We just took a great vacation to Washington D.C., which turned out to be an amazing place to go with our girls. There was something to delight every member of the family--the National Zoo for our 2 year-old, the Air and Space and Natural History Museums for the 7 year-old, the art galleries and U.S. Botanic Garden for me, the National Cathedral and various memorials for my hubby. We all really enjoyed the things that other members of the family chose, too. My 7 year-old was surprised by how much she loved the National Gallery of Art and has asked to visit some of our local art museums. Plus, almost all the attractions in D.C. are FREE, which helped with the budget. After such a great vacation we are already dreaming of where to go next year. I thought it would be nice to open a discussion to share some of the great vacation spots that are affordable, welcoming and FUN for families. Where are some other great places to visit with a family?
DC is one of the places we really want to go. We've never actually gone on a real family vacation. We've only gone to visit our extended family and then made short side trips wherever we're at. Nothing exciting, just the local zoo and area playgrounds. That sort of thing. We're also gearing up for a trip to Disney some time in the next few years. Both of my kids are obsessed with Mickey Mouse, which is beyond me. lol
Funny, but we finally decided it was time to take a family vacation. I live in New England, so we're taking an overnighter to go to Storyland. It's kind of like if Six Flags was made for 4-year-olds. I'm more excited than I should be, I think. lol
Wow. I'd never heard of Storyland, but I just googled it, and it looks like so much fun. I think that I get just as excited as my girls when we go to Disney World, too. We once surprised them by just picking them up from school and driving up to Disney (It's a four hour drive from here). They thought we were headed up to my parents' house for dinner and I just said, "Hey, wouldn't it be fun to just keep on driving and go to Disney?" My daughter said, "Yeah. That would be so awesome," in this longing voice. So my husband jumps in with, "Okay, let's do it." Oh the squeals! It was probably one of the most fun moments of my life. Have fun on your trip. Storyland looks like a blast.
We go to OBX almost every year with a couple other families. We are all beach people, so to be honest the beach is all we need! There is all sorts of stuff to do around the area too, some things cost money and some do not. It's great for each and every one of us b/c the kids love water/sand, the girls love the shopping, and the guys do the whole fishing, charter boat, and surfing thing... so a little bit for every one w/ that too.
As a child, I always went to Florida every year and we did the whole Disney World, Universal Studios, Epcot, etc parks. Those were the best memories, so we plan to do the same one day as a family... but our boys are still toddlers so I think it will be another 2-3 years or so before we plan a vacation like that. Plus, it's pretty darn expensive, so we are going to need time to save for it too.
I live 30-40 minutes from DC and I'm actually ashamed that I don't go there often at all! I know people come from even across the world to visit, and here I don't even remember the last time we were there for site-seeing! If you ever come back, I'd suggest the Holocaust museum, the Spy museum (much more kid-friendly... they have tons of interactive things for the kids too), and for food you definitely gotta visit The Wharf (the best seafood around, tons of vendors to choose from... we drive all the way there just for some crabs!).
We are beach people, too, but live in Florida so we kind of have it year round. Even so we have talked about going somewhere else and staying directly on the beach for next year's vacation because there really is nothing as relaxing as a day at the beach.
We actually did do the spy museum and my daughter loved the thing where you crawl through the duct work. My husband and I really wanted to see the Holocaust museum because we'd heard it is amazing, but decided that it might by too intense for our seven year old, who is VERY sensitive.
That was my daughters favorite part too!
Yes, the Holocaust is definitely too intense for a little kid... it's hard for them to understand at that age. One of the saddest parts is seeing the shoes of all the victims just piled up in the exhibit b/c it was all that was physically left to represent each person. Just very sad. It could be a great learning experience for when your children are older though!