I took my 3 kids 18, 13 & 11 to Washington, DC this summer. We spent 10 days there. That was so nice, because we would go out in the mornings and enjoy the sights, but spend the afternoons relaxing at the pool or whatever. It helped break down all the information we were receiving. I think it is important to learn about the places you will visit before you go, even though you get information when you are there. Most everything is free, but lines can be long to get in. We did most all the main monuments and only a few Smithsonians-Natural History, American History, Aquarium & Space. The Aquarium costs and was not the greatest. If you go to Sea World or places like that, it might be a disappointment. It was probably worth getting out of the humidity and in the air conditioning for awhile, though.

The Metro is the best way to travel in the DC area. Be aware of the rush hours, as they are very congested and locals tend to be a little intolerant, which is understandable.

We rented a car for two days. Spent one day going to Presidents homes-Jefferson, Monroe & Madison one day-all in close proximity of each other, & Washington's home and Alexandria another day. You really don't need a car otherwise.

We stayed in Pentagon City, which was wonderful. Metro stop very close and everything you could need within a very short walking distance, and of course a great Mall for those shoppers.

Suprisingly, one of our favorite activities was Arlington Cemetery. It is much more interesting when you are educated about the cemetery. We did not take the tram and enjoyed explaining about how and why it was started, who can be, and is buried there, and such as we walked. We ended up looking for and finding the 1st burials at the cemetery, then just walking over to the Marine Memorial, which is close to that area, and to the Roslyn Metro stop.

Another favorite was George Washington's home. We loved walking all around the area and understanding how life really was for people of that era.

We also spent an afternoon at a Nationals Baseball game. That added variety to the activities and our family likes baseball.

Remember-you need tickets to up the Washington Monument and tickets for the Bureau of Printing and Engraving (printing money), which was also a favorite of the family. You have to get in line early the morning of the day you want to visit the sight, or you can get them on-line if you plan far enough ahead.

I personally would not take young children, or make it very "light" on sight seeing. This will help you and the kids from having breakdowns. Even though my kids are old enough to understand and appreciate it, there is so much to do and absorb, even for older kids.

Washington, DC is an absolute great experience for families and everyone.