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Things to do in Washington DC with a baby or toddler New 2020

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All my in-laws live in Washington DC now. They went from being spread out in NYC and Boston to congregating in one city. If I can survive the travel, I’ll test drive this fun sounding week of activities in our nation’s capitol.

Local DC Mamas, do these sound like fun to you? Let us know what’s missing!

This week of action came to us courtesy of Ciao Bambino, a global guide to family-friendly vacation properties (editorial and community reviews for awesome destinations worldwide with cute symbols to indicate baby- and toddler-friendliness).

Monday: It’s monumental
You can’t possibly be in Washington D.C. and not visit the national monuments. But instead of fooling yourself into thinking you’ll pop in and out of all the major landmarks along the National Mall without breaking a sweat, be forewarned that they’re spread so far apart that you’d be better off blending the monuments in as part of a day of fitness. Pack your baby up in a jogging stroller and go for a nice run/walk from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial.

Take a break in the center at the Washington Monument, where the flags will mesmerize your bambino and he can get in plenty of tummy/crawling/wandering-around time while you lick a strawberry shortcake bar from the corner ice cream man. (That’s about the only food you’ll find at the National Mall.)

[picture your baby here]

Tuesday: Get to know George
Georgetown’s vibe is a bit more college than mama, but that’s why you’ll like it. It’s always hoppin’ and there’s plenty of shoppin’ to do with a baby in tow. Clothing shops rule the roost, so come on a day when your body confidence is at a peak. Stop off for lunch at Clyde’s of Georgetown, where they make a mean crab cake and give out cute plastic cars to little ones. Save room for an ice cream at Ben & Jerry’s.

Wednesday: Become a Smithsonian whiz
Beat the heat on a hot summer’s day at a couple of the nation’s best museums. Go first to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and introduce your baby to planes and helicopters of all sizes. There are lots of hands-on exhibits””with plenty of button-pressing and lever-pulling that he’ll get a kick out of even if he has no clue what the exhibit means. Walk across the mall or hop on the Circulator bus and go to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Nibble on a hot dog on its front steps, feed your toddler a pack of crackers from the hot dog stand, then go inside to check out all the gems and stones, making sure to stop off at the super-gigantic elephant for ooohs and ahhhhs.

Thursday: Grab shelter
Maybe today’s the day it rains and pours. Head straight to Union Station, a big, ornate, old building that still serves as a train and bus terminal but has tons of other ways to stay busy, like cafés and boutiques. Better than any suburban mall, this is a place to sip a cup of coffee and watch the commuters race to catch the next train. Ahhhh, is there anything more satisfying than seeing the “other folk” in a mad dash while you gaze down in total bliss at the new love of your life? Knock off the latte calories by fast-walking back and forth a few times.

Friday: Plan for your baby’s future
Stow your camera in your diaper bag and head to the White House. Sorry, but you won’t be allowed on the premises. These days you need a group of 15 and a prearranged (aka 6-month advance booking) tour to get anywhere near Dubya’s headquarters. But a photo of your infant in front of the gates will be a treasure for years to come. Cash in on D.C.’s top-notch dining by booking a table at an upscale, yet baby-friendly restaurant. Two faves to try out: Acadiana and DISH + Drinks.


Extra big thanks to Kristi at for this great set of activities for mom and little ones. We hope to feature a few more great cities soon! Let us know if they help you plan your next awesome vacation.

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