Things to Do in DC When the Grandparents Visit

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We’ve compiled some family-friendly activities that everyone, from little kids to aging relatives, will enjoy when the grandparents visit

Overdue for a visit from the grandparents? Thankfully, our favorite city offers tons of fun stops and sights that are perfect for all ages. We know our kiddos can quickly wear out our parents, so we’ve rounded up some great places with easy access—and lots of benches for a quick rest. Get started on your family day out in Washington, DC.


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Urban Adventures Tours

Urban Adventures Tour

Skip the crowded hop-on-hop-off buses, and opt for a private tour around town aboard an electric vehicle. Customize a family adventure or choose from one of the group tours. Let your little ones stay up late to see the majestic monuments by night, or book a food tour your whole crew will find delicious.

718 7th St. NW
Washington, DC
Online: urbanadventures.com

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Washington National Cathedral

The cathedral offers almost daily prayer, musical events, and services for your family. Many of their holiday events are simply magical, so be sure to check the calendar of events before you plan your visit. In addition, the cathedral provides accommodations for visitors with impaired hearing and limited mobility.

Insider Tip: Be sure to download the scavenger hunt guide, which includes fun facts about on-site history and art, before you head to the cathedral. Then, make a game of it and see if you can find each one. The Children’s Chapel is a must-see, too. The space was designed with a 6-year-old in mind!

3101 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Online: cathedral.org

Related: 48 U.S. Spots to Visit with Your Kids Before They Grow Up

ARTECHOUSE

ARTECHOUSE

Take art-loving grandparents alongside your tech-savvy kiddos to a super cool exhibit that combines both interests. Everyone can interact with the larger-than-life art installations and learn about the artists and the technology they use to create masterpieces. Exhibits change throughout the year, so check back often to see what’s new for the whole family.

1238 Maryland Ave. SW
Washington, DC
Online: artechouse.com

grandparents visit
Josue Aguazia on Unsplash

Lincoln Memorial

Many grandparents will remember Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech delivered from the steps of this incredible monument. Although they may prefer to stay at the bottom of the steps or take the elevator located at the southeast corner of the building, your kids can learn a lot about our country’s history while visiting this location. Plan your stop anytime during your family’s itinerary, as the memorial is open 24/7.

2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW
Washington, DC
Online: nps.gov

Related: DC’s Best Places to See Fall Foliage

Antonella Vilardo on Unsplash

Mt. Vernon Estate

Let your grandparents set the pace at this historical site right on the Potomac River. Your little ones will love visiting the farm animals and exploring the outbuildings, while the older generation can take a short break on the wagon ride. Music lovers of all ages will enjoy the early American concert while they stroll the grounds together. 

Insider Tip: The Mount Vernon Trails stretches from Mt. Vernon Estate to Theodore Roosevelt Island. For the best views, take a short walk—or hike any part of the 18-mile trail—to enjoy the stunning views of the Potomac River and the city. 

3200 Mount Vernon Hwy.
Alexandria, VA
Online: mountvernon.org

 

grandparents visit
Dineda Nyepan on Unsplash

National Museum of African American History and Culture

According to the founding director of this spectacular museum, “the African American experience is the lens through which we understand what it is to be an American.” That lens is on display throughout each thoughtful and impactful exhibit inside this architectural marvel. Get your timed entry passes before your head out to this free attraction. 

Insider Tip: If you’re hungry, save time to pop into a nearby eatery. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken is the perfect stop for breakfast, lunch, and sweets. If your crew is ready for a crazy but delicious combo, go for the chicken doughnut sandwich. It’s epic. 

1400 Constitution Ave. NW
Washington, DC
Online: nmaahc.si.edu

grandparent visit
Felipe Leite on Unsplash

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Take the family car to Northern Virginia, and get ready to enjoy a hangar full of planes, rockets, and restoration projects on display for the whole family. Hop in a simulation to experience your flying adventure, or book a showing at the on-site IMAX theater.

Insider Tip: It might be something to save for a later visit, but every June, the museum opens its doors and takes the aircraft outside. Visitors enjoy seeing more than 50 aircraft of all kinds at the annual Become a Pilot Family Day and Aviation Display.

14390 Air and Space Museum Pkwy.
Chantilly, VA
Online: airandspace.si.edu

 

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