s almost the kids’ nap time. We had to make sure they still get to take their nap because the afternoon is going to be eventful for them. We headed straight to the hotel after lunch and let them take their nap.

For dinner, we decided to try one of the food trucks, Downtown Chicken, outside the museum we were at. We had fried chicken, mac & cheese, fries, and green beans. The food, especially the chicken, was delectable! We loved every bit of it.

For breakfast on our last day, we decided to dine at the Corner Bakery Cafe near our hotel. Their breakfast selection was really good; they have everything from yogurts, cereals, pastries, sandwiches, and freshly-cooked meals. We had the Commuter Croissant, and Buttermilk Pancakes & Eggs with Bacon; which were really good.

Purple Patch, American Filipino restaurant in Washington, DC

And for lunch, we went to Purple Patch, an American Filipino restaurant. I’ve always wanted to try this restaurant for a while but haven’t had the chance to until our recent trip. Their brunch menu was filled with Filipino dishes with an American twist like Waffle with Ube Ice Cream (and Filipino Fried Chicken) or Chocolate Champurrado (with Sea Salt Toasted Caramel Coconut Chips). We had Sisig, Fried Pork (with Sautéed Onion, Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Chile & Fried Egg, served with Jasmine Rice), Tosilog – Cured Pork (with Garlic Fried Rice, Fried Egg, Tomatoes & Scallions), Lechon Kawali, and Chicken Adobo Hash (with Potatoes & Onions served with Garlic Fried Rice). Everything was amazing! For a while, it brought me back home!

Why we loved Washington, DC – Washington, DC has something for everyone’s palate and budget. From food trucks to upscale restaurants, you’ll surely find something that you’ll truly enjoy. For a complete list of dining options in Washington, DC, go here.

What We Did During Our Trip

Washington Monument

Mommy and toddlers kids relaxing at Washington Monument in Washington, DC

Since most museums open at 10 AM, which is close to our kids nap time, we decided to just relax and hang out at the Washington Monument on our first morning in Washington, DC. It was a really great way to prepare us from all the walking that we’ve yet to do later that day and the next day. I like to call it the “calm before the storm”.

Since it’s an open field, we chose an area near the trees where we have a little bit of a shade so we’re not directly under the sun. It was a perfect time to just do nothing and bond as a family. The kids had a wonderful time running around and chasing the birds and squirrels, and sitting on our picnic blanket while enjoying their snacks.

Tip: Bring tons and tons of snacks with you since there’s not a lot of places nearby to get food from. And if you have a potty-trained toddler, make sure you know where the nearest bathrooms are. The portable toilets were locked when we visited and we had to do a 5-minute run to get to the nearest bathroom while hoping and praying that my daughter can still hold it in.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC

The kids enjoyed our visit to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.  We were greeted by the Natural History’s iconic elephant as soon as we got pass the security check; and the kids were in awe. There, they also got to see fossils of various animals like snakes and giraffe, including a couple of dinosaurs – the T-Rex and Triceratops. They also saw some insects and fishes, like “Nemo” and “Dory”. There were plenty of other exhibits inside the museum but we decided to skip them because we didn’t think the kids would appreciate them yet. Check out the other Exhibits that you’d get to see inside the National Museum of Natural History here.

Tip: The line to get inside the museum can get really long especially on weekends and holidays, but it moves pretty fast. Make sure to bring snacks with you so your little one won’t get fussy while you wait for your turn to get inside.

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

According to our kids, the National Zoo was the highlight of our trip. My kids have always been fascinated with animals which is why I’m not surprised. At the zoo, they got to see a bunch of animals like pandas, zebra, cheetah, and bison. They had fun watching the pandas eating bamboo. Check out the different animals you’ll get to see at the National Zoo here.

Panda exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo, Washington, DC

Of course, the visit to the National Zoo won’t be complete without a toy panda for each of them. They call their pandas “Bao Bao” – the name of the panda that we saw when we visited the Zoo last year.

Tip: I absolutely recommend bringing a stroller or renting one when you visit the National Zoo, especially during the summer. We decided not to bring our stroller because we thought the kids would probably just keep on running around wherever we go. That was a HUGE mistake! My kids wanted to be carried and it was so hard for us to walk around under the heat of the sun carrying them.

Why we loved Washington, DC – Since our time was limited and we only got to do a few activities during our 3-day-2-night trip to Washington, DC, this city offers A LOT of activities for everyone, including toddlers and kids. From United States Botanic Garden to the National Building Museum, families with young kids will surely find something to enjoy during their trip. For a complete list of things to do in Washington, DC, go here.

Check out the highlights of our Washington, DC trip in the video player below. For more videos like this, you can subscribe to our YouTube channel.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yhgMdJCc7BM&w=560&h=315]

 

If you loved this post, don’t forget to pin it.

an image of mom and 2 toddlers relaxing at the Washington monument in Washington DC, with a text at the top that says Family Bonding Activities you must do in Washington, D.C. that are worth looking back on

Kimpton George Hotel provided us a complimentary room during our stay. As always, all thoughts and opinions are 100% honest and my own.

What did you think of this post? Have you been to Washington, DC with your kids?Where did you stay? How was your experience? What did you do? What were your favorite activities? Let me know in the comments. You know I always love to hear from you.

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111 Comments

  1. Jenny
    July 10, 2017 / 6:22 AM

    This is such an informative post. What a great resource for families heading that way this summer!

  2. July 10, 2017 / 6:33 AM

    I was born and raised in the suburbs of DC and didn’t know about some of these things. What great tips!

  3. July 10, 2017 / 7:19 AM

    I went to college in DC (American U) and lived there for three years after, it has changed alot inthe last 20 years BUT the food is amazing and there is so much to see. I cant wait to take my kids there. I also LOVE kimptons. they are so fun!

  4. Connie at Lessons and Learning
    July 10, 2017 / 7:26 AM

    Great ideas. Thank you! I’ve always wanted to check out that area of the country, but traveling with kids can make trips a little more challenging. This narrows down where to start and what to do. 🙂

  5. Sarah Jean
    July 10, 2017 / 7:32 AM

    Next time you’re up make sure to check out Gravelly Point . – the park next to the airport where you can watch planes land right in front of you and have views of the monuments from across the river.

  6. Meredith
    July 10, 2017 / 7:47 AM

    I haven’t braved going to DC with my two little guys, even thought we leave fairly close. And I always forget about the zoo somehow. I might have to give it a go now!

  7. simplygailg
    July 10, 2017 / 8:37 AM

    Washington D.C.is so fun. I’ve actually gone with my family including the kids and we had a good time. The hotel sounds great and it looks like you all had a fabulous time!

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:38 PM

      We really had a wonderful time! We’re already planning to go back. LOL

  8. Leah Lowe
    July 10, 2017 / 8:42 AM

    Looks like such a fun trip! Loving the decor of the hotel you stay at, those headboards and script on the wall are so cute!

    x – Leah
    http://www.ellemae.blog

  9. GETYOURHOLIDAYON
    July 10, 2017 / 9:46 AM

    My brother lives in D.C. and he is always sending me pictures of the monuments. I can’t wait to go back and show my kids!

  10. July 10, 2017 / 9:58 AM

    I have traveled to Washington DC three times and enjoyed each trip. I would love to take my children there some day! There is so much to see and do.

    Your hotel looks lovely! I stayed at a Kimpton hotel in San Diego and it was perfect. I would definitely consider staying at a Kimpton Hotel again!

  11. Ryan Sneltzer
    July 10, 2017 / 10:11 AM

    Great list. Smithsonian looks like a great time!

  12. Jessica Peresta
    July 10, 2017 / 10:36 AM

    This is a great post! I went to Washington D.C. when I was in high school and definitely want to bring my kids there.

  13. July 10, 2017 / 10:42 AM

    We hope to take this trip in the Spring! We can’t wait to go!

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:40 PM

      I hope you get to go! It’s going to be lovely there in Spring especially if you visit during the Cherry Blossom Festival!

  14. Jessica Bradshaw
    July 10, 2017 / 12:43 PM

    Sounds like such a great trip. SO many fun things to do for everyone. Your hotel looks great!

  15. July 10, 2017 / 1:25 PM

    How fun! What a great guide! That hotel looks awesome, definitely keeping it in mind if we ever travel to DC with our toddler!

  16. July 10, 2017 / 1:58 PM

    I haven’t been to DC since I was a kid. I would love to take my kids and share the experience with them as well. It is nice to now some of the good things to do now!

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:41 PM

      Thank you! You absolutely should; the kids are going to have so much fun there!

  17. July 10, 2017 / 2:08 PM

    DC really surprised me. I didn’t realize there was so much to do with kids of all ages. Loved the hotel you guys stayed in. I may have to check that one out next time we go 🙂

  18. Because I Said So Baby
    July 10, 2017 / 2:25 PM

    That hotel looks beautiful! I’d love to visit DC one day!

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:42 PM

      Our hotel was truly amazing! You should absolutely visit DC someday; I’m sure you’re going to love it!

  19. Babies to Bookworms
    July 10, 2017 / 2:32 PM

    Looks like such a fun trip! I have never actually been to Washington, apart from the airport, so I can’t wait to go someday and take my daughter!

  20. Cecilia C. Cannon
    July 10, 2017 / 3:50 PM

    we are thinking of heading to DC this year, will definintely pin this for future reference as I have a soon to be 4 year old.

  21. Kristi
    July 10, 2017 / 5:17 PM

    Oh the Kimpton looks gorgeous! I need to head back East for some fun. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  22. Robin Rue
    July 10, 2017 / 6:13 PM

    DC is one of the greatest cities to visit. I have family down there, so I went there A LOT growing up.

  23. July 10, 2017 / 6:59 PM

    The hotel looks lovely. I love the writing on the wall.

  24. Bee Lovewell
    July 10, 2017 / 7:59 PM

    I’ve never been but it looks like a great destination, with or without children. Would love to take in the Smithsonian Museum.

  25. July 10, 2017 / 8:09 PM

    A trip to Washington DC is something I want to do at some point. I’d love to go to the Smithsonian. Big “Bones” fan so this would be awesome!

  26. Sumer
    July 10, 2017 / 8:23 PM

    Love DC! I’ve been there several times but never with the kids yet. Hoping to take them next summer! Looks like you had a blast!!

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:45 PM

      Hope you get to go with the kids. I’m sure they’re going to have lots of fun!

  27. July 10, 2017 / 8:38 PM

    This guide is perfect for parents with toddlers. Places to eat need to be accessible especially since the kids would be tired from all the walking and touring. I think the hotel that you stayed in is lovely despite some of the flaws like the fridge not working or the room smelling like smoke.

  28. July 10, 2017 / 8:57 PM

    We love talking our kids to DC. My son could watch the seals in the zoo for hours! And, I love how there are so many great museums for free! 🙂

  29. Melissa
    July 10, 2017 / 9:06 PM

    It looks and sounds like you had an amazing weekend. I always love Kimpton properties they are so unique and special.

  30. July 10, 2017 / 9:22 PM

    That is honestly one of the best hotel services that I have come across. The fact that they left out treats for you and the family and that staff were always eager to help is so lovely x

  31. Nikki Arnold
    July 10, 2017 / 9:59 PM

    How cool!! I know someone about to travel there with her kids! I totally want to take mine now!

  32. R.M. Lopez
    July 10, 2017 / 11:37 PM

    Looks like you had such a fun time!!! I’m pinning this to help plan our trip when we are ready to visit 🙂

  33. OurCookery Com
    July 11, 2017 / 1:27 AM

    Love seeing families travel with little one is tow. Makes me feel less insane when I do it. 🙂 Glad you had a hotel that tried to make good on the fridge for you guys too.

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:47 PM

      Lol! It’s hard to travel with them but totally doable. You just have to have the right mindset to make it less stressful for everyone I guess.

  34. Journa Ramirez
    July 11, 2017 / 4:11 AM

    Happiness and excitement in one place! I’ll recommend this place to my friends who live near DC. Hope we can go there soon!

  35. Mal
    July 11, 2017 / 4:35 AM

    That hotel looks incredible!! I love the wall in the room 🙂 I hope my family and I get to visit D.C. someday!

  36. Sharon Chen
    July 11, 2017 / 9:11 AM

    What an amazing trip you had! The room looks really cozy, too. Nice photos!

  37. July 11, 2017 / 9:39 AM

    I loved learning about your trip. I also really liked the way you organized this post. It was super helpful to have all the info about the activities in one place.

  38. July 11, 2017 / 10:48 AM

    There’s so much to do in Washington DC, the great thing about the museums is that everyone can enjoy them, I loved the natural history one when I went and I’d love to explore some more of them x

  39. Shannon Graham
    July 11, 2017 / 12:36 PM

    I LOVE when hotels have treats waiting or just special surprises. That’s only happened to me once but it was memorable!

  40. July 11, 2017 / 3:36 PM

    This brings back so many memories of visiting DC as a kid. It’s a really great city for exploring. And I love Klimpton hotels. I stayed at one recently and it was amazing.

  41. July 11, 2017 / 4:38 PM

    We definitely want to take our kids to Washington DC soon and we have two toddlers! This is perfect for us!

  42. redheadmomblog
    July 11, 2017 / 4:59 PM

    It sounds like you and your toddlers had a blast in Washington, DC! I’ve never been before, but would love to go someday. Sounds like a lot of fun things to do.

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:50 PM

      We really had an amazing time in DC. You should absolutely in the future; I’m sure you’re going to love it1

  43. July 11, 2017 / 7:03 PM

    I don’t have any toddlers to take with me, but I want to go to the Smithsonian Zoo! That panda pic just did me in, lol

  44. Bonnie Laura
    July 11, 2017 / 7:17 PM

    This is such a good guide! I’ve never been to Washington, but hopefully I get to go before kids and with my kids!

  45. jillconyers
    July 11, 2017 / 9:50 PM

    The first time we went to DC my kids were young. We did everything on your list and had a great time.

    • July 12, 2017 / 1:50 PM

      That’s so awesome! I hope you get to go back when they’re a bit older!

  46. July 12, 2017 / 8:14 AM

    I used to live in Stafford, VA (40 min south of D.C.) while growing up. I miss it so much, especially the SMithsonian Museums!

  47. Jeanine @ sixtimemommy.com
    July 12, 2017 / 12:04 PM

    Washington is one place I would love to visit. As a Canadian we always see Washington in shows on tv and I’d love to see it in person!

  48. July 12, 2017 / 1:44 PM

    Lol! Sorry about that! I toured a friend of mine back when I was pregnant with son, like around 7-month pregnant on a Summer day. I was so hot!!!! I hope you get to go back soon.

  49. July 12, 2017 / 1:49 PM

    I always do that too! I hope you get to take a summer trip with your family soon in DC.

  50. Brittany Muddamalle
    July 12, 2017 / 2:58 PM

    We are homeschooling our kids this year and I think it would be a lot of fun to take them to DC. They could explore and earn hands on.

  51. Rachel Catherine
    July 13, 2017 / 12:19 PM

    It sounds like you guys had a really fun trip! I love your hotel. It’s gorgeous. I’m planning to take the kids to DC when they’re a little older.

    • July 31, 2017 / 1:53 PM

      We had an amazing time! I hope you love DC when you visit in the future.

  52. Nayantara Hegde-Karkhanis
    July 14, 2017 / 6:18 AM

    This looks like a fun trip. I like the array of treats layed out by the hotel you stayed at. That’s called customer delight.

    http://mommyingbabyt.com

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