Washington, DC
Day Trips
Mount Vernon - A great day trip for kids from Washington, DC is to visit Mount Vernon, the gracious estate of George and Martha Washington. Mt. Vernon covers a large area, with mansion house tour, outbuildings, garden, pioneer farm, living history demonstrations, distillery and gristmill, education center and museum - plan on spending a full day.
Entrance ticket to Mount Vernon includes the Mansion tour - look for cool things like the key to the Bastille in the entrance (given to George Washington by the Marquis de Lafayette), the fan chair in his study, and lacy crib for Washington's granddaughter.
The Education Center and Museum has artifacts from George and Martha Washington, multimedia exhibits, and scenes from the life of George Washington, commander-in-chief of the American Revolution and first president of the United States. In Hands-On-History are activities for younger kids, storybooks and a doll house.
Exploring Mount Vernon is a chance for kids to experience life on an 18th century plantation. We especially liked the Pioneer Farm, and watching a field plowed with horses, and the gristmill, where corn and flour were ground.
Tip: Picnics aren't allowed at Mt. Vernon, but there's a food court with snacks, hamburgers, sandwiches, pizza, ice cream and sweets.
For all the details about visiting Mount Vernon with kids, read our blog post: " Mount Vernon: George Washington at home "
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park - Go for a canal boat ride on the C & O Canal, a historic canal that was the main source of transportation for lumber, coal, and farm products in the 19th century. The canal boat, like the old barges, is pulled by mules on the towpath, the park rangers are dressed in period clothing, and going through the locks is great fun. Pick up canal boat ride at the at the Great Falls Tavern Visitor Center, Maryland. Canal rides are Wed. - Sun. April to October.