Back in May we were debating where we should go on vacation in June. Being members of some museums in town, we knew that we could visit museums elsewhere in Canada and the US for free. So with our list of places we could visit, we tried to determine where to go on vacation. At some point I mentioned to my husband that it would have been fun to go to the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. but it wasn’t listed for whatever reason. He looks at me funny and says “I’m pretty sure that the Smithsonian is free…” “Say what?” So we checked on the internet and realized that indeed it was free. So why in the world haven’t we went to Washington, D.C. before? No clue whatsoever but we decided right then and there that we would go on vacation to Washington, D.C. this year.
The dates of the said vacation were June 22nd until July 6th. But we ended up coming back a few days earlier in order to allow my husband to rest before starting work.
June 22nd – Direction Washington, D.C. Well not exactly since we decided to sleep somewhere in New York state @ the Lighthouse Landing near Marathon before reaching D.C. Besides our campground was located in Virginia.
June 23rd – We continue our trip direction Virgina to Prince William Forest RV campground which is a national park. The place is fabulous with paved sites and a pool to refresh ourselves.
June 24th – We drove around the downtown area of Washington – somewhat familiarizing ourselves with the streets there. Then we went to the National Zoo. We walked through the Asia section and the bird section. The only adventure worth telling at this point is the bird who literally defecated on my left shoulder (which splashed on my daughter). The culprit is the fourth photo below. Fortunately, a nice lady provided diaper wipes so we can clean up the mess. However, the flamingos were a surprise because they were nesting and you could see eggs in the nest.
June 25th – It’s Alexandre’s birthday who is turning thirteen. What he doesn’t know is that I have secured free tickets to the National Aquarium in Baltimore.
Here’s Alexandre on his 13th birthday with me.
The entrance of the National Aquarium.
Some of the animals we encountered at the National Aquarium.
We had a great time visiting the National Aquarium.
June 26th – We were close to the National Museum of Marine Corps and we went to visit the place.
June 27th – Big day ahead of us. Here’s the places we went to visit: Washington Memorial, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Albert Einstein statue, White House, Smithsonian America History Museum and Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
That’s the Lincoln Memorial in the back.
The World War II Memorial
Albert Eisntein statue – the kids couldn’t help it and had to stick their tongue! (see picture #2)
We finally reached the White House.
Then we went to visit the Smithsonian American History Museum.
And discovered Julia Child’s kitchen!
We also saw these…. remember when McDonald’s had those containers for their burgers? I sure do!
We couldn’t resist to take this picture….
Afterwards, we walked to the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
Learning about blubber and animals living in the artic (which will be a theme this year at the homeschool coop we are participating).
Jasmine used a microscope.
We went back in time at the time of dinosaurs.
We saw lots of skeletons.
We looked at gems and other previous metals (here you have gold!).
And while walking through the Smithsonian caste we saw it made out of Lego.
June 28th – We stay at the campground in the morning but then we surprised the kids again with tickets to the Medieval Times Baltimore/Washington, D.C.
The food was great, the show was amazing and Jasmine got a flower from the Black & White Knight.
June 29th – National Zoo again to complete our visit which we didn’t have the time to do on the first day.
June 30th – Day off at the campground.
July 1st – We decided to visit the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and Smithsonian Art Museum. Funny thing is the previous night we had watched the movie “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian”.
Waiting patiently for the opening of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
We saw the Wright brothers airplace.
Amelia Earhart’s airplane.
Explored the solar system.
Saw a model of the U.S.S. Entreprise.
Looked at the Capitol from the distance.
And went to the Smithsonian Art Musem.
Some of my favourite paintings.
Jasmine preferred the ones with ballerinas in it.
July 2nd – We left the campground at 8am. Hoping to reach home by 730pm or so. However, we ended up having a blow out and after changing the tire (which went very well) we were not comfortable to continue the road without a spare tire…. We found a spare tire but the shop didn’t have the time to install it on the rim. We needed to find a garage. We stopped at a Toyota dealer where the people there were happy to help us but in the end we lost 3 hours. So we stopped at Lighthouse Landing near Marathon, NY for one night.
July 3rd – We drove home with a slight detour to Ogdensburg where a package was waiting for me to be picked up. And we came back home, unpacked the RV and went to drop it off at the storage facility.
Would I recommend bringing your kids in Washington, D.C.? Absolutely. Prepare to walk a lot though because the distance in a movie is definitively not the reality! But there are numerous things to do for free in that city as you can see on the Smithsonian site. In all there are over 19 museums and zoos to visit for free. Note that most museums will inspect all the bags coming through at the entrance. But apart from a slight delay in entering the museums, you will have a blast to discover Washington, D.C.
We are also grateful for the two attractions that offered us free tickets in exchange of a blog post. The links were provided in the text above.