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When life hands you freezing rain, hit the museums!

Posted by on February 10, 2013

Last week my kids had a day off of school and we decided to take advantage of the mid-week specials to take them skiing. That is until we checked the weather report the morning before our trip. Freezing rain combined with ear infections, no thanks. So we called an audible, canceled our ski reservations and booked a hotel in downtown Washington, D.C. With just a few hours on google and some recommendations from friends on facebook, we had more things to do that we had time for. With crowds small on a cold winter weekday, we saw more than I thought we would, but not as much as we could of. Kudos to Washington, D.C. for leaving us wanting more time and planning another visit again soon!

International Spy Museum

Inspired by a previous weeAdventure blog post, we couldn’t wait to visit the museum. Knowing that we would be hitting up some free museums next, I wanted my kids to start fresh with the one we would pay admission for. My husband ended up being the biggest fan of the museum. Normally not a voracious reader, the kids and I kept having to pull him along through the museum. We all learned a great deal about the Cold War Era and the kids now see ‘suspicious activity’ wherever they go. I recommend this museum for adults and children who are good readers.

The National Mall

We spent the afternoon walking along the National Mall stopping in different buildings as the mood s

The National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art

truck us. We enjoyed some soft pretzels from a street vendor while wandering through the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. I longingly admired the Ice Skating Rink and added it to my mental list of activities for when my youngest gets a little older. We stopped by the Museum of Natural History. My son remembered this museum from a previous trip and immediately dragged us to the insect section. Without the pressure of having to ‘get our money’s worth’, we let the kids set the pace and wander where they wanted. And with only an hour until closing we took a self-guided speed tour through the National Gallery of Art. In one of our best souvenir purchases yet, we bought the kids each a sketch book and a pack of colored pencils at the Museum store. (They colored almost the entire trip back from D.C. and have continued to be artists since.)


National Building Museum

National Building Museum



The National Building Museum

My husband had read good things about this museum online and wanted to go, but I was not convinced it should make the cut for our mini-vacation itinerary. However, when we arrived I was immediately drawn to an exhibit of photography and noticed that we were practically had the place to ourselves. We purchased tickets which provided the kids access to the well designed Building Zone and the Play Work Build areas. My husband and I took turns watching the kids and touring the exhibits geared toward adults. I can’t rave enough about the “Detroit Is No Dry Bones” and “Detroit Disassembled” photography exhibits. Then we purchased a construction kits that included several activities for us to do as a family. My daughter’s favorite was building string art while my son loved the scavenger hunt that took us up all four flights of the building. And yes, I did admit to my husband that he was right (just this one time).



The Metro

OK, so the Metro might not be a big deal for most people. But living in a semi-rural area, neither of my kids could remember riding on one before. They were fascinated by the tickets and turnstiles, the trains that ran underground and the giant escalators that brought you back up to the street. We took the Metro out to Dupont Circle for dinner then dessert. For a few country kids, it was quite a big adventure!

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