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  #1  
Old 08-05-2010, 12:40 AM
Myluvwyatt Myluvwyatt is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: WI
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Default Washington DC trip.....

Hello ~

This is my first time on this site and I was wondering if anyone had advice or has been to Washington DC?
My husband and I are planning a trip with our 4 year old son here in a few weeks to travel from WI to Wash DC.
This will be our first time together traveling anywhere farther from home and I've been trying to do some research into "cheaper places to go on a tight budget".
Any information would be greatly appreciated and any sites I could look into as well.

Thank You,
Tina
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2010, 05:49 PM
KiwiLover KiwiLover is offline
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How many nights do you plan on staying there?
And what's your accommodation budget?

Most sightseeing is free or relatively inexpensive (Smithsonian admission = Free, monuments & memorials = Free).

Our personal favorite to stay at is the Doubletree Guest Suites on New Hampshire Ave NW. It is within 1.5 blocks of the Foggy Bottom metro stop, making it convenient to get to most other locations. It's about a block from the Watergate (yes, yes, THE Watergate). The Watergate has a Safeway grocery store in the basement, and the Doubletree is all suites with cooking facilities (stove top, microwave, fridge). We will shop at the Safeway for all our breakfast needs, and at least half our dinners (less expensive than always eating out for dinner).

Depending on how long you're in DC, look into the multi day passes for the metro. If you want to go to the zoo, there's a metro station close by.

The Tourmobile (all day off & on privileges) is a great way to see & get to all the monuments (some of which are not very close to metro stations) as well as Arlington National Cemetary.
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2010, 06:53 PM
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Roey Roey is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New York, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Myluvwyatt View Post
Hello ~

This is my first time on this site and I was wondering if anyone had advice or has been to Washington DC?
My husband and I are planning a trip with our 4 year old son here in a few weeks to travel from WI to Wash DC.
This will be our first time together traveling anywhere farther from home and I've been trying to do some research into "cheaper places to go on a tight budget".
Any information would be greatly appreciated and any sites I could look into as well.

Thank You,
Tina
Even though your son is still young, I suggest going to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It is one of the more "kid friendly" museums, in my opinion. Also, if you have seen the movie, "Night at The Museum 2" there will be some familiar things to see.

Another benefit of going to the Smithsonian is the huge amount of grass connecting the buildings - its nice to take a break and the kids can run off some energy.

Have fun!

Peace,

Roey.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2010, 07:30 PM
RandyP RandyP is offline
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Try some of the following in addition to those already suggested - all free:

Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art - great outdoor space with a fountain and cafe.

Take a ride out to Haines Point (East Potomac Park). There is lots of room to run, watch the planes take off from DCA and a metal sculpture (The Awakening) that kids love.

Bureau of Printing and Engraving - free tickets required (peak). Ticket distribution starts at 8AM daily (get there early to get a spot).

US Postal Museum - located next to Union Station - have lunch at the food court, then walk next door for the museum. Cool vehicles and other exhibits kids enjoy.

The Washington Monument requires tickets if you want to go up, which might be cool for your son. Distribution starts at 8:30AM, but line forms early and from my experience, during peak times, there are always disappointed people.

Lots more to do, but with a 4 yr old, you have to watch the boredom factor.

The best paid attraction is the DC Ducks (www.dcducks.com).

You'll have a car, so you can find a cheap suburban hotel in MD or VA and take the metro into the city. You don't want to drive and find parking in town during the week...trust me.
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  #5  
Old 08-05-2010, 09:18 PM
Myluvwyatt Myluvwyatt is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: WI
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Wink

Thank You for all the terrific information for our trip so far!

I guess I got my dates confused, my hubby is looking into Aug. 24 - 28 and we don't have a set budget persay, we're just looking to keep it as low as possible. We will not be driving, we're looking into flight/hotel info. now. I know we're pretty late on planning all of this, it was sort of a last minute decision to travel here. I think it's great that so much of the activites once you get there are FREE of charge. Now, it's just finding lower airfare and hotel stays that I'm trying to figure out. There are so many sites and so much research to conduct still, much of it just confuses me as where to stay with a family (with a child) and close to areas of interest, etc. I REALLY appreciate all of your tips on saving money by eating out and free activites, etc.

Thank you once again, all so much!
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2010, 09:26 AM
RandyP RandyP is offline
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If you are flying and not renting a car, DCA is the most convenient airport as it is a short Metro ride into the city. Hotels will be a bit more of a challenge as hotels in the city will be $150 and up. When you are relying on the Metro, using Priceline or Hotwire to save some money is risky as you may end up with a hotel too far from a Metro station and no shuttle.

In order to get under $100 you'll likely have to go into the MD or VA suburbs. The trade off is a longer ride into the city. Start with Shady Grove in Gaithersburg, MD or Springfield, VA. Some of these hotels have Metro shuttels and tend to be less expensive. Crystal City is a great location also, but hotels still run in the $150 range and up.

Good Luck!
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