1. Union Station: If the architecture alone doesn’t keep you enthralled for a good, long time, then perhaps the many choices of shopping, dining and site seeing might. Each Christmas season Union Station hosts a neat toy train exhibit too- free for all to see.Union Station is an active transportation hub, so be prepared fr crowds of tourists and commuters alike.
2.Pentagon City Mall: A full service shopping mall offering more than 100 stores.
3. Smithsonian: Choices galore here. Our picks for families: The Museum of Natural History and The Museum of American History (more detailed selections are stand-outs below).
4. Building Museum: the Kids Building Zone is perfect for the we ones. This is a private museum and donations are appreciated.
5. National Children’s Museum: Although tthe new museum is set to open in a few years (2013), there is a temporary area known as the Launch Zone that kids will love.Please note- the museum is in Maryland.
6. Library of Congress: Perfect for a rainy day. Check out (figuratively speaking) the Gutenberg Bible, or just about any book you can think of, at this- the largest library in the US. If you are lucky enough to have tickets to visit the Capital Building, there is a wonderful underground pass-though that brings you right into the hall. There, one can have lunch at the cafeteria that serves senators and pages when congress is in session.
7. The Bureau of Engraving and Printing One can stay busy for hours checking out the largest producer of security documents in the US. Kids love it! Call 1-866-874-2330 for tour info.
8. National Postal Museum If the kids still aren’t satisfied, then try the Postal Museum. Here you’ll also find the Discovery Center, which has lots of activities and games.
9. National Geographic Museum: Here you’ll find a wide variety of exhibitions and interactive displays, some of which are permanent, and others are traveling. At the time of this post, the “giant terra cotta statues” from China were on display. Although Nat Geo (as its known locally) is a private company,, admission is free.
10. The United States Botanic Garden: What better thing to do on a cold winters day than bask in the shadow of a tropical palm tree… or smell the flora… ahhhhhhhh. Bliss.