Find out why so many families flock to Washington DC for a cheap, educational vacation. History, animals, museums and culture, all in one great city.
A big city may not be your first choice for a summer vacation destination. Washington DC, however, is a terrific place for families and children to be amused and engaged. In addition to the quantity and quality of things to do in DC, the holiday can be surprisingly inexpensive.
Cheap things to Do With Kids in Washington DC
The number one reason to go to Washington DC is the plethora of museums. The Smithsonian empire consists of 19 FREE museums, most of which are in Washington. A great idea is to allow all members of the family to explore the website and chose the one they would most like to visit. Children will especially love the Zoo, American Indian Museum and the Air and Space Museum.
Free music can be heard and experienced every Sunday afternoon and evening (starting at 3pm). At Meridian Hill Park there is a impromptu drum concert and African dancing. Feel free to listen or bring a drum and join in.
With the number of monuments in Washington DC, it is a natural place to study American history. The best way to learn the most is to conduct some research beforehand with your children. A monument is more interesting when the significance behind it is known. If children are old enough, consider a free walking tour. The Metro system is inexpensive and the best way to get from one historic site to another.
How to Find Budget Accommodations In Washington DC
Consider the size of the family when booking accommodations. If your family consists of 5 or more people, it would likely be more economical to book a vacation rental than a suite or multiple rooms in a hotel. When searching Tripadvisor, chose the vacation rental option in Washington DC. There are 39 condominiums and houses for rent. Prices are listed per night, week and month. They also list the maximum sleeping capacity.
Two great options for budget hotels that have swimming pools and reasonable ratings are the Washington Plaza and the One Washington Circle Hotel.
Other Tips for a Cheap Family Vacation
There are many ways to keep the cost of a family vacation low. Reduce the amount of times that you eat in restaurants. Families who choose a hotel or vacation home with kitchenette can eat many meals in the hotel room. Even if the hotel is not equipped for cooking, families can shop at a grocery store and reduce restaurant meals to twice a day. Eat breakfast in the hotel or pack a brown bag lunch.
Buy all your drinks at a grocery store. The cost of water and juice in the supermarket can be one third less than the price at a restaurant or food stand. The zoo and most museums have water fountains that can be used to refill water bottles.
Washington can get very hot, so drink plenty of water. Children really appreciate swimming in a hotel pool after a hot day of sightseeing, so consider booking accommodations with a pool. This will save money because less icy drinks and ice-cream will need to be purchased.
Washington DC is an educational and inexpensive destination for your next family vacation. The Smithsonian Museums give families an excellent opportunity to explore technology, history, cultures and animals absolutely free.